Documentary SOUR STRAWBERRIES, on Japan’s NJ labor, screening schedule Mar 21-31 Tokyo Nagoya Osaka Okayama Kumamoto


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========= PRESS RELEASE =============


A documentary by Daniel Kremers and Tilman Koenig, Leipzig, Germany
on “Japan’s Hidden Workers” and human rights

Hi all. An hourlong documentary, on how NJ workers are being treated as part of Japan’s labor force, will be shown nationwide, from Tsukuba to Kumamoto, with stops in Tokyo, Nagoya, Shiga, Osaka, and Okayama.

========= WHAT THE MOVIE IS ABOUT =========

The documentary “Sour Strawberries – Japan’s hidden guest workers” was shot in March 2008 by a German-Japanese film crew in Tokyo. The movie shows migrants fighting for their rights as workers and citizens. The persons concerned are always at the centre of interest. While describing their situation, they are the protagonists of the movie. Contains interviews with NJ workers on their treatment, with input from people like migration expert Dr Gabriele Vogt, Dietmember Kouno Taro, Keidanren policymaker Inoue Hiroshi, labor rights leader Torii Ippei, Dietmember Tsurunen Marutei, and activist Arudou Debito, who gives us an animated tour of “Japanese Only” signs in Kabukicho.

More information and stills from the movie at
A three-minute promo of the movie at

May I add that I have seen the movie, and it is excellent.
========= ========= ========= =========

In lieu of the directors, Arudou Debito will host the movie screenings at each of the venues below and lead discussions in English and Japanese. (The movie is subtitled in both English and Japanese simultaneously.)  Screening schedule as follows (with information on how to get there from adjacent links):

========= TOKYO AND KANTO AREA =========

AKIHABARA: Sat March 21, 5PM Second Harvest Japan Offices
Sponsored by distributor of food to the homeless Second Harvest Japan

TSUKUBA: Sun March 22, evening screening
(venue still being arranged, please contact Debito at if you are interested in attending)
Sponsored by City Assemblyman Jon Heese (

SHINBASHI: Mon March 23, 7PM at NUGW Main Office
Sponsored by the National Union of General Workers

TAKADANOBABA: Tues March 24, 7:30 PM at Ben’s Cafe
Sponsored by Amnesty International AITEN group

========= CHUBU AND KANSAI AREA =========

NAGOYA: Weds March 25, 6PM Nagoya University Kougakubu Building 2 North Building Room 332
Number 30 on the map at

HIKONE: Thurs March 26, 1PM to 3PM, Shiga University
(please contact Dr Robert Aspinall at aspinall_robert AT hotmail DOT com for venue)

OSAKA: Thurs March 26, 7:30PM The Blarney Stone, Osaka
Sponsored by Osaka Amnesty International, EWA Osaka, Democrats Abroad Japan, and Osaka JALT.

========= FARTHER SOUTH =========

OKAYAMA: Sat March 28, Japanese screening (1:30PM) then English (3:30PM),
Sankaku A Bldg 2F, Omotecho, Okayama. Sponsored by Okayama JALT.

KUMAMOTO: Tues March 31, 2PM, Kumamoto Gakuen Daigaku, Bldg 14, Rm 1411 on the first floor.

========= HOKKAIDO =========

April 2009, Sapporo SOUR STRAWBERRIES screening for the Hokkaido International Business Association (HIBA) (BEING FINALIZED)


Please note that all screenings will have a voluntary contribution of 500 yen per person. (The directors went to great time and expense to create this documentary; let’s do what we can to compensate them.)

Fifty copies of the movie will also be on sale at the venue for 1500 yen each. If you would like to contact the directors directly, email and

See you in late March!
Arudou Debito in Sapporo

2 comments on “Documentary SOUR STRAWBERRIES, on Japan’s NJ labor, screening schedule Mar 21-31 Tokyo Nagoya Osaka Okayama Kumamoto

  • In Osaka, why would they show the movie in an Irish pub?!Compared with other screenings (Nagoya Uni, Shiga Uni,Kumamoto Gakuen, NUGW) I don’t think an Irish pub is good for such a serious movie. There are many universities and public facilites in Osaka too, for what matters!I really dounbt the local Hellowork(Ekimae dai 2 Biru-very close to the pub, in fact) would disagree to leave their main seminar hall open for two hours more in order to educate the foreign workers about their rights.
    I want to see this movie,but I can’t. Why? Because I’m pregnant and I simply cannot stay 2 hours in a cloud of cigarette smoke in a pub, where an orange juice is 700 yen. There certainly will be drunken people there, and some will get drunk during the screening, and may get …too exited and do some stupid stuff, inside or outside the pub.A pub is not a place for people like me.I’m really envious to my kohais in my ex-alma mater, who will watch the movie in a quiet dark hall, no talking, no smoking…

    — Sorry. I put out feelers for this event many months ago, and these are the venues that were secured by local volunteers. Best I can do. And I doubt the pub is going to turn into a zoo that night. Maybe give them a call via the link to their website and ask if the venue is non-smoking, and how much an orange juice actually costs?

  • I can’t go because I have to work. Oh the bitter, bitter irony. But seriously, how many of us are not working at 7:30pm on a Thursday?

    — I guess the people who arranged it. Sorry.

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