Oct. 9 (Thur.) A Must See Collection of Unique Films Publications / index / Japanese Documentary


(14k) Production Company: "Mothers" Production
Committee Director: Kurokawa Yoshimasa
Photography: Sasaki Ken, Kurokawa Jun, Oshima Shun'ichi Editing, Lighting: Sasaki Ken. Interviewer, Sound: Suzuki Katsuko
Tape Editing: Okuma Wataru
Music: L-T UNIT2.
1987 / Color / Video (orig. 8mm) / 120 min

Kurokawa Yoshimasa, Daidoji Masashi, Masunaga Toshiaki, and Arai Mariko, all members of the East Asian Anti-Japanese Armed Front "Scorpion," were incarcerated for instigating the bombing of the Marunouchi offices of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. This film was conceived of and directed by Kurokawa whilst in prison. During the making of this film, he and his fellow members were under sentences of death or life imprisonment. As testimony to Kurokawa's idea that "the emperor system is not only an incarnation of the patriarchal principle but also the embodiment of the female principle," the film aims "to critically examine the essence of the Japanese maternal image." In it, Sasaki Ken and other film crew members interview the mothers of those in prison, including Kurokawa's mother, on 8mm camera. Daidoji's and Kurokawa's mothers gradually begin to learn more about the "emperor system" because of the crime their sons committed, and another woman chooses to adopt Masunaga Toshiaki as her son after the incident. The film describes the mothers shouldering the heavy burden of the bombing and their calm acceptance of reality, even as they continue the campaign against their sons' death sentences. The mothers' honest discussion of their feelings is interspersed with humorous analytical short plays and scenes of Hokkaido, which refer to Daidoji's most central experience. The film concludes with a confession of the "pathos of self-hatred for having no choice but to live as a native of Imperial Japan."


Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival Organizing Committee