A Thousand Stitches of Hope

Image caption

In 2016 Belgiorno was commissioned by the Mosman Art Gallery to create an artwork commemorating 75 years since three Japanese midget submarines carried out a surprise attack on Sydney Harbour in May 1942.

Titled A Thousand Stitches of Hope, Belgiorno worked with hundreds of Japanese and Australian women to embroider relevant motives on 75 senninbari belts in response to our joint war history. 

The senninbari belt was traditionally a good luck amulet given to soldiers before their departure from Japan. Generally made of white cotton, the belts were decorated with a 1000 stitches sewn by women, (family and community), as an act of devotion and hope for a safe return. 

The communal act of stitching and talking, acknowledging past deeds and expelling anger, sorrow and shame was incredibly moving for many participants. 

The 75 beautifully embroidered senninbari belts, once cultural relics associated with war and shame, became expressions of hope for continued peace. 

The work was exhibited by Mosman Art Gallery in Tokkotai: Contemporary Japanese and Australian Artists on War and the Battle of Sydney Harbour in May/June 2017. 

In August 2019 the work was exhibited in a retrospective, From Guns to Gardens, at Cowra Regional Gallery, commemorating 75 years since the Cowra Breakout. The work is now in the Cowra Regional Gallery’s permanent collection. 



"An exemplary exhibition, a distinctive local story in a dramatic local heritage site with outstanding collaborative artworks on themes of national and international significance."  Dr Peter Emmett, ArtsHub

Radio Interviews

Radio Interview: ABC 702 Radio Weekend with Simon Marnie: May 21, 2017.

Radio Interview: NorthSide Radio with Jane Arakawa. May 11, 2017.

Radio Interview: East Side Radio with Maisy Stapleton: May 18, 2017.

Radio Interview: SBS Radio with Miku Sato (In Japanese). May 23, 2017.