Oct. 7 (Tue.) The Work of Ogawa Shinsuke Publications / index / Japanese Documentary

Magino Story
--Raising Silkworms

(17k) Production Company: Ogawa Productions
Iizuka Toshio, Fuseya Hiroo
Director: Ogawa Shinsuke
Photography: Hara Tadashi
Sound: Uriu Toshihiko
Editing: Fukuda Katsuhiko
Blow up to 16mm: Tamura Masaki
Negative Editor: Takahashi Tatsuo
Appearances: Kimura Sato, Kimura Shuichi, Kimura Hatsu, Shiraishi Yoko, Mikado Sadatoshi.
1977 / Color / 16mm (orig. 8mm) / 112 min / English subtitles

The film opens with a old woman recounting a folk tale concerning silkworms (she calls them "honorable worms") in which the Magino silkworms are seen as the reincarnation of a vanished princess, and as messengers of the Gods. In the folk tale it is said that the pattern on the bodies of the silkworms is the same as the hoof print of the horse that protected the princess. This introduction draws us into the world of raising silkworms. Ogawa and his staff spin out a film from the process of actually raising silkworms themselves, under the direction of Kimura Sato, a woman who has spent half her life with the silkworms. The film shows us in exquisite detail the process involved: from the birth of the silkworms in the spring, through the selection of mulberry leaves for their food and the repeated shedding of their skins as they grow, to the cocoons that they make in time for the autumn. Along with Ogawa and his staff, we come to share the same sense of "time" as Sato, who has spent many years with the silkworms. This time spent with Sato, in particular, formed the basis of the broadened attitude that Ogawa demonstrated in his later films after moving to Magino and working as both filmmaker and farmer.


Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival Organizing Committee