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An early participant in Japan’s Antarctic expeditions said Wednesday that a 16-mm film of the aurora australis he has kept for nearly 50 years will be shown publicly from Friday.

Noboru Wakai, 78, of Koganei, western Tokyo, who participated in the third round of the expeditions, took the images, believed the first of their kind by a Japanese team, in 1959. Japan’s Antarctic expeditions began in 1956.

The film also includes several shots of what appear to be the Karafuto dogs (Sakhalin huskies) Taro and Jiro, which miraculously survived the Antarctic winter after being marooned at the Showa base.

It will be shown publicly for the first time when the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology, an independent administrative agency, opens its facilities to the public Friday and Saturday. Wakai served as head of the institute’s predecessor, Radio Research Laboratory.

Wakai shot the film from the roof of a communications tower at the Showa base between April and September 1959.

The film shows curtain-shaped and radial aurora wavering — albeit not clearly — as well as two dogs walking.

At that time, the expedition team was keeping three puppies as well. But Wakai said he is confident the two dogs captured in the film are Taro and Jiro in view of their size.

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