Tokyo Black Hole: Year Zero in Post-WWII Japan

What was life like in Japan after World War 2? Explore Tokyo’s post-wartime struggles as this documentary digs into real historical footage from 1945 to 1946.

World War II has just ended. At this time, Tokyo is a destitute, broken, and lawless place driven by hunger and greed.

From over 100,000 pages of declassified CIA documents and hours of newly discovered footage shot by American occupation forces and private individuals, NHK (this film’s production crew) resurrects Tokyo during this pivotal year, Year Zero.

Seen through the eyes of a young man from the present who finds himself transported back in time, the program utilizes colorized footage and cutting-edge video to retell the days after WW2 in Japan.

Throughout, we’ll get a very clear picture on how a desperation laid the foundations of today’s megalopolis – creating a work culture which over strains itself to get ahead.

These recent discovery of films from post-WWⅡ Tokyo has provided valuable and, in some cases, unknown information about life in Japan at the time.

We learn that Tokyo swallowed people, materials and money like a black hole, a metaphor for the black markets that sprang up overnight peddling goods from the Japanese army and U.S. military.

People dove into these markets to survive the tough times. And those who profited gained power, moving the economy and politics forward.

Tokyo Black Hole: Year Zero in Post-WWII Japan
  • Info
  • Release date2017
  • Full runtime
  • Director(s)Kensuke Kishi
  • Production companyNHK