2014 Angel Film Awards - Monaco International Film Festival angel awards




Junichi Kajioka is a London-based Japanese actor, writer, director and producer.

After working in the entertainment industry in Tokyo for 7 years, he moved to China in 1995 and studied acting at the Central Academy of Drama in Beijing. He then made his film debut in the 53rd Cannes Film Festival award-winning film “Devils on the Doorstep”, directed by Jiang Wen. In this film, he played a Japanese sergeant as well as working as a bilingual production assistant, script translator and location interpreter. He has played Japanese soldiers in other Chinese films such as the 69th Golden Globe Awards nomination film “The Flowers of War”, directed by Zhang Yimou and the 37th Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards film “City of Life and Death”, directed by Lu Chuan. In China, he has also played Japanese historical figures in leading roles, such as Monk Fusho in “Jianzhen Dongdu”, and Yamagata Aritomo in “Taiwan 1895”. He was one of the pioneer Japanese actors who went to China in the early days to study acting and to work in the Chinese film and TV industry as a fluent Mandarin speaker.

He moved to London in 2001 and started his new career. He acts widely in the UK and worldwide. He has recently acted in Universal Pictures “47 Ronin” alongside Keanu Reeves and “Taking Stock”, starring Kelly Brook in the UK. He was nominated for “Best Performance” for "King of Life" and "Phone Box" at international film festivals in the UK and India. He has also worked as producer for “King of Life" and "Cello".

In 2014, he directed his first film “Imphal 1944”. He made the short film especially for the commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Imphal. He is currently in pre-production for the feature length version of the film “The Battle of Imphal”.

He learned filmmaking at the Raindance Film School and is preparing to make his first documentary film about Chiune Sugihara, a Japanese diplomat who saved 6,000 Jewish people in WWII in Lithuania. His other film projects such as “One Night with Soseki Natsume” and “The Choshu Five of Japan” are currently in early stages of development. All these projects are seeking to build a bridge between Europe and Japan. He believes people can promote peace and cultural exchange through filmmaking.



"IMPHAL 1944"
Written by Junichi Kajioka

Log Line:

“Reconciliation and Peace” – in memory of the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Imphal


Set in both modern day London and Northeast India, in the 1940s, “Imphal 1944” is a narrative film about an unlikely friendship between a Japanese and British war veteran, who both fought in Imphal.

The Japanese war veteran, Masao, knows that his death is approaching. When he was fighting for his country in India, he took two British soldiers captive in the forest. In the course of the battle one dies and the other survives. In his later life he seeks out his old enemy. He takes with him the dead soldier’s handkerchief that he has kept for all this time. His attempts are rebutted and he wonders whether reconciliation is possible after so many years.

The film is inspired by the true story of a Japanese war veteran Masao Hirakubo OBE, who fought in the Battle of Imphal in Manipur, Northeast India. He was the founder of the Burma Campaign Society (BCS) and was one of the veterans of WWII who tirelessly devoted his later life to reconciliation between the UK and Japan. He died in 2008 at the age of 88.

He stated in a documentary film: “We are made alive by the wishes of the war dead. It doesn’t matter whether they are British or Japanese; those who survived are members of the same group, which means that survivors from both sides can share the same grief for their fallen comrades.”

His remarks inspired the director to make this film. It is a demonstration of how reconciliation can come about after the futility of war. The film is dedicated to the people who lost their lives in the war, especially in Northeast India and Myanmar.