Nankyoku monogatari (Antarctica) (1983)

Shouwa Base is
the first base being built by the Japanese
during their participation
in the International Geophysical Year
Here we have all the First Cross-Winter Expedition members
and 19 Karafuto dogs, including one female.
In order to be successful in this campaign,
the team is staying in Antarctica
during the winter.
This is also a fight against
the harsh nature of Antarctica.
Hey, it's time to eat!
Here, Riki.
Taro, here you go.
Good boy.
Here, Jiro.
Here, Kuma.
Hey, Anko, Taro.
You guys are too spoiled.
Aren't you two supposed to be brothers?
And you grew up in Antarctica, too.
I want to set out
at the beginning of October.
If we start too late,
the ice might get too unstable.
Then we can't travel inland.
But looking at that engine,
we not really going to get far.
The first car also needs to be fixed.
Ah, such poor performance.
The second team might bring a better sled.
Because we've already told them
what parts need to be upgraded.
I really want to get to Botnnuten.
Because you've already arrived
at Antarctica?
I can understand your feeling.
But looking at the observation team's
previous missions,
we've already accomplished what we wanted.
Hey, Ushioda.
What is it?
How much baggage
can a dog sled pull?
If we're looking at something
really heavy,
the standard should be
around half the dog's weight.
If we choose 15 really strong dogs,
averaging 36 kilograms per dog,
then that should be...
Jiro - 34.5.
All right.
Mr Ushioda, which dog should
we weigh next?
- Taro.
- Sure.
Let's take a photo with Taro,
Here, Taro. Such a good boy.
Come on.
Okay, ready, come on.
It's decided that dog sleds
should be used
to travel inland.
The team will set off
from the base on the 16th of October
the strongest sled team possible.
Our goal is to
arrive at Botnnuten,
which is at higher ground.
The team will survey its actual position,
its elevation,
and its geology.
Akira Ushioda is responsible
for geology measurements
and looking after the dogs.
Responsible for meteorology measurements,
is Ochi Kenjiro, who will also
look after the dogs.
The one most experienced
in mountaineering is Ozaki Taicho.
These three have been chosen
to be the team members.
Go on...
Riki, go, Riki.
Let's go...
Let's get moving.
Jakku, come on.
We're almost there.
Keep going, it'll get easier once
we get past this trough.
Good, doctor, keep pulling hard.
Are you okay?
Good, hurry up, let's get moving.
Jiro, Kuma.
Good, let's make a stop...
Doctor, how are you doing?
If you don't change your socks soon
you're going to get frostbite.
Of course.
Let's stop here...
We should already be
on Padda Island by now.
That's strange, what's that over there?
It's a whale.
It looks like the carcass has been pushed
to the surface by the ice.
God, what a mess.
Jakku, do you know
what kind of noise this is?
It's not the wind whistling, that's for sure.
That sounds like ice blocks collapsing
on each other.
What is it, are you nervous?
If you're worried by this,
how are you going to
cope with the journey ahead of us?
The reason why I'm pushing
you guys so hard,
is that I'm hoping you'll
become tougher.
Here it is different than Japan.
This is Antarctica.
Only the strongest can survive.
Got it?
I never expected such
a hard trainer like you
to have a soft side.
Oh come on,
I was just woken by the doctor's
horrible snoring.
Then I heard that guy
whining outside.
I just couldn't help myself.
Me too.
If it wasn't for him,
I wouldn't have heard that.
The wind has picked up.
Go and check the guy lines.
Then go back to sleep.
Okay, have a good night.
Go, Riki, go on.
Riki seems a little off.
Good, let's stop here...
Stop, now...
Let's put Jiro at the front
to lead the team.
Deri should stay back too.
Move Kuma and Taro to the front.
Are you okay?
I'm fine.
Stop here...
- Ochi.
- What is it?
One of the dogs is bleeding.
Which one is it?
It's Taro.
Is it serious?
Not really.
Can't believe that Jiro is hurt too.
Good, time to pull, move it.
Pull harder.
Come on, let's hurry up.
Let's start pulling.
Hurry and pull.
