Shot over a period of 15 months from April 1969 to July 1970, Motoshinkakarannu —which takes its name from the Okinawan word for “business without seed money” (a euphemism for prostitution)—captures a tumultuous time in Okinawa’s occupation. With the impending reversion, the NDU chronicles a confluence of sentiments across the island prefecture from anti-American riots to labor protests. An immediate and radical work, Motoshinkakarannu delivers an unflinching snapshot of Okinawa at the time, revealing racial tensions, discrimination, imperialist gazes and more through its raw immersion into the lives of sex workers, yakuza, tourists and GIs.
Subtitle Note:Due to missing audio elements, we have included relevant subtitles (timed with our discretion) for certain sequences. These subtitles were sourced from a transcript of the film. Only two instances do not include the transcript’s subtitling so as not to misrepresent the scenes: an encounter with Black GIs affiliated with the Black Panther Party (1:03:10-1:08:34), and a conversation between Akemi and a gangster named Fuji (1:22:37-1:25:15). The transcript for these scenes can be found here.