Not sure where to start, so I might as well talk a little about myself.
From where all stories start: the beginning.
So. Here we go.
My name is Kanehira Mitani, and I was born in Vienna, Austria in 1988, between an architect and a writer. I have a sister, born ten years ahead of me, who was a ballerina, and now teaches ballet.
Back then immigration didn’t seem to be that big of an issue, and being born in Austria must have entitled me to an Austrian citizenship. Little did my parents know or have imagined that trade and immigration amongst the European countries would be all-OK in a couple years, and for whatever reason my parents declined the Austrian citizenship, resulting in me being a Japanese citizen.
How funny it feels to be defined Japanese by passport, in a foreign country where everybody outside your family looks and talks nothing like you. At the same time, the strongest sense of belonging came from that realization, that I was supposed to be Japanese.
Belonging to a country surely is similar to belonging to a club. Only catch is it’s a non-transferable lifelong membership, and you either benefit or not from whatever your fellow people, culture, or politicians decide. Looking back now, it would have been cool to have an Austrian passport therefore an EU passport, but I guess the dice weren’t rolled that way.
Little did I know that, twenty years later from my birth, I would fall in love with the art of cinematic expression, and define myself as a filmmaker. The community of film is the amalgamation of all interests, passions, experiences, and emotions, and that’s where I feel most comfort — at the presence of fellow filmmakers. Right now my job leans more towards being a “suit”, but that’s part of the process.
I’m about to turn thirty in a few weeks, and I feel life is finally starting to make some sense. That’s why this impulsive attempt at writing my story in my the language everybody, myself, defines as “second”, is finally taking place. I mean, the bigger the audience the merrier, right?
I know, dear reader, to you I am just another random stranger. Or maybe you have met me, once or twice, in a social situation where I was fully awkward. Maybe you know me closer to the point you recognize who I am, or I you. Maybe you are closer than that, at which point I would slowly start to be embarrassed at the fact you are already reading this.
Never mind. I hope I’m done with the ego shit that I hadn’t been aware of up until age 27, and I hope I have matured enough to admit my shortcomings, my insecurities, and innermost fears.
Either way, welcome to this essay. Let me happily break the fourth wall and welcome you aboard to this broken-English series of posts.