Recording of the online discussion in London

Thank you to the Native Spirit Festival and Japan House London for organizing a group discussion about the Ainu on October 15th.  I was fortunate to be a part of this global community which included panelists from the UK, USA, and Japan.  In addition, around 200 people from across the world viewed the event and asked questions.

In fact, due to popular demand, the Native Spirit Festival just extended the availability of “Ainu: Indigenous People of Japan” until November 15th.  (Very excited about this!) 

Participating in this festival was the perfect opportunity for me because I have been wanting to have a virtual screening and discussion with the Ainu community.   I am looking forward to many more because I think it is very important to keep the dialogue going.  I encourage anyone who wants to host a screening to please contact me for details.

And just an FYI:  Should you watch the discussion, I mistakenly said that the year I started making my film was 2004, but in fact it was 2015. I must have been nervous.  The year 2004 was when I arrived to the US from Japan!

Third most viewed film at Nippon Connection

Nippon Connection Film Festival was held from June 9th – 14th in Germany.

It was an online festival due to the pandemic. My film “Ainu – Indigenous People of Japan” got the third most views in the documentary category.  I was very happy to receive the good news.


It was a close second (only three views difference) to “i – Documentary of the Journalist” directed by Tatsuya Mori, who is well known for making a documentary about a controversial cult in Japan, Aum Shinrikyo, in 1998. 


It was great to know about this fact, and especially that many people in Germany are interested in Ainu.

I can tell that the festival staff made a big effort to make this first online festival fun and I really appreciate that the staff gave me follow-ups. 


The Nippon Connection’s blog post of my interview “Guest in Focus” still exists here as well as a video interview by festival staffer Maximilan Himpsl.


A German film critic Rouven Linnarz also interviewed me, mostly about  the film’s behind-the-scenes. You can read the interview on Aisan Movie Pulse. He also published it on  in German.


Thank you for those who helped spread the word. I really had a (virtual) good time at this festival!!

Nippon Connection Film Festival in Germany

Because of the pandemic, 20th Nippon Connection Film Festival will be held all online.

I never visited to Germany so it was unfortunate this happened. But, they made an effort to make festival fun! They have online events such as concerts, cooking, and lectures. 

Quick link to the page to my film is here.  They interviewed me for 40min and I sent a short introduction video. It’s all on this page (free).

They also posted a blog: Guest in Focus.

I picked three subjects and wrote in English and Japanese:

Where did you get the idea for your latest film?

What was the biggest challenge while making your latest film?

What are some challenges women especially are faced with in the world of Japanese filmmaking?

I will be part of a live event “Female Futures?“on June 11th. Three Japanese director, including myself, will discuss about the theme. It will be in Japanese with English translation.