Premiere of the Asian Studies Centre Documentary in Japan

July 28, the documentary “Kaunas. The City of Sugihara and Japan” created by the Centre for Asian Studies will be introduced for Japanese society. The Japan Premiere will be taking place on July 28, 13:00 in Gifu City Library. On the same evening, the movie will be shown at Yaotsu Town (which has a museum dedicated for Č. Sugihara). During the screenings, Dr Aurelijus Zykas, one of the creators of the movie, will participate. These screenings are a part of the festival “Lithuania NOW” which is organized for the first time by Gifu Prefecture and aims to introduce Lithuania.

In the documentary, the story of Kaunas–Japan bilateral relations is revealed through four personalities who prior the World War II became bridges between the two countries. It is Yukichi Fukuzawa – the first Japanese who mentioned and wrote about Kaunas in his diary. In 1862 together with the mission of 36 Japanese he traveled through Lithuania by train and went for a short stroll in Kaunas. Later, in 1905, the author of first Lithuanian books about Japan – Steponas Kairys was amazed by a small distant country which managed to defeat much bigger Russia and inspired Lithuanians to seek independence. In 1929, even after visiting Japan for a few times, journalist and traveler Matas Šalčius decided to reach this country from Kaunas once again… on a bike. And finally, diplomat Chiune Sugihara united both countries in 1940 with his heroic act.

The premiere of the documentary in Kaunas took part on April 26. The team of the movie are dr. Aurelijus Zykas, dr. Linas Didvalis and Kristijonas Jakubsonas. 20 scholars and politicians have participated in the shooting of the documentary both in Lithuania and Japan. Through 2017 November – December the shooting has been taking place in various places in Japan. During this time the team visited 10 cities in Japan, where they met with scholars and public figures, filmed related places, objects and documents.

Partners and sponsors of the movie: Toshiba International Foundation, Global Japan Office, ProConf and Kaunas City Municipality.

You can watch the trailer of the movie here

Program of Lithuania NOW (in Japanese)

More information:
  • Aurelijus Zykas
  • Address VMU Centre for Asian Studies, V. Putvinskio g. 23-418
  • Phone (8 37) 331 323
  • Email