The Japanese title - "Kayokyoku - Life Itself" points to the defining element of this omnibus of 11 short films; the extraordinary music genre known as "Kayokyoku".

Kayokyoku is a catch-all term to describe the music that defined two generations of post-war Japan. As evidenced in this collection of films, some of it is strongly rooted in the tradition of Japanese ballads from pre-modern times, and some is influenced by the developing musical currents of Western music from the 50's, 60's and thereafter. Although the term survives, it has a strong connotation with a simpler, pre-"Economic Bubble" era when Japanese people shared a common identity in the reconstruction of their nation.


Producer Shoji Masui, the filmmaker behind such hits as "Shall We Dance?", "Waterboys" and "Swing Girls" is an avid music fan. Recalling the hit songs of his youth, he writes, "Back then, everyone knew the songs. They were something that was shared by all people alike." He was struck by a feeling that with Japan's economic progress of the last 20 years, the genre and those responsible for it were being condemned to history too quickly.


A unique collection of 11 directors from a broad spectrum of Japan's creative elite. Some are established directors (from a variety of genres and age groups), some are accomplished craftsmen from the field of film production one other is a movie executive making his film debut and another is a nationally-recognized manga artist. One thing they all share is an identification with the passion behind the intensely emotional roots of "Kayokyoku".


They are as varied and as profound as the music that defines them. Stories of love, stories of betrayal, stories of revenge. Their connection to the music is sometimes overt and sometimes subtle. But with the range of talent behind the camera and the array of household name cast, Tokyo Rhapsody is already anticipated to be a box office attraction upon its release in May of 2007.