Funded! This project was successfully funded on March 31, 2012.

Photo-main
Play
00:00
00:00

An intimate look into the lives of two Japanese potters, and their reflections on life after the earthquake and tsunami disasters.

SYNOPSIS

The triple disasters of March 11, 2011, shook Japan to its core. It claimed over 18,000 lives, with 3,000 still missing. Many thousands were displaced by the tsunami, and those who lived near the Fukushima nuclear reactors will probably never return home. It has been a year since the disasters but the people of Japan are still coping with the emotional trauma of that day. The disasters brought forth many truths about the power of nature, the limitations of the government, and the unpredictable nature of life. “Kasama-Yaki” is an intimate portrait of two potters, Katsuji and Shigeko Kokubo, filmed by their daughter, Yuki. Heartfelt conversational interviews are woven throughout the film, as they reflect on life, death, family, and art. The film is a journey into the minds of two individuals whose outlooks were inevitably touched by the disasters, and a glimpse into the heart of Japan. 

概要

2011年3月11日に起こった3つの災難で日本は大きな打撃を受けた。1万8千人以上の命が奪われ、今もなお3千人の行方不明者がいる。津波の被害により数千人が家を失い、福島原子力発電所付近の住民は再びふるさとで暮らせる可能性を失ってしまった。あれから1年、日本の人々はあの日の衝撃を今も抱えながら日々の生活を送っている。今回の震災で、多くの事実が明らかになった。自然の力、政府の欠点、そして人生は予測できないということ。本作品「笠間焼」は陶芸家の小久保勝司(こくぼ・かつじ)さんと恵子(しげこ)さんの親密な生活を追ったドキュメンタリー映画。監督は陶芸家の娘、小久保由紀(ゆき)。心のこもった対話型インタビューが織り込まれ、小久保夫妻の生と死、家族、アートについての観点を探る。震災で人生観が変わった2人の陶芸家の物語を巡り、日本人の心を垣間見ることのできる作品である。[日本語はページの下に続いています]

WHO AND WHERE  

Katsuji and Shigeko live a rustic lifestyle close to the earth, and base their living on clay, the very material dug from the ground. Their way of living is deeply rooted in traditional Japanese lifestyle. During one interview, Katsuji talks about his yearning to live a traditional lifestyle that consists of farming half the year and making pottery for the other half. “During the cold months, when it's not possible to farm, you make pottery. After the rice harvest, you burn the husk and use the ash to make glaze. Always living in one with nature.” This is also a story about creativity, and art as a way of life. Katsuji and Shigeko are both passionate artists who rely on their creativity to survive, not only financially but also spiritually. As Shigeko explains in one of the interviews, “people who make things bring themselves up by creating. If we stopped creating, our lives would be over.” 

Katsuji and Shigeko live on the outskirts of a small city named Kasama in Ibaraki prefecture. While Kasama was badly shaken by the Tohoku earthquake, it was spared from the tsunami. Because of the city’s proximity to the Fukushima nuclear reactors (approx 90 miles north of Kasama), the residents were told to stay indoors for several weeks following the accident. The long-term effects of the radiation are uncertain, and some young people have fled the area fearing for the health of their families. While Shigeko and Katsuji have chosen to stay, they must deal with the often conflicting and confusing information about the radiation, and now contend with the possibility that a nuclear reactor in neighboring Tokaimura (with its own history of a major accident in 1999) might be back in operation in the coming year

STYLE OF THE FILM

The film is a journey into Katsuji and Shigeko’s lives, their minds, and their hearts. The interviews are shot in a conversational style, and explore their thoughts about life, death, art, and the future of Japan. Aside from the conversational interviews, the film will be shot in an observational style that allows the viewer to come to his/ her own conclusions. The film will show Katsuji and Shigeko involved in the process of making pottery from beginning to end, which includes captivating images of throwing, glazing, and firing of the kiln. Sprinkled in between philosophical conversational narratives and meditative scenes of creation, there will be light moments of my Shigeko’s comedic antics, as well as festive scenes from craft fairs, where Katsuji and Shigeko interact with their potter friends and customers.

WHY I’M MAKING THIS FILM

My parents and I moved from Japan to the U.S. when I was eight years old, and they moved back to Japan when I was sixteen. In the weeks following the horrible disasters in Japan, I came face-to-face with the distance that had grown between my parents and myself over the past two decades, not just geographically but also personally. My personal motivation behind this film is to get to know my parents better. Another goal I have for this film is to bridge the gap between the culture that is now mine, and the one I left behind. Many of us have read articles about the “quiet strength” and “resilience” of the Japanese people. I hope to make a film that will provide a window through which the viewer will gain better understanding of the Japanese psyche, and learn how the disasters have emotionally affected the people of Japan.

PLAN FOR THE FILM

I’ve filmed on two separate trips totaling five weeks. In June 2011 (three months after the disasters), I documented my parents’ stories of the earthquake and visited the tsunami disaster zone with my father. In January of 2012, I filmed my parents as they participated in a winter craft fair, and documented the harsh living conditions of winter. My plan is to return to Japan in spring of 2012 to film a craft fair called Toensai, which is a gathering of several hundred local potters and other artisans from the area. My parents (and most of the other participants) depend on Toensai for a significant portion of their annual income. Since the disasters, Japan’s economy has further plummeted, leaving many doubtful that there will be customers who will be willing to pay the high cost of handmade goods.

