American Hikikomori is an upcoming short film that explores the emotional struggles of a Japanese teenager named Isamu Fujihara, when he moves to America.
From the writer/director:
A Hikikomori, as defined by Oxford Dictionaries.com, is “a person who avoids social contact.” Its origins are Japanese and it literally translates to, “staying indoors, (social) withdrawal.” Hikikomori is a unique and social taboo that only exists in Japan. However, I feel that it can be universally understood.
Growing up as a socially awkward child myself, I completely understand that my parent’s personal involvement in my up bringing deterred me from being a social recluse.
I’d like Japanese audiences to see this film in hopes that they will start to talk openly about this social taboo and ways of preventing it or dealing with it.
I’d like American audiences to see this film in order to start conversations about how we Americans really treat and perceive foreigners and their culture.
As a filmmaker, I want to tell stories that entertain us but also challenge us to talk about issues in our global community.
As an American, I want to tell stories that reflect realities of our melting pot culture. I also want American audiences to see this film in order to start conversations about how we Americans really treat and perceive foreigners and their culture.
As the spouse of a first generation Japanese woman, I want to show everyone diverse aspects of her culture and share anecdotes of her experiences in assimilating to American culture.
As a “person of color,” I know we, as an audience; as the ever-diversifying public, cannot rely on major television and movie studios to always tell culturally diverse stories with a culturally diverse cast.
Caspar David Friedrich said, “A picture must not be invented, but felt.” For me, cinema is not just entertainment but one of the ultimate forms of human expression. It’s a form of emotional communication in its purest sense. Shouldn’t we all communicate more?
Thank you for your time.