“A Dance for Blue Whales”

(Japanese title: Shironagasukujira ni sasageru ballet)


Directed by Katsumi Sakaguchi


In a world after the struck of the Great Disaster and Tsunami

are two young sisters striving to survive, and their story of restoration and hope.

This film depicts the lives of an 8-year-old and 11-year-old sister, who have lost their beloved family to the Great Disaster and Tsunami. As they return to where their home used to stand, now a village lost in sand, they retrace their memories in search for their family, and work together to build their “new home,” in silence. This film expresses new hope and repose to the 20,000 lost and missing souls from the Great East Earthquake that hit Japan three years ago. Original music by Takashi Niigaki (piano), and cellist, Mikio Unno.







Theatrical release

2015 Sep. at EUROSPACE


KINOHAUS 3F, 1-5 Maruyama-cho,Shibuya-ku,Tokyo


Sep 19-25 9:50/21:10~22:30

Sep 26- Oct 9  21:10~22:30

※English subtitles on Thursday and Friday late show

(¥1,800/Univ. Students: ¥1,400/Senior:¥1,200 / H.S. Students: ¥800 / J.H Students and under: \500)




After the Tsunami, a village, where blue whales once wandered the shores, sunk beneath the sand. The 9-year-old and 11-year-old sisters return to their village with the motive to find their lost family and to build a new home. The sisters gather planks of wood on the shore for their home. Soon, they find the body of their father and a dress that belonged to their mother. Gradually, something within the younger sister begins to rise: a sense of distrust towards her older sister. Was it not her sister who let go of their mother’s hand when the tsunami hit? Exhausted on the shore and all out of food, the sisters fall into a dream where their mother, father, second sister, and grandparents appear. The dead (their lost family) stand by the sisters, reaching out a helping hand to them as they gather wood. When the eldest sister awakes from the dream, she walks towards the ocean with a spear in her hand, in search for something to feed her sleeping sister…

(The blue whale is the largest mammal on earth, and represents the great nature. Life and death of human beings are also just a part of nature.)


Director, cinematographer, editor: Katsumi Sakaguchi

Sakaguchi has made more than 200 documentaries dealing with the problems of young people and families in difficult circumstances as TV director and producer. He has written and directed three feature films and two documentary films. BLUE TOWER (2000 /Silver Award at the 2001 Houston IFF, Mar del Plata IFF, Vienna IFF etc.) portrays a young man suffering from self-inflicted isolation and CATHARSIS (2002, Munich IFF, Vienna IFF etc.) portrays a boy who committed a crime. Both are independent films, made on very low budgets, but both films were very well received at festivals and had theatrical releases in Japan and Germany. SLEEP (2011, IFF Rotterdam, Chicago IFF etc.) portrays the despair and rebirth of a girl who was born as a result of the rape of her mother. The film received a rave review in Screen International. A chief critic Mark Adams stated, “SLEEP is an impressively subversive and grim tale, but also well made and disturbingly watchable”. ATOMIC BOMB HOME (2012, with a 6 week long run in Tokyo) is a documentary about aged Atomic-bomb victims in Nagasaki, who pass down the message of how precious peace is to the younger generations. Documentary film WALKING WITH MY MOTHER (2014,2014 Tokyo IFF ”Japanese Cinema Splash”) portrays his mother who lost her daughter and husband. Sakaguchi's camera captures her mental fluctuations and conflicts over the span of four years with aching intimacy. All of them portray the people living in the dark corners of society through a unique perspective and visual style. Since making SLEEP, he has also worked as Cinematographer.




Haruna Matsushita

Hiori Okubo

Mayumi Niikura

Haruka Tachibana

Katsumi Sakaguchi

Sunao Yamashita

Shiori Shiraki




Director: Katsumi Sakaguchi

Producer: Atsuko Ochiai

Music: Mikio Unno, Takashi Niigaki

Cello: Mikio Unno

Piano: Takashi Niigaki

Screenplay & Cinematography: Katsumi Sakaguchi

Editing: Katsumi Sakaguchi, Atsuko Ochiai

Sound design: Naruto Imaizumi

English Subtitles:Ayaka Cyndy Kato

International Coordination: Toshiyuki Hasegawa




Format: Color, 16:9,Japanese with English subtitles

Running Time: 72min

Delivery: July. 2015

Genre: Feature film (Silent)

Original title: Shironagasukujira ni sasageru





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Toshiyuki Hasegawa


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