Jobanni no shima (2014) Script

A Japan Association of Music Enterprises 50th Anniversary Project.

"But what is it that will make people happy?" continued Giovanni.

"I don't know," Campanella muttered.

"Anyway, we're going to hold on!" said Giovanni with an explosion of breath as if his chest were brimming with new-found energy.

From Kenji Miyazawa's "Night on the Galactic Railroad".

How many years have passed since then?

That was the year we travelled to Shikotan, the island where we once lived.

To our old home, full of so many memories.

To our lost island.

Miss Sawako, we're almost at the island.

So we are.

We've finally come back. What's it been, 50 years?

It brings back a lot of memories, doesn't it?

Not for me.

I get rid of things I don't want to remember with an eraser.

Can you, though?

I suppose not.

You can't get rid of them.

I can't forget, even if I want to.

I'm sure it's the same for you, Junpei.

I suppose it is.

Our old home. The island where stars fall to Earth.

The island of the Galactic Railroad. Giovanni and Campanella's island.

July, 1945... July, 1945.

Eggs, eggs, eggs, eggs-.

Over here! Look at me! Look at me!

No one's home!

You can have the floaters, Kanta! No fair, Brother!

Got 'em.

The floaters are the ones that are about to hatch!

Here's your eggs back!

Sorry to bother you...

July 4,1945.

Hey, wait! Hurry!

Good afternoon, ladies! Hi, Junpei!

Delivery, ma'am! It's so big! Look!

Delivery, ma'am! Thank you, Kanta.

Have a good day, everyone!

Hello! Hello!

Hey, boys! I wish I had their energy!

Cock-a-doodle-doo!

We're home! We're home!

Oh, there you are. That smells so good!

I'll cook you up some. I'll help!

Good boy.

Galactic Railroad, now departing!

All board who's coming aboard!

Hurry, we're now departing!

Depart station!

Campanella, hop on! Hurry!

Wait for me, Giovanni!

Next stop is Cygnus Station!

Cygnus Station!

GIOVANNI'S ISLAND Air raid alert! This is an air raid alert!

More than 120 dive bombers are advancing towards Nemuro!

Make for the air raid shelter immediately!

Air raid alert! This is an air raid alert!

I wonder if the Dawn Corps boys up in the mountains will shoot them down?

Darn it all.

I think they're up too high for their guns to reach.

Let's go to the shelter. Hurry.

Dad! Dad!

Hurry and get to the shelter. Yes, sir.

Father, look after the boys.

Don't worry, son.

My father was the commander of the island's defence force.

Well, in fact the real soldiers, called the Dawn Corps, are holed up in the mountains.

He was basically the head of the village's fire brigade.

The war's finally come all the way up here...

Nemuro is burning...

August 15, 1945.


What did His Majesty say? I couldn't hear very well...

It's over... The war is over.

August 15th.

Japan... was defeated.

Dad...

Don't worry.

Even if the war is lost, as long as we have our island...

As long as our people are still alive, the country will never fall.

What's going to happen to the country now?

The Americans will come and make everybody into slaves.

What?

Those Yanks are red devils, after all.

You're joking...

There's no telling what they'll do to you womenfolk if you don't hide.

You better paint your faces black to look like men.

Stop trying to scare me!

Well, I'm off.

Even if we've lost the war, a fisherman has to fish.

I'll have Kanta do it today.

Kanta, will you read this for us?

Yes, sir.

"'What on earth can I do for their happiness?'"

Giovanni, completely despondent, hung his head.

"'Who's to say it wasn't for the best? However painful a thing might be...'"

Our father loved Kenji Miyazawa's "Night on the Galactic Railroad".

After I started primary school, he had me read it out loud almost every day, too.

He said that our mother loved this book when she was alive.

We were named after the characters, too.

Junpei comes from "Giovanni", and Kanta from "Campanella".

September 1, 1945.

Miss Sawako, good morning! Good morning!

Good morning, Junpei, Kanta.

Ma'am, do you think the Americans will come?

