Isama Studio Park

Famous scene of the '90s movie "The Sleeping Man"

By Dorothee Tsunoda   Jul 9, 2018 - 2 min read

On Wednesday, I went to Nakanojo in order to visit an art gallery. I looked on Google maps and wrote the address down, but once there, I could not find the place. I guess it is only open when the Nakanojo Biennal is being held, which only happens every two years. The next time will be in 2019.

On my way back, I accidentally found Isama Studio Park. I stopped at this purple building thinking it might be a museum. I was curious. However it seemed to be an old school. Only one person was there in case there were any visitors. I took off my shoes, put on some old Japanese slippers and went through the classes, looking at old photos, old school furniture, some students' writing on the walls. The third room is dedicated to a reconstruction of a movie set. This is when a lady came and presented the movie and the Isama Studio Park. She explained briefly that the studio hosts a movie festival too.

The name of the movie is the ‘Sleeping man’ or in Japanese, ‘Nemuro Otoko’. The movie was made in 1996 by Kohei Oguri and presented to the Berlin film festival. The film was commissioned by Gunma Prefecture in order to celebrate the 2 million population of the prefecture. In a few words, the movie is a celebration of the relationship between man and nature by portraying life in a small village. The room depicts the main scene or at least the most famous one, the futon in the middle of a tatami room. The last room of the studio shows some photographs of the shooting, as well as the main actors in the movie.

Since visiting Isama Studio Park, I have added "Sleeping man" movie on my watch list as it could be another way to know more about Gunma prefecture and about Japanese culture.

Getting there

North of Nakanojo, near the Golf Course, Road 53. 

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