Award Winners img

Don't just follow
the path of others,
play your own Shamisen!



The original Japanese scenery, where people live. Adversity, Travails, meets and farewells. This is where the Shamisen of Tsugaru is born.


Director / ScreenwriterAKIO NISHIZAWA

Chairman of WAO Corporation




Shamisen PerformanceHIROMITSU AGATSUMA

Nitaro(Nitaboh) was born as a child of Santaro, the boatman of Kanagimura Kanbara, Aomori Prefecture. He grew up so fast despite the misfortune of losing his mother soon after his birth. However, at the age of eight, he is affected by smallpox and becomes blind. Still, as he seeks his own way of life, Tamana teaches how to play the shamisen.

After his father died and became alone in the world, Nitaro struggled to play the shamisen that pleased the audience.

On the other hand, Kikunosuke son of the brewing liquor shop is attracted to Nitaro, who is "striving to pursue the path he chooses," and presents a Futozao.

Struggling to master a technique that no one has ever played before, Nitaro challenged himself to ITAKO* training to enter into a state of selflessness state. In front of Nitaro, "One genius in ten years" Tawarabo challenged the battle.

*A person who has special abilities such as fortune-telling and prophecy.



Seoul, Korea

France point

Lyon, France

point Canada

Vancouver, Canada



Director / ScreenwriterAkio NishizawaChairman of WAO Corporation

Though he once dreamed of becoming a film director, Akio Nishizawa chose to pursue his career in education. Under his motto: "In order to change today's Japan, we need to reform the base of the Japanese education system, " he developed WAO Corporation into a nationwide general educational service provider. Through NITABOH he managed to unify his dream to make movies and the passion for education. He found an original piece by himself and was involved in writing the screenplay.

Akio Nishizawa’s World

Animation Director / Character DesignerJunichi Takaoka

Graphic director of Slayers, Bubble Gum Crisis, Dual etc... Chief Graphic director of Trouble Chocolate, Great Dangaioh, etc... With his great drawing experience, he is in charge of the character design, the continuity and the layout's correction.

Sound DirectorMakoto Kuriya

He participated in the creation of the ending theme of Evangelion, and also in Genso Kido. He composed the music of Hirai Ken "I love you than anything else?". And he produced a great quantity of scores, as well as a lot of songs for radio and television commercials. He directs the "Toyota Corolla Fielder" commercial, which shamisen part is played by Hiromitsu Agatsuma.

Shamisen PerformanceHiromitsu Agatsuma

Won the Shamisen of Tsugaru National Contest two consecutive years in 95 and 96, he begins his solo career after quitting the "Musashi" group. His first album "Agatsuma" received the "album of the year of traditional music" award at the 16th ceremony of the golden record of Japan. He has become famous since his appearance and performance in the "Toyota Corolla Fielder" commercial. In 2003 he obtained the "excellence award" at the 11th awards of arts and culture of Suponichi. He plays the shamisen we hear in NITABOH and conveys a feeling close to the spirit of the original pioneer Nitaboh.

Chief Graphic DirectorHiroshi Kugimiya

Chief graphic director of several works like "Nadia and the secret of blue water", chief graphic director and character designer of "Jungle wa itsumo harenochigu". Recently he participated in "Bayside Shakedown, the movie 2 Save the Rainbow Bridge!" as an animation director.

Stage DirectionYasuhiro Geshi

Director on a lot of the famous animation works like "Ayatsuri Sakon", "Akazukin cha-cha", "Tenchi Muyo", "Records of Lodoss War", "Cyborg009", "Captain Tsubasa" and "Ghost in the shell Stand Alone Complex".

Art DirectorTadashi Kudo

Art director of several works like "Lupin the 3rd Die Nostradamus", "Kenshin the wanderer", "Pokemon Pikachu no summer holidays". His name has become famous for the beauty of his art even in preview projections.

Two songs of the movie "Shinsei"(main theme) and "Michi"Yae

Her first maxi single "the path of wind" has been chosen as the ending theme of the Asahi television program "Earth as a beautiful spaceship". And she suddenly became famous. She composed and sang the ending theme of the movie "Stairway 13". She also sings the opening theme of "Final fantasy crystal chronicles". She inherits of the vocal talents of her mother Tokiko Kato but this aside, she makes the challenges to unify on stage the songs, the fine arts and the dance in a "new musical world". She is for the first time radio actor as Okinu, the mother of Nitaroh in NITABOH.

