By Yoshinari NISHIKORI

TOEI COMPANY, LTD. - as SALES All rights, World

Drama - Completed 2011

A heart-warming story of the “ugly but cute dog” Wasao, as furry as a lion’s mane, and the people around him in the northern land of Aomori.

    • Year of production
    • 2011
    • Genres
    • Drama
    • Countries
    • JAPAN
    • Languages
    • Budget
    • 1 - 3 M$
    • Duration
    • 116 mn
    • Director(s)
    • Yoshinari NISHIKORI
    • Writer(s)
    • Hirotoshi KOBAYASHI
    • Synopsis
    • A big Akita Inu dog, covered in long white fur like his ancestors, is looking out from inside a freight train which left from Tokyo. Although exhausted and his legs feeling as heavy as lead, the dog continues on his journey.
      Ajigasawa in Aomori Prefecture with the Shirakami Mountain Range in its background. The Akita Inu dog appears before Setsuko, a big-time animal lover, who is feeding six other dogs. The dog does not touch the food offered to him, but instead fixes his gaze on a boy.
      The boy, Akira, who also loves animals, is always helping Setsuko take care of the animals. He and his older sister are also taking care of their mother who was in an accident and is now staying at a hospital.
      The town where sumo wrestling and triathlon has been popular is loaded with interesting characters - the three elderly customers of Setsuko’s store, three junior high school students, her husband and his buddies, as well as other locals.
      One day, many people in this peaceful town of Ajigasawa witness an unidentified animal, which some claim it looked like a lion, while others describe it was more like a bear. The farm crops were being eaten by it and many raised concerns for the children’s safety, which led to the plan for a hunter to terminate it.
      The Akita Inu dog which appeared before Setsuko looks like a lion. After some effort by Setsuko, the dog had finally started eating a little of what she offers him. However, he still hardly lets anyone near him, and comes and goes as he pleases. Curiously, the dog always seems to cheer up the elderly and the junior high students who are hard at training for a triathlon tournament, and show concern for the old dog Setsuko had taken under her wing. Setsuko, on the other hand, is worried that the dog might get mistaken as a bear ruining the farm crops and get shot.
      Setsuko extends her love and care to all who are living out one’s life. Akira loves dogs, but cannot fully open up as a puppy had caused his mother’s accident. The mysterious dog stays by their side as if on a mission of his own.
      The story unfolds while featuring a triathlon tournament, the local Nebuta Festival and a number of other events. The love for the nature, people and animals nurtured in the northern land. The affection as a person, the love for our mother nature and all lives. A tear-jerking touching story told with the pure heart of a speechless dog.