Karayuki-San, The Making of a Prostitute
Japan • 1h 15m
Directed by Shohei Imamura • Documentary • 1975 • 75 minutes
From the late 1800s to the mid-1900s, Japanese girls and women were trafficked out of Japan and sent to foreign countries like China, Singapore, and beyond to serve as indentured prostitutes. These women were called Karayuki-san.
Shohei Imamura discusses this unfortunate history with Zendo Kikuyo and retraces Kikuyo’s steps as a 19-year-old girl who was tricked from her hometown in Japan and ended up in Malaysia. With Kikuyo, they revisit the docks where she landed and was transferred, her old brothel—Number 20 on Malay Street—and together they visit other former Karayuki-sans in their homes.
"Imamura extends quiet patience towards his subject, encouraging her to reclaim the humanity that had been stolen in the wake of Japan's imperial hubris."—Ben Sachs, Chicago Reader
Up Next in Japan
Directed by Jesper Wachtmeister • Documentary • 2003 • 53 minutes
Kochuu is included on the same DVD as Great Expectations KOCHUU is a visually stunning film about modern Japanese architecture, its roots in the Japanese tradition, and its impact on the Nordic building tradition. Winding its way ...
Koshien: Japan's Field of Dreams
Directed by Ema Ryan Yamazaki • Documentary • 2019 • 94 minutes
Baseball is life for the die-hard competitors in the 100th annual Koshien, Japan's wildly popular national high school baseball championship, whose alumni include U.S. baseball star Shohei Ohtani and former Yankee Hideki Matsui. But...
A Man Vanishes
Directed by Shohei Imamura • Documentary • 1967 • 130 minutes
One of the most important and complex works by two-time Palme d'Or winning director Shohei Imamura, A MAN VANISHES begins as an investigation into one of the thousands of missing persons cases that occur in Japan each year.
The film ...