Opening Film
{Singapore Premiere}

SAT 22 SEP | 12:30pm
WED 26 SEP | 6:45pm

Japan 2017
127 mins
Japanese with English subtitles
Directed by Tetsuo Shinohara



Set in the 16th century ‘Age of Civil War’, Flower and Sword follows the tribulations of a monk as he works with flowers to bring peace to the land. Senko Ikenobo is one of the ‘flower monks’ of Rokkakudo Temple.  Due to his exceptional skills in Ikebana, the Japanese art of flower arrangement, Senko is unwillingly thrusted into the limelight as he attempts to pacify the murderous tendencies of warlords during this strife-filled war-torn period of medieval Japan.

Spanning decades in its narration, Flower and Sword is a rare film on the art of Ikebana and features famous Kyogen actor Mansai Nomura and many other established Japanese actors. The film expounds on the Buddhist values of non-violence, even amidst tyranny, and mindfulness as Senko digs deep into his heart and wisdom to save himself and his compatriots during these
difficult times.


Director’s Bio

Born in 1962 in Tokyo, Tetsuo Shinohara worked as an assistant to directors such as Yoshimitsu Morita and Shusuke Kaneko before making his own debut as a director in 1996 with One More Time, One More Chance. His films include First Love, Heaven’s Bookstore, Breathe in, Breathe Out, Riding on the Metro, Yamazakura, Battle under Orion, At River’s Edge, Sweet Heart Chocolate, A Sower of Seeds 2, and Terminal.


Director’s Statement

The art of ikebana flower arranging, now practiced around the world, has its origins in the 6th century, with the decoration of altars for the newly arrived religion of Buddhism. By the 15th century it had become firmly established in Japanese culture. This is the first motion picture to incorporate ikebana to this degree. Enlisting the cooperation of the Ikenobo flower arranging school, the film features some 200 arrangements in the oldest type of ikebana, the rikka or ‘standing flower’ style.

Ikebana is a prayer for both tranquility in the world and the happiness of the people in it, designed to bring a smile of optimism to all who see it.