Ōkunoshima – Japan‘s Poison Factory

In World War II, Japan produced an estimated amount of 9000 tons of chemical weapons in the poison gas factory on Ōkunoshima.
Today it‘s globally known as Rabbit Island: Around 700 free hopping rabbits attract hundreds of thousands of tourists.

The documentary “Ōkunoshima“ shows what‘s left of the poison gas – and that it‘s still dangerous.

About the documentary “Ōkunoshima“

The 30 minute documentary film was independently researched and produced from 2013 to 2019.
It combined unpublished documents, interviews with victims & historical witnesses,
as well as unseen images from various archives from around the world.
The documentary had its world premiere at the 2019 Hiroshima International Film Festival
and was nominated for “Investigative Medium” at the 2020 DIG Awards.

About the filmmaker Fritz Schumann

I‘m a visual journalist working in Japan since 2009. In 2013, when I was living in Hiroshima,
I started to research the history of Ōkunoshima beyond its Rabbit Island fame. I was shocked by the
extent of the poison gas production and how unknown this history was even within Japan. Besides a
research grant, this film was funded by myself. It was challenging to find sources and the research
took me several years – and what I experienced will stay with me for a long time.

Some of the people I talked to have since passed away,
having had their last chance to tell their story to me.
I hope this documentary film can preserve their memories for the future.


Story, Research & Photography Fritz Schumann Music Mario Kaoru Mevy Animation Silan Bekjarov Interviews Masayuki Yamauchi / Susumu Sakuma / Bu Ping / Reiko Okada / Miyuki Aozuka Translation Yukina Gumbe Harris / Nikki Kininmoth / Tomoko Nishizaki / Noburo Kondo / Azusa Sumioka / Hidenori Suzuki Okada Diary Narration Kiyoka Sumida Additional Research Sophie Matsuo / Noburo Kondo / Tomoko Nishizaki Special Thanks Tomoko Nishizaki / Higuchi Kenji / Noburo Kondo / Noborito Museum Tokyo / Sophie Matsuo / Yuriko Williams / Justus Williams / Kei Nakamura / Daqing Yang / Kiyoka Sumida / Masami Sumida / NIDS military archives / Ayano Kawaguchi / Frank Schumann / GEKA Munster / Hiroshima Film Commission / Mihoko Inagaki Additional Funding Robert Bosch Stiftung ”Grenzgänger” grant Copyright Fritz Schumann 2019

More documentary films by Fritz Schumann



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