Born in Aichi Prefecture, Japan. Debuted as a poet at the age of 17, and began making 8mm films at Hosei University. Won the Pia Film Festival's Grand Prize in 1986 for A MAN'S FLOWER ROAD, and his subsequent PFF Scholarship film BICYCLE SIGHS (90) was screened at Berlin, Vancouver, and many other festivals. THE ROOM (93) and NORIKO'S DINNER TABLE (05) won awards at the Sundance and Karlovy Vary film festivals respectively, and LOVE EXPOSURE (08) received the Caligari Film Prize and the FIPRESCI Prize at the Berlin International Film Festival. In recent years he has been particularly prolific, directing COLD FISH (10), GUILTY OF ROMANCE (11), HIMIZU (11), and THE LAND OF HOPE (12).