The Witches of the Orient

Category: Traditional Culture, Game & Anime

What we do at HYPER JAPAN Online 2021

From the courts to the drawing board, how did an Olympic volleyball team inspire a whole generation of manga and anime?
Join us for a live Q&A with director Julien Faraut and writer and comic expert Paul Gravett as we open up a conversation about a highly anticipated film release: The Witches of Orient. The film tells the story of Japan’s women’s volleyball team that became a sensation on their way to capturing Olympic gold in 1964, inspiring legions of fans and spawning untold numbers of manga comics and anime television programs in their likeness. Julien and Paul will discuss how anime and manga play a vital role in the story’s filmic retelling.

Host: Paul Gravett
Guest: Julien Faraut

Date/Time: 26th July 6:30pm

Show at HYPER JAPAN Online 2021


Meet the former players of the Japanese women’s volleyball
team. Now in their 70s, they used to be known as the « Witches of the Orient » because of their seemingly supernatural powers on the courts.

From the formation of the squad in the late 1950s as a worker’s team at a textile factory, right up until their triumph at the 1964 Olympic Games in Tokyo, their memories and true magic from long ago bubble up into a heady brew where fact and fable fly hand in hand.

Watch the film here:
Watch the Q&A here:


“the joy of the witches’ success is infectious … exactly like what our weary world needs right now” - MOMA
“a solid crowd-pleaser elevated by faraut's experimental streak” - Screen Daily
“a fascinating portrait of the emblematic, collective strength of character shown by these endearing women” - Cineuropa
“It makes for compelling cinema” - Business Doc Europe
“Truly fascinating… a gripping, joyous experience” 4 star Slacker Cinema


A film by Julien Faraut

Documentary | French, Japanese, English | France | 100 mins
On Release across UK/Ireland 16 July
International Film Festival Rotterdam 2021 - Big Screen Competition
Sheffield DocFest 2021 - Official Selection
MoMA Doc Fortnight 2021 - Official Selection