Tohoku no Shingetsu: Stage I

A feature doc about the people of Tohoku's heroic struggle to reclaim love and beauty

Tohoku No Shingetsu: Stories from Iwate, Miyagi & Fukushima


The horror of Japan's 2011 tsunami and Fukushima nuclear disaster has subsided, yet more than 350,000 people are still displaced and Fukushima remains a threat.  

Here you see beauty and traditions being restored and preserved in so many ways, despite the disaster conditions and loss.

After spending a year and a half participating in recovery efforts in northeastern Japan, I have decided to make a documentary film about some of the moving and inspiring stories from Tohoku that I have witnessed. (see ‘relief efforts’ below for details)

Tohoku no Shingetsu will tell the story of an older man who plants sunflowers in evacuated areas contaminated by nuclear radiation, of a health worker who lives in temporary housing and still makes house calls around the region, and of a family with seven children who were displaced by the nuclear disaster.

The lives of these survivors represent the breadth of our human experience: the universal story of loss, death, and struggle...and of beauty, birth, and renewal.

Thank you to everyone who contributed to our project in Stage I

To date, over 150 people in several countries including Canada, the USA, Japan, Germany, and Australia have contributed over $21,000 USD.

These contributions helped us to purchase proper film and sound recording equipment, and basic digital filming needs. They also help to cover some of the travel costs as we continue to film throughout the Tohoku region. 

Continuing the Tohoku no Shingetsu campaign: Stage II

We are still short of a minimum goal that will meet the basic no-frills budget required to produce a high quality documentary.

As the second anniversary of the March 11th Tohoku disaster approaches, it is critical that we raise funds to hire at least one professional cameraperson to come and work alongside me.

These funds will also enable the post-production editing, music and sound design that will begin in the months to come.

The Title

"Why the title, 'Tohoku no Shingetsu?'

Shingetsu is Japanese for a new moon.

People say, "There is no moon tonight because it's the new moon."

But we always know that behind the shadow of a new moon is the same moon we have admired on many beautiful full moon nights. This is 'Tohoku no Shingetsu'.



Film Production

Tohoku no Shingetsu is an independently produced, feature-length documentary by an award winning Canadian filmmaker with the help of individuals around the world.

This film is intended for international film festivals, theatre screenings, educational uses, DVD's, and possible television broadcast.

This film is being shot over four seasons in several locations in the damaged coastline areas of the provinces of Miyagi, Iwate, and Fukushima. Post-production will be done in Vancouver Canada. 

Please keep in mind, that it is very unlikely that any money will be made by this film.

It is very rare for independent documentary films to make any profit. These films are made for other important reasons, not for financial gain. 

Giving back for the future generations: the Tohoku-Hiroshima connection

If any profit revenue is made from this film, 50% will be donated to support the programs of an international film school (inspired by film director Nobuhiko Obayashi) in Onomichi, Hiroshima, Japan to assist young filmmakers to tell tomorrow’s stories.

Director Profile: Linda Ohama

Linda Ohama is a documentary filmmaker, visual artist, writer, and educator, who has been working in film for over 20 years. Her documentaries have been screened in the US, Canada, Europe, and Asia and received numerous awards.

Learn more: http://www.lindaohama.com/

Some Recent Awards:

November 2012 - Greater Vancouver YMCA Peace Award

October 2011 - National Nikkei Heritage NNHC Humanitarian Award

2003 – Five Leo Awards including 'Best Director' in Documentary, 'Best Scriptwriting' for Documentary

First film, “The Last Harvest,”(1992) *Winner: Best Documentary at the Banff Television Festival. *Winner: Silver Awards at the Philadelphia and Chicago International Film Festivals. *Selected in competition by several international film festivals including Cinema du Reel in Paris France.

First feature documentary, “Obaachan’s Garden”(2002), produced by the NFB Canada, screened at several major international film festivals. *Winner: 5 Leo Awards: best director,best sound,best cinematography. *Winner: ‘Audience Choice Awards’ at Vancouver International F.F., Newport Beach California I.F.F., and Turin Italy I.F.F..*Nominated for a Genie Award. *Screened for Oscar nomination consideration. 

Recent documentary, “A Sense of Onomichi” produced in Japan. *Selected by 2011 Tokyo International Short Short Film Festival and Mexico S.F.F.



Ohama's Involvement with Relief Efforts in Tohoku

  • Helped to raise $200,000 (over ¥18,500,000) at the Vancouver 2011 Ganbare Japan Benefit Concert.
  • Distributed $300,000 (over ¥28,000,000) in direct donations to nine Tohoku fishing communities initiated from B.C., and followed by Alaska fishing communities.
  • Organized the Canada-Tohoku-Japan Kids to Kids Cloth Letters Project: www.clothletters.com  

Quotes from Others

 "The beauty and strength of Tohoku will go to the world through this film..." Hirohide Matsuda, writer, Kahoku Newspaper, Sendai, Tohoku, Feb.7,2013 http://www.kahoku.co.jp/news/2013/02/20130207t75022.htm

 "Ms. Ohama played an integral role in organizing this benefit concert...raising over $200,000 for the Tohoku relief programs....truly inspiring to witness her assiduous commitment."  Dan Nomura, President of Canadian Fishing Company, Vancouver                  

 "With Linda's groundwork, the Alaska Fishing Industry Relief Mission funded over $250,000.00 US to help nine fishing communities in Tohoku…we were especially impressed that Linda did not ask for any expenses to be paid."  Larry Cotter, Chairman, Alaska AFIRM, Juneau, Alaska

 "Prime Minister Harper and I were very moved to see these cloth messages..." Hon. Bev Oda, former Canadian Minister for International Cooperation, Ottawa Canada



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