Mrs. Judo: Be Strong, Be Gentle, Be Beautiful tells the inspirational story of Keiko Fukuda, the granddaughter of a samurai, and her single-minded devotion to the judo despite the persistent discrimination against women in the sport in Japan. In 2011, with the help of devoted supporters, Fukuda broke through the glass ceiling and earned her 10th degree black belt, thus becoming the highest-ranking woman in judo history. She is 99 years old.
Today, the diminutive Fukuda suffers from Parkinson’s, has recovered from a heart attack, and undergone triple bypass surgery. Yet she still runs her annual women’s judo summer camp, and hosts the Fukuda International Judo Kata (forms) Tournament and teaches judo three times a week, in San Francisco.
Filmmaker Yuriko Gamo Romer holds a master’s degree in documentary filmmaking from Stanford University, a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of California at Los Angeles and a brown belt from World Oyama Karate. Her previous film Occidental Encounters won numerous awards at film festivals internationally. She recently completed Friend Ships, a short historical animation about John Manjiro, the inadvertent Japanese immigrant rescued by an American whaling captain.