top of page


YURIA MATSUSHITA  is now recognized as one of the world’s finest up and coming young film directors. Born in Ehime, Japan in 1977, her travels to study a variety of different art forms in many parts of the world have given her a global perspective which is readily apparent in her work. Yuria’s father Bunji is Japanese and has been recognized as one of Japan’s earliest and most important advocates of international understanding. Yuria’s mother Elzbieta is Polish from a family of artists, architects and stage actors. 

Yuria learned classical ballet from the age of four. As a young adult she graduated from the London College of Fashion in 1998, specializing in makeup and hair for performing arts, then in 1999 she studied sculpture at the Academy of Fine Art in Poznan, Poland before moving in 2000 to Thailand, where she studied classical art and began to compose poetry and scripts for film and stage performances. In 2001 her independent film “Tutu” was nominated for the PIA Film Festival. 

In 2002 Yuria moved her base back to her hometown in Japan where she was joined by her sister Erika, a well credentialed choreographer and costume designer, to establish the TORANOKO Performing Arts Company. TORANOKO specializes in a specific form of visual art combining a broad spectrum of theatrical art with various exhibitions and children playing the main parts. The children of TORANOKO have a motto - “The World is Our Stage”. In 2008 Yuria directed “Canna Lily” for the Hitachi Maxell Hi-Vision Theatre. She then directed performances of “Zanmu” which were set in a tropical garden and began in Kielce, Poland in 2009 to celebrate the thousandth year of the town’s foundation, and which ran for nine years. In that same year 2009, Yuria was awarded her Master’s Degree from Wasada University’s Global Information and Telecommunications School, specializing in digital cinematography. 

In 2011 Yuria started a stage production based on Shuji Terayama’s book of poetry for girls. Under the directorship of Yuria and her sister Erika, the TORANOKO company performed Terayama’s “I Want to Dance But I Can’t Dance” in Tokyo. In 2013 TORANOKO performed Terayama’s “Stolen Memories” in the Poznan Opera House in Poland during Japan Week. 

In 2015, in collaboration with famous animation film director Koji Yamamura, Yuria began a stage production of Yamamura’s most acclaimed film “Muybridge’s Strings” during the International Festival in Przemysl, Poland. 

In 2017, under Yuria’s directorship, TORANOKO performed “Muybridge’s Strings and Rhythm of Motion” at BankART NYK in Yokohama, Japan and was officially invited to perform at the Etiuda & Anima Film Festival in Krakow, then in Teatr Muzyczny, Poznan and Dom Sztuki Wiolinowa in Warsaw.

In 2019 Yuria directed in film, Shuji Terayama’s “A Story Sewn and Bound with a Red Thread” for which she scripted and art-directed the production, with her sister Erika as the producer and costume designer. This film has been publicly acclaimed and so far has won no less than ten awards in film festivals around the world. These include the Special Jury Award at the International Professional Feature Film Competition at the 12th NNW International Film Festival.

In 2020 Yuria directed the musical video “Hide & Seek” made for the online screening of the Chopin Village Festival in Tobe, Japan, which won four awards.

Yuria is currently working on a stage production of “Schoolgirl” which is based on the novel by Osamu Dazai.

bottom of page