Film & TV

Amarachi Nwosu's New Documentary Explores the Realities of Being a Woman of Color in Japan

A conversation on diversity, inclusivity and representation.

By
711 Hypes

Amarachi Nwosu's New Documentary Explores the Realities of Being a Woman of Color in Japan

A conversation on diversity, inclusivity and representation.

Following her debut work Black in Tokyo, director Amarachi Nwosu is back with a new documentary film titled Women of Color in Japan, which aims to start conversations on social inclusion, equity and representation.

Produced under Melanin Unscripted, the movie spotlights creative women who embrace their diverse backgrounds as they live in Tokyo, Japan. A filmmaker, photographer and writer who spent her childhood in Japan, Ameya shares: “I think in Japan, it’s not so much that I feel disconnected to my race, but it’s like that I just feel ‘other.’ I just feel like I’m foreign. I don’t feel like being Indian or like any of those other things.” The film further follows Uzochi Okoronkwo, a stylist and entrepreneur, and Tiffany Cadillac, a DJ and artist. Throughout the film, the three subjects open up about their experiences as women of color in Japan and how communities can start conversations of diversity and inclusivity.

Watch Women of Color in Japan above, and scroll down below to read some comments on the film Amarachi, Ameya and Uzochi shared with HYPEBAE.

What inspired you to create Women of Color in Japan?

Amarachi Nwosu: When moving to Japan there were few narratives on the foreign experience in Japan, but especially a big gap when it came to finding stories about what it’s like to be a Black woman or woman of color. As I lived in Japan I was able to meet so many incredible women of different backgrounds and I felt called to learn more about their stories and document them.

Everyone had their own unique experience whether it was WOC who were born in Japan or women who moved to Japan from different places, and often what connected us was our creative endeavors. I didn’t want to wait for mainstream media to create the representation I wanted to see and longed for, so I decided to fill the gap myself and bring a powerful crew and cast together to do so. I wanted there to be a visual representation of the creative and cultural revolution that was taking place in Tokyo and how diverse narratives play a role. If you don’t leave a mark in history, the story never gets told. It is our responsibility to tell them.

What are some things that you hope the audience can take away from the film?

AN: My hope is that this film helps facilitate understanding between people of different backgrounds and gives people insight into what it’s like being a woman of color in Japan to humanize the journey of this experience. I also want both the industry in Japan and the global industry to understand that creative women of color also need a seat at the table and opportunities for people to invest in the ones they have built. If this film can help create understanding and opportunities that empower others, that defines impact.

What was it like to take part in this documentary? And what does the film mean to you?

Ameya: I think as a director, Amarachi is and has consistently been ahead of the curve in being able to understand, analyze, then execute themes and topics before it is even a part of the cultural narrative. Her debut Black in Tokyo was the first documentary to really explore what it means to be Black in Tokyo and to do it independently is astounding.

Many, many people I know had watched that documentary and it became part of a larger conversation of what it means to be Black outside of the United States and in another country. In the same vein, being a woman of color in Tokyo is hardly a conversation that’s being held and is not even really part of the colloquial lexicon. People don’t even know, can’t even fathom, or realize that South Asian people, Black women and other women of color live in Japan or could be from here. In Japan, women are widely regarded as a minority but to add melanin to anyone is to add another layer of complexity that is not yet understood by Japanese society but is most definitely felt by those of us who have it.

I feel very humbled, very grateful and have a lot of respect for her and the team for putting this together. This film to me is history being created. I am grateful to be alive at this time and to be lucky enough to be a part of something where my voice is heard. My hope is that other people may also relate and that they may share it with others or learn something new. My hope is that documentaries like this can perhaps expand the conversation of gender, race and intersectional feminism, and push for a better and more informed society.

Uzochi Okoronkwo: Being in the film was a great experience, as I was just getting started in my styling portfolio, and it was a great experience to actually do what I love around other creative people and having them document the process.

The film means that a light is being shown on a small number of incredible women who are in Japan to create, expand their horizons and share their own culture with the rest of the world. It also means that maybe a woman who was not sure about moving to such a homogeneous country would have some encouragement moving forward, to follow her dreams in another country.

