Award Winners

In those days, we were tied
by our bonds of souls.

Akio Nishizawa


In the early 30’s of Showa Era (1950s), Poor as they were, Japanese people were lively.


Director / ScreenwriterAKIO NISHIZAWA

Chairman of WAO Corporation




Ending theme /"UTAU HITO"KOKIA

In 1956, 10 years after the war, when Japan was escaping from poverty and trying to join the international community again, in downtown Tokyo, a Japanese nursery rhyme was said to be the home of the Japanese heart. There were teachers and children who tried to sing the songs.
New professor Sakamoto and transfer student Shizu Miyanaga have arrived at an elementary school in Fukagawa, Tokyo.
Mrs. Sakamoto had a strong passion for music education following the will of his brother who died in Kamikaze corps, and Shizu had a dream to become a singer.
Mrs. Sakamoto’s goal was to win the regional chorus tournament, and her children were excited to participate in the tournament, but an incident that Akira, the main member of the student council, and Gon, boss of children and others had caused came to light, and participation in the tournament was canceled. And Shizu suddenly dies in a marine accident.
Akira was shocked, but with Gon's strong recommendation he talked to the school so that they could participate in the tournament again and was allowed to participate.
Mrs. Sakamoto and her children were working hard for the tournament, keeping in mind the feelings for Shizu and for Gon who suddenly changed schools.


France point

Lyon, France



Director/ScreenwriterAkio NishizawaChairman of WAO Corporation

Though he once dreamed of becoming a film director, Akio Nishizawa chose to pursue his career in education. Under his motto: "In order to change today's Japan, we need to reform the base of the Japanese education system," he developed WAO Corporation into a nationwide general educational service provider.
"NITABOH," the very first movie Nishizawa scripted and directed, has been officially screened in various film festivals all over the world. It has won the grand prize at the 10th Seoul International Cartoon & Animation Festival SICAF, the Best Picture Award at the REEL 2 REAL International Film Festival and the Public Award for Best Animated Film at the Asian Film Festival of Lyon. In his second movie "JAPAN, Our Homeland," Nishizawa has created an original story based on his own childhood with some fictional elements.


Character Design and General Animation DirectorHiroshi Kugimiya

Hiroshi Kugimiya joined the production of "Kuma no Putaro" as an animation director, "Hare' Guu" (both TV series and video) as character designer and general animation director, "NITABOH" as a general animation director, and "Bayside Shakedown 2" as animation director. He also directed the animation "Zettai Zetsumei Dangerous Jiisan".

Technical DirectorMasakatsu Iijima

Masakatsu Iijima is an experienced technical director who worked for numerous TV animations. He directed "Rokushin Gattai God Mars" (video), "HAPPY LESSON THE FINAL 2" and the theatrical animation "Yu Yu Hakusho: Meikai Shito Hen - Hono no Kizuna." As a technical director, he participated in "Pokemon: Lucario and the Mystery of Mew" and will join the production of the latest movie of "Pokemon" in 2006.

Music DirectorMakoto Kuriya

A graduate of West Virginia University with a major in linguistics, Makoto Kuriya was already performing his music in local live houses while he was still in school. After graduation, he started his career as a jazz pianist. He won the First Prize Pianist Award in Ohio Jazz Competition and Westinghouse Cultural Award. He was invited for the "International Music Day" to perform jazz with nine world-class artists at the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris in October 2004. His participation to "NITABOH" as a music director, gained a great reputation.

Art DirectorTadashi Kudo

As an art director Tadashi Kudo has been involved in works such as "Lupin the 3rd: Farewell to Nostradamus," "Rurouni Kenshin: Requiem for the Ishin Patriots," "Pikachu's Summer Vacation," and "Queen Emeraldas" written by Leiji Matsumoto. His artistic depiction of background sceneries in "NITABOH" is highly evaluated overseas.

Ending theme /"UTAU HITO"KOKIA

She grew up familiar with many arts under the influence of his grandparents who loved music and art. She was particularly attracted to the world of music, and naturally began to compose songs on the piano from her childhood. She started playing violin when she was three, and majored in vocal music at high school, university and Toho Gakuen. While studying classical music, she also wanted many people to know how music is great and possible through her own writing and composing. She made her debut in 1998 while she was a university student. In Japan, her shampoo commercial song "The Power of Smile" and Athens Olympics Japanese team official song "Yume ga Chikara." were blockbusters. In addition to her original songs, she also created many songs including commercial music, anime and game theme songs, and produced other artists, thereby expanding her new activities. Her voice has been early praised overseas, and her phantasmic singing voice has been supported in Europe as "borderless singing voice" and she is expanding her activities to the world, such as a world tour to 12 countries. Her song, which cherishes simple and memorable messages, asks many people "Love & Peace" through music.

