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Blue Ribbon Awards 2009 are handed out to “Mt. Tsurugidake” and “Dear Doctor”

by Chris MaGee

The awards season continues on in Japan with the annual Blue Ribbon Awards were announced on this week. What’s interesting is that instead of there being one big winner like in 2008 with Yojiro Takita’s “Departures” 2009 is proving to be a three way split for the most lauded films, namely Miwa Nishikawa’s “Dear Doctor”, Setsuro Wakamatsu’s “The Sun That Doesn’t Set”, and Daisaku Kimura’s “Mt. Tsurugidake” (above). The latter ended up being awarded Best Film at the 52nd annual event with winners being compiled by votes from seven Tokyo weekly newspapers. What’s really odd though is that Kimura, the veteran 71-year-old cinematograher with such films as “The Beast Must Die” and “Poppoya: Railroad Man” to his credit, shared the Best Newcomer Award with Masaki Okada seeing that “Mt. Tsurugidake” was his directorial debut.

While “Mt. Tsurugidake” grabbed the top prize in terms of sheer numbers Nishikawa’s “Dear Doctor” beat it out by taking hom three trophies, Best Director for Nishikawa, Best Actor for Tsurube Shofukutei, and Best Supporting Actor for Eita. Actually they didn’t take home any trophies. In japanese award show style the actual hardware won’t be handed out until February 16th during an official ceremony in Tokyo.

Check out the full list of winners below (courtesy of Tokyograph), and thanks to Japan Zone for the heads up on this.

Best Picture: Tsurugidake: Ten no Ki (Mt. Tsuruigidake)
Best Director: Miwa Nishikawa (Dear Doctor)
Best Actor: Tsurube Shofukutei (Dear Doctor)
Best Actress: Haruka Ayase (Oppai Volleyball)
Best Supporting Actor: Eita (Dear Doctor)
Best Supporting Actress: Kyoko Fukada (Yatterman)
Best Newcomer: Daisaku Kimura, Masaki Okada
Best Foreign Film: Gran Torino (Clint Eastwood)
Special Award: Toshiyuki Nishida (Tsuribaka Nisshi series)