Israeli moviemaker searching for girl in children’s book from the 1950s


Israeli filmmaker Dvorit Shargal will visit Japan on Monday to look for a woman who appeared in a children’s photo book published in Sweden in 1956, hoping to create a documentary featuring the girl known only as “Noriko-san.”

In Israel, Noriko-san is the first figure associated with Japan, Shargal said. The Hebrew edition of the book has been reprinted 28 times since it was first published in the 1950s. Titled “Eva Visits Noriko-san” in English, the book tells the story of Swedish girl Eva visiting her friend Noriko in Tokyo. It was written by Swedish author Astrid Lindgren, famous for “Pippi Longstocking,” and the photos were taken by Jewish photographer Anna Riwkin-Brick.

The book is part of a series introducing children from other countries. Shargal’s documentary will focus on how the lives of Noriko and other characters from the series turned out.

Shargal has been searching for her “childhood idol” for three years. All she knows is that Noriko, who would now be in her 60s, lived in Akasaka in central Tokyo. “It’s like a life mission for me,” she said.