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My interview with Mipo Oh, the director of the turbulent new love drama “Soko Nomi Nite Hikari Kagayaku (The Light Shines Only There),” did not begin smoothly.

Through a chain of miscommunications and misunderstandings I was tacked onto the end of her long day of press meetings. Also, instead of making her entrance after I’d stowed my jacket and extracted a recorder — standard operating procedure for these sorts of interviews in Japan — Oh was already waiting for me when I arrived at our tiny meeting room, by the main administrative office of Kokugakuin University in Shibuya, where her film was being screened. I had flashbacks of less-than-pleasant meetings with stern-faced teachers and principals at various stages of my checkered academic career.

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