On a spring day in 1975, Yukiko Mishima was walking to a friend’s house in her native Osaka when a man she didn’t know dragged her into a car park and sexually assaulted her. She was 6 years old at the time.
She remembers the feelings of fear and disgust — but also, once it was over, the sense that she had been soiled. When a female police officer later questioned her, with her parents present, she recalls her mother’s crestfallen expression and the look of anger on her father’s face. All she wanted was for them to give her a cuddle.
Mishima, now an established filmmaker (“Dear Etranger,” “Shape of Red”), first talked publicly about the incident in a 2019 article for Eiga Geijutsu magazine. The following year, while scouting locations for a short film set in Osaka, she found herself sitting in a cafe overlooking the car park where it had all happened — and realized what the theme for her next movie would be.