I Want to Run for Office

(Senkyo ni detai)

- CHINA / 2016 / Japanese, Chinese / Color / Blu-ray / 78 min

Director, Photography, Editing: Xing Fei
Producer: Hai Tian
Online Editing: Nishimura Yasuhiro
Sound Editor: Tominaga Kenichi
Music: Alessandro Apolloni
Cooperation: Temjin TV
Source: Xing Fei

This documentary follows the political candidacy of Lee Komaki—who spent more than 20 years soliciting customers for restaurants and adult businesses in Tokyo’s bustling entertainment district of Kabuki-cho, Shinjuku—as he seeks a seat in the Shinjuku Ward Assembly. What motivated Lee, who aimed to become “Japan’s first Chinese politician,” to enter the world of Japanese politics? And what did things like “Japan” and “democracy” mean to him while he was on the campaign trail?

- [Director’s Statement] Lee first rose to fame as the “tout of Kabukicho.” His hunger to run for office was rooted in childhood memories of seeing his family subjected to injustices during the Cultural Revolution, as well as a conflicted outlook regarding being caught between China and Japan—relations between which had become frosty since his move to the latter. I hope watching Lee’s scramble for office offers an opportunity to ponder the meaning of things like democracy, and the right to vote.

- Xing Fei

Born in China. Received her master’s degree in Media Studies from Hokkaido University, and began working at television production company Temjin in 2008. Has directed more than 20 documentary programs that examine Chinese society. Spent two years beginning in September 2014 directing, shooting, editing, and completing this film.