Among the least-known films in Kon Ichikawa’s oeuvre, this 1968 documentary finds the legendary director approach the subject of Japanese high school baseball with the same lyricism and visual splendor as he did with the 1964 Summer Games in Tokyo Olympiad (1965). On the 50th anniversary of the Koshien games, Ichikawa captures the uniquely rigorous training—in snow, dirt and schoolyard lots—of the young athletes preparing for the all-important tournament, interspersed with historical footage that contextualizes Japan’s long love affair with student baseball. A thrilling portrait of youth in the economic boom of the postwar period, Ichikawa’s rare film encapsulates an entire generation through sports. Screening in the U.S. for the first time with brand-new English subtitles by Japan Society.
Note: This feature is soft-subtitled. Please click on the “CC” button in the lower-right corner of the player to enable English subtitles
Streaming May 7-28 as part of Japan Society’s Passing the Torch series, a celebration of the upcoming Tokyo Summer Games.