The Thousand-Stitch Belt
Dir: Genjiro Saegusa
Scr: Chiaki Tsukuda
Cinematographer: Sukeshige Urushiyama
Cast：Fukui Matsunosuke, Shizuko Takizawa, Tachibana Hoshiko
The senninbari, or one thousand-stitch belt, is a sash worn by Japanese soldiers in World War II as a momento of the endless longings of the women of their families who made them. Filmed in the same year as the Second Sino-Japanese War, The Thousand-Stitch Belt is the oldest surviving Japanese coloured sound film, made using the American Cinecolor two-colour system by the production company Dainihon tennenshoku eiga seisakujo (Greater Japan Natural Color Productions), a pioneer of colour cinema and the first company to adopt the Multicolor process in Japan. An incomplete, 20-minute nitrate colour positive was discovered at Moscow’s Gosfilmofond archive. Staff from IMAGICA and IMAGICA West in Japan scanned the severely damaged print on site at Moscow, produced a 4K version and devised a new method of digital restoration by applying an innovative system of Look Up Tables that analysed photochemical simulations data to identify colour that cannot be expressed in a two-colour system and keep that range from being picked up in colour grading, so as to retrieve the colour of the film.
Genjiro Saegusa (1900－?)
Director and screenwriter Genjiro Saegusa was contemporary with Kenji Mizoguchi at Nikkatsu Studios. His rediscovered action film, Special Express: 300 Miles (1928), has been screened and well received across Europe over recent years.
Screening with Natsuko’s Adventure in Hokkaido