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Nobody Knows (2004)
"Dare mo shiranai" (original title)

PG-13  |   |  Drama  |  21 October 2004 (Hong Kong)
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 16,238 users   Metascore: 88/100
Reviews: 94 user | 128 critic | 31 from

In a small Tokyo apartment, twelve-year-old Akira must care for his younger siblings after their mother leaves them and shows no sign of returning.


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Credited cast:
Yûya Yagira ...
Ayu Kitaura ...
Hiei Kimura ...
Momoko Shimizu ...
Hanae Kan ...
You ...
Keiko, the mother
Kazuyoshi Kushida ...
Yoshinaga, The Landlord
Yukiko Okamoto ...
Eriko Yoshinaga
Sei Hiraizumi ...
Mini-market Manager
Mini-market Employee
Takako Tate ...
Mini-market teller
Yûichi Kimura ...
Sugihara (Taxi Driver)
Ken'ichi Endô ...
Susumu Terajima ...
Baseball coach
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Shinichi Hashizawa


In Tokyo, the reckless single mother Keiko moves to a small apartment with her twelve years old son Akira Fukushima and hidden in the luggage, his siblings Shigeru and Yuki. Kyoko, another sibling arrives later by train. The children have different fathers and do not have schooling, but they have a happy life with their mother. When Keiko finds a new boyfriend, she leaves the children alone, giving some money to Akira and assigning him to take care of his siblings. When the money finishes, Akira manages to find means to survive with the youngsters without power supply, gas or water at home, and with the landlord asking for the rental. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil who never watched the movie based on his comments about 3 children in luggage when there were only two.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for mature thematic elements and some sexual references | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

21 October 2004 (Hong Kong)  »

Also Known As:

Nobody Knows  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$32,393 (USA) (4 February 2005)


$683,575 (USA) (24 June 2005)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (Buenos Aires Festival Internacional de Cine Independiente)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


According to the director Hirokazu Koreeda, though Nobody Knows (2004) was inspired by the true story of the Sugamo child abandonment case, it is not a factual recounting, and only the settings and the ending of the story are based on the true story. Also, the film's version of the story was far less grisly than the actual event upon which the movie is based on. See more »


When Akira buys the stack of chocolates for Yuki near the end of the movie, he buys 19 boxes and the total comes to 1,895 yen. As there was no sales tax at the time Japan, each box would have to be priced at 99.74 yen - which is essentially impossible. See more »


Yuki: No, I'm gonna meet mommy at the station.
Kyoko: She's not coming home today.
Yuki: I'm sure she's coming home today.
See more »


Featured in A Story of Children and Film (2013) See more »


Sung by Takako Tate
See more »

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User Reviews

every little details we neglected
7 May 2005 | by (ames, iowa) – See all my reviews

If your local art theater plays it, go watch it. Find it in DVD store if you can. Rent it through your local mega movie renting store if you have to. Everyone has to watch this movie.

As a highly urbanized country, Japan is subjected to constant social problem, more so than other developed country. Hence, often you will have your Japanese movies that reminds us these problems, Tokyo Godfather, Fireworks, etc.

Nobody Knows is one of them from another angle.

Its director likes to use close up on little details like finger nails, shoes, t-shirt collar to tell the audience what kind of situation it is for the victims in the movie. Often we neglect these little details; often we neglect the unfortunate people around us.

Once in a while we have a world disaster, we all jumped in, we all gave our helping hands, we all praised greatly how much help we gave on TV. Comparing and contrast the figures of aids given with other countries, even. Little things, little unfortunate things happened around us, everyday, everywhere, they are all nicely tucked under our lavish mat and those story never told, those needed aid never arrived. Because they have no news value or because helping a few people doesn't gain enough prestige?

Nobody knows, as the title suggest, We never aware of these problems, by our own choice or not. The movie has an unusual slow pace. There is no climax, everything just get worse. Just the those misfortune people nobody knows, their life are not full of excitement, everyday is another to get by, nothing to wish for, nothing to hope for. Nobody Knows depicts the days of these unsounded misfortune. You could have seen the unfortunate events to come. You would have wished they would not come. One by one they came.

The brilliant part, Nobody Knows lets its audiences decide the ending.

35 of 42 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
What did Saki do for the money? danib60
Am I the only one who thought the mother was a prostitute? chris-olson2
Grave of the Fireflies reference? manicm
nice photo of the cast blx118
Nobody Knows soundtrack... blx118
Did her voice annoy the hell out of anyone else? philistine-985-817685
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