Born in 1969, Nara Prefecture of Japan. Filmmaker.
Her independent movies “Embracing” (1992) and “Katatsumori” (1994) brought her much worldwide acclaim after being introduced at the 1995 Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival.
She made her debut in cinema with “Suzaku” (1997) and was the youngest director ever to be awarded the Caméra d'Or (Golden Camera) at the 50th Cannes International Film Festival.
Her next creation, “The Weald” (1997) received the Special Mention Award at the Vision du Reel in 1999.
"Hotaru" (2000), premiered for the Competition at the 2000 Locarno International Film Festival in Switzerland‚ was presented with 2 awards: FIPRESCI Prize and CICAE Prize. Additionally, “Hotaru” received the Best Achievement Award in Cinematography & Directing and the Leading Actress Award (Yuko Nakamura) at the Buenos Aires International Film Festival in 2001. Her retrospectives were introduced at the 1st Alba International Film Festival‚ Italy and at the 2002 Jeu de Paume hosted by Petit Palais in Paris‚ as well as at the REDCAT Theater located in Los Angeles in 2005.
Other feature films she has created include "Manguekyo" (1999), "Kya Ka Ra Ba A" (2001) (co-produced with ARTE, a French TV corporation), "Letter from a Yellow Cherry Blossom" (2002), and "KAGE -Shadow-" (2004).
Her latest documentary film "Tarachime" (2006) was awarded the Special Prize at the 2007 Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival.
"The Mourning Forest (Mogari no Mori)" (2007)‚ the Grand Prix winning film of the 60th Cannes International Film Festival‚ hit the screens in Japan on July, 2007 and is now available on DVD.
She was awarded the Carrosse d'Or (Golden Coach) at the 62nd Cannes International Film Festival.
In addition‚ she is engaged in other creative works including commercial films‚ novels, and essays. At the Nara International Film Festival, planned to be held in 2010, she will act as the Executive Director.