MOVIES

KIYOSU KAIGI
Release Date : November 9, 2013

Introduction

The critically acclaimed screenwriter, producer, film director and entertainment pioneer Koki Mitani swept the Japanese film awards with his directorial debut “Rajio no jikan / Welcome Back, Mr. McDonald” (’97 Starring Toshiaki Karasawa, Kyoka Suzuki, Masahiko Nishimura) and won the Special Jury Prize at the Berlin International Film Festival. His second film “Minna no ie (All About Our House)” (’01 Starring Toshiaki Karasawa, Kunie Tanaka, Naoki Tanaka, Akiko Yagi), a comedy based on real events about building a house, was a national blockbuster drawing over a million viewers. His third film featuring an all-star cast was set in a hotel on New Year’s Eve. “Suite Dreams,” (’06 Starring Koji Yakusho, Takako Matsu, Shingo Katori, Koichi Sato), an original screenplay that drew 4.7 million viewers and generated box office revenues of over 6 billion yen, an astounding figure by Japanese film standards, cemented Mitani’s popularity as a film director. His fourth film “The Magic Hour” (’08 Starring Koichi Sato, Satoshi Tsumabuki, Eri Fukatsu, Haruka Ayase, Toshiyuki Nishida) was a fast-paced comedy set in the mythical city of Sukago (Chicago) centered around the film’s theme and key phrase, “Magic Hour.” The highly acclaimed blockbuster generated box office revenues of 3.9 billion yen, further validating Mitani’s popularity. His fifth film which premiered in celebration of his 50th birthday, “A Ghost of A Chance” (’11 Starring Eri Fukatsu, Toshiyuki Nishida, Hiroshi Abe, Yuko Takeuchi, Tadanobu Asano, Tsuyoshi Kusanagi, Kiichi Nakai), was set in a court of law and told the tale of a third-rate lawyer and the ghost of a fallen samurai. This hilarious and heartwarming film grossed 4.2 billion yen and was the top box office hit in 2011.
  “Kiyosu Kaigi” is Director Mitani’s long awaited 6th feature film based on the novel of the same name penned by the director himself, his first in 17 years. Mitani takes a completely different approach on this film adaptation. In contrast to his original modern day story lines, Mitani’s latest undertaking is a historical epic. Just before the unification of Japan, Nobunaga Oda was forced to take his own life at Honno-ji Temple during a violent revolt led by Mitsuhide Akechi. Following Oda’s death, Japan held the Kiyosu Conference -- the “conference that changed the course of history” -- to resolve the Oda clan’s succession of leadership and redistribute Mitsuhide Akechi’s iterritories. Mitani gives us his unique interpretation of the intricate web of human relationships involved in this process as the brave general Katsuie Shibata and Hideyoshi Hashiba, who would later unify Japan, engage in a battle of wits, deceit and bargaining.