Keiichiro Furuya

Animation Directors
Takeshi Ito / Hiroaki Noguchi / Futoshi Higashide / Satoshi Hirayama / Masaya Yasutome / Makoto Yoshizaki

Director of Digital Image
Mitsunobu Yoshida

Color Design
Yuko Kanamaru

Soshi Goto

Sound Director
Yaku Shioya

Sound Engineer
Studio Mausu

Sound Mixer
Tsukuru Takagi

Associate Producer
Naoki Ishihara

Setting Coordinator
Miki Matsumura

Assistant Producer
Ryo Segawa

Music Producers
Tsutomu Tsuchiya / Keiko Ushida

Recording Studio
Studio Mausu

Mixing Studio
Tokyo TV Center

Planning&Web Producer
Masae Nishizawa

Executive Producer
Masahiro Murakami


Akira(Akira Yanagisawa)Naoya Sekine


Naoya Sekine was born on November 20, 1991.
He joined "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" as the voice actor for Little Willy (overdubbed version). His stage career includes "Sans Famille" (2003) and "Kazanbaichi" (2005), in which he played the role of a child in a festival.

Shizu(Shizu Miyanaga)Maika Kawaguchi


Maika Kawaguchi was born on November 13, 1993. She played Hana, a temple school student, in the NHK drama "Musashi" (2003). She also appeared in the director Kohei Oguri's "Umoregi" (officially screened during the Director's Week in the Cannes Film Festival 2005).

Gon(Gonji Abe)Subaru Kimura


Subaru Kimura was born on June 29, 1990.
He is a popular voice actor for Jaian in "Doraemon" (TV Asahi). He also co-stars in "Ohasuta" (2001-2002), "Monomane Battle" (Nippon TV), etc.

Ms. Sakamoto(Rieko Sakamoto)Sayaka Hanamura

Ms. Sakamoto

Sayaka Hanamura is a dedicated voice-over actress for the legendary Korean actress Lee Eun Joo. She voiced Young-shin in the hit movie "Brotherhood" and Tae-hee in "Bungee Jumping of Their Own."

Yoshio(Yoshio Kawabata)Seigo Kuwabara

Teru(Kazuteru Yoshimura)Tetsuya Kannami

Hakase(Hiroshi Sugiura)Kengo Kumagai

Yayoi(Yayoi Tajima)Eri Osonoe

Hikaru(Hikaru Goto)Nana Takada

Kimiyo(Kimiyo Arima)Kurumi Honta

Mr. Ikeno(The school president)Yasuo Iwata

Mr. AkiyamaYoji Ueda

Mr. TakiiMasaki Terasoma

Ms. Sakamoto's Brother(Masaki Sakamoto)Masakazu Suzuki

Akira's Father(Genji Yanagisawa)Takaya Hashi

Akira's Mother(Fukuko Yanagisawa)Hikari Yono

Akira's Old Sister(Kazuko Yanagisawa)Rumi Nakamura

Akira's Little Sister(Reiko Yanagisawa)Kanon Nagashima

Shizu's FatherIkkyu Juku

Shizu's MotherKeiko Sonoda

The Owner of Miki Stationery StoreYasuko Hatori

Mrs. Aoki, Akira's NeighborEri Saito

Mrs. Shimazu, the LandladySayuri Sadaoka

Announcer at the Chorus CompetitionYuko Kobayashi


※1:Official invitation screening ※2:Publish

Czech Republic

Czech Republic※1

・Brno, Czech Republic

the 22nd International Festival
of Films for Children and
Young Adults※1

・Hamedan, Iran

the 10th
Future Film Festival※1

・Bologna, Italy

Singapore International
Film Festival※1


Nationwide road shows
(10 cities nationwide)※2


Japan Premier Screening at Tokyo International Film Festival※2

・Tokyo, Japan

The first TV broadcast
on BS NTV!※2


Japanese Film Festival※2

・Manila, Cebu, Davao, Philippines