Let's get moving.
Good, stop here.
Let's stop here...
Okay, stop...
All right, Kuma's stronger.
Let's move him to the lead.
It should be okay,
shouldn't it?
Let's stop.
Goro, what is it?
Aren't you the most experienced
in the team?
Come on, let's push it.
It's my turn.
Time to go.
Get ready.
Okay, stop.
Good, we're going downhill from now on.
Ochi, let's go.
- Doctor?
- Okay.
Good, let's go.
- Ochi, let's be careful.
- Right.
Stop here...
Goro, are you okay?
It's all because you haven't
run fast enough.
Hey, how are you doing?
I'm fine.
I wasn't asking you, I was asking the dogs.
The dogs and I are fine.
Come... let's go...
Let's stop...
It's time to eat!
Come on.
Hey, Shiro, do you want some of this?
Go ahead and eat!
This is our food.
A young guy like yourself
must be starving.
Damn, this is hard going.
But it's okay, I can put up with it
because this is Antarctica,
the land of my dreams.
Good, we're almost there.
- Hey.
- Yes?
- Can you bring Goro over here?
- Of course.
Goro! Goro's going.
Goro, Goro's leaving.
What do you want?
Don't you know who's feeding you?
Come on.
Go... Goro.
Come on, let's go.
Come on, let's go, come on.
Come on, move! So useless.
Let's go! Such a useless dog.
Goro, hurry up and come back.
Hurry up and come back.
If you don't, we'll leave you.
Please, come back here.
Please, I beg of you.
Don't you remember who feeds you?
Please, I'm begging you.
You get it now, don't you?
You seem to understand me.
Come on, let's go.
Let's get on, follow my lead, Goro.
Very good...
Very good... Go...
What is it?
This is something...
written by the students
from Hokkaido University,
who were given the huskies for training
and Mr Moriwa.
Let's put them all in.
Okay, that's good.
On the road back from Botnnuten,
the expedition is surrounded
by a very thick fog.
In such a windless environment,
their vision is entirely lost.
The world becomes white.
The eyes of the three team members
are all damaged
by strong ultraviolet rays.
They contract snow blindness as a result.
The expedition did not bring
any radio transmitters
due to weight constraints.
They are as good as dead.
Hey, let's stop here.
Ochi, are you okay?
Yeah, I'm fine.
I can't believe that the team
has been stopped by snow blindness.
How stupid of us.
Mr Ushioda.
What is it?
Can you see anything at all?
Only a bit.
Where are we now?
We left almost two hours ago.
I think we should be somewhere,
like twenty to thirty kilometres
away from the base.
Only if the dogs are on the right track.
What can you see?
Nothing, the fog's too thick.
Can't really see anything.
I was just thinking.
What is it?
We should cut Taro and Jiro loose here.
Right here?
I think if we let them go back to the base,
Chief Ozawa will send us a rescue team.
But the priority is that
those two need to get back
to the base safely.
I think they'll be fine.
Do you really think so?
Mr Ushioda.
I understand your feeling, but...
I agree with Ochi's opinion.
If Taro and Jiro couldn't find their way,
we would have been lost a long time ago.
If that's the case,
It would be the same if we let them go.
It's decided, then.
Okay then, let's do this.
Taro, good.
Good, go on now.
Taro and Jiro were brought to Antarctica
when they were puppies,
a pair of siblings who grew up on the base.
Taro, Jiro.
Mr Ozawa.
Such good boys.
Ochl, is everything fine?
His condition is serious.
Are you guys all right?
Ozaki, are you okay?
I'm doing fine.
Why don't you guys ride the sleighs
back to base?
Leave the dogs to us.
We're hoping to get back to the base
with the dogs all together.
Where's the SOUYA,
hasn't it arrived already?
SOUYA can't move, sir.
Mr Ochi, are you okay?
Yes, I'm fine.
My eyes are just stinging from
the cigarette smoke.
But isn't it great?
You three are doing fine.
Hey, good news.
Shiro's just had pups.
That's great.
Are they out already?
Still can't get too close to them yet.
At the end of December, 1957.
