“Sakura and Steel”
A dance film that reimagines the tragic fate of the Japanese submariners who invaded Sydney Harbour in WW2.
Sakura and Steel (2017) is my interpretation of how the Japanese submariners felt during the attack of Sydney Harbour, and the way in which Australia respectfully honoured their sacrifice. I tried to humanise their experience by focusing on just one performer, contemporary dancer Kei Ikeda, as she moves through claustrophobic darkness, gets captured in a net and meets her demise. There’s a strong spiritual element in which the Japanese cherry blossoms symbolize both her transcendence and the power of love and respect. After the attack, a military funeral was held for the fallen Japanese submariners, which I believe to be a very honourable act by Australia. One of the mothers of the Japanese submariners was brought over to Australia to collect the ashes of her son, and she scattered cherry blossom petals were her son’s body was found, so there was a lot to work with creatively.