kaya publishes books of the asian pacific diaspora

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Kazuo Hara

Born in 1945, Hara Kazuo was influenced as a young man by the protest movements that took place throughout Japan and the world in the late 1960s and 70s. He founded Shisso Productions in 1971 with his wife, producer, and primary collaborator Sachiko Kobayashi. He has published five documentary films thus far, including the award-winning The Emperor’s Naked Army Marches On, widely recognized as most important and influential documentary ever made in Japan, Goodbye CP, Extreme Private Eros: Love Song 1974, and A Dedicated Life.


Camera Obtrusa

Kaya Press 2009

Discounted 20 percent through July 31, 2021 to celebrate Cinema as Struggle: The Films of Kazuo Hara and Sachiko Kobayashi at the Japan Society. 

Throughout the four decades of his career, filmmaker Kazuo Hara has stalked the bizarre and disturbing margins of Japanese society with his camera, certain that central truths can be found through an unrelenting examination of individuals and their interactions. His notoriously confrontational method of creating what he calls “action documentaries” has transformed the art of documentary filmmaking. Now, in this first full-length translation of Hara’s writings on his life and method, Hara tells his own story of growing up an outsider, detailing the fascinating processes that led to each of his groundbreaking documentaries. In addition, this book includes a full translation of the production notes for his most acclaimed film, The Emperor’s Naked Army Marches On,which has been described by the Village Voice as “one of the most harrowing, astonishing documentaries about war ever thrown onto celluloid.”


“Kazuo Hara is one of the undiscovered geniuses of documentary. I first saw The Emperor’s Naked Army Marches On at the San Francisco Film Festival. Werner Herzog and I were sitting together. We couldn’t believe it. Here was one of the weirdest, most dramatic stories ever. And the movie itself? What can I say? It’s on my list of the 10 best movies ever. You have all these layers: the underlying historical reality, the obsessed and crazed Mr. Okuzaki pursuing that historical reality despite all odds, and the obsessed and quite possibly crazed filmmaker pursuing Mr. Okuzaki. Here is the story of the film and the man behind it. A compelling narrative and journey.”
— Errol Morris

“It was as though I had this soul brother in Japan … To have a kindred spirit, to have someone who has inspired me very early on … I felt after watching [The Emperor’s Naked Army Marches On] that I had permission to make Roger & Me the way I was making it.”
— Michael Moore