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Directed by: Ai Iwane 2020 | 20 min.|©Telecom Staff, Inc.
Languages: English, Japanese, with English subtitles
Genres: Documentary


Director: Ai Iwane
Producer: Fumiko Horiuchi
Cinematographer: Soichiro Hirabayashi, Ai Iwane
Editor: Tomomi Kikuchi
Sound Recording: Kimio Hayasaka
Production Management: Akane Inoue
Post Production:
Takehiko Watanabe, Kazuhisa Sekiya, Misaho Hara
from Cinema Sound Works

Music: Jenny Scheinman
Chanting: Kauʻi Kanakaʻole

Featuring: Rodney Chin, Rev. Gensho Hara, Kuʻuipo Kanakaʻole, Kauʻi Kanakaʻole, Aiko Sato

Thanks to:
Yumi Hasegawa, Yosuke Zen Moriya, Nicolai Schou Larsen

Special Thanks to:
Yuji Nakae
Film “Bon Uta, A Song from Home”



“KIPUKA -New Beginnings” is about five abandoned Japanese Cemeteries in Hawaiʻi, and their grave keepers who share the memories, filmed entirely in Hawaiʻi. The story begins with the cemetery of Sentaro Ishii in Kipahulu Maui, a quiet site where the first immigrant from Japan was buried. This film shows the view of life and death, tracing the awareness of human entities surviving amidst repeated loss and elimination. From a cemeteries miraculous survival from lava flow in Pahoa, to the burial ground found in a sugar cane field at the time of the Hawaiʻi Commercial & Sugar Company closure, the film entitled KIPUKA describes as the meaning in Hawaiian, an oasis of vegetation surrounded by lava flow; a place where the seeds of new life spread. The images are connected with panoramic photos, which the director / photographer Ai Iwane visited and shot the sites with a 1930’s classic rotating panoramic camera called Kodak Cirkut.

kipuka_01 kipuka_02 kipuka_03

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