Festival Objective


The Old Town Taito International Comedy Film Festival (abbr: SHITA COME, a side event of the 21st Tokyo International Film Festival) is Japan's first full-scale international comedy film festival which pivots around three themes: “Cinema”, “Old Town”, and “Comedy”. It is set up to offer a cinematic event with local participation, in which filmmakers, comedians, local residents and comedy-film fans are able to share laughter and excitement together - a truly rare opportunity in the capital region of Japan.

Taking place in Asakusa, the origin of Japanese comedy in east Tokyo and rich in traditional Japanese folk culture, and Ueno, home to one of the biggest cultural-arts complexes in the nation, SHITA COME spotlights comedies not merely as entertainment to provide people with laughter, but also as a multifaceted art form which is entertaining, cultural, historical and social.

Under the skillful production of Seiko Ito, a creator and Asakusa resident who has distinguished himself in Japanese cultural fields covering literature, music, theater and TV, we have scheduled the very best comedies of different styles, from various eras, and from a variety of countries to satisfy comedy-film lovers of all generations.

There are innumerable film festivals held throughout the world today, but by adding this unique contribution, as a film festival specializing solely in comedy, we truly hope to act as a bridge between comedy-film fans in Japan and other areas of the world while promoting the charming qualities of “old town” Tokyo.


The Old Town Taito International Comedy Film Festival [General Information]

Appellation The 1st Old Town Taito International Comedy Film Festival
(Abbr. SHITA COME, a side event of the 21st Tokyo International Film Festival)
Festival Dates

Preliminary Events

14th September 2008 (Sunday)


21st - 24th November 2008 (Friday - Monday/ Holiday)

Preliminary Events

[Ueno Area] Ueno Onshi Park Outdoor Stage (Shinobazu Pond Waterside Music Hall) / Hasumi Teahouse


[Asakusa Area] Asakusa Public Hall/ Asakusa Chuei Theater/ Asakusa Park Hall/ Kaminarimon Gate - Nakamise-dori Street - Senso-ji Temple/ ROX-3 Super Multi Court/ District Six Broadway
[Ueno Area] Tokyo National Museum Heiseikan / Ueno Onshi Park
Hosted by Old Town Taito International Comedy Film Festival Executive Committee
Presented under the auspices of Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan/ Tokyo Metropolitan Government/ Taito City, Tokyo/ UNIJAPAN (Japan Association for the International Promotion of Moving Images) / Motion Picture Producers Association of Japan, Inc./ Foreign Film Importer-Distributor Association of Japan/ Federation of Japanese Films Industry, Inc./ Japan Association of Theater Owners/ NPO National Association of Agriculture and Livestock Producers, Yui
Planning and operations: Tokyu Recreation Co., Ltd.
Inquiries Old Town Taito International Comedy Film Festival Office

Asakusa & Ueno


The history of Japanese film show-business overlaps that of Asakusa. In 1903, the Denki-Kan (Electric Hall) opened in Asakusa as the first permanent film theater in the nation. In 1929, two American talkies, Marching On and a short film on Hawaiian dancers were first screened in Asakusa, reiterating its significance during the transition from silent films to talkies. In addition, since the early 20th century, Asakusa has been the east Mecca of Japanese comedy, where many of the best Japanese comedians built their early reputations, including such people as Kenichi Enomoto, Kiyoshi Atsumi, Kinichi Hagimoto, and Takeshi Kitano.



Ueno Onshi Park was the first park created in Japan and is widely known for its cultural-arts complex with first-rate facilities situated around its 530,000-square-meter site; the Tokyo National Museum, Tokyo University of the Arts, Tokyo Bunka Kaikan, and the National Museum of Western Art are all located within the park. With consideration to the characteristics of the area, we emphasize the artistic aspects of comedy at Ueno.

For information about sightseeing & events in Ueno & Asakusa