Film Archive: Documentary

Holy Island

Holy Island Total running time: Approx. 105 minutes. / color

祝の島 Hori no shima Iwaishima Island, part of Kaminoseki City in Yamaguchi Prefecture. On this island in the Seto Inland Sea, the 500 residents have been living by helping each other and sharing things, since that was what was necessary to live in such a harsh natural environment. In 1982, there surfaced a project for constructing a […]

We Shall Overcome

KATO-KUN_DVD-JACKET_sell_ol Total running time: Approx. 130 minutes. / color

戦場ぬ止み Ikusaba nu tudumi A hundred thousand non-combatants—one in four Okinawans—died in the brutal Battle of Okinawa at the end of World War II. Postwar, the U.S. military forcibly constructed military bases throughout Okinawa. Even today, 43 years since Okinawa’s reversion to Japan and 70 years since the war, 74% of all U.S. military facilities in […]

Chie Mikami

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三上智恵 Journalist and filmmaker. Mikami joined  Mainichi Broadcasting System as an announcer in 1987. In 1995 she moved to Okinawa for the launch of  Ryukyu Asahi Broadcasting Corp. While working as  main  anchor for the local news program Station Q, she produced many documentary programs about Okinawan culture, nature, and society including Sitting by the […]

Tale of a Butcher Shop

Total running time: Approx. 108 minutes.. / color

Screening Rental Only: Since we cannot take rental orders through our shopping cart, please contact us at if you want to screen this film at your institution or festival. Thank you. ある精肉店のはなし (Aru seinikuten no hanashi) In Kaizuka City, Osaka, the family-run Kitaide butcher shop makes its living by raising and slaughtering cattle, selling the […]

Aya Hanabusa

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纐纈あや Born in 1974. Graduate of Jiyu Gakuen. Joined Pole Pole Times Co. Ltd. in 2001. She worked on projects such as Alexei and the Spring (2001) before becoming a freelance filmmaker. In 2010, she made her directional debut with Holy Island, examining the lives of people of Iwai Island, who continue to protest against […]

Yoju Matsubayashi

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松林要樹 Born 1979 in Fukuoka, Japan. After a period of traveling solo across Asia, he enrolled in the Japan Academy of Moving Images. In 2004, he completed his graduation film Dear Respectful Humans (Haikei ningen sama), a documentary about a homeless man, and started his career as assistant director at a TV production company. In […]

The Horses of Fukushima

The Horses of Fukushima (Matsubayashi) Total running time: Approx. 74 minutes. / color

祭の馬 (Matsuri no uma) No one could have ever imagined the absurd fate awaiting Mirror’s Quest and the other horses of Fukushima: almost dying in the tsunami; exposed to radiation inside the 20 km exclusion zone surrounding the nuclear meltdown; left for weeks without fodder; shut away in stables for months because of government red tape. […]

Fukushima: Memories of the Lost Landscape

Fukushima: Memories of the Lost Landscape (Matsubayashi) Total running time: Approx. 109 minutes. / color

相馬看花 (Soma Kanka) The Enei district of Minami Soma town lies within the 20 km exclusion zone around the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. In early April 2011, immediately after the devastating tsunami and nuclear meltdown forced people to evacuate the area, filmmaker Yoju Matsubayashi rushed here with relief goods. From a chance meeting with city […]

Flowers & Troops

Flowers & Troops (Matsubayashi) Total running time: Approx. 106 minutes. / color

花と兵隊 (Hana to heitai) Inspired by the documentaries of the great Shohei Imamura, under whom the filmmaker studied, this film explores the lives of Japanese soldiers who chose not to return to Japan when the war finished, but who stayed behind in Southeast Asia to build new lives for themselves. “I still have a nightmare where […]

Makoto Yasuhara

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安原眞琴 She holds a Ph.D. in Japanese literature, with research interests covering the literature, art, and culture of medieval and early modern Japan. Teaching at Rikkyo, she happened to meet Madame Minako, and decided to film her. The Last Geisha Madame Minako is her first documentary and has screened all over Japan.