Trailer for “Hope to Our Hands: The Hidden Story of ME/CFS in Japan”

The Japan ME Association is currently at work on an English-subtitled version of our documentary film about ME/CFS patients in Japan, which we have been screening before a wide range of audiences across Japan since it was completed in 2017. It will be titled “Hope to Our Hands: The Hidden Story of ME/CFS in Japan.”

We would like to introduce the trailer for the film (an English translation of the Japanese captions to the four-minute trailer follows below). The English DVD will be based on an abridged version of the film that we are concurrently producing to raise ME awareness among medical professionals within Japan.

We would be very grateful for your kind help to share this trailer among the international ME/CFS community.

Trailer for “Hope to Our Hands: The Hidden Story of ME/CFS in Japan” (English translation)

Text enclosed in square brackets […] are captions (text on screen).

[Hope to Our Hands]
[The Hidden Story of ME/CFS in Japan]

[One day, all of a sudden]
[Stricken by an illness without known cause or treatment]
[Becoming bedridden and forced to quit work or school]
[With most medical tests detecting no abnormalities]
[People with this illness are told despite suffering from severe symptoms]
[that it’s just their imaginations or that they’re lazy]

Woman: There are many doctors who have never even heard of the illness.

[An illness that doctors don’t know about]
[A lack of doctors to write medical certificates diagnosing the illness]

Woman lying in bed: When I met with those five patients, everyone was saying the same thing. Doctors don’t understand. Family members don’t understand. We’re struggling financially because we aren’t able to get disability benefits.

[Not recognized as having a disability]
[Unable to receive government support]

[Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME)/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)]
[The illness has been called Chronic Fatigue Syndrome in Japan]
[Now it is common to use both names: ME/CFS]

Woman on sofa: People don’t take me seriously and say things like, “Oh, I have chronic fatigue too.” In the end, telling people the name causes even more misunderstanding about my condition.

[Suspected of being lazy and pretending to be ill]
[There are 100,000 patients who are living isolated from society]
[Patients who have been abandoned]

Woman in bed: When I realized that everyone was suffering the same way that I was, that they were all struggling, I realized that I had to do something.

[So she spoke up, created a patient association and a movie]

Title shot : “Hope to Our Hands: The Hidden Story of ME/CFS in Japan”

Woman in bed: I realized that Japan was really behind.
[Caption: Mieko Shinohara. Diagnosed in 1990 in the United States]

[I want people to know about this devastating disease]

[Despite being trapped in a body that would not work the way she wished]
[She reached out looking for other ME/CFS patients who would take action]
[From Hokkaido to Hiroshima]

Hope to Our Hands: The Hidden Story of ME/CFS in Japan

[Effective treatments for the illness are being pursued overseas]

Woman wearing glasses: I am hoping that they discover the cause and effective treatment for the illness soon.

[Completed this spring]
[Join our cause by hosting film screenings of this documentary across Japan]
[So that the Truth about ME/CFS ]
[and the voices of the patients can be heard]

Japan Me Association
Hope to Our Hands: The Hidden Story of ME/CFS in Japan
Seiji Arihara, Director

Contact us about hosting a film screening at 080-4082-6287
Japan ME Association