Ms. Ito and Mr. Yuta Okamura in the first half of 2019 in chronological order. The sources are colored as followed:
Posts on social media➡
My comments will be indicated by 💡, actions of Ms. Ito by 🔴, actions of Mr. Yamaguchi by 🔵, actions of Mr. Ahlmark by 💚, and actions of Mr. Okamura by 💛.
👆Mr. Okamura worked as the director and Ms. Ito as the camera operator
👆The release date of the video was February 14, so considering the time for editing and the other aspects of filmmaking, they probably filmed in LA around late January or early February.
Feb 05: 🔴Opened Hanashi Films Facebook page
💡Ms. Ito started a documentary film production company with Hanna Aqvilin, the planner and assistant producer of BBC2 documentary "Japan's Secret Shame."
👆With the local producer in Sierra Leone, Mohamed Saidu Bah
👆Filmed before she went to Sierra Leone, it can be around the end of 2018?
Feb 26: 🔴Announced the founding of Hanashi Films on Facebook
On the same day, Hanashi Films announced on the Facebook page that the documentary "Japan's Secret Shame" was nominated for the Royal Television Society Awards.
Mar 01: 🔴Attended the Royal Television Society Awards with Hanna Aqvilin and Erica Jenkin, the director and the producer of "Japan's Secret Shame".【London】
👆Only nominated and missed the award. Ms. Aqvilin on the left, Ms. Jenkin in the center
Mar 06: 🔵Mr. Yamaguchi counterclaimed Mr. Yoshinori Kobayashi, a manga artist and critic, and Ms. Ito for libel
👆[Report of litigation]
Last month I filed a suit to the Tokyo District Court for defamation against Mr. Yoshinori Kobayashi and others. It is because he drew a manga that asserted me as a criminal without grounds and spread it throughout Japan. I contributed to the Monthly Hanada, which is currently on sale, regarding this process.
I also filed a suit last month for defamation against a woman who claimed there has been a criminal act.
It is a free decision of the individual to speculate that "it may be true because a young woman has reported damage." But the women's allegation has already been dismissed twice by the prosecutor and the Committee for the Inquest of Prosecution. The prosecutor who is a professional criminal investigator and the Committee that consists of 11 members of the general public examined all the testimony and evidence in detail and rejected the woman's request. If one claims it is still correct, then it is a natural duty to show the grounds.
If you assert that "that person is a criminal" and disseminate it publicly without showing any grounds, the claim itself is a crime.
From now on, I will fight against all the persons and organizations that have slandered me without grounds. If you leave the caller who disseminates false information as if it were true and has no distinction between speech and crime, then you may become a victim of defamation next time.
💡Ms. Ito participated in the production as a camera person in South Korea, but the announcement is so simple that she doesn't seem interested at all. By the way, this is one of the CNA "Undercover Asia" series that follows "Lonely Death", the director is Mr. Ahlmark and Mr. Yusuke Haya who edited "Lonely Death" with Mr. Ahlmark. I'm an amateur in films, but I felt that this "North Korean Ghost Ship" and "Lonely Death" were very similar in their photography and atmosphere, although the themes are completely different.
💡She says in the comment, "I hated myself and my body (and) after I was violated."
However, looking at these photos posted on social media in 2015, not so long after the incident, I can't really feel that Ms. Ito dislikes her body. In fact, she seems to like to wear tight clothes that emphasize her slim body. Actions speak louder than words.
Mar 18: 🔴💛Mr. Okamura resumes Twitter. Went to Yubari with Ms. Ito for filming【Hokkaido】
👆Came to Yubari for filming. The air is so clean, it feels good.
Mar 21: 💛Mr. Okamura made a support video for Hokkaido governor candidate, Naomichi Suzuki
👆Mr. Naomichi Suzuki appears in their Yubari documentary, probably that's why Mr. Okamura made a support video for him. For Mr. Okamura, it's like an easy job.
Mar 27: 🔴Ms. Ito posted a trailer of "My beautiful dying city, Yuparo" and requested support for crowdfunding
👆“Yuparo, My Beautiful Dying City” Our New Documentary teaser is out!
A trailer for the documentary about Yubari, "Euparo no Michi" is released! It has been five years since I started interviewing. No matter what happens, there are people in Yubari who always smile and say "welcome back" and surround the dining table with me. It has become like my home where I can feel safe. Although the city is drawing attention for various issues such as “financial bankruptcy” and “population decline”, there is a lot to learn from the wealth and warmth of Yubari people. We want the film to convey the warmth, so we proceed as a self-produced movie, not for a reporting program. Recently, we started crowdfunding for the completion of the movie. I would be happy if you could join us in completing this documentary together.
💡Here she writes the title of the work as "Yuparo, My Beautiful Dying City'', but when she uploaded it on her Vimeo in Dec 2018, she miswrote the title as "My beautiful dying city, Yubari (Tokyo Docs Official Selection)''.
