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Salman, sushi and moong dal!

On April 20, the Salman Khan-Katrina Kaif starrer Ek Tha Tiger releases in Japan. Sallu and Kat won’t be speaking in Japanese though as the film will only have Japanese subtitles!

Aki Sugihara and Avtar Panesar
Aki Sugihara and Avtar Panesar

As a prelude to the event, director Kabir Khan along with the producers Yash Raj Film’s Aashish Singh (vice president, production) and Avtar Panesar (vice president international operations) attended the premiere of the film at Cinemart Shinjuku in Tokyo along with media folk from India. Salman and Katrina were missing in action due to their other commitments.

Selling moong dal instead of popcorn at the theatre.
Selling moong dal instead of popcorn at the theatre. Pics/Shaheen Parkar

Among the other guests were Japanese actress Sugimoto Aya and Indian ambassador to Japan, Deepa Gopalan Wadhwa. Interestingly the audience consisted mainly of Japanese. For them, after savouring Indian food at the various Indian restaurants in Tokyo, it was time to take in a bit of Bollywood too. So instead of popcorn, packets of moong dal and farsan did the rounds.

The posters of the B-Town attractions at a Tokyo multiplex
The posters of the B-Town attractions at a Tokyo multiplex

Ek Tha Tiger will be followed by three other B-Town films which include Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, Don 2 and 3 Idiots.

Aashish Singh, Kabir Khan, Japanese actress Sugimoto Aya and  Avtar Panesar

The Japanese entertainment company Nikkatsu has taken upon the onus of providing theatrical releases to blockbuster Hindi films across screens in Japan — on par with their films and Hollywood flicks.

Says Avtar Panesar, “I happened to meet Aki Sugihara of Nikkatsu at the MAMI film festival last year and we got talking about releasing Hindi films in Japan. It has finally taken shape.”

For Kabir Khan it was his love for Japanese food especially sushi that was an equally big attraction to be in Tokyo. While Aashish Singh felt this could be the beginning of a new chapter for Bollywood with Hindi films having a mainstream release. While Japanese actress Sugimoto Aya hoped that she could star in a Bollywood film.

Tamil superstar Rajnikanth has been popular in Japan since his 1996 film hit Muthu was released in the country. Several of his films have been released in Japan over the years. The 3D premiere of his film Sivaji was held in Tokyo last September 

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