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Japanese pop singer directs episode after recounting ghost fan story to filmmaker Eric Khoo

Seiko Matsuda's personal spooky encounter inspired the second episode of Folklore, a series of original Asian horror stories.

Japanese pop singer directs episode after recounting ghost fan story to filmmaker Eric Khoo

A scene from the second episode of the Folklore anthology, The Day The Wind Blew. (Screen grab: Folklore)

If you’re a fan of supernatural tales, you’ll want to tune in to the second season of Folklore, which is premiering Nov 14.

Not just for the six original Asian horror stories in the anthology but also this very spooky real-life encounter that inspired the second episode, The Day The Wind Blew.

Interestingly, that very episode is directed by the eternally youthful Japanese pop star Seiko Matsuda, 59, who debut her music career in the 1980s and is one of Japan's all-time favourite singers.

Singer-turned-director Seiko Matsuda. (Photo:

One day, her personal assistant pulled her aside to make a confession. The assistant had the ability to see ghosts and each time Matsuda picked up her microphone to perform, she’d see a phantom fan in the audience.

“I didn’t know if it was true because I don’t have the power to see that, but what she said to me grabbed my heart,” the singer told South China Morning Post (SCMP).

“She said that she could see the same person at every concert. Why the ghost was there, I don’t know but I could not forget that story.”

That story was recounted to Singaporean filmmaker Eric Khoo over dinner one night in Tokyo. Coincidentally, Khoo had wanted female directors from across the region to contribute and her story fitted the bill.

Matsuda's experience inspired the episode that involves a schoolgirl who encounters the singing idol of her dreams. She attends the star's concert but thereafter, she seems to be followed around by a bone chilling presence

“I never expected to be asked to make the show,” said Matsuda, who not only directed the episode, but also wrote the screenplay and composed the music.

Khoo was impressed by Matsuda’s directorial debut. “She is a really creative person, with lots of ideas and a real interest in directing,” he told SCMP.

“As well as directing this episode, she co-wrote the screenplay and I could feel the great sensitivity for the characters in the script.”

Source: CNA/bk