*/ DIJ - Deutsches Institut für Japanstudien


Klein, Axel

Pictures at an Election 

Dokumentar. 68 Min. 2008. Deutsches Institut für Japanstudien / Stiftung D.G.I.A.


“Pictures at an Election” (the title is referring to Mussorgsky's suite "Pictures at an Exhibition" which features prominently in the film) is a 68 min. film that covers the campaigns of those candidates who tried to win one of the five seats in Tokyo during the Upper House election in 2007. It shows Japan’s electoral machinery in full steam and focuses on the question of how Japanese candidates try to appeal to voters. The documentary depicts different strategies and techniques, and presents a lively picture of political culture in Japan.

A documentary by Axel Klein / Deutsches Institut für Japanstudien © 2008


Pictures at an Election - title
The new candidate

„Pictures at an Election“ was filmed virtually “single-handedly” by political scientist Axel Klein during the 17 days of electoral campaigning in July 2007. On most days he spent 15 hours out on the streets of Tokyo, from Kita-Senju in the Northeast to Futago-Tamagawa in the Southwest, following the major candidates on their campaign trails. The daily route was mostly decided on the basis of information collected from the election headquarters of the candidates. After conducting interviews with many of the politicians featuring in the documentary, Klein edited the many hours of material between August 2007 and March 2008.

Film showings
Dec. 8th, 2008:  Sheffield, UK, University of Sheffield, 4.30 pm
Sept. 16th, 2008: Tokyo, Foreign Correspondent Club Japan, 7 pm
Aug. 30th, 2008: Chicago, American Political Science Association, 12.15 pm.
April 5th, 2008: Atlanta, Georgia: Association of Asian Studies, Annual Meeting, 11.10 am
Election rally   Working the streets
Waiting for Hatoyama

“Pictures at an Election” for Educational Institutions

The German Institute for Japanese Studies believes that this documentary can be an essential supplement to all attempts to teach and understand the way Japanese politicians tick during election time. The documentary is therefore subtitled in English and will be distributed for free to all educational institutions which request a copy. If you would like to receive one or if you have any questions concerning the film, please email to: election@dijtokyo.org.


The complete script of "Pictures at an Election" can be downloaded for free as a PDF-file. GET FULL SCRIPT HERE.

Among others, "Pictures at an Election" has been requested by and sent out so far to these institutions:


Graduate School of Asia-Pacific Studies, Dept. of Int. Relations, Waseda University, Tokyo (Japan)
Faculty of Law, Gakushuin University, Tokyo (Japan)
Faculty of Policy Studies, Doshisha University, Kyoto (Japan)
Wako University, Tokyo (Japan)
Shiga University, Shiga (Japan)
Faculty of Law, Hōsei University, Tokyo (Japan)
Institute of Social Sciences, University of Tokyo (Japan)
Afrasian Centre for Peace and Development Studies, Ryukoku University, Otsu (Japan)
Komazawa University, Tokyo (Japan)
Temple University Japan Library (Japan)
Department for Social Welfare Studies, Sophia University, Tokyo (Japan)

National University of Singapore

Department of Political Science, National Chengchi University, Taipei (Taiwan)


School of Languages, Linguistics and Cultures, University of Manchester (UK)
National Institute of Japanese Studies, School of East Asian Studies, University of Sheffield (UK)
International and Area Studies, Duke University, Durham (UK)
School of Social Science and Law, Oxford Brookes University (UK)
University of Edinburgh, Business School (UK)
Cardiff Japanese Studies Centre, Cardiff University (UK)
Department of East Asian Studies, University of Leed (UK)
Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, University of Cambridge (UK)
Nissan Institute of Japanese Studies, Oxford University (UK)

Ostasiatisches Institut für Japanologie, Universität Leipzig (Germany)
Institut für Ostasienwissenschaften, Universität Duisburg-Essen (Germany)
Institut für Politikwissenschaft und Japanologie, Universität Halle-Wittenberg (Germany)
GIGA Institut für Asien-Studien, Hamburg (Germany)
FB Rechtswissenschaft, Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main (Germany)
FB Sozialwissenschaften, Universität Osnabrück (Germany)
Institut für Sozialwissenschaften, Universität Hildesheim (Germany)
Asien-Orient-Institut, Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen (Germany)
Japanologie, Fakultät für Ostasienwissenschaften, Ruhr-Universität Bochum (Germany)

