SO LONG ASLEEP, Waking the Ghosts of a War

We travel across Japan with volunteers carrying home to Seoul the remains of 115 Korean civilian men who died doing forced labor in Hokkaido during the Asia-Pacific War. Dare we forget our dead?

  • David W. PLATH
    Can't Go Native?; Under Another Sun, Japanese in Singapore; Makiko's New World; Fit Surroundingspor
  • David W. PLATH
    as above
  • Colleen COOK, Director of Photography
    Camera Crew
    Can't Go Native?
  • Isaac NAPELL, Media Manager, Second Camera
    Camera Crew
  • Prof. Ki-Chan SONG, additional footage
    Camera Crew
  • William YAUCH, Reilly Boy Productions, online editor
    Can't Go Native?
  • David W. PLATH, offline editor
    as above
  • Ga-Young CHUNG
    Transcribers/ Translators
    Transcribers/ Translators
  • Jeongsu SHIN
    Transcribers/ Translators
  • Yiqing XIE
    Transcribers/ Translators
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    1 hour
  • Completion Date:
    October 1, 2016
  • Production Budget:
    20,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    Japan, Korea, Republic of
  • Language:
    English, Japanese, Korean
  • Shooting Format:
    HD video
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Midwest Conference on Asian Affairs
    Champaign IL
    United States
    October 14, 2016
    US Premiere
  • Association for Asian Studies
    March 18, 2017
    Canada Premiere
Distribution Information
  • Documentary Educational Resources
    Country: United States
    Rights: Video on Demand, Video / Disc
Director Biography - David W. PLATH

Emeritus Professor, Anthropology and Asian Studies
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Producer/Director, The Media Production Group,an affiliate of the Asian Educational Media Service, UIUC. Various roles in the production of 30+ documentaries including:
1999 Makiko’s New World; received the Silver Award from the 43rd Competition for Films and Videos on Japan. (study guide and background essays available)
2001 Under Another Sun; Japanese in Singapore (study guide and essays)
2010 Can’t Go Native? (two supplementary DVDs offer additional film clips and interviews)
Not created for broadcast: 2003 Preaching From Pictures: A Japanese Mandala is an interactive disc with two hours of audiovisual materials interpreting a 17th century painting used as a preaching tool by itinerant Japanese Buddhist nuns.

In the year 2000 The Society for East Asian Anthropology established its David Plath Media Award, given biennially for the best new educational media products on East Asian societies and cultures.

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Director Statement

Often I am introduced as a filmmaker. That’s correct in the dictionary sense: I do make films. But I think of myself not as a filmmaker but as an anthropologist who thrills to the challenge of communicating about the human condition by blending moving images, audio and text. My target audiences are the definable one of students in high schools and colleges, and the more nebulous one of viewers of educational and public television broadcasts. When time and money are at hand my teams also develop packages of supplementary materials: study guides, background essays by persons in the film, out-takes, interviews and so on. On each project team I try to include local talent and local scholars. And for So Long Asleep two participants in the pilgrimage who also are media professionals, Profs. Song Ki-Chan and Sohn Sung-Hyun, generously provided advice and allowed us to use film clips and photos that they made during the journey.