Image by Reiko OKUYAMA (Winter Days, 2003)

The aim of this project is to assemble complete filmographies and bibliographic information for women working behind the scenes in the Japanese film and television industry. From the director's chair to in-betweening work for anime, Japanese women have made great contributions to Japanese filmic culture and deserve more recognition for their achievements. It is my great hope that this wiki will assist researchers looking for more information about Japanese filmmakers, cinematographers, art directors, script girls, animators, and more.

Project leader:

Catherine Munroe Hotes

  • PhD in Film and Visual Culture (University of Exeter, UK)
  • specialist in Film and Poetry (film poetics, film as poetry, the influence of cinema on poetry)
  • specialist in Japanese Art Animation/Japanese independent and experimental animation
  • author of Nishikata Film Review

Contributors to this site:

If you are interested in becoming a collaborating on this project, please contact me via Facebook.

Related Reading:

Blair, Gavin J. "Japan's Female Directors Making Their Mark in Patriarchal Industry." The Hollywood Reporter. 1 April 2014.

Kelly, Gabrielle and Cheryl Robson, eds. Celluloid Ceiling: Women Film Directors Breaking Through. Twickenham, UK: Supernova Books, 2014.

Laird, Colleen A. Sea Change: On the Rising Tide of Female Directors in Japan. Dissertation, U of Oregon, 2013.

MaGee, Chris. Top Ten Most Influential Women in Japanese Film. Toronto J-Film Pow-Wow. 19 March 2011.

Mizoguchi, Akiko. The "Japanese Women Filmmakers" Conference. Documentary Box. (University of Colorado, Boulder, October 5-7, 2000).

Okubo, Ken'ichi. "Islands in the Mist." Cinemaya. Autumn/Winter 1994-95, pp. 30-5.

  • surveys women filmmakers of Japan, starting with the first, Tazuko SAKANE (1936)
  • also includes alayses of the works and careers of Yukiko AWAYA, Yoko NARAHASHI, Toshie TOKIEDA, Sumio HANEDA, Hiroko SEKIGUCHI, Hiroko KUMAGAI, Mako IDEMITSU, Shiori KAZAMA, Takako SAKAMOTO, Junko MIURA, Utake KOGUCHI, Mai TOMINAGA, Kinuyo TANAKA, among others.
  • Big in Japan: Female Directors (pdf)

McDonald, Keiko. The Agony of Eldercare: Two Japanese Women Directors Study an Age-Old Problem. DIJ Tokyo. 21 June 2007.

Schilling, Marc. Japan’s female directors make a strong showing. Japan Times. 28 Dec. 2012.

On the Megaphone: Female Directors Enter the Movie Scene. Trends in Japan. 6 Oct. 1998.

Sharp, Jasper. Underground Fruit: Atsuko Ohno talks about Peaches. The Japan Times. 18 Sept. 2009.

Sharp, Jasper. Women Who Love to Shoot: A rising tide of women film directors in Japan gets festival treatment. The Japan Times. 18 Sept. 2009.