• Early Filmmakers
  • Newsreels
  • Films from North Korea and the Chongryon Film Studio
  • Chronicling the Sixties
  • Chronicling the Seventies
  • Chronicling the Eighties
  • Chronicling the Nineties
  • Zainichi History
  • Testament of the Times
  • Ogawa Shinsuke and Filipina
  • Foreign Residents of Tokyo
  • The NDU and Taiwanese
  • The New Generation of Zainichi Filmmakers
  • Films from South Korea
  • Films from Japan
  • Chronicling the Eighties

    1. Takizawa Rinzo
    2. Oh Deok-soo
    3. Watanabe Takaaki

     1 Takizawa Rinzo

    Takizawa Rinzo, known for The May Day Trial (1969), made this film with Shin Ki-soo and others following Korean Envoys to Japan During the Edo Period. This film raises the question of what it means to live using one’s real name under the policy of assimilation advanced by the Japanese nation.

    The Announcement of Park Chu-ja’s Real Name

    (“Irumu/Namae: Paku Chuja san no honmyo sengen”)

    - JAPAN / 1983 / Japanese / Color / 16mm / 50 min

    Director, Script: Takizawa Rinzo
    Photography: Takaiwa Hitoshi
    Sound: Sasaki Masahiko
    Narrator: Ito Soichi
    Planning: Irumu/Namae Production Committee
    Producer: Shin Ki-soo
    Production Company: Visual Culture Association
    Source: Irumu/Namae Production Committee

    Park Chu-ja, a second-generation zainichi, joined the anti-Vietnam war movement at her university, where she fell in love with the Japanese chairman of the student union. After much hesitation, she made her Korean origins known and announced her real name. Because of that name, however, she was rejected in employment exams. As the movement called “The committee to think about the Park Chu-ja issue” expanded its network, the staff who worked on Korean Envoys to Japan During the Edo Period (1979), including Shin Ki-soo, Takizawa Rinzo, and Takaiwa Hitoshi, began working on this film to record the steps taken toward ethnic independence.


     2 Oh Deok-soo

    Gaining experience as an assistant director at Oshima Nagisa’s production company, Oh Deok-soo established OH Kikaku and continues to make films about discrimination and human rights issues. This film documents the movement against the Alien Registration Law’s fingerprinting system, a symbol of the regulation of and discrimination against foreign residents of Japan.

    - Against Fingerprinting

    (“Shimon onatsu kyohi”)

    JAPAN / 1984 / Japanese / Color / 16mm / 50 min

    Directors, Narrative Structure: Oh Deok-soo, Mimuro Isamu
    Photography: Shinoda Noboru, Ito Akihiro, Kajiwara Haruo, Shibazaki Kozo, Ishii Koichi
    Editing: Shimizu Chieko
    Sound: Honda Tsutomu, Fukuda Kazuo, Matsumoto Osamu
    Narrator: Toura Rokko
    Producers: Iijima Shigeru, Kumetani Chieko
    Production Committee: Against Fingerprinting Production Committee
    Source: OH Kikaku

    On August 29, 1984, the Tokyo District Court handed down a guilty verdict against Han Jong-seok, who had opposed the fingerprinting system of the Alien Registration Law, the symbol of discrimination against and control over foreign residents of Japan. The cameras started rolling that day. By elucidating the historical background and implementation of the fingerprinting system and also by communicating the various reasons why the participants refused to be fingerprinted, the film asserts that the system is a contravention of human rights. The huge wave of anti-fingerprinting movements of the eighties raises questions about the present condition of zainichi and the present state of Japan.


     3 Watanabe Takaaki

    Watanabe Takaaki, a former member of Ogawa Productions and known for films such as Living on Kotobuki Street (1981), also addresses the anti-fingerprinting movement. In the film, the young zainichi make the very reasonable appeal, “In the country of Japan we want to create a society where we can live together.”

    - Kawasaki, 1985: A Town on Fire

    (“1985 Kawasaki: Atsui machi”)

    JAPAN / 1985 / Japanese / B&W / 16mm / 44 min

    Director, Photography: Watanabe Takaaki
    Sound: Fujita Shigeo
    Location Sound: Matsumoto Tazu
    Music: Sekiguchi Takashi
    Producer: Yoshida Etsuko
    Source: Cine [α]

    This film was made after Yi Sang-ho, who was working at a preschool in Kawasaki at the time, was arrested for refusing to be fingerprinted under the Alien Registration Law. The anti-fingerprinting movement shocked the omoni (mothers) of the mostly second and third-generation zainichi Koreans who started it. Inspired by the conviction of their children’s generation, the omoni began putting their own lives on the line using their real names in public for the first time, refusing to be fingerprinted, and telling the unheard stories of their lives.