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Akiko Ohku


Born in Yokohama, Japan. Akiko Ohku graduated from the Meiji University, Faculty of Political Economy. In 1997, she started studying at the Film School of Tokyo. She made her professional directorial debut with the movie ”Tokyo Serendipity” in 2007.


Wedding High (2022)
Hold Me Back (2020)
My Sweet Grappa Remedies (2020)
Marriage Hunting Beauty (2019)
Tremble All You Want (2017)
Fantastic Girls (2015)
Teenage Ennui (2014)
I’m home, Jacqueline! (2013)
Tokyo Nameless Girl’s Story (2012)
Tokyo Serendipity (2007)
Almost Die Hard (1999)

Find them on social media

Twitter @akikoooku

10+5 Questions for Akiko Ohku

1. What is the first film in your memory?
“La Strada” by Federico Fellini

2. What are some of your favorite films?
“Through the Olive Trees”
“Gloria” by John Cassavetes

3. Which creators have you been inspired by or influenced by?
Niki de Saint Phalle

4. What are the films that shook your world or changed your life?
“Fantastic Planet”

5. Are there any Japanese directors of your generation you are inspired by?
Shuichi Okita

6. What does filmmaking mean to you?
A precious workplace I finally found when I couldn’t help but create something.

7. What are you interested in outside of films and filmmaking?
Sumo wrestling watching

8. Where’s your happy place?
By the water, like the ocean and river. 

9. What are the customs or phenomena that are unique to Japan that you want other people to know?
It’s not anything new, nor unique to Japan, but it’s the tradition of taking off one’s shoes when entering a house. I like how it draws the distinctive line between inside and outside.

10. Where would you be in 10 years?
I don’t know. But I hope to continue making movies.


1. What is your favorite moment in the film? (no spoilers)
The dialogue play in the last few minutes of the film.

2. Why did you decide to write/make this film?
Ms. Shiraishi, who produced my previous film “Deeree Girls” pitched this project to me as her “revenge”. As “Deeree Girks” was the first film she produced, she felt like she’d left a lot on the table. Since the original novel was written by Risa Wataya whom I adore, I knew I would be in it even before reading the novel.

3. Were there any films that you watched as a reference or a source of inspiration?
It’s not a movie, but I am a big fan of  “Phineas and Ferb”. I watch it every time I find it playing. Each episode has a musical number which is funny and cool. There is nothing uncool about it by any means. In terms of a character singing in my film, I tried to make it cool like “Phineas and Ferb”. In Japanese, I would describe it “dasa-kakkoii” (“tacky-cool”). 

4. Was there any music you were listening to or book you were reading while you were making this film?
“Taiyo” by Maia Hirasawa. The score in the scene where the protagonist hit rock bottom and bounced back was inspired by this song.

5. Any fun behind-the-scenes anecdotes or episodes you’d like to share?
Please check out the commentary videos on SAKKA!

Message to our audience about this film

The protagonist is selfish, and is not an admirable person at all. But the way she smolders her anger and frustration did not feel foreign to me, and I projected myself into her while I was making this film. The process was like a journey that made me discover the anger and frustration I was still holding inside of me that I want to vent. So, I was determined to go for what I thought was good, and I would have been happy if even one person sincerely loved this film. That was my mentality when I made this film, and I did not listen to other people’s opinions even more than usual (!!) up to the completion. However, once the film was shared with the audience, people from all over the world of different generations and sexualities have come to me and said, “I am Yoshika,” which has been very comforting to me. I would be glad if you like the film, but I would also understand if you find the selfish protagonist extremely annoying. I hope you will have a good time watching it…