Miyako City in Iwate Prefecture is a fishing town located in the northeast of Japan, and is known as a place where tsunamis have struck many times, including the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011. There is an unique custom called “matsuakashi” in Miyako. This is an annual ritual which is celebrated in the evenings for eight days in August, a month of the Bon Festival. At doorsteps of houses and at family graves, people make bonfires (“-akashi”) with pine tree ("matsu") twigs. In Japan people believe the souls of the deceased come back home during the Bon Festival. Then why do people in Miyako make lights during the Bon Festival? This documentary film traces the meaning, origin and history of “matsuakashi,” and gives you an opportunity to think about your life and your family.



Kiyoshi Sakashita

A photographer Kiyoshi Sakashita is born in Miyako City in Iwate Prefecture, and graduated from Seian College of Art and Design. The Light After the Tsunami (2013) is his first full-length film work.

Selected International Exhibitions
Le Salon, Parc Floral de Paris, Paris, France, 2006
JAPAN ART in ROMANIA, Salonta Arany János Memorial Museum, Salonta, Romania, 2004

Esquire Digital Photo Award '06-'07, Japan, 2007
Kurashiki Contemporary Art Biennial West, Japan, 2005




Directed, Cinematographed, and Edited by Kiyoshi Sakashita
Music by Tomoko Onodera 
2014 | Japan | Color | Digital | 89 min. |16:9

English version
Subtitles by Tomoko Yamamoto

Produced by Gutz Photography
© Gutz Photography