Read Full Article
Image Credit
Melanin Unscripted
Share this article

What to Read Next

Netflix's New Season of 'Conversations with a Killer' Tells the Story of John Wayne Gacy
Film & TV

Netflix's New Season of 'Conversations with a Killer' Tells the Story of John Wayne Gacy

Check out the trailer about the infamous killer clown.
20,821 Hypes

Genderfluid Designer Harris Reed Will Be Showcased in the V&A's Menswear Exhibition
Fashion

Genderfluid Designer Harris Reed Will Be Showcased in the V&A's Menswear Exhibition

Alongside Craig Green, Wales Bonner and Alessandro Michele.
2,080 Hypes

Bask in the Australian Sun With Lack of Color's New Hats
Fashion

Bask in the Australian Sun With Lack of Color's New Hats

Featuring reimagined silhouettes dressed in summer-ready colorways.
0 Hypes


A Documentary on Céline Dion's Life Is in the Works
Film & TV

A Documentary on Céline Dion's Life Is in the Works

Music’s biggest pop diva gets her own film.
303 Hypes

Nike Dunk High to Release in Striking "Pink Prime" Hue
Footwear

Nike Dunk High to Release in Striking "Pink Prime" Hue

Statement-making kicks for your rotation.
1,273 Hypes

Dior Welcomes Spooky Season With a Halloween Tableware Collection
Home

Dior Welcomes Spooky Season With a Halloween Tableware Collection

Designed with tarot card motifs.
1,026 Hypes

Air Jordan 4 To Drop In a Monochromatic Cream Colorway
Footwear

Air Jordan 4 To Drop In a Monochromatic Cream Colorway

With splashes of color on the outsoles.
7,972 Hypes

Jacquemus Is Launching Its Own Beauty Line
Beauty

Jacquemus Is Launching Its Own Beauty Line

Here’s everything we know.
1,681 Hypes

Snoh Aalegra and Tyler, The Creator Get Groovy in "NEON PEACH" Music Video
Music

Snoh Aalegra and Tyler, The Creator Get Groovy in "NEON PEACH" Music Video

Watch the delightfully vibrant visual.
448 Hypes

The Photographer Behind @watchingnewyork Is Turning NYC Sidewalks Into Catwalks
Fashion 

The Photographer Behind @watchingnewyork Is Turning NYC Sidewalks Into Catwalks

Johnny Cirillo documents real New York street style on his popular Instagram account.
21,197 Hypes

5 Emerging Designers To Know From Shanghai Fashion Week SS22
Fashion 

5 Emerging Designers To Know From Shanghai Fashion Week SS22

Explore some of the most exciting names in Chinese fashion.
20,501 Hypes

20 Halloween Nail Art Designs To Try This Spooky Season
Beauty 

20 Halloween Nail Art Designs To Try This Spooky Season

From bloody French tips to ‘Squid Game’-inspired ideas.
23,002 Hypes

Tara Babylon Harnesses Handmade Techniques to Craft Gender-Fluid Clothing
Fashion 

Tara Babylon Harnesses Handmade Techniques to Craft Gender-Fluid Clothing

In conversation with the textile-driven British-Iraqi designer.
1,724 Hypes

Telfar Is Dropping Winter-Ready Puff Shoppers and Outerwear
Fashion

Telfar Is Dropping Winter-Ready Puff Shoppers and Outerwear

In collaboration with Moose Knuckles.
2,576 Hypes

More ▾
 
Subscribe to our Newsletter

Keep updated on the latest news.

By subscribing, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Looks like you’re using an ad-blocker

We charge advertisers instead of our readers. Support us by whitelisting our site.

Whitelist Us

How to Whitelist Us

screenshot
  1. Click the AdBlock icon in the browser extension area in the upper right-hand corner.
  2. Under “Pause on this site” click “Always”.
  3. Refresh the page or click the button below to continue.
screenshot
  1. Click the AdBlock Plus icon in the browser extension area in the upper right-hand corner.
  2. Block ads on – This website” switch off the toggle to turn it from blue to gray.
  3. Refresh the page or click the button below to continue.
screenshot
  1. Click the AdBlocker Ultimate icon in the browser extension area in the upper right-hand corner.
  2. Switch off the toggle to turn it from “Enabled on this site” to “Disabled on this site”.
  3. Refresh the page or click the button below to continue.
screenshot
  1. Click the Ghostery icon in the browser extension area in the upper right-hand corner.
  2. Click on the “Ad-Blocking” button at the bottom. It will turn gray and the text above will go from “ON” to “OFF”.
  3. Refresh the page or click the button below to continue.
screenshot
  1. Click the UBlock Origin icon in the browser extension area in the upper right-hand corner.
  2. Click on the large blue power icon at the top.
  3. When it turns gray, click the refresh icon that has appeared next to it or click the button below to continue.
screenshot
  1. Click the icon of the ad-blocker extension installed on your browser.You’ll usually find this icon in the upper right-hand corner of your screen. You may have more than one ad-blocker installed.
  2. Follow the instructions for disabling the ad blocker on the site you’re viewing.You may have to select a menu option or click a button.
  3. Refresh the page or click the button below to continue.