You may have missed the note on our Facebook page and Twitter feed, but Japanese filmmaker Kaneto Shindo, best known in the West for his atmospheric horror films Onibaba (1964) and Kuroneko (1968), just turned 100 years old. Shindo’s birthday was, in fact, yesterday (April 22nd) in Japan and that milestone, along with his recent retirement from a career that spans five decades, has been the talk in Japanese film circles.
To celebrate the auspicious occasion, the Nihon Eiga Senmon Channel (日本映画専門チャンネル, or Japanese Movie Channel), a Japanese cable channel dedicated to film, is collecting birthday wishes for Mr. Shindo on Twitter. Though many messages in Japanese have already been posted, ones in other languages seem to be encouraged by the channel’s April 13th tweets:
He makes us smile from Japan! Let’s celebrate his 100th birthday of a film director of living legend, Kaneto Shindo on 22nd April.
FOLLOW us For a very SPECIAL BIRTHDAY!! Your message will be gratefully passed onto his family.
Tweet your message to @nihoneiga and also include the hashtag #kaneto100 in your text. Well wishes should be sent by the end of April, after which the Japanese Movie Channel will make sure that Mr. Shindo will receive them. Let’s make sure that Mr. Shindo has a birthday he’ll never forget!