Dept. of East Asian Studies, University of Vienna (Austria)

Vテカlkerkundemuseum der Universität Zürich, Filmarchiv (Switzerland)

Centre for East Asian Studies, University of Turku (Finland)

Department of Sociology and Political Science, Norwegian University for Science and Technology, Trondheim (Norway)


Department of Political Science, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem (Israel)

Cultural and Art Creative Center, Sooreh University Tehran (Iran)


Center for International Studies, MIT, Cambridge (USA)
Department of Political Science, University of California at Davis (USA)
Department of Political Science, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI (USA)
Department of Political Science, University of Pennsylvania (USA)
Joseph Lauinger Memorial Library, Georgetown University, Washington DC (USA)
Foreign Service Institute, George P. Shultz Center, US Department of State, Arlington VA (USA)
Department of Asian Studies, University of Texas at Austin (USA)
Department of History, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK (USA)
Department of Sociology and Anthropology, DePauw University, Greencastle, IN (USA)
Department of History, San Jose State University (USA)
Woodrow Wilson Dep. of Politics, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA (USA)
Colby College, Waterville, ME (USA)
Appalachian State University, Boone, NC (USA)
History Media Center, University of Delaware, Newark (USA)
Department of Political Science, Virginia Tech (USA)
Department of Political Science, Texas Christian University (USA)
Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies, University of Washington (USA)
Department of Political Science, Yale University (USA)
Department of Political Science, University of California, Los Angeles (USA)
Department of Political Science, Boston College (USA)
Department of Sociology, Bryn Mawr College, Bryn Mawr (USA)
Department of Political Science, Saint Joseph's University, Philadelphia (USA)
Department of Political Science, University of Wisconsin (USA)
School of International Relations and Pacific Studies, University of California, San Diego (USA)
Sam Nunn School of International Affairs, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia (USA)
Politics Department, Pomona College, Claremont (USA)
Department of National Security Affairs, Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey CA (USA)
Center for East Asian & Pacific Studies, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (USA)
Department of Anthropology, CSU Sacramento (USA)
Department of Political Science, University of Utah, Salt Lake City (USA)
School of International Service, American University, Washington (USA)
Weatherhead East Asian Institute, Columbia University, New York (USA)
Dept. of Political Science at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey (USA)

Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, ON (Canada)
Université du Québec à Montréal (Canada)
Department of Political Science, University of British Columbia, Vancouver (Canada)


CLSE, Faculty of Education, Queensland University of Technology (Australia)
Centre for Asian Studies, University of Adelaide (Australia)
School of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of New South Wales, Canberra (Australia)

Political Science and International Relations, Victoria University of Wellington (New Zealand)
The University of Auckland (New Zealand)


  Many thanks to... Credits:
  Okawara Masako Yamaguchi Natsuo Technical Supervisor Claus Harmer
  Suzuki Kan Marukawa Tamayo Narration Jack Merluzzi
  Nakamura Keiichiro  Hosaka Sanzo Subtitles Sabine Brink
  Kawada Ryuhei Dr. Nakamatsu  
  Tanaka Yasuo Mac Akasaka  
  Yamauchi Kazuhiko Tamura Tomoko  
  Hosaka Nobuto Sugiura Hitomi  
  Kakita Tomohiko Sakurai Hajime  
  Matsumaru Makoto Sato Norito  
  Hoshino Yayoi Nishi Emiko  
  Arimatsu Junichiro Shioda Mieko  
  Sato Yutaka Tsubogo Minoru  
  Otsuka Taku Kazuma Naoki  
  Julia Lange Junko Ando  
  Barbara Holthus Shioda Mieko  
  Suzuki Ayako Asano Keiko  
  Montserrat Rius Ingo Klein  
  and everyone at M.EM.A Obacho & DIJ Tokyo


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