When Japanese Fell in Love with Tamil Movies and Rajinikanth

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By Chitra Chowdhury

The Tamil film industry, popularly known as Kollywood, has come a long way contributing some real good cinema to the nation. Kollywood industry produces as many films annually as Bollywood does.

If a line is drawn from the first Tamil film Keechaka Vadaham of 1916 till the I of 2015, we find that the Kollywood grew up to be a globally famous brand over the decades.

While Keechaka Vadaham was a silent movie and the first talkie happened to be Kalidas, which released on 31 October 1931. Kalidas was released only seven months after India’s first Hindi talkie film Alam Ara released which indeed depicts that the Bollywood and the Kollywood are contemporary of each other.

Tamil Films : A genre by themselves

As the Tamil films dubbed in Hindi are getting highly popular all over India, their demand curve for foreign viewers is also moving constantly upward.

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The Tamil films have very good markets in India, particularly in the states like Maharashtra, New Delhi, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. The Tamil language films are fast getting popular in Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Singapore, USA, England and Canada.

The success of Tamil films in the global markets can be fathomed from the fact that Ethiran grossed 4 million US Dollars in 2010 which proved charisma of the movie.

The popularity of Tamil films can be gauged from the fact that even the top Bollywood actresses like Aishwarya Rai and Priyanka Chopra never let go of any opportunity that comes to their doorstep.

When Japanese Fell in Love with Tamil Movies

Before we peep into the glorious tradition of the Kollywood, let us first point it out that the first major success of an Indian language movie in Japan happened to be Muthu. Dubbed into Japanese as Dancing Maharaja, it got its cult set of followers.

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Muthu moved the Japanese viewers so much that it was even dubbed into Japanese dialect in 1995. The craze was such that, Japan got an Indian snack named Garam Masala with Meena and Rajnikanth on the cover.

The next movie that caught their attention was Robot. 

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A gathering..

The Ethiran fever in Japan during its release

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The tour operators in Japan who organize South Indian tour have an added element called ‘Dancing Maharaja’ tour. In this the tourists from Japan are brought to Chennai and are taken to a movie hall showing Rajnikanth’s movie. Post the movie they are taken to meet Rajnikanth / Latha Rajnikanth.

Now, that some serious way to handle the craze.

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