The Making of a Japanese

The Making of a Japanese

26th TIDF: International Premiere

Which are the distinct attributes sculpting the Japanese identity? What makes you Japanese? In order to figure out the answers, the British Japanese filmmaker closely follows 1st and 6th graders for one year at a public elementary school in Tokyo, as well as their teachers, unveiling how teachers and students interact and shape one another. The outbreak of the pandemic and its restrictions constitute just another controlling measure. The kids in Japan are after all forged by their homeland’s culture through a strictly defined education process which is in pursuit, with unwavering focus, of the appropriate equilibrium between individual progress and harmony of the society as a whole. Offering a unique hybrid perspective, the filmmaker critically examines a culture that is equally familiar to her as it is foreign, while she peruses the school environment in terms of an industrial production plant, in which the raw materials for processing are the students.

Screening Schedule

No physical screenings scheduled.

Available at the Agora Market TIDF26.

Direction: Ema Ryan Yamazaki
Cinematography: Kazuki Kakurai
Editing: Ema Ryan Yamazaki, Mariko Ide, Mizuki Toriya
Sound: Andrew Tracy
Music: Päivi Takala
Production: Cineric Creative, NHK
Producers: Eric Nyari
Co-production: Pystymetsä, Point du Jour
Co-producers: Outi Rousu, Luc Martin-Gousset, Yusaku Kanagawa
Executive producer: Shin Yasuda, Akihiko Sugie, Mizue Kunizane
Format: DCP
Color: Color
Production Country: Japan, USA, Finland, France
Production Year: 2023
Duration: 99'
Contact: Autlook Filmsales

Ema Ryan Yamazaki


2013 Monk by Blood (short)
2017 Monkey Business: The Adventures of Curious George's Creators
2019 Koshien: Japan's Field of Dreams
2020 Chaya: Ailey's Keeper of the Flame 2021 Temple Family (short)
2023 The Making of a Japanese