Screening of "Where I Belong" kicks off Japan Foundation Film Series

Hosted at Knauss Hall, this screening sought to provide students an understanding of Japanese culture through cinema.

The WMU Japanese program and Soga Japan Center have joined forces to put on the 15th annual Japan Foundation film series at WMU. 

The film series kicked off last Friday with the screening of the Japanese film “Where I Belong”.  

The film tells the story of a young man who is abandoned by his parents, turning to petty crime and becoming a thug as a result of his abandonment. The story follows him through a journey of self discovery. This film is unlike what many people may associate with Japan, as it is not what we often see in the media about Japanese culture.

The goal of this series is to promote Japanse culture and provide students with an authentic understanding of what life in Japan is actually like.

“I hope that students will see this film and realize a different side of Japanse culture,” said Michiko Yoshimoto, one of the coordinators of the event. “We want them to see something that isn’t pop culture and anime.” 

These films are also being used as a different way of learning, providing students with a visual understanding of Japanese culture. 

“I’m hoping this will give a window into Japanese culture,” said Jeff Angles, another coordinator at the screening. “Something like that’s difficult to get by just looking at a textbook.”

Students voiced their reasoning on attending the event, saying that they hope it will help them develop a more realistic view of Japan.  

“I’ve been studying Japanese for a while now... I wanted to learn more about what life is actually like is Japan,” said WMU student Patrick Singletary. 

The WMU Japanese program and Soga Japan Center hope to continue to accomplish the goal of spreading awareness of Japanese culture for the rest of the film series. 

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