Conflagration + Guest Lecture


After the death of his father, idealist teen Goichi seeks refuge at Kinkaku-ji temple where he studies under the head priest. He soon becomes disillusioned by his mentor who uses the monumental Golden Pavilion as a tourist attraction and has an affair with a geisha. This causes  Goichi’s psychological and spiritual collapse. Masterful adaptation of the classic novel The Golden Pavilion by MISHIMA Yukio, which in itself was loosely based on the destruction of the temple in 1950 by a young acolyte. Director ICHIKAWA Kon (Fires on the Plain, Harp of Burma) considered Conflagration, also known under its Japanese title Enjo, as his best film.

Na de dood van zijn vader zoekt de idealistische tiener Goichi zijn toevlucht tot de Kinkaku-ji tempel in Kyoto, waar hij in de leer gaat bij de hoofdpriester. Hij raakt echter al snel ontgoocheld door zijn leermeester, die het monumentale Gouden Paviljoen vooral als toeristische trekpleister inzet en er een affaire met een geisha op na houdt. Het is het begin van Goichi’s psychologische en spirituele ineenstorting. Meesterlijke verfilming van de klassieke roman Het Gouden Paviljoen van MISHIMA Yukio, dat weer losjes gebaseerd was op de verwoesting van de tempel in 1950 door een jonge monnik. Regisseur ICHIKAWA Kon (Fires on the Plain) beschouwde Conflagration, ook bekend onder de titel Enjo, zelf als zijn beste film.


Dr. Ivo SMITS will give a talk before the start of the screening.

Body Culture: Mishima Yukio, Literature, and Film

A translator of the works of Japanese cult author MISHIMA Yukio (1925-1970) once famously wrote that his success as translator was partly due to the fact that he was the only translator who could beat MISHIMA in arm wrestling. MISHIMA, who died a self-chosen gruesome death at age 45, counts as one of the three Great Authors of post-war Japanese literature. He was a very complex human being: well-read intellectual, aesthete, dandy, bisexual, body builder, B-film actor, paramilitary man, and great stylist. This lecture will explain what body culture has to do with MISHIMA’s literature and how that plays out in films by, with, and about MISHIMA.

About the Director

ICHIKAWA Kon 市川崑 (1915 – 2008) is a renowned film director. From an early age Ichikawa loved to draw. His passion for drawing combined with a fascination with film led him to pursue a career as an animator. In the 1950s, Ichikawa teamed up with his screenwriter-wife WADA Natto 和田 夏十 and started directing feature films. During his career, Ichikawa managed to direct over 100 films in a vast array of genres. Many of these films have been honoured with awards at the world’s largest film festivals. After his death, Ichikawa received the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Japan Academy.

2001 – Kah- chan
1994 – 47 Ronin 四十七人の刺客
1965 – Tokyo Olympiad 東京オリンピック
1963 – An actor’s Revenge 雪之丞変化
1962 – Being 2 Isn’t Easy 私は二歳
1960 – Bonchi ぼんち
1960 – The Woman’s Testament 女経
1959 – Odd Obsession 鍵
1959 – Fires of the Plan 野火
1958 – Conflagration 炎上
1956 – Harp of Burma ビルマの竪琴 (CJ 2007)
1956 – Kokoro こころ (CJ 2007)