Japanese Panorama Publications / index / Japanese Panorama

(96.8.15 靖国篇)

What Do You Think About the War Responsibility of Emperor Hirohito?
(Part Yasukuni, Aug. 15, 1996)


〒150-0022 東京都渋谷区恵比寿南3-7-20-201

Director, Script, Editing, Producer : Tsuchiya Yutaka
Photography : Tsuchiya Yutaka, Akano Wain
Production Compnay, Source : W-TV OFFICE
3-7-20-201 Ebisuminami, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-0022 JAPAN
Phone & Fax: 81-3-3711-5649
e-mail: yt_w-tv@st.rim.or.jp

JAPAN / 1997 / Japanese with English Subtitles
Color / Video / 53 min

When most of the news we get in this media-dominated society is the sound bites on TV, video activists throughout the world have been providing an important information alternative. Tsuchiya Yutaka has been one of the more imaginative examples in Japan, producing low-cost videos through his organization Without Television. The third episode in the W-TV series, What Do You Think asks visitors at Yasukuni Shrine on August 15th, 1996, the 51st anniversary of the end of the war, the taboo question of whether they think that Emperor Hirohito bore some responsibility for the tragedy of WWII. It is not surprising that most of the respondents, visiting a shrine to Japan's war dead which is more accurately a religious glorification of militaristic nationalism, say no, but Tsuchiya and his partner, using such devices as a head-held camera, let them comfortably speak their minds, gaining an interesting insight into the contemporary ideology of the emperor. Refusing to criticize them directly, Tsuchiya digitally manipulates the interviews to present them precisely as media images set against other broadcasts, a strategy which demands a viewer different from that of dominant television: one who is discerning and selective and can make up his or her own mind.
- Aaron Gerow


Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival Organizing Committee