Baggage…

What are you holding on to from the past?

We’ve all got baggage. Everyone has at least a carry on or personal item.

Some people are better at handling their baggage than others. It can be big and awkward or small and discreet.

No one wants to carry your baggage. They may offer to help you but ultimately you own it and have to deal with it.

I’m in my late 30’s and I absolutely have baggage. The difference now, as opposed to ten years ago, is that my baggage is pretty light and compact. I have learned that carrying everything with me was just not efficient or good for my health. It really slowed me down and sometimes got in the way of some relationships I really valued and held me back from destinations I wanted to visit.

Fortunately, I’ve been lucky enough to meet people who’ve shown me how to re-evaluate my journey.

Now, I pack light. I only take the essentials and even then, I try to leave enough space for better experiences and people to enrich my journey.

Now, my baggage doesn’t weigh me down as much. I still have post cards and stickers that remind me of where I’ve been. No point in forgetting the lessons I’ve learned.

Now I try to enjoy my journey as more and more destinations come and go.

Memories are your souvenirs in this journey of life. Why not focus on collecting the good ones and leaving the bad ones behind where you found them?

It’s not like any of us knows when this trip is over.

For more information or questions, email us at:

info@americanhikikomori.com

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What do you want more than anything?

 

About four years ago, in the mid summer of 2012, I set out to make a short film about Hikikomori. I set up this blog in hopes of connecting to other filmmakers and people who like the same things I like.

I also set out to tell a story about something I had never heard of, growing up in America, but very quickly came to empathize with. Despite its Japanese origins, I feel like I understand why some people become Hikikomori.

It just spoke to me and I had to tell this story.

Is happiness (with your life and dreams) supposed to be about the destination or the journey?

At this point in my life, it’s both and it’s a fleeting happiness. I think this is the blessing and the curse of making movies or telling stories. Once it’s done. You’re back at zero but you welcome it because the process won’t be the same experience the next time around. The people you will meet along the way will inspire you as well as challenge you. The art form completely has you at it’s mercy but there’s no other way you’d rather spend your time.

This film took me longer than I thought, cost more than I thought, and I still manage to meet people who are willing to help me. It’s very humbling and truly amazing.

 

What you do I want more than anything?

I guess I want to keep doing this.

I’m already writing and researching the next film.

What you do you want more than anything?

 

For more information or questions, email us at:

info@americanhikikomori.com

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Hikikomori Italia! (Review)

We have a our first international review!

Screen Shot 2016-06-13 at 10.47.23 AM

translated from Italian by Marco Crepaldi

The main character, Isamu, moves from Japan to the United States with his divorced father and paternal grandmother. Isamu is an intelligent guy, but he’s left completely alone to face the process of cultural integration. His new classmates don’t show any patience with him and even his teacher, who should support him, is totally unsympathetic. So Isamu decides to drop out of school and withdraws himself to his bedroom, clashing with the concerns and the anger of his father.

I found “American Hikikomori” technically accurate, charming in shots and in music. The short film covers some of the main issues related to Hikikomori, such as the absence of the father, the difficulty in relating with classmates and teachers, and the hypersensitivity that is often found in guys who decide to isolate themselves.

The finale forces the viewer to reflect on the paradoxical condition of Hikikomori, the more they try to get away from the others and the more they become dependent on them. This reflection can be extended to the entire human existence, because basically we are all alone and, at the same time, inextricably linked.

Link to the original Italian review: http://bit.ly/1VKuy6V

A big “ありがとうございました!” to  Marco Crepaldi for his wonderful review via his blog Hikikomori Italia AND for volunteering his time to translate our film’s subtitles into the Italian language.

I am absolutely humbled, flattered, and grateful. Our first batch of sales via Vimeo have actually been in Italy! To me that speaks volumes about how the Hikikomori phenomenon is no longer isolated to Japan.

If you would like to contribute in the effort of translating our film into another language OR simply learn more about our film or the filmmakers, you can contact us at:

info@americanhikikomori.com

Or visit our social media links:

 

American Hikikomori is now available on Vimeo on Demand!

American Hikikomori from Landis Stokes on Vimeo.

It’s been a long but rewarding journey from script to screen. We are proud to present our short film as the labor of love we truly intended it to be.

Please support us by spreading the word, following us on social media, or just leaving a comment. We are grateful for the opportunity share our story with you.

*Buy our film on Memorial Day (with promo code “MemDay2016”) and get $2 off! Code use is limited to 500 downloads (first come, first served)

Official selection of:

DC Asian Pacific Film Festival
Ithaca Pan Asian American Film Festival
Asians on Film Festival
World Film Awards
Indie Night Film Festival
Best Shorts Competition
Japan Film Festival Los Angeles
Film Fest 52
New Haven International Film Festival
Culver City Film Festival

AWARDS

Best Supporting Actress – 2015 Asians on Film Jury Selection
Honorable Mention Best Supporting Actor – 2015 Asians on Film Jury Selection
Golden World Award for International Film – 2015 World Film Awards
Award of Merit – 2015 Best Shorts Competition
JFFLA 2015 Submission Award – 2015 Japan Film Festival Los Angeles (presented by UTB Hollywood)
Best Supporting Actress – 2016 Asians on Film Festival

For more information or questions, email us at:

info@americanhikikomori.com

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Ashinoko Lake – Hikone, Japan

A day trip we took back in December 2015.

From Wikipedia:

Lake Ashi (芦ノ湖 Ashi-no-ko?), also referred to as Hakone Lake or Ashinoko Lake, is a scenic lake in theHakone area of Kanagawa Prefecture in Honshū, Japan. It is a crater lake that lies along the southwest wall of thecaldera of Mount Hakone, a complex volcano that last erupted in 1170 CE at Owakudani. The lake is known for its views of Mt. Fuji, its numerous hot springs, historical sites, and ryokan. The lake is located on the Tokaido road, the main link between Kyoto and Tokyo. A number of pleasure boats and ferries traverse the lake, providing scenic views for tourists and passengers. Several of the boats are inspired by the design of sailing warships.

The name means “lake of reeds” in Japanese: 芦 (ashi) is “reed”, and 湖 (ko) is “lake”. The abundance of nature makes it popular with hikers. There are many trails with different levels of challenge.

American Hikikomori DVD’s are here!

Everyone who donated $50 or more to our Indiegogo campaign gets a copy of our short award winning film!

Thank you for supporting us!

We are truly grateful that you believed in us and wanted to help us tell this story.

DVDs

For more information or questions, email us at:

info@americanhikikomori.com

Or visit our social media links: