Of Girls

Country: Japan
Duration: 43 mins
|10 Seconds
Sound: Stereo
Ratio: Scope
Available Format/s: HD Video / DCP
Original Format: 4K Video


Filmed in Tokyo and Yokohama, of girls brings a variety of contemporary voices in resonance with two distinct female voices from Japan’s literary and political past. Both popular authors of their time—the period from the late 1920s on—Fumiko Hayashi and Yuriko Miyamoto both died young, in 1951. They each had a strong feminist and class consciousness as well as an impressive literary voice, but came from very different backgrounds and expressed their ideals through different paths.

Born to a deprived family, Fumiko Hayashi made her name as an author with semi-autobiographical fiction novels and poetries, in which she openly expressed a sense of female class solidarity and sexual desire. With her success she eventually designed and built her own house in Shinjuku, Tokyo. During the wars, she was sent by the Imperial Army and major newspapers to the occupied territories—among them Indonesia—and contributed various articles and poems.

Yuriko Miyamoto is remembered for the political rigor of her writings and life that pursued socialist ideals and women’s liberation. She was born into a privileged family, and married a Japanese man after her study in New York, but left him after meeting the researcher of Russian literature, writer and openly lesbian Yoshiko Yuasa. For seven years Miyamoto lived with Yuasa, and she wrote several novels about their relationship. Later she married the socialist leader Kenji Miyamoto and continued supporting him in prison, while Yuriko herself was imprisoned various times.

The power and contradictions in both these women’s words reverberate in dialogues and images of an intergenerational cast moving through the various spaces of knowledge, memory and culture, and reflect today’s struggles around gender, politics, and love.

More works by Wendelien van Oldenborgh

We’d love to hear from you

If you would like to speak to a member of our team, please get in touch

Skip to content