Event Details

What makes Japanese people, "Japanese?"

Filmmaker Ema Ryan Yamazaki offers a unique lens to this question by playing observer to the Japanese education system, carefully uncovering the cultural intricacies that define what it truly means to be Japanese. Her latest feature-length documentary film, "The Making of a Japanese," premiered at the Tokyo International Film Festival, closely follows and portrays the daily life of an elementary school in western Tokyo amidst the pandemic.

Join us at Asia Society Japan on July 1st for an evening of film and discussion, where we have the privilege of hosting a special preview screening "Instruments of a Beating Heart," a New York Times op-doc providing a preview of Yamazaki's upcoming feature film, "The Making of a Japanese," scheduled for public release later this year. In addition, Yamazaki will share with us highlights from her previous film, "Koshien: Japan's Field of Dreams," a film that delves deep in to the highly competitive world of Japanese High-School baseball. This film provides additional insight into the educational and emotional journey experienced by Japanese youth.

Together with Yamazaki, we are joined by New York Times Tokyo Bureau chief, Motoko Rich and educator-turned Setagaya-City Assembly member Risa Kamio, who will share their professional perspectives as we discuss and delve deeper into what defines and shapes the Japanese identity. As we explore the intricate details of the Japanese education system and schools on a micro level, we also aim to offer a broader understanding and discussion of Japanese society, examining its culture and policies on a macro scale.

Event and Registration Details

  • This event will be conducted in-person, and registration is required.
  • Participation is for members & guests only. Please pay your fee by credit card (Visa or Mastercard only) or at the door.
  • Tickets are ¥3,500 in advance by credit card and ¥4,000 at the door.


In-person: Founding Member

This ticket is for in-person attendance for Asia Society Japan Founding Members only.

Member Price Complimentary
In-person: Guest

This ticket is for in-person attendance for members’ guests or Asia21 Fellows.
- Standard Price: Pay online
- Door Price: Pay at the door on the day

Standard Price ¥3,500
Door Price ¥4,000


International House of Japan (B1)


If you have any questions please contact Asia Society Japan Center

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