Koki Mitani assembles a magnificent cast of 26 superstars!
Mitani’s historical epic showcases the richest pageant of stars in the history of Japanese film. Koji Yakusho, one of the preeminent actors in Japan today, plays the main character, Katsuie Shibata, the faithful general and chief advisor of Nobunaga Oda who battles with Hideyoshi for the succession of leadership. This will be his first appearance in a Mitani film in seven years since “Suite Dreams.” Yo Oizumi plays Katsuie’s opponent Hideyoshi Hashiba, who deftly wins over people’s hearts. This is his first Mitani film. Fumiyo Kohinata plays Nagahide Niwa, the Oda clan strategist who participates in the conference along with Katsuie and Hideyoshi. Tsuneoki Ikeda, who greatly influences the outcome of the conference, is played by Koichi Sato. Eisuke Shinoi plays Nobunaga Oda, Kyoka Suzuki plays his younger sister Oichi, Yusuke Iseya plays his younger brother Sanjuro Nobukane, Kankuro Nakamura plays his eldest son Nobutada, Satoshi Tsumabuki plays his second son Nobukatsu, a potential successor to Nobunaga, Minosuke Bando plays his third son Nobutaka Oda, Ayame Goriki plays Matsuhime, Nobutada’s wife and later widow. Tadanobu Asano plays the Oda clan retainer Toshiie Maeda, Susumu Terajima plays Kanbee Kuroda, Kenji Anan plays Kazumasu Takigawa, Kenichi Matsuyama plays Hidemasa Hori, Denden plays Gen’i Maeda, Shinpei Ichikawa plays Narimasa Sassa, Kazuyuki Asano plays Mitsuhide Akechi, Shota Sometani plays Ranmaru Mori, Catherine Seto plays Oichi’s lady in waiting Kosode, Yoshimasa Kondo plays gatekeeper Gibee, Miki Nakatani plays Hideyoshi’s wife Nei, Keiko Toda plays his mother, Naka, Zen Kajihara plays his younger brother Koichiro. Yuki Amami plays the ninja Edage and Toshiyuki Nishida, who coincidentally starred in Mitani’s fifth film “A Ghost of A Chance” as a samurai from the same era, plays the Hojo clan retainer Rokubei Sarashina. This spectacular all-star cast hails from Japanese film, drama, theater and kabuki to form a dream-come-true collaboration under the direction of Koki Mitani.

The ultimate Japanese crew brings the Kiyosu Conference back to life!!
“The Magic Hour”created a buzz when a fantastical town was built in Japan’s largest studio, Toho Studio #9. For Kiyosu Conference, the grounds of Kiyosu Castle were recreated in not one, but four studios -- the famous Studio #9, the equally substantial Studio #8, as well as Studios #3 and #5. The crew made full use of Studios # 8 and 9 for the characters’ living quarters and the great hall in which the Kiyosu Conference would be held. The set is every bit as imposing as the real thing. The living quarters were decorated with custom furnishings in colors and patterns tailored to each character. As with the living quarters and great hall, every detail from the layout of the rooms to the positioning of the hallways was designed to bring credibility to the schemes and psychological warfare of the various players. The grand structure of Kiyosu Castle recreated by artistic staff Yohei Taneda and Kimie Kurotaki add additional dimension and depth to the imagery.
Costume designer Kazuko Kurosawa is working with Mitani for the first time. Each characters’ disposition and personality are reflected in their costumes with special attention to materials, colors and patterns. Many gorgeous traditional costumes were created for this film. Mitani’s historical characters come to life through the use of special make-up and hairstyles depicting the relationships between the Oda and Hideyoshi clans. To take on this epic challenge, Mitani and his team brought together the best crew in Japanese film to bring his unique, dynamic vision of the “Kiyosu Conference” to life.
“This film is not a comedy. It’s a Human Comedy” explains Mitani. In his new venture, Koki Mitani portrays the people’s desperate lives during these times in a comedic yet endearingly human way.
This fall, prepare to be entertained by a historical epic filled with laughter, surprise and drama!

What is the Kiyosu Conference?
A conference held in Kiyosu Castle, Owari Province (Kiyosu City, Aichi Prefecture) to discuss the succession of leadership following the death of Nobunaga Oda and his oldest son Nobutada and the redistribution of territories held by Mitsuhide Akechi led by Nobunaga and Hideyoshi. The conference was attended by Nobunaga’s chief retainer Katsuie Shibata, Hideyoshi Hashiba, Nagahide Niwa and Tsuneoki Ikeda.

Cast

Koji Yakusho, Yo Oizumi, Fumiyo Kohinata, Koichi Sato
Satoshi Tsumabuki, Tadanobu Asano, Susumu Terashima,
Denden, Kenichi Matsuyama, Yusuke Iseya
Kyoka Suzuki, Miki Nakatani, Ayame Goriki
Minosuke Bandou, Kenji AnanShinpei Ichikawa, Shota Sometani, Eisuke Sasai
Keiko Toda, Zen Kajiwara, Catherine Seto, Yoshimasa Kondo, Kazuyuki Asano
Kankuro Nakamura, Yuki Amami, Toshiyuki Nishida