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

Magino Story--Pass

(12k) Production Company: Ogawa Productions
Ogawa Shinsuke
Producers: Iizuka Toshio, Fuseya Hiroo
Assistant Directors: Watanabe Takaaki, Mikado Sadatoshi
Photography: Okumura Yuji
Assistant: Hayashi Tetsuji
Sound: Uriu Toshihiko
Sound Editor: Kubota Yukio
Logistics: Shiraishi Yoko, Hatanaka Hiroko
Appearance: Makabe Jin
1977 / B? / 16mm / 43 min

"The pass is a place that forces decisions, that flows with the clear melancholy of parting." So goes a short poem by Makabe Jin published in the poetry journal Shijoritsu in 1947. Makabe was a Yamagata poet who played an important role in Ogawa's move to that prefecture; he was the person who caused Ogawa to discover the "face of the true peasant farmer." A memorial stone inscribed with a poem had been dedicated to Makabe on the occasion of his 70th birthday. Ogawa filmed Magino Story--Pass using that poem as the motif. It referred to Ogawa's own "clear melancholy of parting" from Sanrizuka. On the other hand, for Makabe the pass signified the bridging of a gap between the experience of war and the new direction of the postwar era. Makabe wanted to bring the history of the village to light via stories of the agricultural Gods in the Zao region, and through the old people's stories of the struggles over the distribution of water among their rice fields that were common not so long ago. It is an expression of Makabe's strong desire as both peasant farmer and poet to "write a personal history that becomes a history of Japanese agriculture." In capturing the peasant-poet's pride through his detailed depiction of Makabe, dressed in a straw cloak against the rain and carrying a straw umbrella, Ogawa crossed a "pass" all of his own.


Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival Organizing Committee