IMDb > Nobody Knows (2004)
Dare mo shiranai
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Nobody Knows (2004) More at IMDbPro »Dare mo shiranai (original title)

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Nobody Knows -- A drama about siblings who are forced to rely solely on each other when they are left alone by their loving, yet immature mother. This film was the official Japanese entry for the 2004 Academy Awards. From IFC Films.
Nobody Knows -- Open-ended Trailer from IFC
Nobody Knows -- Open-ended Trailer from IFC


User Rating:
8.1/10   17,485 votes »
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Release Date:
21 October 2004 (Hong Kong) See more »
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. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
13 wins & 10 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Absolutely Astounding! See more (99 total) »


  (in credits order)

Directed by
Hirokazu Koreeda 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Hirokazu Koreeda 

Produced by
Hirokazu Koreeda .... producer
Satoshi Kôno .... associate producer
Yutaka Shigenobu .... executive producer
Hijiri Taguchi .... line producer
Toshiro Uratani .... associate producer
Original Music by
Cinematography by
Yutaka Yamazaki 
Film Editing by
Hirokazu Koreeda 
Casting by
Yoshiko Arae 
Production Design by
Toshihiro Isomi 
Keiko Mitsumatsu 
Makeup Department
Miwako Kobayashi .... makeup artist
Mutsuki Sakai .... hair stylist
Production Management
Eitarô Kobayashi .... assistant production manager
Bong-ou Lee .... assistant production manager
Yasushi Minatoya .... unit production manager
Osamu Shiraishi .... executive in charge of production
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Masatada Hirabayashi .... assistant director
Kiichi Kumagai .... first assistant director
Art Department
Ayu Hasuike .... props
Kôichi Horiuchi .... assistant art director
Takehiro Ishitani .... props
Masatoshi Katô .... props
Ayako Matsuo .... props
Akio Saito .... props
Emiko Tsuyuki .... props
Sound Department
Masaki Ikeda .... boom operator
Tetsuya Kaida .... boom operator
Osamu Matsumoto .... boom operator
Shuji Ohtake .... assistant sound
Akihiko Okase .... sound effects editor
Yoshiteru Takahashi .... sound editor
Kazuhiko Tomita .... boom operator
Yutaka Tsurumaki .... sound
Kazuharu Urata .... sound editor
Visual Effects by
Shô Rizawa .... opticals
Camera and Electrical Department
Saiko Hashimoto .... assistant photographer
Gen Hirai .... camera operator
Yoshihiro Ikeuchi .... assistant photographer
Rinko Kawauchi .... still photographer
Takayuki Matsui .... photographer
Isao Nozaki .... camera operator
Yuzuru Sato .... gaffer
Toshio Suzuki .... camera operator
Yoshihisa Toda .... assistant camera
Yoshihisa Toda .... assistant photographer
Editorial Department
Reiko Kikuike .... negative cutter
Masayuki Mitsuhashi .... colour timing
Yukiko Okabe .... negative cutter
Yôko Satô .... negative cutter
Yoshiko Tsujii .... negative cutter
Music Department
Titi Matsumura .... musician
Gonzalez Mikami .... musician
Other crew
Kaoru Kasai .... publicity design
Manami Kishira .... publicity design
Fumi Miyazaki .... publicity design
Atsushi Naito .... legal service
Asako Nishikawa .... stage manager
Yoshiko Sakazaki .... stage manager
Shiho Sato .... advertising

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Dare mo shiranai" - Japan (original title)
See more »
Rated PG-13 for mature thematic elements and some sexual references
141 min | Argentina:141 min (Buenos Aires Festival Internacional de Cine Independiente)
Aspect Ratio:
1.66 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Filmed chronologically over almost an entire year.See more »
Factual errors: 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 »
Saki:You washed ya hair?
Akira Fukushima:Yesterday, at the park.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Love Songs (2007)See more »
HousekiSee more »


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27 out of 32 people found the following review useful.
Absolutely Astounding!, 15 April 2006
Author: s_cadzow from United States

There are very few films I have seen that had the power to affect me as deeply as Nobody Knows. As highly as I recommend it, I must also forewarn, that this film has power, some very serious power. To call Hirokazu Koreeda's Nobody Knows anything less than a masterpiece would be an insult to the story it tells. The craftsmanship we witness here, from the masterful direction to the outstanding performances that the children were able to commit to, are all something of incredible proportions.

Nobody Knows, which is a true story, tells of four siblings, ages 5-12, from different fathers, who live in a small apartment in Tokyo. At first, they live in the apartment with their childish Mother who is hardly ever home. With the exception of the oldest, Akira, the mother snuck the children in to keep the rent lower and prohibits them from ever leaving the apartment, even the veranda, for fear of them being seen. The children do not go to school. As they look after each other, all they do is patiently and affectionately wait for their mother to come home.

As the story progresses, the children wake up one morning to some money on the kitchen table with a note from their mother saying that she'll be home in a month. As Akira steps up and takes charge of the apartment, the bills, and his siblings, the children still hold hope that mother will be home soon. And then, Nobody Knows hits you like a truck and goes right through you. Complete Abandonment. The smiles diminish and the childish affection for a mother that will never return is gone. Gone to play mother to another family, it is now entirely up to Akira, with money running out.

Koreeda's direction of the children is exceptional, as if the film was shot entirely candid. The camera-work is sincere, as if we were one of the children stuck in that apartment. There are no gimmicks here, no slide of hand, or post-production miracles. Nobody Knows is raw, and thrives in Koreeda's ability to capture the distinct personalities of all four siblings, their hopes, and those secretive moments where Koreeda directs the children not for the stories sake, but for the sake of the children being children.

Perhaps the most impressive aspect of Nobody Knows is the performances of the four children. All four children, who conjured phenomenal performances, were played by Japanese youths with no film backgrounds. After you see the film, it is likely that Koreeda preferred it this way, tapping into the honesty and energy that such youth had to offer. Their performances are so sincere and beautiful that on several occasions the tears will start to fall, the goose bumps will rise, and your heart will undoubtedly cry out to rescue these children, to grab them in your arms and set them free.

Without giving too much away, one of the most touching scenes to me, is on Yuki's birthday, the only thing she wants is to be able to go outside for a walk with her big brother Akira. So when the night comes, she puts on her little bear slippers, an ear to ear smile on her face, and with her hand in her brothers hand, they set her heart free for if not only a night.

Nobody Knows is a film that I will never let go of. This film impacted me so much and I found it so absolutely remarkable, that it hasn't left my mind since it's viewing. I almost feel that recommending this film just isn't enough, and all I can say is that I hope everyone gets the chance to enjoy this film for all that it is worth. As sure as it is to invoke emotion, it is as sure to please as a piece of cinema.

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Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Nobody Knows (2004)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Am I the only one who thought the mother was a prostitute? chris-olson2
Grave of the Fireflies reference? manicm
What did Saki do for the money? danib60
Did her voice annoy the hell out of anyone else? philistine-985-817685
nice photo of the cast blx118
Nobody Knows soundtrack... blx118
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