Visit of Mrs Matsue Matsuo to Australian War Memorial

Accession Number F10163
Collection type Film
Measurement 2 min 29 sec
Object type Actuality footage
Physical description 16mm/b&w/silent
Maker Thain, Ernest Robertson
Place made Australia: Australian Capital Territory, Canberra, Australia: Australian Capital Territory, Canberra
Date made 1 May 1968
Access Open
Conflict Period 1960-1969
Copyright Item copyright: © Australian War Memorial
Creative Commons License This item is licensed under CC BY-NC

Mrs Matsue Matsuo mother of Lieutenant Keiu Matsuo, Commander of one of the Japanese midget submarines which attempted a raid on Sydney Harbour on the night of 31 May 1942, visited the Australian War Memorial to lay a wreath in memory of her son and to view the composite submarine on exhibition in the Memorial grounds. Mrs Matsuo was accompanied by her daughter Mrs Fujie Saeki and Professor Tadakazu Matsumoto, who acted as the interpreter and coordinator of their visit. Mrs Matsuo's journey to Australia was arranged through public subscription in Japan and organised by Japanese officials and the Royal Australian Navy. Mrs Matsuo was presented with her son's senninbari 'belt of a thousand stitches' by the Director of the Australian War Memorial, Mr W R Lancaster. The belt had been held at the Memorial. Mrs Fujie Saeki, as a girl in 1939 had sewn the first stitch, then found 999 other women who each added a stitch to the sash, which was presented to Kieu Matsuo when he graduated from Kure Naval Academy. The belt is a traditional gift to a Japanese warrior to remind him that he is protected by the thoughts of a thousand women.

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