More About the Japanese Political ‘Campaign’

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Last summer, POV aired Campaign, a startling insider’s view of Japanese electoral politics. Shot in just 12 days in October 2005, filmmaker Kazuhiro Soda’s portrait of a man plucked from obscurity by the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) to run for a critical seat on a suburban city council is an insightful — and endearing — look at a political process steeped in cultural traditions.

Campaign was a great hit with television audiences and on the festival circuit around the world — viewers admired the vérité style in which Soda shot the film (he was a one-man crew, shooting the entire film in just 12 days) and marveled at the candid portrait of a political novice guided into his first elected position on a suburban city council by the LDP.

When we were putting the website for Campaign together, one of the resources that we found invaluable was Election Campaigning Japanese Style, the 1971 book on the tradition of political campaigning in Japan by Gerald L. Curtis, Burgess Professor of Political Science at Columbia University and former director of Columbia’s Weatherhead East Asian Institute. We’re pleased to announce that the book, long available only in hardcover, is now available in paperback with a new foreword — that mentions Soda’s Campaign! For more information, please visit the Columbia University Press website.

And if you missed the film when it was broadcast in July, you can still watch the film in its entirety on the POV website, where you’ll also find information about purchasing the DVD.

Catherine Jhee
Catherine Jhee
Catherine Jhee was formerly a producer with POV Interactive.
  • E.Umana

    FOREIGNID: 18197
    No wonder this was a hit, This sort of reminds me of our current chief executive, when he spoke at the DNC convention in 2004, who would have thought he would now be our president.
    In this Japanese candidates’s case, I was thinking, this sound like American style campaign tactics, I was struck by the comment that people don’t want details, Just keep mentioning your name frequently.
    As an American voter, in our past election, I care about details and I believe Japanese voters care as well. Very interesting.

  • Josh Randall

    FOREIGNID: 18198
    Just listening to our new president speak to the nation… Can candidates/Presidents not just answer a question directly?