Director focus:

Hiroko Kumagai


Born in Tokyo in 1951. She began directing television documentaries for Nippon Audio-Visual Productions, on such themes as war, drugs, and drug poisoning. Directed The Return of All A-Bomb Films to the Japanese in 1982. Turned freelance as a documentary journalist in 1985 and has since directed more than 50 TV documentaries. She co-directed, with Noriaki Tsuchimoto, Afghan Spring (1989), about life in war-torn Afghanistan. A Tale of Two Neighborhoods—From Ottensen to Mukojima (1995) was based on her own experiences of child-rearing. Her Woman Make Films (2004), about the struggles of female directors in Japan, and other films have been featured at he annual Tokyo International Women’s Film Festival.


Available from Zakka Films:

Sakubei and the Mining of Japan

Total running time: Approx. 111 min.. / color

Echoes from the Miike Mine

'Echoes from the Miike Mine,' from Zakka Films Total running time: Approx. 103 minutes. / color

Seven years in the making, this moving documentary is the first to directly confront the legacy of the Miike coal mine, reviving through eyewitness testimonies 150 years of forced labor, strikes and explosions that modern Japan is still trying to forget.