Started out as an actor, appearing in Yaguchi Shinobu’s Waterboys (2001) before becoming a director of behind-the-scenes documentaries, music videos and commercials. He completed Pyuupiru (2010), an 8-year-in-the-making documentary about the gender-identity-conflicted artist, Pyuupiru. The film was screened at International Film Festival Rotterdam 2011 and Jeonju International Film Festival 2010. His first feature film Pieta in the Toilet (2015), featuring RADWIMPS’ vocalist Noda Yojiro, was a nationwide hit. The film garnered Matsunaga numerous awards as well as being screened in competition at Jeonju International Film Festival 2015. It was also selected for International Film Festival Rotterdam 2016. Vibration: THE YELLOW MONKEY (2017), a documentary on legendary rock band THE YELLOW MONKEY filmed throughout 2016, screened at Busan International Film Festival 2017. He has been selected to take part as one of Asia’s bright new directors for the second collection of films produced through the Japan foundation, Tokyo International Film Festival′s Asian Three-fold Mirror project in 2018. His latest film is Hanalei Bay (2018), which is based on the story by Murakami Haruki.
Ogawa began his career at Asmik Ace Entertainment. His first assignment in film production was as an assistant producer on Nakata Hideo’s Ring 2 (1999), then went on to produce the all-ages breakout hit Ping Pong (Sori Fumihiko, 2002), which was nominated for eight awards, including Best Picture at the Japan Academy Prize 2003. Then he collaborated with indie favorite Inudo Isshin, Josee, the Tiger and the Fish (2003) and La Maison de Himiko (2005). He also produced Tran Anh Hung’s adaptation of Murakami Haruki’s masterpiece Norwegian Wood (2010).
In 2012 he established the film production company Bridgehead Inc. aimed at creating high-quality film entertainment and fostering new talents. He produced Matsunaga Daishi ′s Pieta in the Toilet (2015). Then he scored massive hits with Yukisada Isao′s Narratage (2017) and River′s Edge (2018) that opened the Berlin International Film Festival’s Panorama, and Hanalei Bay (2018) as the second feature film of Matsunaga Daishi.
Kamijo Yuki works for a jail. She lost her mother when she was a kid and her father Masaaki raised her. Her grandmother Sanae lives alone in a remote village. Yuki cares about her grandmother and doesn’t leave the rural town. One day she sees a stranger in a car. She senses this guy’s behavior is similar with that of the prisoners in the jail. This man, Ninomiya, asks around to find a house in the village where Sanae lives. Sanae offers him her place for the night. Then a suspicious fire occurs near her place. The neighbors start to complain, “Ninomiya started the fire” or “Ninomiya is a son of the murderer and came back to the village to kill the villagers”. Masaaki notices he’s the son of the murderer but lies to the residents. Masaaki suggests that Ninomiya should leave the village. He is not able to leave, however, as the villagers harass him. Yuki saves and shelters him. Ninomiya starts to work for and lives with Masaaki but one night he gets heavily injured by a stranger. Meanwhile, Masaaki tries to pick up Satomi, who is a single mother, taking care of her daughter Hitoe. He becomes furious when he sees that she extends favors to Ninomiya. He asks her to get married but she tells him she doesn’t love him. With Masaaki in a rage, Hitoe is killed. He gets caught by the police but escapes from the police station. He comes to Sanae for haven. He evacuates into the mountain with a gun in his hands, however, when the villagers raise their voice. Yuki trails him, and the sound of a gunshot comes from the mountain...