The SOUYA entered the glacier carrying
the Second Cross-Winter Expedition.
But when the new year arrived,
the weather had worsened considerably.
The SOUYA was stuck inside the pack ice
and couldn't get close to the base.
By February, the SOUYA finally called
the US icebreaker BURTON for help.
Sleigh? What did you say about the sleigh?
We are stranded and require
urgent assistance.
BURTON? You said BURTON, what is it?
What is it with the BURTON now?
Magnetic storm again?
Did he mean that
the BURTON is stranded
in a dangerous area?
It sounds like it. Yes.
Am I hearing right?
Even the BURTON is unable to move.
It looks like that
this team isn't able to move either.
- I'll go and get him.
- Good.
Wait a second.
Mr Ushioda.
If he goes on acting
like this,
the guy who is in charge of the dogs
on the second team
is going to have a hard time.
Should we take a photo? Yes or no?
Come on everybody, let's gather outside
The Shouwa has arrived.
We're safe now.
Hurry up and lead the plane here.
Is it here?
Hey, we've been waiting a long time.
We've waited long enough.
It's here...
Mr Nonomiya.
This has been a rough year for you.
I get to see you at last.
How is Mr Horigome?
He's fine.
To be honest, it has been decided that
everyone in this place
needs to leave today.
You're not waiting
until someone else takes over?
This is the same as abandoning
the base and retreating.
This decision had been made
after Chief Horigome,
Captain Iwakiri and the planning
headquarters discussed the issue.
It's been decided.
I'm sorry, but can you all
please hurry?
I'll be at your assistance.
Unfortunately, we can only withstand
this type of weather for one day.
We'll transport the equipment
with a Beaver Plane.
Three of the team members will go
with it at the same time.
Hasegawa and Take will stay.
And they'll be responsible
for communication and machinery.
Please hurry and pack up, everyone.
Ikeuchi, why don't you go with them?
Come on.
Good, it's decided then.
Act fast, there isn't much time.
Each person can only bring luggage up
to 45 kilograms.
Be good, boy.
Anko, I'll give you a treat.
Good boy.
Taro, Anko.
Taro, hey.
Taro, Anko.
Anko, come here.
Taro, even at the last minute,
you're still giving me trouble.
Good, Jiro, listen up.
From now on
you can't treat your new boss
like you did to me or Ochi.
Anko, stop here...
Stop here...
Mr Ushioda, you have to check
these collars thoroughly.
When the second team comes,
it would be embarrassing
if the dogs were loose.
Good point.
Good boy... good...
You like to bite.
Can't really do that from now on.
You must behave nicely like Jiro.
Got it?
Be good.
Please act quickly.
Mr Ushioda, please hurry up.
Mr. Ochi.
Thank you very much...
First and second observation team,
assemble on the deck.
The landing deck is ready.
The plane has landed.
Thank you.
Please, please come over here.
Where are the dog handlers,
Mr Tokumitsu and Mr Toda?
The chances of the weather getting
any better now look slim.
My advice is that you should not stay
for the winter.
No way, we're here
to replace the observation team.
We're not giving up.
Kamikaze spirit?
No, I'm afraid you're wrong.
We're only saying
that we'll try to make the most
of the last chances we have,
taking everything into account.
These are such fine documents.
A dog who likes to bite people?
This one is the leader, Riki.
This one here's a loner, Kuma.
Can I really keep these?
Sure, this is what
the documents are for.
Thanks very much, I'll look after them.
Anything else
I should be paying attention to?
Watch the collars.
Yes, the collars should never be removed.
Hasegawa and Take,
I'm worried about you two.
Mr Hasegawa, thank you for you work.
Thanks, I know it was tough work.
Seriously. Really, thank you.
I repeat, hurry up and take in Shouwa.
About the base...
How are the other dogs?
The second observation team
will proceed as planned.
It's okay to leave the dogs there.
How about their food?
I left each of the dogs
enough dried herring and sardines
to last them a few days.
This dog and her pups are pilots.
We dumped the reserve fuel
in order to bring them over.
Attention, at seven in the morning
this ship and the BURTON
will retreat to the open sea temporarily.
