Journey to Hokusai


Century Larkspur 3 Fri, Oct 4, 2019 8:45 PM
Rafael 2 Sun, Oct 6, 2019 12:00 PM
Lark Theatre Sun, Oct 13, 2019 11:00 AM
Film Info
Section:Valley of the Docs
Running Time:80 min.
Premiere Status:World
Director:Chikara Motomura
Producer:Chikara Motomura
Cinematographer:Chikara Motomura
Editor:Chikara Motomura
Print Source:Chikara Motomura
Note Writer:Cindy Lou Peeples


For nearly 50 years, woodblock print artist Tom Killion has carved beautiful, iconic California landscapes, using Japanese hand tools and rendering them in vivid color with an old German printing press. Deeply inspired by the renowned 19th-century artist Hokusai, famous for his Ukiyo-e woodblock prints and paintings, Killion long dreamed of learning the traditional Japanese method of printing by hand. Journey to Hokusai follows Killion's painstaking creative process and his pilgrimage to Japan to study under Kenji Takenaka, a fifth-generation master printer in Kyoto. As he learns new techniques and trades in his oil-based ink for traditional watercolor, Killion discovers more and more about the history of printmaking. His odyssey takes him to a papermaker that is still in business after 1500 years and to the quiet village of Obuse, where Hokusai spent his final years. Journey to Hokusai is an intimate exploration of the connection between two artists from different worlds.

EXPECTED GUESTS: Director Chikara Motomura, Subject Tom Killion

Thank you to our Community Partners Marin Arts and MVFAF!

Additional Information

A native of Japan, Chikara Motomura has worked for nearly 40 years as a freelance cinematographer, editor, and director in New York, Hawaii, and the Bay Area. He has collaborated in a variety of capacities on 14 with Berkeley director and frequent MVFF participant Rob Nilsson. Journey to Hokusai (2019) is Motomura’s feature directing debut.