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Shabondama (2017)

Izumi is an urchin who was set adrift by his parents. He is a thug, a thief and a predator. on the run from the cops he takes to the mountains of Miyazaki in southern Japan where he happens... See full summary »


Shinji Azuma


Asa Nonami (based on the novel by), Shinji Azuma (screenplay)


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Credited cast:
Kazuyuki Aijima ... Suma' son
Mina Fujii Mina Fujii ... Michi
Kento Hayashi Kento Hayashi ... Izumi
Etsuko Ichihara Etsuko Ichihara ... Suma
Katsuhiko Watabiki Katsuhiko Watabiki ... Shige


Izumi is an urchin who was set adrift by his parents. He is a thug, a thief and a predator. on the run from the cops he takes to the mountains of Miyazaki in southern Japan where he happens to come to the aid of an older local woman. Staying at the woman's house he is taken in not only by her, but also by the villagers. It can but only affect him. Written by aghaemi

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis









Release Date:

4 March 2017 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Where I Belong See more »

Filming Locations:

Miyazaki, Japan

Company Credits

Production Co:

Esprit See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


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Did You Know?


The film is based on the novel Shabon Dama by Asa Nonami. See more »

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User Reviews

A breath of fresh air
27 January 2018 | by nmegaheySee all my reviews

Films that contrast the horrors of city life with the more honest back-to-nature lifestyle in the countryside are fairly common in Japanese cinema. Foolish young people who think they know it all tend to struggle when they find that they haven't got access to high-speed broadband and a decent WiFi signal, and they eventually learn valuable lessons about human values when they return to traditional ways and rely on the advice and experience of their elders. More often such stories are told in the context of a comedy (The Mohican Comes Home, A Farewell to Jinu, Wood Job!), but Shinju Azuma's Where I Belong aims to find a more redemptive quality in its return to roots story.

A petty thief, Izumi, has attacked a woman in the subway with a knife trying to steal her purse and has fled the scene in a hurry. He ends up in the mountainous region of Miyazaki in southern Japan, far from civilisation. When he comes across an elderly lady who has had a scooter accident his first reaction is to steal the bike, but he helps her back to her home where he is welcomed and fed by the small village community and adopted by Suma as if he were her own grandson. Izumi has nowhere to go, he's being well looked after and the weather is great, so he decides to hang around for a while. Another 'old geezer' Shige brings him out foraging and hunting in the woods and he gets to know a young woman preparing for the Heike festival. It's hard work but Izumi could get used to the lifestyle.

It would seem that there is going to be nothing much more complicated than this in Where I Belong, which settles into a gentle rhythm after the violent opening scene. The folk of Miyazaki however are not immune from the problems of modern life, nor indeed from the kind of human problems that affect us all, and Izumi knows that he has to confront some of those deeper issues if he is to move on. What makes Izumi's otherwise unrealistic turnaround in character a little more convincing is that it doesn't rely on the usual simplistic dichotomy of city versus country, of young versus old, of an aimless modern life versus solid tradition, but rather it is from surrounding himself with people and real human feelings that make his chances of redemption more likely. To play on the back-to-nature theme however, you could say that what Izumi really experiences in Where I Belong is a breath of fresh air.

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