A Japanese native, Chikara has spent nearly 35 years in New York, Hawaii, and in the San Francisco Bay area as a freelance Director, Cinematographer, and Editor for various Japanese television networks, including NHK, Japan’s public television. Chikara also was a principal collaborator on 14 independent films with Rob Nilsson, a Berkeley-based Sundance/Cannes award-winning filmmaker.
Since 2011, Chikara has partnered with Paul Zehrer for PotentialSF — working as Co-Producer, Cinematographer, and Co-Editor on numerous award-winning films including “Why Waldorf?”, “Preparing for Life”, and “Being Seen”. Recently Chikara was a Co-Cinematographer for “The Test and The Art of Thinking,” a documentary feature about the SAT exam.
In 2019, Chikara premiered his first feature-length documentary “Journey to Hokusai” at Mill Valley Film Festival.