In 1962, the service schedule of the National Railways became increasingly congested due to transport of materials and Shinkansen deployment in preparation for the Olympics, and intensified labor schedules were imposed. On May 2 of that year a major accident occurred at Mikawashima. In order to wipe away the bad impression of the accident, the JNR authories planned a film to promote the safety of the railway. The film traces a day in the life of an engineer’s assisntant.
Tsuchimoto Noriaki is regarded as one of the major figures in Japanese documentary history. Born in 1928 in Gifu Prefecture, Tsuchimoto grew up in Nagoya. In 1938, he moved to Tokyo and graduated from the law department in the professional school at Waseda University in 1949. In 1956, he began working as a part time staff member at Iwanami Film Productions making educational and public-relations documentaries but soon chose to work free-lance. Tsuchimoto is best known for a series of over 15 films made over the past 40 years focusing on the plight of the victims of ‘Minamata disease,’ an illness caused by mercury pollution in the coastal waters around the fishing community of Minamata. Other major works include ‘Pre-History of the Partisans’ (1969 and ‘A Scrapbook about Nuclear Power Plants’ (1982), a collage film made entirely from newspaper clippings.
Aru kikan joshi
1963, 37', color, 35 mm