JOHATSU

JOHATSU – INTO THIN AIR

By Andreas HARTMANN, Arata MORI

OSSA FILM - as PROD

Documentary - Completed 2024

In Japan, people vanish from their established life without a trace with the support of so-called "night moving" companies. Known as the Johatsu, or “the evaporated,” these people leave everything behind to start a new life somewhere else.

Festivals
& Awards

DOK.forum Marketplace 2019
Sunny Side of the Doc Pitch Prize
DOK Leipzig 2023
DOK Industry D-Facto Motion Works-in-Progress Award
26th Thessaloniki IDF 2024
World Premiere in the Main Competition
    • Year of production
    • 2024
    • Genres
    • Documentary, Social issues, Drama
    • Countries
    • GERMANY, JAPAN
    • Languages
    • JAPANESE
    • Duration
    • 86 mn
    • Director(s)
    • Andreas HARTMANN, Arata MORI
    • Producer(s)
    • Andreas HARTMANN (OSSA FILM)
    • Synopsis
    • Into Thin Air is a documentary film about individual stories of people in Japan who purposely vanish from their previous identities. The film takes a close look into this universe of “Johatsu,” the disappearance and the transition into a second life elsewhere, the missing and the seeking, and the industries created around this phenomenon.

      “I’m going on a business trip,” that is what SUGIMOTO tells his son before he disappears into the urban jungle of Tokyo. When his family business goes bankrupt, Sugimoto cannot bear the mounting debts and the shame they pile on his family. Hiding away from debt collectors, Sugimoto meets a “night mover” named SAITA. Saita runs one of the “night moving” companies in Japan that help people vanish overnight. Her job is to discreetly rescue her clients from undesired situations, moving their belongings, providing lodging, and even jobs for them in secret whereabouts.

      With the support of a night-moving company, an ANONYMOUS COUPLE hides day and night from their blackmailing boss in a love hotel in the remote countryside. They live and work in the hotel rooms, dealing with their new reality while dreaming of resuming a “normal” life.

      KANDA evaporated thirty-seven years ago, escaping from the Yakuza and leaving his family behind. Living a nomadic lifestyle moving from one shelter to another, he picks up a gambling habit on the way, and ends up in a "utopian" slum in Osaka. As his life starts to settle down, he dreams of meeting his mother again and sets off on a trip to his hometown.

      GOTO is a single mother searching for her missing son. She struggles to get any support from the local police due to Japan’s Data Protection Laws. She turns to a private detective, KUDO, who tracks down “the evaporated” for his clients. Speculating that Goto’s son might be searching for his biological father - who is also missing - Kudo goes on a journey to a remote island in search of the mysterious disappeared.