UTCP Film Screening — Okinawa: The Afterburn

Mark Roberts's picture

Dear Colleagues,

Please join us at UTCP for a special public screening and discussion with filmmaker John Junkerman, on Wednesday, June 15th at 18:00.

Okinawa: The Afterburn

Date: Wednesday, June 15th at 18:00
Venue: Collaboration Room 3 (4F), Building 18, University of Tokyo, Komaba Campus
Language: English | No Registration Required | Admission Free 


On April 1, 1945, the US military landed on Okinawa, beginning a battle that lasted 12 weeks and claimed the lives of some 240,000 people. This film depicts the Battle through the eyes of Japanese and American soldiers who fought each other on the same battlefields, along with Okinawa civilians who were swept up in the fighting, with carefully selected footage from the US National Archives.

The film conveys the complex postwar fate of Okinawa, an island that has had to live side-by-side with an extensive array of US bases, and the related crimes, accidents, and pollution they have caused, while coexisting, on a personal level, with the occupying soldiers. 

In Okinawa, the legacy of the war translates into a deeply rooted aversion to military force. This has been expressed in recent years by the island-wide rejection of the plan to build a new US base at Henoko, a source of controversy to this day. Okinawa: The Afterburn explores the roots of this resistance and Okinawa’s vision for the future.

Note: this is a new, shortened, bilingual version of the film, with English voice-over, and Japanese subtitles for the English interviews.

John Junkerman is an independent filmmaker living in Tokyo. He directed the Oscar-nominated Hellfire: A Journey from Hiroshima (1986). Uminchu: The Old Man and the East China Sea (1990) featured a marlin fisherman in Okinawa. He produced and directed a 4-part PBS series, The Mississippi: River of Song (1999). Power and Terror (2002) was the first film to address the American response to 9.11. Japan’s Peace Constitution (2005) won several best documentary prizes in Japan.
Organized by The University of Tokyo Center for Philosophy (UTCP), Uehiro Research Division