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The Ukishima

The sinking of the Titanic.
It is recalled by the world, as the tragic event with the most casualties at sea. However, would you believe that there is an incident at sea which took the lives of many more? On the 15th of August, 1945, Japan lost in the 2nd World War. Along with their surrender, Korea, freed from the grasp of Japan, has once again become a free country. After the liberation, forced Korean laborers were being sent back to their own country. At the time, ten-thousand Koreans living in the Aomori Prefecture of the Shimokita Peninsula in Japan were ordered to board the Ukishima for their return back home.

The ship was bound to depart on the 22nd of August, 1945 and was to arrive three days later at the Busan Port. But instead, it followed the Japanese coast toward the port of Maizuru and two days later, it sunk due to an explosion on the 24th of August. Eight thousand lives of Koreans have been buried deep in the sea of a different country.

Despite the number of casualties, the truth behind the incident has not yet surfaced. The Japanese say it was due to a mine, while the Korean survivors say it was the deed of the Japanese Navy. Which of it is true?

The documentary, <The Ukishima> explains the reasons behind why the ship sunk, through the testimonies of survivors and historical records. This incident had more casualties than the Titanic, and yet only a handful of people around the world know about it. Through this movie, we only hope that more people would learn about the Ukishima incident, that has been hidden behind the curtains for decades.

  • Kim Jin Hong
  • Ko Kyungi
  • Back Ji Hee
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 25 minutes 31 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    August 30, 2019
  • Production Budget:
    570,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    Korea, Republic of
  • Country of Filming:
    Korea, Republic of
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    Full HD 24P
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
    Black & White and Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Kim Jin Hong

High School Girl Get Married, 2004 / Father's Love, 2011

[Feature Film Director] The Hypocrites, 2015

[Feature Documentary Film Director]
The Ukishima, 2019 / Mr. Sunshine, 2020

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Director Statement

[The Ukishima, 2019]

Seventy-four years after the sinking of the Ukishima, Japan has reduced and hid the number of dead and the cause of the incident. And South Korean government has not been properly investigating the incident despite requests from survivors and bereaved families.

There is no future for a nation that has forgotten history. We have made a movie that shows the reality of history that we have forgotten. We must never forget that the sinking of the Ukishima was an evil act committed by Japan against our people in the past, and furthermore, the people who are the future of our country should remember the right history.