Once the weather gets better
we will return to the glacier.
The SOUYA, which went to the open sea
in order to evade the storm,
is now back at the glacier,
trying hard to bring
the Second Cross-Winter team
to the base.
The explosives are ready.
Do it.
Let's go back at full speed.
Engines at full speed.
Mr Ushioda.
I want to talk to you
about the collars.
We shouldn't have tightened their collars
because of something like this maybe happening.
If Anko couldn't get
his collar loose...
- Ochi.
- Yes.
It'll clear up, it should be in time.
It'll clear up for sure.
Although you're so confident,
These ice blocks are huge.
They haven't broken up at all.
Engines proceed slowly.
Engines proceed slowly.
It should be okay this way.
Attention, crew members of the SOUYA
and the observation team,
I'm sorry to say that
the weather is not getting better.
In addition, the SOUYA has reached
its full capabilty.
We must terminate the mission of
the Second Cross-Winter team.
The Shouwa base must be abandoned at once.
At noon today,
The SOUYA will withdraw its mission
regarding the glacier,
and head back.
Like every one of you,
I did my best to accomplish this mission.
Nevertheless, we have done all we can do.
Mr Ushioda.
All our efforts have been wasted.
I'm sorry.
We've been through
everything together,
we should encourage each other now,
and go back to our country.
He's in the map room.
Captain,'re giving up
on the dogs?
Ochi, please stop.
We've done our best.
Please, two more trips.
Please let's go to Shouwa two more times.
Then we can bring back all the dogs.
It's impossible in this weather.
Then we'll fly there once.
Can we let the plane fly once more?
Flying once is not enough.
The dogs' total weight exceeds 500 kilograms.
I'm going anyway.
I'll poison them.
There's no other way to be responsible.
Your name is Mr Ushioda, right?
If we don't terminate the mission today,
then we're going against orders
from headquarters.
This ship is short of fresh water.
We can't waste
any more fuel for the water generator.
The blades and the rudder are damaged.
The SOUYA is in a bad shape,
and there is no more fuel.
Even returning to Cape Town is no easy task.
Please think sensibly.
It's not fair to the crew members.
Drinking water?
If there's no drinking water,
then there's nothing left to do.
Mr Ushioda.
I should give this back to you.
Actually, we're carrying something
very important here.
This is what the fans of Sakhalin
huskies all over the nation
gave us to decorate the dogs' home.
We're leaving.
Have a shave, it will freshen you up a bit.
Mr Ushioda.
There's nothing I can do.
What do you think I can do?
The first to break the chain was Anko.
The second one was Jakku.
Then it was the leader, Riki,
who broke free from his collar.
Then came Jiro.
Shiro was free at last.
The loose dogs have returned to the base.
Brothers Taro and Jiro
have always stayed together.
Riki and other dogs explored
inside the base
in order to look for people.
Besu, Moku and the others
also went down.
The leader of the dogs, Riki,
brought Anko, Jakku, Shiro and Jiro
outside of the base to look for food.
Kuma had taken off also.
Taro and Kuma followed
the tracks of their team.
Then Jiro appeared.
Jiro came back because he did not
want to leave Taro.
The dogs tried hard to find food.
The last one is here.
Deri broke free from the chain at last.
He followed his team.
Then they all came together.
The chasms of the glacier
are everywhere on the ice field.
From these gaps we can see
the darkness of the sea.
These gaps open and close
according to the currents of the sea.
The creatures in the water
will be pulled up to the ice field
because of this force.
There they would freeze.
Riki and Kuma,
both knew that.
However, the edges around the gaps
are very dangerous.
(Deri, six years old, born in Asahikawa)
(Goro, five years old, born in Wakkanai)
People are so stupid in Japan.
They know nothing about Antarctica
and the dogs
but they still talk like that.
Saying things like 'What a pity'.
How tedious.
And you...
You shouldn't have given
into such foolish whining.
What are you going to do
now you've quit this job?
I haven't decided yet.
Do you want to go to Australia?
It's just...
It's the Geology department
in Melbourne.
