|The War at Sea from Hawaii to Malay|
Hawai Mare oki kaisen
Director: Kajirô Yamamoto
Cast: Susumu Fujita, Setsuko Hara, Fumito Matsuo, Kunio Mita
Released to mark the first anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attacks, The War at Sea from Hawaii to Malay was one of the most notable. The straightforward narrative focuses upon two brothers, Tomoda and Tadaaki. As the film opens, Tadaaki, the older sibling, returns to his countryside home during a short break from his duties in the navy. Deeply impressed by his brother’s dedication to his life as a soldier, Tomoda announces that he wishes to join the service. The film then details his training and subsequent life as a naval man, all of which leads to him playing a key role in the attacks of December 7th, 1941.
It’s important to remember when watching The War at Sea from Hawaii to Malay that, unlike the vast majority of films made about the Second World War, it was produced while hostilities were ongoing. Japanese audiences would not have viewed the movie with the historical perspective we look at it now – they were living day-to-day with the economic hardship wrought by the conflict and Pearl Harbor itself was a very recent event. It was never designed as entertainment – it was there to assuage doubts, to inspire loyalty and to convince young men to join the military. And it continued to do so for the next four years – until the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki ended the tradition of Japanese cinematic propaganda in one history-defining week.
1942 BLK/WHT Widescreen 143 Min.
Japanese with English Subtitles.