Documentary Films


Blazing A New Trail

Towards the Day When Miracles Become Commonplace
Sat.06.11 3:00pm–4:45pm

“Love initiates programs to live. Despair turns into hope.” Mr. Toshiya Miyata, one of the main cast of the film, suffered from brain-stem hemorrhage which resulted in Mr. Miyata being in a “Locked-in Syndrome.” His doctor said that he will never regain consciousness and his body remains paralyzed for life.

Ms. Katsuko Yamamoto, one of his colleagues, was sure of his recovery and rehabilitated him. He can now talk with a communicating device and take a stroll in a wheelchair. This was not a special case nor a miracle. In the medical field, Ms. Katsuko Kamiya, Professor Emeritus at Tsukuba University, has been working on recovery of patients from their vegetative state. She was originally a nurse. Many patients incredibly recovered from the so called incurable state through a specific program which she developed.

It appears that not only patients in vegetative state, but heavily impaired persons of cerebral palsy and other reasons with internal thoughts cannot verbally express themselves. This is the finding of Mr. Yasuyuki Shibata, Professor at Kokugakuin University, from his studies and activities. However this fact has not yet been well recognized.

Several people are regaining communicative methods with their family members and friends, after they encountered the story about Mr. Miyata. The film shows a trajectory that despair of one person turns into leading light for many people in time.


Profile of Katsuko Yamamoto, Main Cast

She was born in Kanazawa in 1957. After graduating from the Chemistry Department, Faculty of Science, University of Toyama, she has been working at special needs schools in Ishikawa Prefecture.

The message, in her books and talks, is filled with love and affection, and is spreading through out Japan. It touched not only children’s hearts but also adults who had been closing their hearts and minds. It also worked wonders to these people who have opened their hearts. The documentary film “The Miracle of the Gifted Quarter – Life’s Truth Revealed -” is the film about her activities. This film has been shown by volunteers more than 1600 times including 18 different countries so far. She is creating warm relationships with readers of the mail magazine called “Miyapu Diary – the Bridge Between Our Hearts” which is sent to the readers every day.

Her publications from Sango Kan (Publisher) are “Yuuki-kun no Umi (Little Boy Yuuki’s Ocean)”; from Arisu Kan (Publisher) “Kii-chan”; from Sunmark Shuppan (Publisher) “Te o Tsunageba Atatakai (When You are Connected with hands, it is Warm)”; and many more.


Messages by the Director–Yasuko Iwasaki

A person in a condition of vegetative state is unconscious and can hear and sense nothing. It is an usual knowledge in general as well as in medical field. However those patients can actually hear and recognize everything, while they cannot express their thoughts due to physical paralysis. Furthermore, there is a potential that rehabilitation can recover their ability. Through the film, I intend to show such examples and to modify a general knowledge. And you may think that heavily impaired persons can understand no word, but they have a plenty of words while they cannot express them. Such a fact is now revealing. By spreading the above knowledge through the film, I hope to create a society that respects everyone as a human regardless states of illnesses and impairments.


Making the Happiest Employees in Japan

The Challenge of Hotel Associa Nagoya Terminal
Sun.06.12 2:00pm–4:00pm

A long-established hotel in front of Nagoya station was depressing with its red exterior for four continuous years. All the board members were replaced and Akio Shibata was picked as a new general manager. He started to revive the hotel in his original way that had been established through his long career as a board member of a trade union. It was neither downsizing nor performance-related system. Many employees contributed to establish a new management principal, and board members and staff met to discuss their desires, one which was to become the happiest employees in Japan. They initiated many activities like birthday parties for the employees, and reconstruction of the staff dining room. Look at the results!

Profile of Akio Shibata, Main Cast

He was born in Nakatsugawa City of Gifu Prefecture on November 6, 1942. He joined JR(Japan Railway) in 1961. Since 1977, he was a full-time union official. He was selected as the secretary-general of Tokai passenger railway union in 1987. Since 1992, he was Director-General of JR alliance. In 1994, when he was 52 years old, He was transferred to Nagoya Terminal Hotel Co. Ltd, which is an affiliated company of JR Tokai, and assigned as a deputy director of promotion division.

He assumed director of general affairs department in 1998, director and General Manager in 2000, executive director and General Manager in 2003, and representative director and General Manager in 2005. He turned continuous red for four years into surplus, and kept it for seven years. He has been invited by corporations, groups and schools for his lecture, while he was running the hotel. The hotel was broken up on the last day of September 2010 in order to replace the hotel building with a superhigh-rise building. He was graduated from General Manager.

He is currently the representative of Associa Shiyu-kan.


Messages by the director

I had ever unconsciously thought that business results come first and employees have to achieve target with their costs. But I came to know that business goes well without sacrificing employees’ satisfaction when I encountered this hotel. Besides I was impressed with such employees’ respectable attitude that they honestly reported a food poisoning incident even the number of affected customers was still less than the obligatory value to report. They thought that how to work is the way to live. I wish many people to know about employees of the hotel and make it into the film. Working with kindness, compassion, faith and honesty is able to realize successful results in business. I was highly pleased that there is a company achieved it. I desire young people before being employed to watch the film as well as current employees. I’m proud that the hotel like this was in Japan.


Legacy of Heart Mountain

Sat.06.11 4:45pm–5:15pm, Sun.06.12 4:00pm–5:00pm

A tragic time in American history will be shown in the Emmy Award winning documentary “The Legacy of Heart Mountain” about the incarceration of 120,000 Japanese Americans during WWII. Receiving rave reviews at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, the American Historical Association’s Film Festival, on ABC TV in Los Angeles, PBS and Public Television, and in film screenings across the country, this will be the first time this film will be shown in Chicago at a public screening. Inspired by the Hirahara Family’s over 2,000 photos taken in Heart Mountain, Wyoming, this is a wonderful introduction to a story not many people are aware of, especially with next year being the 75th Anniversary of the signing of Executive Order 9066 in February. Patti Hirahara, of Anaheim, California, will be coming to the Festival and will be available to talk with attendees after the presentation.
Information is as of today. Subject to Change.

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