Japan, Our Homeland

Japan, Our Homeland
Directed by Akio Nishizawa
Produced by
  • Masahiro Murakami
  • Masae Nishizawa
Screenplay by Akio Nishizawa
Story by Akio Nishizawa
  • Naoya Sekine
  • Maika Kawagushi
  • Subaru Kimura
  • Sayaka Hanamura
Music by Makoto Kuriya
Edited by Sōji Goto
WAO World
Release dates
  • 12 November 2006 (2006-11-12) (Lyon Asian Film Festival)[1]
  • 7 April 2007 (2007-04-07) (Japan)
Running time
96 minutes
Country Japan
Language Japanese

Japan, Our Homeland (ふるさと-JAPAN Furusato Japan) (officially capitalised as JAPAN, Our Homeland) is a Japanese animated film directed by Akio Nishizawa and his second long feature film effort, after his 2004 release Nitaboh, the Shamisen Master. It premiered in 2006 (film festival in Lyon, France), being released theatrically in 2007 in Japan. The film was produced at the animation studio WAO World.

Floating timber amassed in Kiba, in the year 1933. In the 1956 of the film, part of the timber still remains.
The film takes place in the eastern part of Tokyo, alongside Tokyo Bay.

Plot with background

The film is based on an original story by director Nishizawa, who spent his childhood in the setting of the film. The film takes place in the Tokyo neighbourhood of Kiba, where Nishizawa (born in 1942[2]) was a freshman in junior high school in 1956, the year in which the film takes place.[3]

Japan, Our Homeland describes the life in a class of schoolchildren in 6th grade, in an elementary school in Kiba, downtown Tokyo. The year is 1956, some ten years after the end of the Second World War, and people struggle getting by. A telephone at home is still considered a luxury, and the teachers at school are concerned and sometimes with what kind of future will await their pupils. The effects of juvenile deliquency are felt within the whole family, and people still mourn their beloved ones gone missing after the war.

In this environment, the school competes for the local choir competition, led by their own musical teacher, Ms. Sakamoto. This competition is seen as one form of bringing pride and togetherness for the school and the local community.

The film starts with a new pupil, Shizu, transferring to the school from her hometown Kobe. The film ends with her in a central position, but in another sort of way. At the end of the film, there is a public announcement about Japan finally being able to become a member of the United Nations, the announcer mentioning the word for their homeland in the international language of English – Japan. Their country is to enter a new era, hopefully one of prosperity.[4]



Production notes



The first public screening of the film was at the Asian Connection (Festival de Cinéma Asiatique) in November 2006. The festival was held 7–13 November in Lyon, France.[7] Then it had already been pre-screened at the film market of the 11th Pusan International Film Festival the month before.[8] On 7 April 2007, the film debuted as a roadshow in 10 cities across Japan.[8]

Home media

The film has been released on DVD or similarly in:

Awards and nominations

The film won the Junior Jury Award (Prix du Jeune Public) as well as the Public Award for Best Animated Film (Prix du Public du Film d'Animation) at the 12th Festival du Film Asiatique de Lyon. The prizes were awarded at 12 November 2006.[7]

See also


  1. Note: This was the day of the awards ceremony. The first screening went ahead between 7 and 12 November.
  2. Profile. Akio Nishizawa's World. Retrieved 2012-01-25.
  3. "Interview with the Director." Furusatojapan.com. Retrieved 2012-01-25.
  4. "The 31st year of the Show Era (1956)." Furusatojapan.com. Retrieved 2012-01-25.
  5. "Characters." Furusatojapan.com. Retrieved 2012-01-25.
  6. "Production Notes Index." Furusatojapan.com. Retrieved 2012-01-25.
  7. 1 2 "The 12th Lyon Asian Film Festival." Furusatojapan.com. Retrieved 2012-01-25.
  8. 1 2 Official website – main page. Furusatojapan.com. Retrieved 2012-01-25.
  9. Manga-news.com. Retrieved 2012-01-25.
  10. Filmweb.pl. Retrieved 2012-01-25.
  11. "JAPAN, Our Homeland - Movie.". Jsdvd.com, 26 February 2009. Retrieved 2012-09-08.

External links

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