Our grandpa said that the women should run and hide!

Miss Sawako doesn't have to worry! They're only after young girls!

What's that supposed to mean, Junpei?

Stay down, everyone! Junpei!

It's blanks! They're firing blanks!

Stay calm, everyone! We're fine!

Look at that flag!

That's not the Americans! It's the Soviets!

Soviet soldiers are called "Russkies"! They kill bears with their bare hands!

Take your seats, everyone. Yes, ma'am.

Ma'am! Yes, what is it?

I hear the Iwasakis and Komanos fled. Shouldn't we run away, too?

It's all right. In times like this, we must remain calm and collected.

We mustn't panic.

Yes, ma'am.

Miss Sawako! Look!

It's the Russkies! Look at that gun!

Miss Sawako...

Everything will be fine. Stay calm. Children, take your seats!

Focus only on me.

Can you do that?

0.5...

Go outside! All of you!

Please leave the room. We're in the middle of a lesson.

All right, can anyone solve this problem?

Junpei, then...

Please come up to the board and solve this problem.

Junpei?

Do you know the answer, Junpei?

Yes, ma'am.

Stop right now!

What's the matter?

These people aren't obeying, Comrade Major.

What do you want?!


Here you are, lad.

Thank you...

We're leaving. Comrade Major?

It's so fast!

Kanta, don't!

Junpei...

The Dawn Corps had been disarmed and had come down to the village.

Poor devils. If they're sent to Siberia, they're never coming home.

The defence of the island rests with you now.

Company, STOP!

They're in your hands now.

Company, march!

Surrender your valuables!

What's this garbage?! Your valuables! Hurry up!

There's nothing left for you to take! You people keep coming and coming!

Go away! Go away, I said!

First I can't fish, and now look at what they did to the house.

Grandpa! Here, take good care of this.

You can come out!

Mitchan!

What's so funny? Your face is all black!

But I had to pretend to be a man!

Oops! Sorry!

Hey!

Uncle Hideo! Uncle! You're back!

Uncle!

Look at you! I go away for a while, and you grow up on me!

Where were you?

Off fighting, of course!

I come back, and Japan's nothing but ashes. Burned to the ground.

And when I'm finally home, what do I find? Russians, no less!

What's this country coming to?

It's good to have you home, Hideo. Let's celebrate with a drink.

Oh, by the way. I have a souvenir for you two.

Really?

And what have we here? Ta-dah!

It's the latest train engine! You've never seen the real thing.

Where's mine? Play with it together.

You have that locomotive that Dad bought you, remember?

I'm amazed you got your hands on something like that.

There are empty houses all over. I found it in one of those.

You mean... you stole it? Welcome home, sir.

W-Welcome home!

Good, you're all fine.

Long time no see, Big Brother! Hideo, you're alive...

You bet! Alive and kicking! I'm glad to hear it.

The devil's children have the devil's luck!

This man isn't dying for his country! Hideo!

Oh, this sake is good!

No, I'm staying.

I have a duty as the island's defence force commander.

Face up to reality, Brother!

Japan lost! The island's been occupied by the Red Army!

We should just pack up and leave!

If you want to run, I'm not stopping you.

Man, what am I gonna do with you?

Come on, Pops! Say something!

A fisherman who can't fish might as well be dead! Am I right?

The Soviet patrol boats won't be out in a storm like this.

This is the perfect chance to get off the island.

The storm is just as dangerous for us, son.

Do you have any other way to avoid those patrol boats?! Damn it!

They say the boat washed up this morning.

And the Noguchis had a little kid, too... That's terrible.

Noguchi's family fled the island in the storm last night.

They were lost at sea.

Pray silently.

Be seated.

I had planned to spend first period today on Japanese history, but the study of Japanese history has been prohibited for the time being.

What do we study, then?

Today, we will be moving a few desks into the classroom next door.

That's the lower graders' room!

The families of the Soviet soldiers will be coming to the island.

We must vacate this classroom.

Are the Russkie kids gonna study Japanese?

