The Japan Society

Upcoming Events

ARCHIVED ONLINE EVENT - Japan Society Film Club: Ikiru directed by Akira Kurosawa

Wednesday 6 July 2022 / 6:30pm
ONLINE EVENT - Japan Society Film Club: Ikiru directed by Akira Kurosawa

Wednesday 6 July 2022
6.30pm (BST)
For countries outside the UK, please use this calculator to check the time in your region.

Booking Details
Free - Booking essential
Priority for Japan Society Members

Please remember to watch the film in advance. Ikiru is available to watch on BFI player and FilmBox+ with subscription.

Book online here

The activities of the Japan Society are made possible thanks to the support of its members. This event is free of charge and open to all. We realise that this is a difficult time for many people. However, if you are planning to attend and do not have a membership subscription as an individual or through your employer, please consider making a donation. You can find details of membership and how to join the Japan Society community here.

Do you love Japanese film classics, anime or contemporary cinema stories? Do you miss Japan and want to see it at least on screen? Would you like to learn and discuss about Japanese culture and society? Join us for the Japan Society Film Club where we will chat online about films and Japan in an informal atmosphere.

For our Film Club in July, we invite you to watch one of the most touching films directed by Akira Kurosawa, Ikiru (1952), with the great actor Takashi Shimura.

Ikiru (生きる, literally "To Live", 1952) is one of the most celebrated films by Akira Kurosawa. Partly inspired by Tolstoy's novella The Death of Ivan Ilyich (1886), it revolves around an aging bureaucrat who discovers he has terminal cancer and tries to find a meaning in his life. The film explores themes such as the inevitability of death, the inefficiency of bureaucracy, and the decaying family life in post-war Japan. Built around the outstanding performance of actor Takashi Shimura and with a gorgeous black and white cinematography, Ikiru offers a powerful and compassionate affirmation of life through an exploration of death and has become a classic of humanist cinema.

Akira Kurosawa (1910-1998) is considered one of the greatest film directors in the history of cinema in Japan and beyond. After training as a painter, he entered the film industry in 1936 and made his directorial debut in 1943 with the film Sanshiro Sugata. After the war, Kurosawa went on to write and direct celebrated and influential films such as Rashomon (1950), Ikiru (1952), Seven Samurai (1954), Yojimbo (1961), Dersu Uzala (1975) and Ran (1985). Often regarded as the most Western of Japanese directors, Kurosawa is celebrated for his innovative style, visual composition and storytelling. During his 50 year career in which he directed 30 films, he received numerous film awards and career honours, including a Golden Lion for Career Achievement at the 1982 Venice Film Festival and an Academy Award for lifetime achievement in 1989.

Japan Society Film Clubs will take place on the first Wednesday of the month. We will recommend a film to watch in advance and meet online to discuss. Films are often available online for free, to rent or with subscription, on DVD/Blu Ray or on BFI player. When possible, we will invite film experts to introduce and lead the discussion, but the event is open to all and we encourage participants to freely express their opinions and feelings about the films.

If you have any questions, please call the Japan Society office on 020 3075 1996 or email

Booking Info

Please remember to watch the film in advance. Ikiru is available to watch on BFI player and FilmBox+ with subscription.

  • You should receive an automated email from the Japan Society to let you know that your booking request has been registered. Please note that your booking is pending while we check your details and you will receive a further email once your booking is confirmed.

  • For online events, we will send you the zoom links and details to attend the event closer to the date.

  • If you don't receive any confirmation emails or links, please check your spam folder or email