These are some of the issues and questions the film will explore. How did the triple disasters affect how Katsuji and Shigeko think about, and live their lives? As the Fukushima accident forced the people of Japan to drastically rethink their energy use, and on a wider scale, the breakdown of financial systems around the world are causing many to reconsider their value systems – can we learn a lesson from these two people who have chosen a life rich in meaning, but without material extravagance? Will Katsuji and Shigeko be able to succeed at the craft fair, and what personal lessons will they learn from their success or failure? What implications does the outcome of the craft fair have on the rest of the potters of Kasama, and on the country as a whole?

YOUR CONTRIBUTIONS

Your Kickstarter contributions will allow me to finish filming, and cover the cost of editing the film, which will take at least a few months. It will also allow me to hire a wonderful musician who will compose and record an original soundtrack for the film. I know this is not a small sum but if you believe this is a story that should be told, please consider becoming a part of this project! Please note: Anything over the goal amount will go towards hiring professionals to provide technical finishing touches, such as sound mix, color correct, graphics, and story consulting.

HOW ELSE YOU CAN HELP

If you can’t make a contribution today, please consider emailing your friends about this campaign or posting it on Facebook. You can also like Kasama-Yaki's Facebook page. This is an all or nothing fundraising platform, so ANY help to get the word out is priceless! Remember, this campaign ends on March 31st!

THANK YOU

Thank you for your time, and interest in the film. Please check out the blog for news regarding the film (and don't forget to sign up by email!) and enjoy occasional photos (mostly of cats) from my parents. 

概要

2011年3月11日に起こった3つの災難で日本は大きな打撃を受けた。1万8千人以上の命が奪われ、今もなお3千人の行方不明者がいる。津波の被害により数千人が家を失い、福島原子力発電所付近の住民は再びふるさとで暮らせる可能性を失ってしまった。あれから1年、日本の人々はあの日の衝撃を今も抱えながら日々の生活を送っている。今回の震災で、多くの事実が明らかになった。自然の力、政府の欠点、そして人生は予測できないということ。本作品「笠間焼」は陶芸家の小久保勝司(こくぼ・かつじ)さんと恵子(しげこ)さんの親密な生活を追ったドキュメンタリー映画。監督は陶芸家の娘、小久保由紀(ゆき)。心のこもった対話型インタビューが織り込まれ、小久保夫妻の生と死、家族、アートについての観点を探る。震災で人生観が変わった2人の陶芸家の物語を巡り、日本人の心を垣間見ることのできる作品である。

登場人物と場所

田舎で暮らす勝司さんと恵子さんは地から恵みを受けた粘土を使って生計を立てている。彼らの日常は日本の伝統的な生活の中に深く根付いている。インタビューで勝司さんは暖かい季節は農業をし、寒い季節に陶芸をするという伝統的な暮らしを送りたいと語る。「昔は半農半陶といって半分農業やって半分焼き物をやっている生活があった」この作品は想像力、そしてアートを生き甲斐にした2人の物語である。情熱的なアーティスト、勝司さんと恵子さんは金銭面でも精神面でも独自の想像力を頼りにしながら生きている。恵子さんはインタビューでこう語る。「自分で物を作っている人は、物を作ることで自分を引き上げていく。物を作る人は自分の仕事を止めたら、自分も終わりだからね」

勝司さんと恵子さんは茨城県の小さな地方都市、笠間市の郊外に住んでいる。津波の被害から逃れたものの、東北地方の地震により大きな打撃を受けた笠間市。福島原発から150キロ南に位置する笠間市は、地震発生後、数週間住民に外出を控えるよう呼びかけた。放射能の長期的な影響は誰もわからない。放射能を恐れ、笠間市を去った若い住民は少なくない。勝司さんと恵子さんは居残ることを決意したものの、放射能に関する矛盾した情報と、近郊にある東海村の原子力発電所が(1999年に事故があったにも関わらず)2013年に運転再開をする可能性と向き合わなければならない。

制作スタイル

この作品は勝司さんと恵子さんの生き方、考え方、そして心を巡る物語である。対話型のインタビューを通して、彼らの人生観、死、アート、そして日本の未来についての観点を探る。制作スタイルは観客が独自で結論を見つける構成となっている。勝司さんと恵子さんが陶芸をやっている一連の流れを捉え、魅惑的な映像とともに成形、塗り、窯に火をつける作業を見せていく。哲学的な会話や制作中の瞑想的なシーンの間にちりばめられているのは、笑いを誘う恵子さんの振る舞いや工芸祭で陶芸仲間と触れ合う陽気な映像などである。