Or are we gonna have to learn Russian?

What's that?

It's electricity! Wow! The island's getting electricity?

Fly!

Junpei, look at it go!

Awesome!

Fly all the way to the sky!


Who's she?

Excuse me, who are you? What brings you to our house?

That book!

That's Dad's book!

Give it back! Give back our book!

Hey! Open the door! Open the door! Open the door!

Kanta, stop! Open up!

Hey! Over here!

The Russkies claimed the main house. Starting today, we're living here.

Thanks for having us, Hana!

No way!

Why us?! Why is this happening to us?!

Try some of your uncle's special burnt rice. It's good stuff!

We'll run out of rice soon, though. Where's Mitchan?

She fled the island with the rest of the workers.

I hope she's okay. Oh.

Mitchan's not coming back? I guess not.

I brought you something amazing. This is round two!

Pretty cool, huh?

Amazing, huh? And you have Uncle Hideo to thank.

For round three, we'll make it move with batteries!

Really? Oh, wow!

Thanks, Uncle!

Actually, Junpei, I have a favour to ask you.

At 10pm tomorrow, can you make sure there's no Russkie boats around?

If there aren't, can you light a bonfire at the top of the cape?

Don't let the Russkies find out what you're doing.

I can't do that!

Sure you can. You're a man, aren't you?

But I...

We'll run out of rice if we don't do something. We'll starve, you know?

Look! This was left behind by the Takashimas when they fled.

It's like they're asking us to put it to good use, don't you think?

Better to use the proceeds to buy rice than let the Russkies have it, right?

No one will miss it, right?

This will let our own family survive.

Here! Special treat!

I'm home.

Look at you, the war is over, but you're busier than ever!

I bid you good day, young men! Toil hard with grand ambitions in your hearts!

I'm counting on you!

Later!

"Tickets, please."

"Thank you, sir."

"Here!" "Thank you, sir."

"Is... this all right?"

"Did you bring this from the third dimension, sir?"

"I'm not really sure."

"Your ticket is in order. We will arrive at the Southern Cross at around the third hour tomorrow."

"Wow, would you look at this!"

You could even go to the real Heaven with this ticket!

And not just Heaven! This is a free pass to go anywhere!

With this ticket, I bet you could go wherever you wanted aboard this imperfect, imaginary, fourth dimensional galactic rail road.

"You're one lucky fellah!"

I was dreaming?

Dad?

Oh, no!

Junpei! Ow!

What are you doing out here?

Don't sneak up on me like that! I burned myself!

Beat it, kid!

You're a kid, too! You wet the bed!

All right, fine... Here.

Don't tell Dad about this, okay?

Okay.

Red dragonfly in sunset sky.

I saw it one day from nanny's back so long ago now.

Picking mulberries in mountain fields, put 'em in our little basket, was that all but a dream?

Just fifteen, nanny went away to marry...

Hey, that's our organ!

Red dragonfly in sunset sky about her true love, whose letters she was keeping.

Picking mulberries in mountain fields, about her true love, whose letters she was keeping.

- Red dragonfly in sunset sky... Apple and pear trees were blooming...

- resting at the top of a thin pole... Katyusha set out on the banks...

We're home!

Uncle!

I went ahead and laid out the tracks. It's just about finished.

Will it work, Uncle?

It would be a lot simpler if those Russkies would wire up the house.

Okay, all done!

Okay, you two. The train drivers sit here.

Let's see, when is the next one?

Junpei, my next run is next week!

Make sure the coast is clear, boy!

How do we work this? What do we do?

It's simple! It'll move when Junpei twists that dial!

This makes it move? Wow!

And now, I must away!

Don't try to stop me!

It's moving!


Look!

It's the same kind of track!

Should we? Yeah!

We are about to depart!

All aboard!

Look, it's got a ribbon on it!


"The fine little train went on through the fields" of heavenly marsh grass waving in the breeze, on through the faint blue light of the triangular beacons, "on by the water of the great river..."

"The fields outside looked like a magic lantern.

