Back to listSep 9, 2005

Kyochikuto no natsu, Produced by Shinano Films, Recognized by Japanese Ministry of Education

Katsue (left) and Manami (right), from a scene in Kyochikuto no natsu (Oleander Summer)

Kyochikuto no natsu (Oleander Summer), produced by Shinano Art and Culture Consultant Co. Ltd. to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II, received a "Special Selection" rating from the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology as a film for children, youth, adults and families. "Special Selection" films are deemed to contribute to educating the public about social issues. The film is a story about a young woman rediscovering her dream through an encounter with a woman who survived the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. The film's protagonist, Manami, a popular cartoonist, goes to Hiroshima in search of her boyfriend, who has suddenly disappeared. There, she meets his grandmother, Katsue, who became an atomic bomb victim at age 18. Katsue later lost her husband and son due to aftereffects of the atomic bomb and raised her grandson, Kiyoshi. Initially, Manami does not get along with Katsue, but begins to think more deeply about life, moved by Katsue's bitter experiences of war and her earnest desire for peace.

[Kyochikuto (oleander) was the first flower to blossom from the atomic bomb-scorched earth that had been supposed incapable of supporting plant life for 75 years. It became a symbol of hope and strength for Hiroshima city residents as they poured their energy into rebuilding the city. Oleander blooms in the summertime, especially around the time of the anniversary of the atomic bombing, when the flowers reach full bloom. Seeming to vie to surpass one another in beauty during the heat of summer, the flowers reawaken deep emotions and memories in the hearts of the Hiroshima citizens.]