21 user 6 critic

Nankyoku monogatari (1983)

Two Japanese scientists, Ushioda and Ochi, develop a bond with their sled dogs while on an expedition in Antarctica. Ushioda and Ochi eventually leave Antarctica, only to return to search ... See full summary »


Koreyoshi Kurahara
3 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Ken Takakura ... Akira Ushioda
Tsunehiko Watase Tsunehiko Watase ... Kenjirô Ochi
Eiji Okada ... Chief Ozawa
Masako Natsume Masako Natsume ... Keiko Kitazawa
Keiko Oginome Keiko Oginome ... Asako Shimura
Takeshi Kusaka Takeshi Kusaka ... Morishima Kyoju
Shigeru Kôyama Shigeru Kôyama ... Horigome Taicho
Sô Yamamura ... Iwakiri Sencho
Jun Etô Jun Etô ... Tokumitsu Taiin
Kôichi Satô Kôichi Satô ... Toda Taicho
Shin Kishida Shin Kishida ... Kissaten Master
Takeshi Ôbayashi Takeshi Ôbayashi ... Nonomiya Taicho
Shinji Kanai Shinji Kanai ... Ozaki Taicho
Shinshô Nakamaru Shinshô Nakamaru
Masafumi Satô Masafumi Satô


Two Japanese scientists, Ushioda and Ochi, develop a bond with their sled dogs while on an expedition in Antarctica. Ushioda and Ochi eventually leave Antarctica, only to return to search for the dogs inadvertently marooned there. Written by Petr Meretyk <pechc@cunyvm.cuny.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Amidst the coldest, harshest surroundings on earth, this true story celebrates the mystery and the warmth of life.


Adventure | Drama


G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Official Sites:

Official site




Japanese | Italian

Release Date:

1983 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Wolf See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (1985 reissue)

Sound Mix:



Color | Color (Fujicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The film took over three years to make. See more »


Referenced in Weakest link: Hitori gachi no hôsoku: Episode #1.3 (2002) See more »


Ai no ôrora
Music by Tetsuji Hayashi
Lyrics by Tokiko Iwatani
Performed by Keiko Oginome
Courtesy of Canyon Records
See more »

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User Reviews

White Wilderness
19 September 2005 | by sol1218See all my reviews

**SPOILERS*** True story that took place during the Geographical year 1957-58, in the freezing ice and snow of Anarctica, by a Japanese expedition team on their journey to the Antarctic Mount. Batnnutan and back;a trek of some 500 miles.

Leaving Showa Base with a team of 16 tough Sakhalin sled dogs the three man expedition of geologist Ushioda meteorologist Ochi and Dr. Ozawa had no trouble reaching their main objective, Mount. Batnnutan. On the way back they ran into heavy snows and fog that caused them to go snow-blind and get lost. Helpless with no way of getting back to their home base the men unleashed two of their sled dogs, Taro & Jiro, who reached Showa Base and brought back a rescue party to save both the three men and 15 sled dogs.

At the base it's reported that the weather had gotten so severe that they would have to abort the expedition and return back to their icebreaker, the Soya, that would take them back home to Japan. Unable to bring them along the men were forced to leave the dogs, including the two who rescued them Taro & Jiro, at the now deserted Showa Base and; thus leave them to the bitterly cold Antarctica winter that was just starting to set in.

Heartwarming and true story of men and dogs and how left on their own the sled dogs, answering the call of the wild, formed a wolf-like pack that for over a year survived everything that the inhospitable Antarctic winter had to offer them; a frozen and agonizing death.

Beautifully photographed with incredible wide angle shots that showed the audience how vast and eerie the Antarctic really is. We see the dogs roaming around like a bunch of dark and unrecognizable black specks in the limitless white background. "Antarctica" also has a number of fascinating views of the Southern Lights, the Borealis Australis, as they illuminate and light up the cold and dark Antarctic winter night.

By the time the winter was over ,in September 1958, the Antarctic spring set in with the ice packs breaking apart and causing a number of the surviving sled dogs to fall into the open waters where they drowned. Back home in Japan both Ushida and Ochi were heart sick over leaving the dogs behind and a year. later going on another Antarctic expedition mostly to find and take back the frozen bodies of the sled dogs, that were like members of their family. The two never expected to find out just how wrong they were in underestimating their courageous and unconquerable canine friends.

Not exactly a "Lassie Come Home" type of movie the film "Antartica" shows how deep the bind is between man and his best friend and companion the dog and it will really touch you when at the end of the movie. With all hope gone, for the dogs left behind, like a winter mirage Taro and Jiro materialized out of the snow to the shock and delight, to the point of tears, of those who so sadly were forced to leave them behind and to face certain death.

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