What kind of director writes the wrong title? By the way, on the website of Mr. Yuta Okamura, who is the associate producer and, I think, who is the actual director too, the title is properly written as "YUPARO: MY BEAUTIFUL DYING CITY".
👆We started crowdfunding for Yubari's documentary "Euparo no Michi"! The director is Ms. Shiori Ito. We would appreciate your support for the documentary of Yubari, which we have been covered for nearly five years!
He says "we have been covered for nearly five years,'' it sounds as if they've been continuously going to Yubari for 5 years. But Ms. Ito went there with Reuters colleague, Ms. Megumi, twice in 2015, and went back in Feb 2016 for the coverage of the "Yubari International Film Festival", and after that, I couldn't find any trace that she went back to Yubari until 2018.
As Ms. Ito herself admits in the article on imidas, it was Ms. Megumi who first began to cover Yubari. Ms. Ito decided to visit Yubari because she felt that overseas media would be interested in it. She says the reason why she filmed the documentary "Lonely Death" is also because "the topic of the aging society can get attention from overseas media".
She met Mr. Yuta Okamura, a promising movie director, in 2018, and started to revisit Yubari in the latter half of 2018 to create a self-produced documentary with a theme that can attract attention from overseas probably so that she can win award races.
Apr 10: 🔴 Launching of "Open the Black Box" 【Tokyo】
The support group of Ms. Ito "Open the Black Box" was founded by Yang JingJa, who is the joint representative of "Nationwide action to solve the Japanese Army comfort women issue" and also the director of a general incorporated association "Seed of Hope Fund". As I explained in the previous post, she brought together Ms. Ito and the comfort women grandmothers in October of the previous year.
💡From the speech of the launch meeting on Apr 10, and from the article on "Shimbun Akahata (Newspaper of Japanese Communist Party)" above, it is clear that Mr. Yamaguchi's counterclaim triggered the launch of the support group "Open the Black Box." Ms. Ito has a defense team of six lawyers for the civil trial. She has been sought after as a "sexual victim" from all over the world, but I don't know if she makes enough money to pay for it by herself.
🔴Ms. Ito resumed Twitter. Informed her speech on online harassment at UNESCO World Press Freedom Day【Addis Ababa】
💛Mr. Okamura launched the website of "Open the Black Box"
May 10: 🔴Announced on Facebook that she appeared on an Ethiopian radio program 【Addis Ababa】
May 11: 💛Attended the European Union Film Festival in Hollywood【LA】
May 11: 🔴Announced on Facebook to speak at PEN AMERICA in New York 【NY】
🔴💛Booked a shared room in London through a private lodging site and stayed【London】
💡I don't know what date in May and how long they stayed, but considering the schedule of Ms. Ito and Mr. Okamura in the first half of May, it seems that they flew to London separately from NY and LA respectively. It is clear from the host's review written after the stay that Ms. Ito introduced themselves as "Me and my partner" to the host.
Ms. Ito may not have her own room in London. Otherwise, she wouldn't have to bother to book a shared type room on a private lodging site in London. I've covered this in detail in a previous post, so please read it if you haven't.
May 27: 💛Shared Ms. Ito's interview article and asked support for crowdfunding of Yubari documentary on Twitter
👆Thank you for supporting Yubari Documentary. We reached 65% of the goal at our crowdfunding! We will continue to do our best! With appreciation from Sierra Leone in the rainy season.
💡He retweeted at almost the same time as Ms. Ito's tweet, and the time was midnight in Japan. Also, Mr. Okamura later said that he "partially participated in the filming", so it is highly possible that he was at Sierra Leone with her at this time.
👆I started writing a column on Imidas. In my first column, I wrote about Yubari.
Only 10 days left for crowdfunding at @motiongallery! It'd be great if you could consider supporting.
👆Director Ito has started her column. Her first one is about our documentary “Yuparo no Michi”! There are 10 days left until the end of crowdfunding! Please kindly consider your support!
Crowdfunding and Attempted Suicide
They started the crowdfunding of the Yubari documentary on Mar 27. Mr. Okamura was also putting a lot of effort into it, and you can see the two requested support via social media one after another. In the latter half of June, they continuously tweeted "it reached 65%" and "only 10 more days left".
This crowdfunding was done on a website called "Motion Gallery". On Jun 25, when they were about to reach the target of 5 million yen, Mr. Okamura tweeted that he launched another crowdfunding for their Yubari documentary on "Indiegogo", a sister website of "Motion Gallery" in America.
Three days later, Ms. Ito suddenly attempted suicide (at least she says so).
Jun 28: 🔴Hospitalized for 1-2 days due to attempted suicide
We will look at this suicide attempt and the time series for the second half of 2019 in the next post.
You can click the link below to see the Japanese version of this post.