Life and Death on the Shore (海辺の生と死)
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Life and Death on the Shore (海辺の生と死)
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© 2017 Miho Shimao / Toshio Shimao / humanité Co. Ltd.

A deep and meditative portrait of love and passion in the time of war.


This picturesque war romance unfolds against the stunning backdrop of Kakeromajima in the Amami Islands during the tail end of World War II. Manila has fallen and Tokyo is burning, but life in Kakeromajima continues undisturbed. However, the Imperial Japanese Navy continue to arrive, concealing Shinyo suicide boats within the island.

Toé (Hikari Mitsushima, Gukoroku) is a daughter of the island and devoted schoolteacher to the local children. Saku (Kento Nagayama, Sanada 10 Braves) is a hesitant young captain who would rather spend time reading books and learning island songs in the local language. They are both drawn to each other, but are careful to overstep any personal boundaries.

When Toé receives a letter from Saku to meet by the beach, they begin a secret romance by the shade of night. However, their time together cannot last — as the war looms closer, the lovestruck couple runs out of borrowed time.


The story is based on the autobiographical writings of Miho and Toshio Shimao, who originally met in Amami Island during the war before marrying. Filmmaker Michio Koshikawa is unafraid of static shots and long pauses in between dialogues, masterfully using silence to build tension that leads to bittersweet longing. Composer Taku Unami composesthe musical score, layering it with the sounds of nature, local folk songs, and the unique sound of the Amami language.

Year: 2017
Length: 155 mins
Classification rating: Recommended for ages 15+ contains mild themes of war, mild nudity and very mild sexual content

In Japanese and Amami language with English subtitles.



  • Director
    Michio Koshikawa/
  • Executive Producer
    Suzuko Hatanaka/
  • Producers
    Eriko Seino/ Ken-ichiro Zaizen/
  • Original Story
    Miho Shimao/ Toshio Shimao/
  • Screenplay
    Michio Koshikawa/
  • Script Supervisor
    Kumiko Kakehashi/
  • Cast
    Hikari Mitsushima/ Kento Nagayama/ Kai Inowaki/ Seira Hata/ Kiyoshi Ikeru/ Yota Kawase/ Masane Tsukayama/