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Sugihara, born in Japan but with North Korean parents, falls in love with a Japanese girl after changing from a North Korean school to a Japanese school. His boxer dad teaches him boxing - skills used a lot.


Isao Yukisada


Kazuki Kaneshiro (novel), Kankurô Kudô (screenplay)
41 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »




Credited cast:
Yôsuke Kubozuka ... Sugihara
Ko Shibasaki ... Sakurai Tsubaki (as Kô Shibasaki)
Shinobu Ôtake Shinobu Ôtake ... Michiko (mother of Sugihara)
Tsutomu Yamazaki ... Hideyoshi (father of Sugihara)
Hirofumi Arai ... Won-su
Mitsu Murata Mitsu Murata ... Katô
Takahito Hosoyamada Takahito Hosoyamada ... Jeong-il (as Takato Hosoyamada)
Min Kim Min Kim ... Naomi
Gye-nam Myeong Gye-nam Myeong ... Staff member of South Korean embassy
Tarô Yamamoto ... Tawake
Ren Osugi ... Taxi driver (as Ren Ôsugi)
Sansei Shiomi Sansei Shiomi ... Mr. Kim
Masato Hagiwara Masato Hagiwara ... Policeman
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Anri Ban Anri Ban ... Kaori
Guin Poon Chaw Guin Poon Chaw ... Sakurai's mother (as Ginpuncho)


Sugihara, born in Japan but with North Korean parents, falls in love with a Japanese girl after changing from a North Korean school to a Japanese school. His boxer dad teaches him boxing - skills used a lot.

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Did You Know?


Official submission of Japan for the 'Best Foreign Language Film' category of the 74th Academy Awards in 2002. See more »


When the Korean girl at the station grabs the stabbed neck, her hand is already covered in blood. See more »

User Reviews

Great example of how patriarchy is still prevalent in Japanese films
11 November 2005 | by heinen04See all my reviews

First of all, I loved this movie--loved it. It is a great portrayal of how strict the laws are against "aliens" in Japan. Told from the point of view of a Japan-born Korean Sugihara, Sugihara endures torment and the possibility of lost love simply because he is a Japan-born Korean. It does not matter that he attends a Japanese school (so that he is able to attend University as Korean schools are not recognized by Japanese higher education), speaks fluent Japanese, and has never even been to Korea, he will never be recognized as a Japanese citizen and thus must have his "papers" on him at all time. Despite how fresh and innovative the topic of discriminated foreigners is portrayed in the film, the female characters are discriminated against just as much as any Japan-born Korean. To put it bluntly: all of the female characters--all of them--are idiots. Sugihara's mother, while providing some comedic relief, is stupidly naive. Sakurai's mother asks questions after they've already been answered and discussed in her presence--as though she is too dim to understand. A friend of Sugihara believes everything that she is told no matter how ridiculous. Patriarchal comments are made about women such as "She couldn't cook but she was really cute." Perhaps the most disappointing female character of all is Sakurai--the main female character of the film. Apparently, even in modern-day Japanese films, the female love interest has to be a neurotic--much like many American films'female love interests. She charms the audience not through her wit or intelligence, but through her peculiarities. This would almost suffice if there was not such a let down in knowing that her attraction to Sugihara stemmed from the fact that he beat people up. A woman impressed by male strength--how original. Even in the end when Sakurai proves to think for herself after all, the beauty of her realization is upstaged by Sugihara's screaming at her. For such a brilliant, beautiful film with such clear-cut messages about being born into discrimination, there should have been at least one female character who was not discriminated into the category of being too dumb to identify with simply because she is a woman. A very big let-down for such a great work.

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Japanese | Korean

Release Date:

20 October 2001 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

GO See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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