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.


I have something really fun and interesting to share today!

Like everyone around the world, I have been physically isolated and haven’t had any social activities for almost two months because of the novel corona virus. I have found a lot comfort in watching the funny and cool challenges that people are doing on social media.

Among them, I found the Ainu version of #PasstheBrushChallenge.

It’s posted on a Facebook page called moymoye, which means ‘move’ in Ainu.

The women in the video are all look amazing and have nice smiles. I was so happy to find some familiar faces in Hokkaido. I was also really excited to see all the different kinds of beautiful Ainu outfits that came up one after another. The idea to pass on the brush is really awesome!

Here is the video.

The cool music is by OKI, a professional Ainu musician who has released many albums. According to the administrator of moymoye, they said OKI is the one who chose the music. This particular music “DUB ARROW” is an electric arrangement from a traditional song/dance Ku Rimse or Arrow dance.

I researched a bit about the challenge and found it was started by a user on TIKTOK. For over a decade, I have been more interested in citizen media, as opposed to commercial media. I think it’s a good thing when people can easily express themselves and share their message to a mass audience.

You can also find the Mohawk version, Native American version and more by searching hashtag #PasstheBrushChallenge and #MakeupBrushChallenge.

Podcast interview

New York based podcast “Big Roots” featured the director, Naomi Mizoguchi. The interview took place at DCTV (Downtown Community Television Center), one of the oldest community media centers in the US. Co-founder Keiko Tsuno also talks about DCTV.

Click here to listen to the interview.