YouTube captures disaster relief with “Japan in a Day”

Exactly one year to the day after a devastating earthquake and tsunami struck the country, residents of Japan will be filming their lives for a new YouTube collaboration. 


Kris Holt

Internet Culture

Published Mar 5, 2012   Updated Jun 2, 2021, 8:33 pm CDT

Life in a Day, a film created using footage submitted by the YouTube community to showcase occurrences in their daily lives and notable events on a specific day in 2010, was released last year to strong acclaim.

This month, the concept is being localized in Japan. Japan in a Day aims to create a vivid portrait of Japan as it exists today, with the footage being captured by people in the country this Saturday—a year to the day after a devastating earthquake and tsunami struck the country.

The film is being dedicated to those who lost their lives and those who are suffering in the aftermath of the natural disaster.

As indicated on the project’s YouTube page, its producers are asking participants “to document your world (or someone else’s world) in Japan over the course of a single day. We expect most videos to comprise documentary footage, but if you think that your world is best captured through fictional storytelling or even animation, it is entirely up to you.”

Videos that are submitted to the project will be featured on the page, with the director and the production team editing together many of the clips into a feature-length film. Japan in a Day will be released in Japan in the fall and will be released elsewhere at a later date.

The film is being produced by Ridley and Tony Scott, the production team behind Life in a Day, along with Fuji TV, which plans to donate all profits to victims in areas affected by the tsunami. The director has yet to be revealed.

As Film School Rejects notes, 200 cameras are being donated to those in the areas hit hardest by the tsunami so they can share their stories and lives.

It promises to be a fascinating look into how Japan is still recovering from a catastrophic event. Better still, it should offer a poetic, insightful perspective of the country, as viewed by its residents.

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*First Published: Mar 5, 2012, 3:00 pm CST