The Silk Tree Ballad (1974)
Mariko Miyagi was once an accomplished actress and singer who, unbeknownst by many, had also written screenplays, produced, and directed films. She was also the director of Nemunoki Gakuen, a special needs school for disabled children – the first ever such school in Japan. Using her own money, Miyagi founded the school in Shizuoka prefecture. At Nemunoki, children and young adults with physical, mental or familial difficulties are gently encouraged to discover and develop their talents through activities such as painting, music, tea ceremony and dancing. The Silk Tree Ballad was the first in a series of documentaries shown on television and distributed theatrically by the Art Theater Guild of Japan.