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Japanese actors happy to appear in Taiwan baseball film 'Kano'

2014/02/24 20:14:44

Taipei, Feb. 24 (CNA) Japanese actor Masatoshi Nagase and actress Maki Sakai expressed happiness Monday at having participated in the upcoming Taiwanese baseball film "Kano" and said they look forward to seeing the film in Japan.

The pair were in Taipei to promote the film, which is scheduled to hit local theaters Feb. 27.

"I am very happy," Nagase said, referring to the experience of filming with people of various ethnicities and nationalities.

The 47-year-old veteran actor plays the role of Hyotaro Kondo, the strict Japanese coach of the Taiwanese baseball team Kano.

Wei Te-sheng, who co-produced and co-wrote the screenplay, said one of the main reasons he wanted to make the film was because of people such as Kondo.

"People like Kondo should be remembered," Wei said, describing the coach as someone who crossed ethnicities in pursuit of sporting honor.

Named after the Japanese-language abbreviation for the Chiayi Agriculture and Forestry Public School and set in 1931, when Taiwan was still a Japanese colony, the film depicts the exploits of the school's baseball team, which was made up of Japanese players and Taiwanese athletes of both Han Chinese and indigenous descent.

The film chronicles the players' rigorous training in Taiwan and how they went up against the odds to reach the championships of the Koshien tournament, Japan's most prestigious high school baseball tourney at the time.

The dialogue in the three-hour film is predominantly Japanese. It is directed by Umin Boya, also known by his Chinese name Ma Chih-hsiang.

Meanwhile, Sakai, who plays Kondo's wife, said she hopes "Kano" will soon be screened in theaters in Japan.

The film will be shown at Japan's Osaka Asian Film Festival, which runs March 7-16. All of the 2,000 available tickets were snapped up shortly after going on sale.

(By Christie Chen)