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‘Ikitahi’ Documentary to Be Screened at Union Church

A family tends to their dying father in “Ikitahi.”

“If you are afraid of dying, you may be afraid of life itself.”

So begins a deeply intimate look into the end of life, for the living as well as the dying, in Hiroko Hasegawa’s documentary “Ikitahi” (The Days Lived).

The film is also known as “Inochi no Baton” (The Baton of Life).

Hasegawa will be on hand when the film makes its U.S. debut next Friday, May 24, at Union Church of Los Angeles.

Born in Akita Prefecture, Hasegawa is a television announcer who decided to delve into filmmaking before the passing of her husband in 2009. As she cared for him in his final days, she documented their lives as his disease progressed, mostly at home, with other family present.

Hiroko Hasegawa

The film has played throughout Japan, with audiences finding themselves re-examining their views on life and death.

Two sessions will be held on May 24, at 1:30 and 5:30 p.m. A donation of $30 is suggested. However, special admission arrangements for Rafu readers can be made by emailing, or by calling event coordinator Emiko Yamaguchi at (626) 625-9085.

Union Church is located at 401 E. Third St. (at San Pedro) in Little Tokyo. Limited church parking is available.

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