Born in Tokyo in 1962. Originally intended to be a novelist, but after graduating from Waseda University in 1987 went on to become an assistant director at TV Man Union. Sneaked off set to film Lessons from a Calf (1991). His first feature, Maboroshi no hikari (1995), based on a Teru Miyamoto novel and drawn from his own experiences whilst filming August Without Him (1994), won jury prizes at Venice and Chicago. The main themes of his oeuvre include memory and loss, death and loss, and the intersection of documentary and fictional narratives. —IMDb
"...but now I will try total fiction to search for that reality." A pity. His films since this metamorphosis only manage to occasionally brush against the remarkably consistent greatness of his first four features. Here's hoping he finds some way to reconcile these two stylistic approaches.