The AAS 2021 Film Expo closed on March 26; films are no longer available for viewing. For more information on this film, contact the filmmaker.
Songs Still Sung: Voices from the Tsunami Shores
Sunday, March 21, 2021
5:30pm – 2:00am EDT
Directed by Suzuki Yoi. Produced by Arai Takako. 2020. Japan. 80 minutes. Country/region featured: Japan Q&A chat session with Suzuki Yoi, Arai Takako, and Kendall Heitzman (translator) Tue, 03/23/2021 – 10:00a EDT
A Gift from Their Generation to the Future!
After the Tohoku Triple Disaster of 2011, the poet Arai Takako led a series of translation workshops with tsunami survivors in Ofunato, Iwate Prefecture, using short poems by the early 20th-century poet Ishikawa Takuboku. Takuboku was from Iwate, too, but he wrote his poems in a literary standard Japanese. Workshop participants translated his poems into their regional dialect, called “Kesengo.” A collection of 100 Takuboku poems with their translations was published in 2017.
In this documentary film, a companion to the book, Arai interviews five women from Ofunato, ages 79 to 100, who have survived as many as three tsunami in the past century! They talk about their childhood memories, their fortitude in the face of war and natural disaster, and the extraordinary depth of spoken Kesengo. Director Suzuki Yoi’s rich poetic sensibility offers a vision of humanity in all its complexity, as the film weaves together their Takuboku translations, poetry by the women themselves, and local songs. Their stories and their language will become a part of everyone who listens to their voices.