|Lorelei:The Witch of the Pacific Ocean
Koji Yakusho: Shinichi Masami
Satoshi Tsumabuki:Yukito Orikasa
Shinichi Tsutsumi: Ryokitsu Asakura
Toshiro Yanagiba: Shigefusa Kizaki
Yu Kashii: Paula Atsuko Ebner
Ken Ishiguro: Narumi Takasu
Takehiko Ono: Shichigoro Iwamura
Ryuta Satoh: Kikuo Kiyonaga
Pierre Taki: Tokutaro Taguchi
Shingo Tsurumi: Sankichi Ominato
Jun Kunimura: Matoi Tokioka
Masato Ibu: Eitaro Narazaki
Kreva: Hidehiko Komatsu
Isao Hashizume: Nishimiya
Takaya Kamikawa: Writer
Distributed by Toho
Produced by Toho & Fuji Television
Based on a novel, "Shusen no Lorelei"
by Harutoshi Fukui
Screenplay: Satoshi Suzuki
Directed by Shinji Higuchi
Music: Naohiro Sato
"Wiengenlied " by Hayley
Running time: 128 min.
Release date: March 5, 05
In August, 1945, the American attacks towards Japan increased in harshness. Atomic bombs were dropped
over Hiroshima and Nagasaki, one after the another. On Tinian Island in the Southern Pacific Ocean, the third
atomic bomb was ready now, planned to be dropped over Tokyo, which would have meant effectively the
annihilation of Japan as a nation.
A Japanese navy submarine, I-507 carrying a secret weapon called "Lorelei system",which was actually a
captured German submarine, was given almost an impossible mission to intercept the U.S. troop ship carrying
the third atomic bomb, after breaking through the defense line of the US Navy窶冱 Pacific fleet. Captain
Asakura (Shinichi Tsutsumi), the operation department head of the Japanese Navy Command selected
Lieutenant Commander Shinichi Masami (Koji Yakusho) as the captain of this submarine. Masami had been
given a sinecure position as he once opposed to the navy's increasing reliance on suicide tactics.
Among the hurriedly gathered crew of this submarine, there was a girl named Paula (Yu Kashii) on board. She
was the only operator who was able to start the Lorelei system.
A crew of 70, who were actually not sufficient enough to operate this submarine, started out for a final battle
not only for the sake of saving their own country but also in some way, somebody or something to save
privately, such as their families, their lovers, or a place to remember being with his dead wife. Each one of the
crew fought embracing their individual hopes for the future.
... They had only one hour and 15 minutes left, until the release of the atomic bomb...
Synopsis (based on the film flyer in Japanese)
Created on January 30, 2005
Renewed on August 23, o5
Updated on June 12, 2005
Genre: Action / Drama /
Thriller / War
The profile of Shin-ichi Masami
Commander Shinichi Masami (aged 41) was once a brilliantly successful submarine captain; but as he opposed
the Navy窶冱 increasing reliance on suicide tactics, having lost a number of his young 窶徇ini-sub窶�crew
members during the 1941 Pearl Harbor attack, he has since been demoted to being an instructor at a submarine
In the afternoon of August 6, 1945, though, on the very day when the atomic bomb was dropped over
Hiroshima, he was charged by Chief of Staff Asakura with a mission as the captain of a formerly German-
owned submarine, now called I-507, to intercept U.S. ships carrying more atomic bombs to Tinian Island in the
Southern Pacific Ocean.
By now Masami is a man of sorrow because his wife is dead, having been killed in the course of the American
carpet-bombing of Tokyo during the night of March 9- 10, 1945, while she was living separately from him at her
parents窶�house in Ginza, Tokyo. He still wears his wife窶冱 wristwatch, however, as a token symbolizing deep
regret to remind him that, after all, he was not able to save even his wife窶冱 own life, although he had become
a naval officer in the hope of defending his family and his nation.
Koji's comments about "Lorelei"
When asked, in several magazine interviews, about what had made him decide to appear in "Lorelei",Koji gave
various reasons but then stressed that it was mainly because of Masami's utterance to Yukito Orikasa (aged 19 )
and Paula (aged 17) toward the end of the film; that is: "I apologize to you that we, adults, ended up relying on
young people like you in this war, which adults started. We have had to live, devoting ourselves to something
invisible, but you should try to find out the surest and the most important thing to do in life and keep at it to
Koji窶冱 other comment was also impressive, namely that since he was from Nagasaki prefecture, where the
second atomic bomb was dropped on August 9, 1945, he has had a special concern with atomic bombs ever
since his childhood.
Koji's comment on the Mozart lullaby ( Wiengenlied ) sung by Paula (actually sung by Hayley, a welknown
Newzealnd singer ) in the film, published in the latest issue of "Kinema Jumpo" is really moving. He says:
The tune and words of this lullaby are quite familiar to us the Japanese people. The words remind us of a
peaceful scene where a mother is singing to her child, but I feel at the same time that the song is dedicated to all
those killed during the wartime, praying that they may now be allowed to rest in peace; in other words I think
that the lullaby could actually be regarded as a requiem. Nonetheless this lullaby does also sound like a prayer
by adults for all children that they may sleep happily and soundly everywhere and in all eras.
April 7, 05
"Lorelei: The Witch of the Pacific Ocean" will be shown overseas.
Toho Distributor announces that " Lorelei" is due to be released in six countries: France, Switzerland, Belgium,
Holland, Luxembourg and Thailand; and that they are now in the final stage of negotiation with more than 20
other countries. Among those countries are: Korea, China, India, Indonesia, Rwanda, Cameroon, Chad,
Algeria, Italy, Spain, Germany, Russia, the UK, Brazil, Canada, and the United States.
The DVD of "Lorelei " is now on sale.
Some impressive scenes from "Lorelei"
_ From "the Complete Guide" of Lorelei"