Directed by Yuriko Gamo Romer
In a world dominated by men, a tiny 97 year-old is the highest ranking woman and last living link to judo’s origin. In 1934 Keiko Fukuda was preparing for marriage, like most young women in Japan. Then she met Jigoro Kano (founder of Judo) and radically altered her life path. She gave up marriage, family, and her home-land to pursue her life destiny.
In 1966 she immigrated to the U.S., a single woman with an opportunity to make a living with her vocation, judo. Her move to the U.S. caught light of rank injustice within the Japanese judo system. With the help of American women’s rights activist, judo students, she began her struggle up the male dominant ladder of judo.
Yuriko Romer is an award winning filmmaker based out of San Francisco. Her film Occidental Encounters aired on PBS and won a Student Academy Award, The Jimmy Stewart Memorial Crystal Heart Award, and The Silver Apple among others. She also directed, produced and edited, Dancing with God and recently completed a short historical animation Friend Ships about the historical tale of Manjiro. Other filmmaking credits include; Reflection, Kids will be Kids, Sunnyside of the Slope, and Fusion. Yuriko is a graduate of Stanford University’s Masters program in documentary filmmaking.