Director / Cinematographer
Cinematographer. Born in 1934 in Shizuoka Prefecture. Graduated from Shizuoka University, College of Humanities and Sciences. Otsu is one of the most famous cinematographers in Japanese film history. He joined Iwanami Productions in 1958. After going freelance, he worked with legendary director Ogawa Shinsuke on The Oppressed Students (1967) and Summer in Narita (1968), with Tsuchimoto Noriaki on Prehistory of the Partisans (1969), Minamata: The Victims and Their World (1971), and many other films. Otsu’s flexible camera work allows close to the skin shots that won him a reputation as the frontrunner of Japanese cinematographers. Later work expanded to feature films such as A Bridge of Tears (1983) by Kuroki Kazuo and Business Trip (1989) by Okishima Isao. From the 1990’s, he actively worked with the next generation of filmmakers including Sato Makoto, John Junkerman and Kumagai Hiroko. In 2005, in his 70’s, he made his debut as a director with Butoh Dancer Kazuo Ohno (2005).
[Selected filmography as cinematographer:]
Sea of Youth (Ogawa Shinsuke, 1966)
The Oppressed Students (Ogawa Shinsuke, 1967)
Summer in Narita (Ogawa Shinsuke, 1968)
Prehistory of the Partisans (Tsuchimoto Noriaki, 1969)
Minamata: The Victims and Their World (Tsuchimoto Noriaki, 1971)
Minamata Revolt – A People’s Quest for Life (Tsuchimoto Noriaki, 1973)
The Shiranui Sea (Tsuchimoto Noriaki, 1975)
Minamata Disease – A Trilogy (Tsuchimoto Noriaki, 1975)
A Bridge of Tears (Kuroki Kazuo, 1983, fiction)
Business Trip (Okishima Isao, 1989, fiction)
The Sayama Aair (Koike Masato, 1991)
Islands (Semyon D. Aranovich, Otsuka Hiroshi, 1993)
Artists in Wonderland (Sato Makoto, 1998)
Dolce (Alexander Sokurov, 2000)
Hanako (Sato Makoto, 2001)
Chomsky 9.11 (John Junkerman, 2002)
Out of Place: Memories of Edward Said (Sato Makoto, 2005)
Director / Editor
Filmmaker and producer. Daishima was born in Saitama Prefecture in 1958 and graduated from Waseda University, School of Political Science and Economics. After working for an advertisement agency, he switched to independent filmmaking. Produced Pineapple Tours (1992), an omnibus feature film on Okinawa. The film was acclaimed at international film festivals including the Berlin International Film Festival (Forum). Managed art house cinema Box Higashinakano from 1994 to 2003 and distributed and released numerous films. In 2010, he directed Regarding the Lives of Others: Tsuchimoto Noriaki and Otsu Koshiro (2010), which recounted the history of documentary films in Japan. In 2012, he produced Olo: The Boy from Tibet directed by Iwasa Hisaya. Daishima also directed, shot and edited a ten-volume DVD series, Outsider Art in Japan (2008) which was highly praised in the international art world.
Guitar and turntable player, composer, film score composer and producer. Otomo was born in Kanagawa Prefecture in 1959 and raised in Fukushima City until high school. He attended but left Meiji University. Otomo has been active globally as an improvisation and noise musician. In recent years, he has gained reputation as a composer/music producer for films and TV programs as well as creative musical installations. Co-founder of Project FUKUSHIMA!
Photographer. Kitai was born in Anshan, China in 1944. He attended but left Nihon University, Department of Photography. In 1965, he self-published a photo collection, Resistance, on protests against a port call of a nuclear submarine at Yokosuka. In 1969, he started a series in Asahi Graph magazine on Sanrizuka documenting opposition struggles against building the New Tokyo Airport in Narita. The photographs exposed the daily lives of farmers engaged in the struggle and received high acclaim as a new documentary photography style.
Calligrapher. Born in Tokyo in 1968. Yamada has been creating handwritten ink-paint calendars since 1995, which number over 7,000 as of 2013. Yamada does not prepare drafts or practice. She believes numerous failures of unrehearsed works will bring about the one and only piece of artwork as a result. This has led her calligraphy to receive wide acclaim as works of art that embody “the now.” Besides exhibitions across Japan, Amsterdam and New York City, Yamada’s activities include commercial designs and film title calligraphy work.