‘Yasukuni’ shut out in Tokyo

Osaka venue will play Li Ying's doc

It’s a documaker’s dream: Newspapers run stories about your pic, pols argue about it, industry orgs issue impassioned statements and your Google hits soar.

There’s just one problem: A growing number of exhibs refuse to show it.

That’s the dilemma facing Chinese helmer Li Ying, who spent 10 years making “Yasukuni,” a doc about Tokyo’s shrine where Japanese war dead, including Class A war criminals, are memorialized.

On March 15, a Tokyo theater set to open the doc on April 12 canceled, citing safety concerns. Since then, theaters have gone both ways.

Atsushi Matsumura, manager of an Osaka venue that is showing the doc, says, “A theater ought to be a place for discussion (on important topics) … I just wish that theaters in Tokyo … had put up more of a fight.”

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