Alas! Heisoku-kan (Raging Battle-ship the Dead-End) 噫!怒涛の閉塞艦

KAZAMA Sachiko 風間 サチコ

Sachiko KAZAMA (1972-) uses her works as a way of verifying the historical process by which Japanese society came to be confronted by its current problems. Using woodblock printing, which facilitates reproduction while remaining a primitive medium, her work contains satirical and dramatic gekiga elements, producing single prints that she uses within large-scale compositions that can be described as ‘historical pictures’. These can be said to be a humorous homage to the historic role of avant-garde art to provide contemporary society with a warning. The title of the work here is taken from the blockade of the mouth of Port Arthur (Lushun) during the Russo-Japanese War. The historical example of the war dead being transformed into ‘war gods’ is overlaid with a chronicle of Japan’s relationship with nuclear power, from the atomic bombs, through the contamination of the fishing vessel, Daigo Fukuryumaru, to the disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi Power Plant, presenting the contemporary problems inherent in nuclear development and the dissemination of its ‘safety myth’. On the right-hand edge of the picture is the ‘Mutsu’, which was Japan’s only nuclear-powered ship but was later converted to diesel and renamed ‘Mirai(future)’. It now functions as an ocean research vessel, and took part in the environmental research at Fukushima, the divergent roles played by the ship making it symbolic of this work in which different times overlap each other.
Collection of
Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo
Alas! Heisoku-kan (Raging Battle-ship the Dead-End)
Artist Name
KAZAMA Sachiko
Material / Technique
Woodcut (Chinese Ink on Japanese paper, panel)
181(Height)×418(Width) cm
Acquisition date
Accession number

Other items of Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo (5506)