Kamiyama Alone

Mile Nagaoka

In Kamiyama, Tokushima Prefecture, a rural town that has become famous throughout Japan for its constant flow of incomers, an elderly hairdresser, Sa’chan, has a lonely existence. This film is a record of the six years that the fledgling filmmaker Mile Nagaoka spent observing Sacchan and the changes in Kamiyama.

In the summer of 2010, I (Mile Nagaoka) left Tokyo with the idea of making a small documentary film, and met Sa’chan”, a hairdresser in Kamiyama. She had once been a billboard actress at the local playhouse, and was a kind of godmother to Kamiyama, having once earned hundreds of millions of yen through her many businesses, including drinking clubs, dressmaking and stonemasonry businesses, besides her own hairdressing business. She spoke openly about her life, and about the history and folklore of the town, and then she began to tell me a ‘secret’ that she

had never told anyone before. I discovered a deeply human reality about this woman, the people associated with her and the environment in which she lives deep in the mountains. At a point in time where everything was beginning to change, this is a small record of the six years I spent with Sa’chan.



Mile Nagaoka