Japanese documentary-related catalogues

A lighter and more “visual” post today, some photos of the Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival’s catalogues I have at home:


YIDFF 1993 (Japanese documentaries of the 60s) and YIDFF 2003 (Ryūkyū Reflections Nexus of Borders)


YIDFF 1995 (Japanese documentaries of the 70s) and YIDFF 1997 (Japanese documentaries of the 80s and beyond)


YIDFF 2005 (Borders Within What It Means to Live in Japan) and YIDFF 2013

They’re in English and are an essential resource if you’re interested in Japanese cinema or documentary in general. For me personally “Ryūkyū Reflections Nexus of Borders” was a discovery: non-fiction films and the history of Okinawa, a place where all the contradictions and problematics arising from Japan-as-a-state and its relationship with other nations and its own inner borders are embodied and magnified. Or as Higashi Yoichi once said talking about his documentary Okinawa Islands (1969)

“Okinawa is a place that represents all the problems of Japan, from very old problems to very modern problems, and all of these problems are included within the film. It concentrates all of these aspects which were present in my very first film [being a documentary], on the old Japanese mentality [the old way of thinking] which is more present in Okinawa, more so than anywhere else [in Japan]. And at the other end of the spectrum is the political situation with respect to the war and the American presence in it, so everything is included” (Here the complete interview)

It’s possible to order the catalogues (well, not all of them because some are sold out) on the festival homepage, here.

And here the catalogs (in English and Japanese) for the NDU (Nihon Documentary Union)/ Nunokawa Tetsurō retrospective held in Tokyo and Kobe in 2012:


As far as I know this is the only material available in English about the collective, although some writing were already published in the YIDFF catalogue of 1995. But hopefully I’ll talk more in detail about NDU/Nunokawa Tetsurō in another post.


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