Just prior to entering her long professional career, Kaede Hatashima discards her masculine form and comes out to society as a transgender woman. In the brief respite between graduate school and her new job as an architect, she tests her wings as a woman for the first time.
Through competing in a beauty contest and by giving lectures, Kaede gains attention as a gifted and talented transgender woman. While in the media spotlight, she seeks an active role in expanding the prospects for other trans people. Internally, however, Kaede cannot shake the self-image of a son rejected by his father, which remains with her from childhood. An ambitious trans woman aiming for social achievement and a son secretly wishing to be loved and recognized. Grappling with these two identities, what kind of woman will Kaede design?
This documentary tells an ongoing story, and captures the moment when the woman known as Kaede is born.
Kaede Hatashima (a.k.a. Sari Kaede)
Born in Kyoto in 1993. Kaede has been dreaming of becoming an architect since eight years old. After graduating the Keio University Graduate School, she joined Nikken in 2019 and is pursuing her dream.
Jodo Buddhist monk and world-renowned makeup artist. Kodo is also active on enlighting for LGBTQ community.
Transgender actress and model. Also the president of Otome Juku(Girls' Club), an organization that supports transitioning trans women.
Social Venture with the mission of "Creating the society where all the LGBTQ people can work as they truly are"
One of Japan's leading transsexual TV personalities. The winner of Miss International Queen 2009.
From San Francisco, USA.
Diana Ross, Utada Hikaru, Hirai Ken, DCT etc. <Performing>
TV, Radio, Movies, Commercials, Magazines etc. <Multi-talent>
He is also a charismatic trainer in the beauty world which supported three Japanese women into the world crown (Miss International Ikumi Yoshimatsu and Haruna Ai, Miss Universe Former Performing Partner)
Currently he is an owner of the world's top 3 beauty contest tournament Miss Supranational Japan. Also serving as National Director and is also known as the world's first achievement last year, two years in a row and two consecutive misses and misters simultaneously.
Training at Hilton Tokyo, Meiji University and Bunka Fashion College, etc.
Recently he focus on young people to train "first impression" and "Smile" for confident in their future.
Taiki Sugioka was born and raised in Sagamihara, Japan. He moved to New York in 2001 and studied filmmaking at the School of Visual Arts, New York. After working for award-winning directors, Marshall Curry ('Street Fight') and Megumi Sasaki ('Herb & Dorothy'), Sugioka moved back to Tokyo and directed his first feature documentary about civil movements immediately after the 311 earthquake, LOUD SPRING. Sugioka’s second feature documentary, Campaign Fest! released nationwide in July 2015. 'You decide.' is his third feature documentary.
When I was asked to make this film by my long-time friend and executive producer of the film, Steven Haynes, to be honest, I was quite reluctant to do it. The reason was simple; I was afraid of the political correctness that would constrain me to portrait her more attractive than who she really is, and I wasn't confident I could overcome that.
There is a growing movement in Tokyo to support the LGBTQ community. Yet, I have been in a few situations where I have felt that the status of being LGBTQ-friendly is being utilised and commercialised as if it was a new fashion trend imported from overseas, or could be considered as a loyalty test for/against a certain political ideology. The true voices of the people who are troubled and concerned could hardly be heard and ironically, arguments in order to embrace diversity have never seemed to be held diversely amongst communities.
When we started to shoot the film, Kaede was in the midst of her transition. It had only been a year since she started her life as a woman, and she did not have the appeal or the charisma of the LGBTQ figures that I had grown used to seeing on the media. It was rather her immatureness that intrigued me, and I found the authenticity of young people living in today's Tokyo through her fragile and unstable ego. I decided to make this film not because I felt obliged to support LGBTQ community, but simply because I wanted to learn more about what I didn't know.
I don't believe that I can lead anyone in a "right" direction with this film. If this film could provide a teachable opportunity that helps you to think independently for yourself, instead of denouncing others or falling into a binary opposition, that would be my greatest accomplishment. I am sure that there are many people similar to me who are troubled and stuck between malice and political correctness. I would like to meet with such people, exchange opinions, and work towards a future where honest feelings can be announced without being fearful of harming others.
Producer/Director/Cinematographer/Editor ：Taiki Sugioka
Executive producer：Steven Haynes
Assistant director：Daiki Shingyouji
Cinematographer：Daiki Shingyouchi, Shinichiro Oroku
Re-Recoeding Mixer：Akira Ito
Visual design：Shingo Hinokimoto
English subtitles：Kat Joplin
105 min / Color / Japanese and English(w/ English Subtitles) / 2020 / ©2020 'You decide.''