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The Fish with One Sleeve

Tsuyoshi Shoji


Forever myself.
A 34-minute story of a trans woman gently but firmly taking her first step. Living my true self.

Hikari Shintani (Yu Ishizuka), a trans woman, works at an ornamental fish company and lives alone in Tokyo. While occasionally feeling an indescribable distance between herself and others, she shares a good rapport with her coworkers and a trans woman friend. One day, Hikari returns to her hometown for a business trip. To reveal her true self as a woman, she gathers her courage and texts her old classmate Takashi, a long-unrequited love from high school.

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Basic information of the work

Screening time
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Accessibility of this work

  • Audio guide
  • Sign language
  • Barrier-free subtitles
  • Subtitles
  • Multilingual
  • Dubbing
  • Artist’s original barrier-free version
  • Non-verbal

Original version (No accessibility) and 4 barrier-free videos are available. Please switch tabs to view.

  • Audio guide (Japanese)
  • Barrier-free subtitles (Japanese)
  • Subtitles (English)
  • Subtitles (Greek)


Until recently in Japan, transgender roles were often played by cisgender actors. In this film, the actors were selected in Japan’s first-ever audition held specifically for trans women. Out of many applicants, the fashion model Yu Ishizuka was cast for the main role. Few other trans women were also cast through the audition.

Message from artist / creator

I hope you will consider the issue of media representation of minorities in terms of what it means for parties to play minority roles.

About the line in the play… There is a line in the play, “My body is male, but my mind is female and I live as a woman. I am aware that this expression “my mind is [〇〇(gender)]” is not a good way to describe a transperson’s gender identity or Gender Identity, as it can easily lead to misunderstandings. However, in the real world, when a microaggressor tries to explain a transperson’s physical and mental state out of curiosity, the person concerned is sometimes forced to use a simplified explanation tailored to the person in question in order to get by.


Tsuyoshi Shoji

Artist Profile

Tsuyoshi SHOJI


He started his career when he was in Musashino Art University student. His early work “Lost in the Garden” is exhibited in “Tokyo International Lesbian and Gay Film Festival”and won the Special Jury Award in 1995. After that, he directed many works in wide genre, from independent to commercial film. ”Kenka Bancho the movie series”(2008-2011) “The Onee Chanbara Vortex” (2009) which is both from famous game titles. He also active as a VFX professional. The short film”OldNarcissus”(2017) is awarded 10 prizes and was screened over 20 film festivals in 7 countries.


Hikari / Koki : Yu Ishizuka
Chiaki : Rika Hirohata
Takashi Hisada: Hisao Kurozumi
Tomoka Igari, Taijiro Tamura, Hideko Hara

Written, Directed & Produced by Tsuyoshi Shoji
Based on Yumi Fuzuki’s poem “The Fish with One Sleeve”
Cinematographer : Hajime Kanda
Lighting Technician : Kazushi Maruyama
Sound Recordist & Sound Effects Artist : Kota Sasai
Art Director : Kaori Haga
Editor & VFX Artist : Tsuyoshi Shoji

Music by Yu Ojima
Theme song “RED FISH”
Lyrics by Yumi Fuzuki
Composed by Yu Ojima
Sung by Miyna Usui

Produced & Distributed by BAGMOTH

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