Grand Voyage with Africa

As the world advances, the field of science has seen great innovations as well as new and strange diseases such as Covid 19. Amidst these all, Kikuoka Yasumasa, a herbal medicine practitioner, strives to keep his family’s legacy alive. As a 24th generation Kikuoka, running the family practice in the wake of a global pandemic, he explains the role of traditional medicine in a modern world, with modern diseases.

World Premiere
  • Director:Joan Rispa Kiragu
  • Kenya, Japan
  • 2022
  • 10min.
  • color
  • -
  • Japanese, English
  • -


movie trailer
In a modern world with modern diseases, what is the role of traditional medicine? Our current realities are clouded by the global pandemic, Covid-19 and the impact it had on our lives. One would then wonder why traditional medicine is still in existence and yet the world is changing. However, through The Herbalist, we realize, the more things change, the more they remain the same. We therefore need to be grounded by our culture and beliefs even as we forge ahead to face the modern world.
Joan Rispa Kiragu

Joan Rispa Kiragu is a Kenyan based filmmaker who loves inspiring change through her films. She started her film journey back in school where she created several short films with her directorial debut ‘Detox’ giving her both local and international recognition. She has since gone ahead to create impact with her films by tackling topics such as breastmilk donation in the country, the plight of the deaf community and youth unemployment. Her major strength is her ability to bring out the positive stories within her community.

Recommendations from the NIFF Supporters

The author, who had a sore throat soon after arriving in Japan, asked the main character, a Chinese herbalist, to make a decoction for her. She was said and impressed, “These are the same ingredients my mother makes for me at home! This film makes us feel that healing people is universal.

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