Executive Producer
Masahiro Murakami

Projected by
Masae Nishizawa

Junichi Takagi

Original Story by
Kazuo Daijo

Jyunichi Takaoka / Hitoyuki Matsui

Graphic Directors
Toshimitsu Kobayashi / Haruo Sotozaki / Junichi Takaoka / Nobuko Tanaka / Nobuo Tomizawa / Sadatoshi Matsuzaka / Makoto Yoshizaki

Animation Correction
Goro Taki / Miiko Adachi / Kim Sejun / Sakiko Watanabe / Hironobu Katada

Color Design
Keiko Adachi

Kengo Shigemura

Directors of Photography
Shuuichi Heishi / Kojiro Hayashi

Sound Director
Toshio Sato

Digital Frontier / Konohana

Sound Engineer
Kazuhaki Narita

Sound Recording
Mouse Promotion

Sound Production

Sound Effects
Noriko Morikawa

Music Producers
Tsutomu Tsuchiya / Keiko Ushida

Head of Orchestra
Masamichi Amano

Music Performance
National philarmonic of Varsovia, Poland.


NITARO(Nitaboh)Satoshi Hino
Takateru Murata(child)


Born in 1857. His mother died after his birth. When he was 8-years-old, he lost sight because of smallpox and his father died in an accident when he was 11-years-old. As an orphan he decided to live in playing the shamisen, which he had learned from the goze (blind women street shamisen player), Tamana. His only aim was to please his audience nevertheless he will go through numerous difficulties. Then in the end, he will create the basis of the Shamisen of Tsugaru, which is now recognized and respected throughout the world.

YUKISayaka Hanamura
Yumi Furukawa(child)


The only daughter of the goze Tamana who taught the shamisen to Nitaro. In her childhood, she gave Nitaro a shellfish to thank him to have brought back the ball she accidentally dropped in the river. This was the meeting, which would seal their common destiny. After the death of her mother, she went back to Kanbara to become an apprentice at a merchant's. She understood Nitaro and would support him.

TAMANAMasako Katsuki


She traveled and played in front of the people's houses for a living. When she came to Kanagi, Nitaro begged her to teach him the shamisen. She remarked his talent and provided consistent teaching. Later she would have died of illness while travelling.

TOMEKICHIHiroaki Hirata
Yata Jun(child)


The younger son of a farmer. Apprentice of the Riverman Santaro, Nitaro's father. After the death of Santaro, while he was helping to cross the Iwaki river, he helped Nitaro. He was like a big brother to Nitaro and although he was not a perfect guy, he considered Nitaro as a member of his family.



Son of a brewer of Kanagi. After he finished his study in Tokyo he came back to succeed to his father, but he had the dream to publish his original newspaper. When he met Nitaro he felt motivated to realize his real dream and decided to depart for America after had given a futozao (a shamisen's large pole) to Nitaro.



Mother of Nitaro. Originally she was travelling as a street shamisen player, but she died soon after Nitaro's birth. As long as he played with a hosozao (thin pole), Nitaro was using the shamisen of his mother.

OMATSUYoshie Yamamoto


Owner of the Matsuya inn near the Kanbara passage. She's very protective and helped Nitaro in his problems.


*1:Official invitation screening *2:Publish


Cinemanila International
Film Festival*1

・Manila, Philippines

Taiwan International
Animation Festival*1

・Taipei, Taiwan

Busan International Kid's
Film Festival*1

・Busan, Korea
Hong Kong

Hong Kong International
Animation Film Festival*1

・Hong Kong, China

Singapore International
Film Festival*1


Future Film

・Bologna, Italy

14th International
Children's Film Festival*1
"The Golden Elephant-14"

・Hyderabad, India
Czech Republic

MOFFOM 2005,
International Festival
of Music Films*1

・Prague, Czech Republic

Screened at 450
venues nationwide!*2


The first TV broadcast
on BS NTV!*2


TV broadcast
on CCTV!*2