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Yokohama Mary Details


First-time writer-director Takayuki Nakamura's documentary Yokohama Mary concerns the titular figure, a Japanese prostitute infamous for servicing American GIs during WWII. She survived for over fifty years, but eventually turned into something of an eccentric, donning white kabuki makeup and living as a bag lady on the streets of Yokohama during the early nineties. Various stories and legends circled around her, a Japanese author published a photographic study of her, she became the subject of a stage play, and then, in 1995, she vanished without a trace. Nakamura carries his cameras into Yokohama for a first-person investigation of Mary's current whereabouts. Along the way, he traces her unusual legacy, via artistic photographs, decades old newsreel footage, and interviews with Japanese street people (whores, thugs, bar owners), including a drag queen who became Mary's confidant; all, through their words, paint an enduring portrait of WWII-era Japan. Nakamura also cuts through the myths - that Mary was a man in drag, that she was estranged from her family - until he arrives at a definitive answer about her fate. Meanwhile, a portrait emerges of a thoroughly intriguing yet enigmatic figure. ~ Nathan Southern, Rovi

  • Release date:April 15, 2006



Takayuki Nakamura
Kazuhiro Shirao