SOAS University of London

Japan Research Centre

Japanese Documentary Filmmaker Haneda Sumiko: Authorship and Gender Discourses. 2nd Symposium


Date: 30 September 2021Time: 9:00 AM

Finishes: 30 September 2021Time: 6:00 PM

Venue: Virtual Event

Type of Event: Symposium

Kanatasha and Haneda Sumiko
Photo Credit: "Kanatasha and Haneda Sumiko"

This project, entitled “Japanese Documentary Filmmaker Haneda Sumiko. Authorship and Gender Discourses”, proposes a rediscovery of probably the most important female documentary maker from Japan, Haneda Sumiko (1926-), who was a pioneer female documentarist and one of the most prolific in post-war Japan. Haneda was one of the few women working in the influential Iwanami Productions, where she participated in the creation of many short and long non-fiction works from the early years of the company between 1950s and 1980s and as an independent filmmaker until 2012.

The project is the result of a collaboration of scholars working on Japanese Cinema from several angles -Gender Studies, Documentary Film, Film Theory and Authorship- who are joining efforts to cast light on this still under-researched female director.

Organising committee: Marcos Centeno, Irene González-López, Alejandra Armendáriz-Hernández and Ricardo Matos.

Translations and subtitling of Haneda’s films: Moe Shoji. Revised by Forum Mithani.

Partnership: This event is carried out in partnership between Japan Research Centre (SOAS), BIMI (Birkbeck Institute for Moving Images), Birkbeck, the Japan Foundation and also supported by the Great Britain SASAKAWA Foundation, Nanzan University and "On the Move" Fellowship - Society of Spanish Researcher in the UK (SRUK/CERU).

Queries may be sent to 


Thursday 30th September


9.00am - 9.10am (UK Time) Welcome. Fabio Gygi (JRC Chair)
Marcos Centeno, Irene González-López, Alejandra Armendáriz-Hernández, Ricardo Matos  
9.10am – 10.05am (UK Time)  Mitsuyo Wada-Marciano (Kyoto University)
Making Meaning of Haneda's 'Japanese Women': A Women's College in the Village (Mura no fujin gakkyu, 1957) and The Cherry Tree with Gray Blossoms (Usuzumi no sakura, 1977).
Moderator: Marcos Centeno
10.05am – 10.15am (UK Time) Break
10.15am - 10.35am (UK Time) Marcos Centeno (Birkbeck/UV guest lecturer at Nanzan Univ.)
Haneda Sumiko's Transnational Cinema: Japanese Settlers in Manchuria
10.35am – 10.55am (UK Time) Hikari Hori (Toyo University)
Documentary and the Intimate Sphere: Haneda Sumiko in the 1980s and the 1990s
10.55am – 11.15am (UK Time) Discussion
Moderator: Forum Mithani (Cardiff)
11.20am – 11.45am (UK Time) Screening the work of Haneda Sumiko. Notes on the circulation and distribution of Japanese documentary - Part I
Working with Haneda Sumiko
Pre-recorded conversation with Satō Tokue
, filmmaker, Haneda Sumiko’s personal assistant, Manager of Kanatasha, Inc
Interviewer: Irene González-López


3.00pm – 4.00pm (UK Time) Live Screening: Dedicated Treasures of Horyuji-Temple (Hōryūji ken'nō hōmotsu, Haneda Sumiko, 1971, 20min)
Introduction: Alejandra Armendáriz-Hernández (Universidad Rey Juan Carlos)
4.00pm – 4.55pm (UK Time) Anne McKnight (University of California, Riverside)
Usuzumi and Eco-thinking
Moderator: Teresa Castro (Université Sorbonne Nouvelle - Paris 3)
4.55pm – 5.05pm (UK Time) Break
5.05pm – 5.50pm (UK Time) Screening the work of Haneda Sumiko. Notes on the circulation and distribution of Japanese documentary - Part II
Alexander Jacoby (Oxford Brookes University), Irene González-López (Birkbeck)
Moderator: Ricardo Matos (Birkbeck)
5.50pm – 6.00pm (UK Time) Closing remarks

Friday 1st October - Saturday 2nd October

Online film screening: The Japanese Settlers to the Manchuria and Inner Mongolia of Mainland China (Aa Manmō Kaitaku-dan, Haneda Sumiko, 2008, 120min). BIMI. Free but it is necessary to be enrolled in the symposium to have access to the film.

Past Events Related to this Project

Tribute to Haneda Sumiko
Open City Documentary Festival. ICA. 11th September 2021

Japanese Documentary Filmmaker Haneda Sumiko. Authorship and Gender Discourses
1st Online Symposium 22th July 2021 / Online Screenings 16-17th July + 23rd-24th July 2021
Japan Research Centre (SOAS)


This event is free and open to public. If you would like to attend the event please register. Please register via Zoom.

By registering the conference, you will automatically sign up for the film screening and the password will be given to you on the very date of the screening.