Born on the 24th of August 1960 in Osaka, Japan. Graduating from Yokohama Academy of Broadcasting and Film (presently Japan Academy of Moving Images), he studied under directors Imamura Shohei and Onchi Hideo. He made his feature-film debut in 1995 with SHINJUKU KUROSHAKAI CHINA MAFIA WAR, and drew attention at foreign film festivals with his next, FUDO, made in 1996.
Working in a wide span of genres from adolescent to Yakuza movies to fantasy stories, he is a director who maintains a unique originality as an artist. In 1998 at the Vancouver International Film Festival, a special feature of the director in which three of his titles were presented was held. The Rotterdam Film festival followed with a special focus section on him where AUDITION was awarded the FIPRESCI Award. He is a highly praised filmmaker, in Japan as overseas.