You can go there for a couple of years,
for a change of pace.
I appreciate that, Sir.
All right, I understand...
If you knew a way to loosen up,
you wouldn't have left the university.
Antarctica in May.
It's a short rest for the dogs.
Anko and Shiro became very close.
Mirages appear in Antarctica often.
Under Riki and Kuma's lead,
Taro and Jiro have learned
how to catch seals.
Seals and Penguins have travelled far
to the frozen fields.
Winter has arrived in Antarctica.
Riki tracked the footprints,
and ran inland.
It was the path they had taken
on the expedition to Botnnuten.
However, Kuma likes running alone.
So he stayed at the gap.
In Antarctica, the sun does not appear
from May to July.
The whole continent
becomes dark and hostile.
The Aurora Australis makes an
appearance in the Antarctic sky.
It's disturbing to the dogs.
The pack stayed close together.
All of a sudden Jake got up
and ran off.
The loner, Kuma,
looked up to the sky.
Jake left his pack,
he stood alone on the huge glacier.
Please come in.
I'm sorry for being late.
Are you still working?
Do we really have to go?
It'll be so crowded.
But I didn't go last year.
Was that my fault?
You think it wasn't?
You ran off to the end of the world.
Was that not your fault?
Anyway, we should get moving.
God, hurry up and get ready.
If you don't listen to me,
I'm not gonna marry you.
It's there...
I can see it there.
The Japanese halberd is there.
It's beautiful.
Little P, see...
the Japanese halberd is here.
Little P, that's the Japanese halberd.
See? Go have a look...
You look like a dog lover.
Because dogs know a dog lover
when they see one.
Little P, right?
Let's go.
What's wrong?
Is it true, sir?
The hottest days in Japan
are the coldest days in the Antarctic?
Please stop that.
Didn't I tell you he doesn't like
to talk about Antarctica?
Actually, that's true.
But how do you know that?
No way.
Don't touch that.
Don't change the subject, okay?
How did you find out?
Oh no.
It's very hot now,
But people claim that it's winter
in the South.
I just don't understand that.
Yeah, this is it.
It's all this book's fault.
That's the article I read.
He sacrificed himself
for such a great mission,
I think he died a noble death.
Although it is a pity,
I wouldn't blame anyone for it.
Thank you for making this trip.
I should go.
Thank you for coming.
Please accept this.
Please take care of it.
By the way...
I want to ask you something
and I hope you can be honest.
Please go ahead.
When you last saw Riki,
what was he doing?
Riki belonged to me and my sister.
My sister is not here at the moment.
I think when she gets back,
she would ask me for sure.
Riki and the rest of the dogs
were chained together.
I'm terribly sorry.
That's Riki's grave, my sister made it.
I don't want any other dog.
Riki won't come back even
if you gave me another puppy.
I won't accept other dogs.
Why did you leave Riki
and come back by yourself?
Why didn't you bring him back with you?
I hate you.
Hate you!
Give me back Riki!
Maki, what are you doing? Stop it.
We've decided not to raise another dog.
So please take that dog back.
Maki, it's okay now, let's go home.
All of sudden
Riki started to run wildly
Because there remained
the smell of humans.
This was the storage depot
of the expedition to Botnnuten.
Some leftover meat was found.
The one who fell was Shiro,
he was very close to Anko.
(Shiro, three years old, born in Kio)
Now the mayor will say a few words.
The Sakhalin huskies,
who were sacrificed in honour
during the exploration of Antarctica,
were born here, in Hokkaido
and raised in this town.
Furen's Kuma, Kio's Anko.
They were trained the same way as the others.
Hokkaido is very proud to have
these 15 puppies as friends.
They are not only the pride of Hokkaido,
they are the pride of Japan.
We are now doing this for our friends...
Mr Ushioda.
The Europeans are
very concerned about those 15 dogs too.
I'm sorry.
Would you let us interview you?
Please answer some questions for us.
I'm sorry.
Mr Ushioda, since you quit
your job at the university,
you have been giving speeches
about the dogs, right?
Is that because of the guilt
brought on by the fact
that you left these dogs in Antarctica?
