Children's Tears - Searching for Japanese Fathers

- / -

This film unveils a hidden history which starts in the Dutch East Indies under Japanese occupation during WW2. The protagonists were born of Eurasian mothers and Japanese fathers as children of the enemy. They moved to the Netherlands with their mothers while their fathers went back to Japan after the war. The absence of their fathers becomes a missing piece in their lives, and the ensuing search stretches across continents. One of the protagonists, Nippy Noya, is the percussionist in a Netherlands-based rock band called Massada. In his career, he also recorded with artists such as John McLaughlin and toured with Billy Cobham and Chaka Khan. The film starts with his soulful drum playing in the ruins of the former Jewish transit camp, Westerbork. On his journey, he discovers the secret of his musical gift, just as the other protagonists each experience their own emotional rebirth.

Director Yuki SUNADA
Location Japan
Duration 28 min. / 49 min.
Genre Human Interest / Family / Life
Air Date (JST) Monday, August 22, 2016 (28 min.)
Monday, December 19, 2016 (28 min.) *rerun
Sunday, March 26, 2017 (49 min.)
Monday, August 14, 2017 (49 min.) *rerun

On Demand





Born in Kyoto, Yuki fell in love with film at the age of 13 when she watched Bernardo Bertolucci's 'The Last Emperor.' As a teenager, she watched more than 100 films a year. She studied film at the University of California, Irvine and received an MA in the Documentary by Practice program at Royal Holloway, University of London. In addition to film, Yuki has worked extensively in television, beginning her career at FOX and freelancing for the BBC and Al Jazeera. Her most recent film, ‘Children’s Tears- Searching for Japanese Fathers’ (49min.), was inspired by Yuki’s encounter with a WWII veteran who for many years had been searching for the fathers of Japanese 'Indo-Dutch' children. Yuki worked for seven years to piece together the truth. Double-featuring with her earlier work, ‘Dear Grandfather, I am in England’ (28min/director, editor), which focused on the aftermath of the Burma Campaign in WWⅡ, ‘Children’s Tears’ has toured theaters around Japan since 2015. The film was selected by DOC Feed 2016 (The Netherlands), received the 33rd Japanese Film Renaissance Award (Japan), and was awarded the Mercurius Prize at Noir in Festival 2017(Italy). Yuki’s films have been featured in the UK at the Chichester International Short Film Festival and the Imperial War Museum Short Film Festival, where she won Best Documentary. The main themes of Yuki’s work are reconciliation, crossing borders, gender, and human rights.

  • Director’s Interview


  • Preview