Japanese English film screening “IMPHAL 1944" & Director's Talk by Junichi...

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Christopher Ingold Building XLG2 Auditorium,

20 Gordon Street



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Award winning Japanese English film screening “IMPHAL 1944" & Director's Talk by Junichi Kajioka

This will be a unique occasion where different forms of art meet to celebrate the diversity and the success of Japanese talents. We will provide special oppotunities to see the award winning film "IMPHAL 1944" by Junichi Kajioka.

About the film:

A Short Drama (18 minutes, Japan/UK, 2014)

WWII short drama “IMPHAL 1944” - Based on the story of Masao Hirakubo O.B.E. and the Battle of Imphal for the 70th anniversary

by Junichi Kajioka

The battles of Imphal and Kohima during World War II have been voted the “greatest battles” fought in the history of the British Army by the National Army Museum in England in 2013 but the least talked about in film. In fact the subject matter had never been made into a film.

Masao Hirakubo tirelessly worked on reconciliation and peace between the Japanese and British veterans until his death. Even though Junichi had lived in London for many years, he didn’t know about Mr. Hirakubo and was fascinated by his story.

“IMPHAL 1944” is an unusual heart-warming drama based on the life of Mr. Hirakubo and the Battle of Imphal. The story is based on the beginning of Masao’s reconciliation work and uses some metaphors to express the meaning of life and the futility of war. It ends with the theme song “Memories of Imphal”, which seeks a connection between the three countries involved in this battle. The film was set in both London and India but was shot entirely in London. This film was made for the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Imphal and is dedicated to all who lost their lives in the war.

Masao Hirakubo O.B.E.

A Japanese veteran of the Second World War Burma campaign, Masao Hirakubo devoted the latter part of his life
reconciliation with his former British adversaries, for which he was honoured by his Emperor and appointed an
honorary OBE. He went back to North East India and Burma many times and gave much help with the building to the new cathedral in Kohima. He believed that the Japanese and the Allies who had caused such devastation in Burma and India had a continuing responsibility to help to rebuild the country.
He was the founder and chairman of
the Burma Campaign Society (formally known as the Burma Campaign Fellowship Group). He was born in Yokohama and died in London in 2008 at the age of 88.

The life of Masao Hirakubo was the inspiration for the lead character in this film.


Christopher Ingold Building, Auditorium XLG2

20 Gordon Street, London WC1H 0AJ


17:00 - 17:30

Registration Desk Open

17:40 - 18:00

Film: WWII short drama “IMPHAL 1944” - Based on the story of Masao Hirakubo O.B.E. and the Battle of Imphal for the 70th anniversary

18:00 – 18:40

Talk presentation followed by Q&A by the director, Junichi Kajioka

About Film Director:


Junichi Kajioka – Film Director and Actor

(Official Website)

Junichi Kajioka is a Japanese actor, writer and director.

IMPHAL 1944 was his first film. It won him Best Screenplay, Best Director and Best Film awards at film festivals.

He has been acting since 1988. He graduated from the Central Academy of Drama in Beijing and made his film debut in the Cannes 2000 award winning film DEVILS ON THE DOORSTEP. He was one of the pioneer Japanese actors who went to China in the 90's to study drama and to work in the Chinese film and TV industry.

Junichi now lives in London and works on international film projects both in front and behind the camera. He won Best Supporting Actor awards in LA and Monaco for the British feature film TAKING STOCK.

He plays the lead role in the Scottish film “Dark Highlands”, which is now on in cinemas. He is due to appear in the Indian TV series THE FORGOTTEN ARMY (Amazon Prime) in a leading role.

Other notable projects includes 47 RONIN, SPECTRE, JOHNNY ENGLISH STRIKES AGAIN and HIDDEN MAN.

He has recently been touring with his documentary film “SUGIHARA SURVIVORS: JAPANESE AND JEWISH, PAST AND FUTURE”. This is an award-winning short documentary film about Chiune Sugihara, a Japanese diplomat who saved 6,000 Jewish people in WWII. The next screenings are due to be held in the US in July, organised by the embassy of Japan.

Junichi has established CULTURE BRIDGE PRODUCTIONS in order to continue to tell little known stories, especially those connected with Japanese and British relations. He hopes to build bonds and wider global cultural connections through his film-making.

More infor on: BBC IMDb




UCL and UCL-Japan Youth Challenge

Sponsers and Co-organisers of whole UCL-JAPAN YOUTH CHALLENGE :

Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation, Japan Foundation, Embassy of Japan in the UK, Council of Local Authorities for International Relations, The UCL Academy, Rikkyo School in England

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Christopher Ingold Building XLG2 Auditorium,

20 Gordon Street



United Kingdom

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