Triangular beacons - a hundred, no, a thousand..."

"Campanella still whistled lonesomely to himself, and the little girl looked off in the same direction as Giovanni..."

"And they saw that on the shimmering edge of the Milky Way," heavenly fields of marsh grass were glistening silver

"and murmuring wavelike in the wind."

May 28,1946.

So, what shall we sing today?

"The Village Blacksmith"! "We Are Children of the Sea"!

I want to sing "The Monkey's Palanquin"!

Let's do math today.

Katyusha set out on the banks, on the steep and lofty bank.

Katyusha set out on the banks, on the steep and lofty bank.

She was walking, singing a song about a grey steppe eagle, about her true love, whose letters she was keeping.

About her true love, whose letters she was keeping.

Red dragonfly in sunset sky.

I saw it one day from nanny's back so long ago now.

Picking mulberries in mountain fields, put 'em in our little basket, was that all but a dream?

Got you!

Oh, crap!

Try and catch me!

Sorry!


Playing with you guys was fun.

"Ice"

Tanya.

Tanya?

Yes, Tanya.

Tanya!

What are your names? Us?

Giovanni.

Giovanni?

She wouldn't understand our names in Japanese, anyway.

Campanella!

Campanella?

Da, da!

Giovanni! Campanella!

Hey! Get off my cart! Sorry!

Please come in.

Wow...

Kanta, quiet!

What's this?

This is huge!

This is Grandpa and Dad's room!

And this is our room!

Look at what they've done to it...

This one is my room.

All of our things are gone...

I came from here.

From here... to here.

This is our island? It's so small...

Sure you came from a long way away.

I've moved from one place to another all my life.

And now, to this island at the ends of the earth.

My papa is an officer, so we have to go wherever he's sent.


Supper's ready.

Wow...

This looks so good!

Hey!

I'm home.

That commander, he's Tanya's dad?

I see we have guests for dinner. Good evening, lads.

Enjoy the meal.

Let's eat!

Let's eat-.

Oh, I get it! Here goes!

Oops!

That's hot!

Oh, poor thing!

Come, dance with me!

That's my girl! One more time!

Let's dance! Come on!

I'll dance with you!

All right, Campa!

Like this! Then this! Then this and this and this!

As I watched Kanta dancing so happily, it reminded me of when Mum was still alive.

I was overcome by a warm feeling that I hadn't had in a long time.

Maybe I'll join Tanya's family! You'll what?

Then I'll get to eat great food and dance all the time!

A Japanese can't become a Russkie, dummy!

Why don't you marry Tanya, then?

You like her, don't you?

I... I don't. Okay?

I'll marry her, then!

You can't do that! You just... can't!

I'm glad you're here, Junpei!

Where's Kanta? He has field chores today.

Too bad, I've got some tasty treats.

Look! Wow!

They've got everything on the mainland.

I'm heading out again tonight. I'll be counting on you!

Please, no more... It's for the good of the country!

Endure the unendurable and suffer the insufferable! Okay?

Better hide the rice. Can't be too careful these days.

What do we have here? Way to go, Big Bro.

Oh, well.

See ya. Don't forget about tonight, little man!

Oh why me? Hi, fair lady!

Hello.

Zdravstvujte, Madam!

Goodness, Campa, your Russian is excellent!

Where's Tanya?

Oh, she left with Giovanni to pick raspberries.

With Giovanni?

Not that way, Tanya!

There's lots of raspberries over this way!

We'll do that later. Look at all these flowers! Come on!

We're not picking raspberries? So beautiful...

No, not like that!

So pretty...

"Pretty"?


The ice man is out here?

Let's go! Da!

That's it.

That should be enough.

Dad?

Be careful.

Giova-.

Thank you for everything. But you've done enough.

If the Soviet soldiers find this, it'll spell big trouble for you.

Please, let me help.

You can't distribute rice to the whole village by yourself.

But it's only a matter of time before we're discovered.

I mustn't ruin your life.

No!

Being useful to you makes me happy, Tatsuo.

