Director focus:

Yukio Tanaka


Yukio Tanaka, born in Ashiya, Japan, in 1952, is a producer-camera-writer-director.  Tanaka has shot over 500 programs in Japan, including international topics such as World Pilgrimages: Africa, India, France (Mainichi TV), A Bicycle Journey on the Silk Road (NHK), Crossing the Taklamakan Desert and Saving Refugees in Asia-Africa (UNICEF campaign).

Tanaka has won numerous awards.  His 80th Anniversary of Kishiwada City won first prize at the Osaka Commercial Film Festival. He was also nominated for the Japanese Society of Cinematographers Award for From Kishiwada to San Francisco.

From 1985, Tanaka has focused on making documentaries dealing with human rights issues in Japan, such as the plight of burakumin (a discriminated community of descendants of Japanese outcasts) and of Koreans in Japan.  His noteworthy “Cry and Whisper – Discrimination and False Accusation” is a best seller among educational organizations in Japan and his 16mm film drama It Begins in the Last, a story about a stuttering boy and a buraku community, was selected as one of the great educational films by the Ministry of Education.   Unreasonable is the first Japanese documentary to cover the Korean-Japanese war reparation trial, while his Portrait of a Korean Japanese took seven years to film, documenting the struggle of a second-generation Korean-Japanese girl and her family.


Available from Zakka Films:

Mapping the Future, Nishinari

Mapping the Future Nishinari (Yukio Tanaka, Tetsuo Yamada) from Zakka Films Total running time: Approx. 53. / color

Nishinari in Osaka is home to one of Japan's largest concentrations of day laborers, with much of the population being composed of homeless persons, buraku (a discriminated community of descendants of outcast groups), former yakuza, and Korean-Japanese. This documentary presents the people of Nishinari, not from on high, but rather from their own level.