YIDFF 2005 Information

—What It Means to Live in Japan

Feature films and documentaries dealing with themes regarding ethnic Koreans in Japan (zainichi) have become extremely visible in recent years. However, when looking back at Japanese film history, the zainichi appear in many works, and it becomes apparent that they have been active as directors and other prominent behind-the-scenes roles. In this retrospective, attention is focused on the relationship of zainichi with film, gathering together not only Japanese films but also those taken from an overseas perspective. A deep look into what it means to live in Japan through the film genre.

Special Invitation Film

Zainichi 1997 / Oh Deok-soo

An epic retelling of fifty years of zainichi history. Ten years later, and sixty years after the end of WWII, we reconsider its meaning once again.

A. Early Filmmakers

Shining a spotlight on four filmmakers active in the pre-war Japanese film industry who, after the war’s end, went on to experience historic turning points in such countries as South Korea, North Korea, and Indonesia.

  1. Hinatsu Eitaro=Huyung
    A Filmmaker with Three Names 1997 / Kim Jae-bum
    Nippon Presents (aka. Nippon Calls) 1945
  2. Kanai Seiichi= Kim Hak-seong
    The Man with Two Names 2005 / Tanaka Fumihito
    Homeless Angel 1941 / Choi In-kyu
  3. Inoue Kan= Lee Byoung-woo
    Snow Country 1939 / Ishimoto Tokichi
    Young Flying Corps 1941 / Inoue Kan
  4. Ube Takashi=Kim Sun-myoung
    Children of the Base 1953 / Kamei Fumio
    Children of Korea 1954 / Arai Hidero, Kyogoku Takahide

B. Newsreels

Liberation News marks the 60th anniversary of the end of Japanese rule in Korea by bringing together newly discovered films restored by the Korean Film Archive, including rare footage from the very first August 15th anniversary of Korean independence. Also presenting news produced by the zainichi media group, Chongryon Film Studio.

Liberation News 1945–47
Japanese Newsreels 1951–68
Choren News
Chongryon Review 1959–69

C. Films from North Korea and the Chongryon Film Studio

The Chongryon Association set up the Chongryon Film Studio in 1974 to document zainichi comradeship. The film A Silver Hairpin was a collaboration with North Korea.

Blooming Ethnic Education 1975
Thinking About Ethnic Education 1976
We Must Not Repeat the Past 2003
A Silver Hairpin 1985 / Ko Hak-rim
Snow Melts in Spring 1985 / Rim Chang-bom, Ko Hak-rim

D. Chronicling the Sixties

Educational films, television Documentaries and independent filmmaking organizations are just some of the many visual media to have treated the subject of ethnic Koreans in Japan. Oshima Nagisa and Tsuchimoto Noriaki were among those involved in early forays into television documentary.
  1. Educational films
    Children of Japan 1960 / Aoyama Michiharu
    Song of the Japan Sea 1964 / Yamada Tengo
  2. Television Documentaries
    The Forgotten Imperial Army 1963 / Oshima Nagisa
    Civic War 1965 / Tsuchimoto Noriaki
  3. Film Movement in Osaka
    A Woman Diver in the Big City 1965 / Koh Hiroo
    Summer in Osaka, 1968 1968 / Koh Hiroo

E. Chronicling the Seventies

Rare works from the NDU (Japan Documentarist Union), reporting on atomic bomb victims in Korea during the early 1970s. Okamoto Yoshihiko depicts the dark side of Japan-Korea relations.

  1. To the Japs 1971 / NDU
  2. A Message to the Citizens of the World 1977 / Okamoto Yoshihiko

F. Chronicling the Eighties

The act of “coming out” as a zainichi in Japan, which has come under question amid the advance of the Japanese government’s naturalization policy, and the campaign against the fingerprinting of foreign nationals. An investigation of these two major movements.
  1. The Announcement of Park Chu-ja’s Real Name 1983 / Takizawa Rinzo
  2. Against Fingerprinting 1984 / Oh Deok-soo
  3. Kawasaki, 1985: A Town on Fire 1985 / Watanabe Takaaki

G. Chronicling the Nineties

The River of Reconciliation 1994 / Kim Duk-chul,Mori Yasuyuki

A look at young people who are overcoming the tragedies of the past and national borders to build true friendships for the future.


H. Zainichi History

Uncovering the history of ethnic Koreans in Japan through live-action film and recounted experiences.

  1. Until the Day of Liberation 1980 / Shin Ki-soo
  2. Hidden Scars 1983 / Oh Chung-gong

I. Testament of the Times

Historical issues such as Korean atomic bomb victims, forced expatriation, forced labor, and comfort women, are re-examined through numerous testimonies.

  1. To the People of the World 1981 / Mori Zenkichi
  2. The Other Hiroshima: Korean A-bomb Victims Tell Their Story 1987 / Pak Su-nam
    Song of Arirang: Voices from Okinawa 1991 / Pak Su-nam
  3. Telling the Stories of a Million Lives 2000 / Maeda Kenji

J. Ogawa Shinsuke and Filipina

A special screening of Hijiori Story, whose production was halted by the death of Ogawa Shinsuke, will open the festival.

Hijiori Story 1992 / Ogawa Shinsuke
Made In the Philippines . . . To Fukuoka with Love 1999 / Ditsi Carolino, Sadhana Buxani

K. Foreign Residents of Tokyo

A look at Muslims and Koreans in Tokyo from the perspective of visual ethnography.

Koreatown: Chejudo Koreans in Tokyo 1996 / Kitamura Minao
Muslims of Tokyo 1995 / Hiro Riko

L. The NDU and Taiwanese

This program uncovers Asia Is One, shot in Okinawa and Taiwan and devised by Takenaka Ro.
Asia Is One 1973 / NDU
Headhunter’s Song 2005 / Inoue Osamu

M. The New Generation of Zainichi Filmmakers

A collection of recent works by ethnic Korean and Chinese in Japan. Kim Seung-yong=Kanamori Taro journeys to Tibet, while Kim Sung-woong documents first-generation zainichi. Matsue Tetsuaki follows ethnic Korean and Chinese porn actors. And what comes to light from ethnic Chinese filmmaker Ren Shujian’s travels in North Korea?

Tibet Tibet 2005 / Kim Seung-yong= Kanamori Taro
Hana Hanme 2004 / Kim Sung-woong
Identity 2004 / Matsue Tetsuaki
Summer Vacation in North Korea 2005 / Ren Shujian

N. Films from South Korea

Korean feature films depicting zainichi.

Nostalgia 1966 / Kim Su-yong
That Is the Sky Over Seoul

O. Films from Japan

A selection of Japanese feature films with Korean characters. Red Tengi, which went unreleased due to certain circumstances, will be screened for the first time ever here.

The Brick Factory Girl 1940 / Chiba Yasuki
By a Man’s Face Shall You Know Him 1966 / Kato Tai
Red Tengi 1979 / Lee Hak-in
Empire of Kids 1981 / Izutsu Kazuyuki


Date/Time: October 12 (Wed) 18:30
Venue: Sakaura

Panelist: Oh Deok-soo, Pak Su-nam, Maeda Kenji and others
Moderator: Yamane Sadao

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