Miwa, A Japanese Icon
Miwa, à la recherche du lézard noir AKA Miwa: The Search for the Black Lizard
France (FR), Japan, 2010, 61 minutes
Miwa, A Japanese Icon Synopsis

From acclaimed French director Pascal Alex-Vincent (Give Me Your Hand) comes the extraordinary true story of Japanese star Miwa, whose incredible life has only recently come to the attention of audiences outside Japan.


Beyond her trademark glitter, wig, evening gowns and sarcasm, Miwa Akihiro's career spans over fifty years as one of Japan's top entertainers - selling millions of records and drawing crowds to theatres - but also as an activist (fighting for gay rights among others) and as one of the most accurate critics of 20th-century Japan, a country riddled with contradictions where he remains incredibly popular.


Miwa was born Akihiro Maruyama. As a young singer, Miwa popularized androgyny as a fashion statement, fusing the masculine and the feminine into a signal of a new generation of aesthetics. This evolved into performing as a woman and living off-stage as a man. With glitter, wit, evening gowns, and enchanting storytelling, Miwa looks back over a 50-year career and a fascinating life in music, film and television (Miwa was a friend and lover of author Yukio Mishima). Miwa remains incredibly popular in a country where contradictions permeate life.

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Reviewed by lenidecastro
Miwa Akihiro, born Akihiro Murayama, is a well-known Japanese actor who has drawn thousands to theaters, singer who composes his own music and has sold millions of records, and a... more
Miwa Akihiro, born Akihiro Murayama, is a well-known Japanese actor who has drawn thousands to theaters, singer who composes his own music and has sold millions of records, and a writer who has written 20 books many of which are critical of social issues and government policies. He is openly gay and with his peculiar shoulder length bright yellow hair, he has made himself known also as a rebel who fights for gay rights and for other causes. This movie Miwa, A Japanese Icon, the true story of Miwa, was created under the direction of acclaimed French director Pascal Alex-Vincent and is rapidly catching the attention of international audiences. rnOne of his best works is the song “Yoitomake no Uta” which he vowed to never sing while wearing extravagant looking clothes. Thus he would change from his expensive cross-dresses to shabby poor man’s clothes and would re-dye his hair from yellow to black. He was inspired by the impoverished miners who came to see him in his brightly colored clothes sing. rnHis career has spanned 50 years and his dressing style became a popular fashion statement that has influenced decades of generations.
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Reviewed by clara93
I didn't know a thing about Miwa coming into this but this film taught me all about a cool lady and gave me quite a few interesting film recommendations too.... more
I didn't know a thing about Miwa coming into this but this film taught me all about a cool lady and gave me quite a few interesting film recommendations too. I'm not sure if the film has as much to offer people who are already aware of its subject but, on an educational level, this is well worth a watch. 
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  • I mostly know Miwa because she voiced the wolf in Princess Mononoke. That's pretty badass.

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  • I mostly know Miwa because she voiced the wolf in Princess Mononoke. That's pretty badass.
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  • Want to see this! Incredible story which I never knew about.

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  • Want to see this! Incredible story which I never knew about.
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