What do you mean by guilt?
Those dogs were our partners.
But what became of them at last?
You chose to abandon them
to die in such a cruel way.
What do you make of that?
You're right.
We should have killed them
with our own hands.
Why aren't you talking?
Don't you have something to tell me?
The reason I came to Hokkaido
is because there is something
I have to tell you in person.
However, I changed my mind
when I just saw you.
Why's that?
The reason is...
we're the same.
Feeling regret for something we did,
or trying to pretend not to care.
Feeling regret for something we did?
Does it sound familiar?
Does it?
When we were on our way to Botnnuten.
You don't remember?
Is it a whale carcass?
That looks like it.
I wonder which of the dogs
had ran off inside.
I reckon it would have been Jiro.
Maybe Jiro?
Would Anko and Kuma be inside as well?
No, it would be Riki.
If it was Riki, he must have led
the others there.
Yes, he must have.
- Ochi.
- Yes?
Do you think they're still alive?
What do you think, Mr Ushioda?
At that time,
Riki, Taro, Jiro, and Anko
were all that remained.
The dogs were were leaving the ice
inland and heading towards the glacier.
They were feeling fatigued.
The appearance of the skuas
meant that the hard winter had ended.
However, nature did not
greet these dogs warmly.
A killer whale made a surprise attack.
Riki protected Taro and Jiro.
Taro and Jiro came back
because they would not leave Riki.
It was Riki who showed Taro that
they could find seal carcasses near the crevice.
Riki fought for his life.
He could not make it.
(Riki, six years old, born in Kio)
Anko's ice floe was floating inland.
Good afternoon.
Good afternoon, Miss.
Is that the puppy you brought to my home before?
It's grown up, what's his name?
It's Riki.
We've decided we'd like to raise another dog.
Is that so?
Riki must be thrilled.
Riki... wait for me, Riki.
Riki was raised on Kio island.
Once winter gets there,
the dogs would be left on the island.
But people will come back for the winter.
The dogs would have to go and find food
for themselves.
They would survive.
Therefore Riki must be surviving on his own also.
Because he is a diligent dog.
Even if he can survive on Kio by himself,
you can't compare Kio with Antarctica.
I think so.
It's impossible for all of them to survive.
recently I've felt that
a few of them may be able to survive.
That's what I think.
But the temperature in Antarctica gets
to forty below.
Even fifty.
Karafuto dogs can withstand
cold weather very well.
Riki will probably find food on his own.
I hope so.
That's encouraging.
Up till now,
I've still been regretting that
we didn't kill the dogs.
But that would be wrong.
Because that's not the way life
is supposed to be.
All lives are equal.
No one has the right to end
the lives of those dogs.
It took me such a long time
to understand that.
Springtime arrived in Antarctica.
For Taro and Jiro, who grew up
in Antarctica,
the base is their home.
Kuma brought another dog with him.
It was Anko
who was taken inland on an ice floe.
Anko met Kuma
who stayed at the chasm.
And so he survived.
The three dogs then followed Kuma
to hunt for food.
(Anko, three years old, born in Kio)
Only three huskies remained.
(Kuma, five years old,
born in Furen)
Kuma had once again disappeared
on the other side of the island.
Taro and Jiro couldn't bear
to leave the base, their home.
Why are you looking worried?
Would you go without telling me?
How can I leave you again
and go to the ends of the Earth by myself?
Even if I go,
it would only make me sad.
So does that mean
that you still haven't joined the team?
Hurry... you should get to Tokyo now.
You should be able to make it
if you go now.
I'll wait for you.
You should go to Antarctica
and see for yourself.
Then you can decide to choose me,
or leave me.
Please stay around, Mr Ushioda.
(Jakku, four years old, born in Kio)
Ochi, that's Jakku.
I'm sorry.
Can we go around that mountain once more?
Captain, what did you see?
Hurry up and get to the Shiowa base.
Mr Ushioda, the supplies
will be shipped immediately
after investigating the base.
Can you please give this up?
Mr Ushioda.
It must be the lack of food.
No, it's Taro and Jiro!
Good boys.