THE KIYOSU CONFERENCE Press Notes
Source: Fuji Television Network
Official Site: kiyosukaigi.com (Japan)
The movie the whole universe has been waiting for!!
Director Koki Mitani’s newest masterpiece is a historical epic!!
In 2011, critically acclaimed screenwriter, producer, film director and entertainment pioneer Koki Mitani secured his reputation as Japan’s leading writer-director with A GHOST OF A CHANCE (ステキな金縛り, Suteki na Kanashibari), the No.1 Japanese live-action film of the year. Now the filmmaker returns with his latest undertaking; the historical epic THE KIYOSU CONFERENCE (清須会議, Kiyosu Kaigi, 2013) starring 26 of Japan’s top stars.
In 1582, 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. 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.
“This film is not a comedy. It’s a Human Comedy” explains Mitani. In his new venture, Mitani portrays the people’s desperate lives during these times in a comedic yet endearingly human way. Be prepared to be entertained by a historical epic filled with laughter, surprise and drama!
THE KIYOSU CONFERENCE had its world premiere August 28, 2013 at the Montreal World Film Festival. The film will be released in Japan by Toho on November 9, 2013.
What is the Kiyosu Conference?
The Kiyosu Conference was held in Kiyosu Castle, Owari Province (Kiyosu City, Aichi Prefecture) to discuss the succession of leadership following the deaths of Nobunaga Oda and his oldest son Nobutada, and also the redistribution of territories held by Mitsuhide Akechi. The conference was attended by Nobunaga’s chief retainer Katsuie Shibata, Hideyoshi Hashiba, Nagahide Niwa and Tsuneoki Ikeda.
Director Koki Mitani
Koki Mitani was born in Tokyo, Japan in 1961. As a university student, Mitani founded the drama troupe Tokyo Sunshine Boys and launched himself as a writer and director. He made his mark as a screenwriter for Japanese television in the early 1990s, then swept the Japanese film awards with his directorial debut WELCOME BACK, MR. McDONALD (ラジオの時間, Rajio no Jikan, 1997) starring Toshiaki Karasawa, Kyoka Suzuki, Masahiko Nishimura and won the Special Jury Prize at the Berlin International Film Festival.
His second film, ALL ABOUT OUR HOUSE (みんなのいえ, Minna no ie, 2001) 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 (THE 有頂天ホテル, THE Uchooten Hoteru, 2006) 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 (ザ・マジックアワー, Za Majikkuawaa, 2008) 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 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 Japanese box office hit in 2011.
THE KIYOSU CONFERENCE 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. In contrast to his original modern day storylines, Mitani takes a completely different approach on this film adaptation.
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 THE 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.
World Premiere: August 28, 2013 (Montreal World Film Festival)
Japanese Theatrical Release Date: November 9, 2013
Running Time: 138 minutes
Katsuie Shibata: Koji Yakusho
Hideyoshi Toyotomi: Yo Oizumi
Nagahide Niwa: Fumiyo Kohinata
Tsuneoki Ikeda: Koichi Sato
Oichi: Kyoka Suzuki
Nobukatsu Oda: Satoshi Tsumabuki
Nobukane Oda: Yusuke Iseya
Matsuhime: Ayame Goriki
Toshiie Maeda: Tadanobu Asano
Yoshitaka Kuroda: Susumu Terajima
Hidemasa Hori: Kenichi Matsuyama
Geni Maeda: Denden
Nei Toyotomi: Miki Nakatani
Nobutaka Oda: Minosuke Bandou
Kazumasu Takigawa: Kenji Anan
Ranmaru Mori: Shota Sometani
Nobunaga Oda: Eisuke Sasai
Mitsuhide Akechi: Kazuyuki Asano
Nobutada Oda: Kankuro Nakamura
Sanboshi: Miu Tsushima
Edage: Yuki Amami
Rokubei Sarashina: Toshiyuki Nishida
Naka: Keiko Toda
Kosode: Catherine Seto
Director: Koki Mitani
Original Novel/Screenplay: Koki Mitani
Executive Producers: Minami Ichikawa, Chihiro Kameyama, Takashi Ishihara
Producers: Kuga Maeda, Kazutoshi Wadakura
Line Producer: Takemasa Mori
Associate Producer: Maki Seino
Cinematographer: Hideo Yamamoto
Editor: Soichi Ueno
Production Designer: Yohei Taneda
Supervising Art Director: Miyuki Kitagawa
Art Directors: Kimie Kurotaki, Yohei Taneda
Set Decorator: Takayuki Sato
Costume Designer: Kazuko Kurosawa
Production Manager: Yamato Saito
Assistant Director: Shozo Katashima
Set Designer: Takafumi Shioiri
Sound: Tetsuo Segawa
Visual Effects Supervisor: Takashi Tanaka
Music: Kiyoko Ogino
Film Production: Fuji Television Network
International Sales: Fuji Television Network, Pony Canyon Inc.
Distributor: Toho Co., Ltd.
© 2013 FUJI TELEVISION NETWORK, TOHO