制作の目的

8歳の時、私は両親と3人で日本からアメリカへ移住した。そして16歳の時、両親だけが日本へ帰国した。震災後、両親と自分との間にできた20年分の距離に気づかされた。それは地理的だけではなく、精神的な距離でもあった。この作品を作る個人的な意図は両親のことをもっと知るためである。そして、もう一つの目的は今自分の中に根付いているアメリカ文化と日本に置いてきた日本文化の架け橋を作るためである。今回の震災で多くのアメリカ人は日本人の「静かな強さ」や「立ち直る力」について新聞などで知ることができた。この作品を通して、多くの人に日本人の精神をより良く理解してもらい、震災が日本人の心にどう影響したかを伝えていきたい。

制作予定

2度に渡り、合計5週間日本で撮影を行った。一回目は2011年6月。震災から3ヶ月後のことだった。両親の地震の体験を撮影し、父と福島を訪れた。二回目は2012年1月。冬の陶芸祭に参加した両親と厳しい冬の生活の撮影に成功した。2012年春にもう一度笠間市を訪れ、陶炎祭という地元の陶芸家や物作りたち数百人が集まるお祭りを撮影する予定。両親を含め、多くの参加者は陶炎祭で得た収入が年収の大部分を収めている。しかし震災後、日本の経済は更に低迷し、手作り品に高いお金を払う人が減ってしまった懸念がある。

作品が問いかける問題はいくつかある。3つの災難は勝司さんと恵子さんの人生観、そして生き方をどう変えたか。福島原発の事故があり、エネルギーについて考えさせられた日本人。そして、世界中で起きている金融システムの破壊で価値観を考え直すようになった多くの人々。物欲を捨て、意義のある生き方を選んだ勝司さんと恵子さんから私たちが学べることは何か。2人は工芸祭で作品を売ることができるだろうか。そして、工芸祭を通して何を得られるか。工芸祭は笠間市の陶芸家たち、そして日本全体にどんな意味を持たらすだろうか。

ご協力のお願い

皆様のご支援により、撮影及びポストプロダクション(映像編集、グラフィックス処理、音声編集)を進めることができます。そして、作曲家へオリジナル音楽を依頼することができます。小さなご負担でないことは承知していますが、本作品の完成にご賛同して頂ける方々のご協力を承れれば幸いです。

他にできること

寄付が難しいという方は、作品のことを友人に知らせたり、Facebookで情報をアップしていただければ幸いです。「笠間焼」の Facebook ページに「いいね」をクリックしていただけるだけでも光栄です。いかに制作資金を集められるかに作品の運命はゆだねられています。何卒、お力添え頂けますよう、お願い申し上げます。2012年3月31日まで受け付けたく思います。

ありがとう

この作品に興味を持っていただき、誠にありがとうございます。「笠間焼」ブログで作品に関するニュースを随時アップしていますので、是非ご覧ください。両親から送られて来る猫の写真もアップしていきます。メール登録も忘れずに!

FAQ

Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.

Ask a question
152
Backers
$16,776
pledged of $15,000 goal
0
seconds to go
Turtle%20sq.medium

See full bio

  • Pledge $10 or more
    You selected

    15 backers

    Hand-written thank you card from the director

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $25 or more
    You selected

    18 backers

    Set of five "Kasama-Yaki" postcards

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $40 or more
    You selected

    23 backers

    Digital download of "Kasama-Yaki" once it has been released

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $50 or more
    You selected

    14 backers

    Custom sumi ink Thank You painting by Katsuji and Shigeko

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $75 or more
    You selected

    11 backers

    Digital download of “Kasama-Yaki” once it has been released, and a custom sumi ink Thank You painting by Katsuji and Shigeko

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $100 or more
    You selected

    16 backers

    Name in Thank You section of credits and a signed DVD of “Kasama-Yaki” once it has been released.

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $200 or more
    You selected

    8 backers

    Name in Thank You section of credits, a signed DVD of “Kasama-Yaki” once it has been released, and a Japanese-style teacup made by Katsuji and Shigeko Kokubo

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $300 or more
    You selected

    5 backers

    Name in Thank You section of credits, a signed DVD of “Kasama-Yaki” once it has been released, and two Japanese-style teacups made by Katsuji and Shigeko Kokubo

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $500 or more
    You selected

    1 backer

    Name in Thank You section of credits, a signed DVD of “Kasama-Yaki” once it has been released, two Japanese-style teacups and two plates made by Katsuji and Shigeko

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $1,000 or more
    You selected

    0 backers

    Name in Thank You section of credits, a signed DVD of “Kasama-Yaki” once it has been released, two Japanese-style teacups, two plates, a ceramic cat figurine, and a custom sumi ink painting on washi paper made by Katsuji and Shigeko

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $2,000 or more
    You selected

    1 backer

    Named as Associate Producer in film credits, a signed DVD of “Kasama-Yaki” once it has been released, two Japanese-style teacups, two plates, a ceramic cat figurine, and a sumi ink painting on washi paper by Katsuji and Shigeko

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $5,000 or more
    You selected

    1 backer Limited (1 left of 2)

    Named as Executive Producer in film credits, a signed DVD of “Kasama-Yaki” once it has been released, two Japanese-style teacups, two plates, a ceramic cat figurine, a sumi ink painting on washi paper by Katsuji and Shigeko, and a private screening in NYC for you and your guests

    Estimated delivery:
Funding period

- (32 days)