Campaign! The Kawasaki Candidate

Kazuhiro Soda



In the fall of 2005, 40-year-old, self-employed Kazuhiko "Yama-san" Yamauchi's peaceful, humdrum life was turned upside-down. Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) had suddenly chosen him as its official candidate to run for a vacant seat on the Kawasaki city council. Yama-san had zero experience in politics, no charisma, no supporters, no constituency, and no time to prepare for the impending election. The election was critical for the LDP. Adhering to the campaign tactic of "bowing to everybody, even to telephone poles," Yama-san visits local festivals, kindergarten sports events, senior gatherings, commuter train stations, and even bus stops to offer his hand to every one he sees. Can Yama-san win this heated race? Through its candid, cinema-verite style camerawork, this rare, detailed documentary of a Japanese election reveals the true nature of "democracy."

An asian man in a suit with a sash holding an umbrella documentary about human rights issues.

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