Japan-America Society of Indiana

presents a special screening of:

Katen No Shiro

In partnership with
the Japan Information Center at the Consulate General of Japan at Chicago

Courtesy of
TOEI Company “CASTLE UNDER FIERY SKIES” Production Committee

Castle under Fiery Skies transports us to 1576 Japan, the height of the Warring States period. Lord Oda Nobunaga, who controls much of the country, orders temple carpenter Mataemon to build him a five-story castle in three short years, a desperate measure to maintain a fragile peace. Construction advances, but persistent obstacles block the path to the castle’s completion. Will he be able to accomplish his mission and realize Nobunaga’s great ambition? (Please see below for more details!)

Director: Mitsutoshi Tanaka, Japan, 2009
Japanese with English subtitles, 139 minutes

Date and Time
Thursday, October 14th, 2010
7:00pm (Doors Open: 6:30 pm)

Landmark's Keystone Art Cinema in the Keystone Crossing Mall
8702 Keystone Crossing, Indianapolis, IN 46240

Tickets (at the door)
General Admission: $5.00 (Students are free with ID)
Tickets are available at the door. Please pay by cash or check.

We look forward to seeing everybody at the movie!

The fearsome Lord Nobunaga issued an order:

Make all of Mount Azuchi into a castle. A five-story donjon. Can you build it?”

“… I can, my lord.”

“Good! Build it in three years! Mataemon, you will be the chief master carpenter!”


The true story of the epic struggle of countless nameless men and women faced with the challenge of building the greatest castle of all time
For the first time ever, this film reveals the whole truth of the three-year project to build Azuchi Castle

Okabe Mataemon, a temple carpenter from Atsuta, faces the ultimate challenge of his life: he is ordered by Oda Nobunaga, a fearsome feudal lord during the Warring States Period of Japanese history, to build the greatest castle anyone has ever seen. The historical novel Katen no Shiro (Castle Under Fiery Skies) by Kenichi Yamamoto which takes place during the Warring States Period, stars an unknown craftsman and depicts in dramatic and fascinating detail the story of the nameless men and women who built Azuchi Castle.
Azuchi Castle, a towering symbol of the Warring States Period which was built at enormous costs equivalent to 100 billion yen in today’s currency, and destroyed only three years later, remains an unsolved mystery. Set to be released in the fall 2009, this extraordinary historical film reveals the truth about the epic efforts of Japan’s finest craftsmen and builders of that period!

The story takes place in 1576. After defeating his greatest enemy, the Takada clan, in the Battle of Nagashino in 1575, Oda Nobunaga (Kippei Shiina) aspires to build an enormous castle on Mount Azuchi, overlooking Lake Biwa, as a symbol of his efforts to unite the country. As architect and chief master of the project, Nobunaga chooses Okabe Mataemon  (Toshiyuki Nishida), a temple carpenter from Atsuta, whose talent the feudal lord has come to admire during the dozen or so years after the battle with Imagawa Yoshimoto.

Mataemon is directly appointed by Lord Nobunaga, and later wins the castle design competition, defeating the renowned masters Ikegami of Kyoto, whose predecessors built the Temple of the Golden Pavilion, and Nakai of Nara, whose predecessors built the Hall for the Great Buddha in the Todaiji Temple. With the support of his wife, Tazu (Shinobu Otake), his daughter, Rin (Saki Fukuda), and the carpenters and masters of his school, construction steadily advances under Mataemon’s guidance. However, the path to completion of the greatest castle of all time is mined with obstacles.

Oblivious to danger, Mataemon sneaks into enemy territory to find the perfect tree for the central pillar of the castle. Meanwhile, the dark clouds of a new war are gathering over his country. While waiting for Mataemon’s return, his loyal men become entangled in various adversities. Then Tazu falls ill, a tragic strife erupts, and death takes its toll on his men. Can Mataemon accomplish his mission and bring home the perfect cypress tree? Can he help Nobunaga realize his ambitions?

(Running 139 min.)

Director: Mitsutoshi Tanaka
Born in 1958 in Hokkaido.
After graduating from the Visual Concept Planning Department of Osaka University of Arts, he joined Dentsu Eiga-sha (now Dentsu Tec Inc.). After working for Television Union Commercials (TUC), Mitsutoshi Tanaka established Creators’ Union Co., Ltd in 1984. As a director of commercials, he was involved in the creation of various works, and garnered numerous awards, including the ACC Award, the National Association of Commercial Broadcasters in Japan Award, etc. He is actively working in a variety of genres, including commercials, TV programs, films, and music videos, etc.
Mitsutoshi Tanaka made his debut as a film director with Kewaishi, a work that competed in the 2001 Tokyo International Film Festival.
In 2003 he made a film adaptation of Shoro Nagashi, a novel by Masashi Sada, and won the 21st Japanese Cinema Resurrection and Promotion Award.
Mitsutoshi Tanaka has been critically acclaimed for his outstanding perceptiveness and refined visual aesthetics.

Katen no Shiro

Katen No Shiro