Dancing Zempukuji

From Korean drumming “Chango” to Japanese Butoh and contemporary dance…
This is a celebration of all forms of performing arts!

Documentary / Japan / 2013 / 50 minutes / HD Video / Colour

Yumiko Hayakawa


Tucked in a corner of Tokyo’s Western district, Zempukuji is one of the neighborhoods to which people fled to during the bombings of WWII, and it has come to foster a unique culture which has attracted many artists and creators.

This film documents the song and dance of those who live in Zempukuji. From Korean drumming “Chango” to Kagura, Edo kappore, Butoh and contemporary dance, this is a celebration of all forms of performing arts which play out upon the stage of Zempukuji.

At the same time this film also offers an insight into the everyday lives of some of Zempukuji’s oldest inhabitants, its centenarian. In the span of a century how have we changed? What has remained unchanging? Here one resident of 102 years, still actively running his own coffee bean store, talks of a Japan which few have heard of before.

This work aims to reawaken something sleeping within us all, to open our eyes, catch our spirit and send us into a dance.



  • Main characters

    Choi Jae Chol
    Ayako Horikoshi
    Isao Horikoshi
    Minato Horikoshi
    Nanami Horikoshi
    Tatsuhiko Iino
    Michiyo Iino
    Wataru Iino
    Hiromasa Ishiyama (Nation's intangible folklore cultural asset)
    Kyuzo Ando
    Hiroko Tanihara
    Masako Takahashi
    Chikako Takahashi
    Fusayo Hashimoto
    Kapore Kapore Yoitona
    Hikaru Otsubo
    Masakazu Osugi
    Koam Chanrasmey

  • Director/editing

    Yumiko Hayakawa

  • Filming

    Yumiko Hayakawa
    Koam Chanrasmey

  • Stills

    Masako Takahashi
    Naohiko Omino
    Hideyuki Omino
    Kunimaru Yamagami

  • Title

    Yoshio Shimizu

  • English subtitles

    Emma Ota

  • Locations

    Igusa Hachimangu
    Yu Yu Zempukuji-kan
    Resort Cafe Octave

  • DVD jacket design

    Yoshiki Tomita

  • Special thanks

    Trolls in the Park



  • Mid-length Film Festival (2014)


  • Afghanistan International Women's Film Festival (2015, Afghanistan)
  • International Association of Women in Radio & Television (IAWRT) (2015, India)
  • Hanoi DOCLAB (2014, Viet Nam)