The Kansas City Japanese Film Festival returns tomorrow

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  • Jimmy Mirikitani
It's been almost two years since the Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami killed approximately 16,000 people. The World Bank has called it the most expensive natural disaster on record, and those injured or displaced by it continue to suffer. This year's Kansas City Japanese Film Festival again marks the anniversary by accepting donations at its events this weekend, benefiting communities in the Tōhoku region. And the lineup is too good to be free anyway (though tickets aren't required).

Saturday afternoon, for instance, is your chance to see the memorable 2006 documentary The Cats of Mirikitani (the artist's work is pictured here) on a good-sized screen. It starts at 2:45 p.m. in the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art's Atkins Auditorium (4525 Oak, 816-751-1278).

Before that, though, there are two other worthwhile screenings (also at the Nelson): the George Takei-narrated Toyo's Camera (centering on photographer Toyo Miyatake's shots of life inside his World War II internment camp, which he took in secret) and the 1956 wartime tragedy The Burmese Harp.

Two more movies follow on Sunday. See the full schedule and details about the selections here. And find out more about Japan's recovery from the 2011 tsunami at Saturday's screening of the documentary Light Up Nippon. That short plays as part of a 5 p.m. reception (with Japanese food and drinks) at the Kansas City Art Institute's Vanderslice Hall (4415 Warwick).

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