Yamagata Renaissance Project

Yamagata × Wagashi—A Future Built on Tradition

(Yamagata × Wagashi: Mirai o irodoru dentobunka)

JAPAN / 2022 / Japanese / Color / Blu-ray / 27 min

- Production Company: Local Support Collective BAQSAN

Traditional sweets have long been beloved and rooted in Yamagata people’s lives, with some long-established confectionery shops from the Edo period. This film introduces Yamagata’s wagashi culture, whose passionate makers pursue the act of balancing innovation with preserving tradition.


Tan: The Way of the Master Swordsmith Kanbayashi Tsunehira

(Tan: Tosho Kanbayashi Tsunehira no michi)

JAPAN / 2023 / Japanese / Color / Blu-ray / 12 min

- Director: Nagaoka Hiroaki

The only swordsmith in Yamagata, Kanbayashi Tsunehira is a master who rose to the highest rank of Mukansa Swordsmith at the young age of thirty-six. Now in his seventies, he continues to take up the challenge of making Japanese swords without any sign of quitting. What is at the core of the act of forging (“tan”) iron and forging one’s integrity?


The Sake of Yamagata: Mount Zao’s Blessing

(Yamagata no sake: Zao no megumi tsumugu waza)

JAPAN / 2022 / Japanese / Color / Blu-ray / 26 min

- Director: Sato Koichi

For three centuries, sake brewing has been passed down in Yamagata, in harmony with the local natural environment. Blessed with natural groundwater from the Zao mountains, three breweries have been in business for over three hundred years in Yamagata City. Brewing methods carried on from generation to generation feature the distinct water, rice, and craft. Discovering the characteristics of each brewery and the philosophy of the makers evokes the wonders of this alcoholic drink and its future.


A City with Orchestras

(Orchestra no aru machi)

JAPAN / 2023 / Japanese / Color / Blu-ray / 21 min

- Director: Sato Koichi

Over decades, music has spread its echo across Yamagata City’s rich natural environment. Murakawa Chiaki is the founder and honorary conductor of the Yamagata Symphony Orchestra. With him at the center, the film presents the history of music in Yamagata City through the activities of professional and amateur orchestras, and the citizens who devote themselves passionately to music and its potential.