Megumi Nishikura and Lara Perez Takagi are two filmmakers living in Tokyo, Japan. Their next project, The Hafu Documentary, focuses on a lesser-known part of Japan’s demographic: biracial individuals. Hafu is the Japanese loan word for half-Japanese. The documentary features a Mexican-Japanese family (the Oi’s), a Ghanian-Japanese model named David, a Venezualan-Japanese community organizer named Ed, an Australian-Japanese expatriot named Sophia, and lastly, an unannounced Hafu of mixed Japanese and Asian descent. Both Nishikura and Takagi are half-Japanese themselves and I last interviewed them before the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake. Once again, they take time out from their busy schedules to discuss their documentary and its progress since then.
Giant Robot: How has production progressed so far?
Megumi Nishikura: “Sophia” is the fourth person. We put up a new image for her on the website. [When we first met her] it all came naturally. She wanted to show that she was part of this movie. She has her own blog and started writing about her participation in the film, and she tweets about us now and then. Her story is on the website and she grew up in Sydney, [Australia]. She spent a few summers in Japan here and there visiting her relatives, but doesn’t have too much experience in Japan. Last year, she decided that this was her last chance. If she didn’t take it now then she would never come and live here. She moved here and is tried to find a job, take Japanese lessons, and figure her way out while abroad.