A new documentary by deaf Japanese filmmaker Ayako Imamura will debut next month in Tokyo. Coffee and A Pencil is about competitive surfer Tatsuro Ota. The 49-year-old deaf man runs a Hawaiian goods shop in Kosai, where both pro and amateur surfers come to find new boards, order repair work or just hang out. Ota offers a cup of coffee to every visitor - and a pencil with which to write notes, since few people in Japan know sign language. He learned the value of hospitality from his parents who entertained guests in their home with magic shows. The 67 minute film includes touching moments, such as Ota consoling a young surfer who bursts into tears after losing a competition. Filmmaker Ayako Imamura has created more than two dozen short films about the lives of deaf people in Japan and her latest offering is being translated into English, so it can be submitted at film festivals in the U.S. The 32-year-old Nagoya native studied filmmaking at the California State University at Northridge.
Kohi to Enpitsu (or Coffee and A Pencil in English) will play for two weeks in Shinjuku, Tokyo starting March 10. For more information, visit here.