You know my feelings for you ever since we were little.

I won't go.

Let's go!

Listen, Tanya. You can't tell anyone what we saw here today.

I understand.

Promise me! I promise!

Go home, then! I won't go!

Go home! Go! Go!

No. I'll sit here until I rot, and the animals will feed on my carcass.

What am I gonna do?

What's the matter, Giovanni?

I'm seeing if there are any Russkie boats around.

Soviet. Boats.

Boats?

No, everyone is celebrating tonight. There won't be a patrol.

Boats. No come.

Really?

Really.

There's a blanket in my bag. Use it if you want.


Give it back! Give it back!

You want to draw me, don't you, Giovanni?

Draw you?

Make me look pretty.


I wished that time would stand still and we could stay that way forever.

That's Uncle Hideo's boat!


Junpei... Where did you go with Tanya today?

Come on, what were you doing with Tanya?

What's the big idea?! Uncle!

Are you trying to get me killed?!

Thank goodness, you're alive!

Of course I am! It'll take more than that to knock me out!

I'm sorry, Tanya said there was no patrol, so I...

"Tanya"? Yeah.

Oh, that girl in the main house? Now I see.

She's the Soviet commander's daughter. Be careful, you hear?

Beware a pretty face, kiddo!

What? She's not like that, I -.

By the way, is your dad around? He's not home.

He left real early this morning!

He's an early riser, my brother...

What is it, Junpei? Something's been bothering me.

Like what?

Dad and Miss Sawako were at the cave, and-.

What? What about the cave? Why were they together at the cave?

That's the Dawn Corps' emergency stores! You can't just help yourself to them!

They belong to all of us. We need them to keep from starving.

They mustn't fall into the Soviets' hands!

Don't be stupid! I'll turn that rice into money on the mainland.

That's the smart move! I won't let you!

Try to stop me!

Enough. The folks next door will hear.

I get it, you've been getting the rice to the villagers through Sawako.

Distributing it from the school... Not another word, I mean it.

So, are you two an item?

The war is over, Bro.

It's time to face up to reality.

Hideo...

July 16, 1946.

It's Sawako! It's me, Sawako!

It's Miss Sawako! What's going on?

Please open up! Open the door!

It's Hideo, he- What about Hideo?

Hideo was trying to smuggle out the rice, and he was caught by a patrol!

If he talks...

Tatsuo, wait!

Look after the boys, Sawako!

Dad!

She's the Soviet commander's daughter. Be careful, you hear?

Don't go, Dad!

Dad...

Dad... Dad...

Dad!

Dad!

Dad! Dad!

Dad!!

Tanya!

Giovanni? What's the matter? Tanya! My dad's been taken!

What? Speak slowly.

Tanya, did you tell them?

Tell them what?

Your father arrested my dad! Because you talked!

I didn't say anything...

Liar! How come your father knew about the cave, then?!

It wasn't me! You told him!

It wasn't me! You told him!

I said nothing!

I said it wasn't me!

What's the matter, pumpkin? Wasn't that Giovanni I heard outside?

But they took my dad...

Dad's been arrested by the Russkies...

"'What kind of light is that?"

What can they be burning to get such red flames?' asked Giovanni.

'It's the Fire of Scorpius, ' said Campanella, again referring to his map.

'O God, look into my heart, ' prayed the scorpion.

'Instead of throwing my life away in vain like this, grant that my body be used for the true welfare of all.'

And then the scorpion's body suddenly broke up into beautiful crimson flames, and he was placed in the heavens to light the darkness of the night.

"My father said that the fire burns to this very day.'"


September 25, 1947.

Genzo! Genzo!

Genzo!

What's all the ruckus?

Everyone on the island is being sent back to the mainland!

They say to gather at the harbour with only what we can carry!

Get a move on!

Grandpa? Right.

Will we be allowed back? Move it!

Put on every piece of clothing you can and wait outside.

Miss Sawako will be here for you soon.

Here you go.

You are a big boy now, Kanta. Grin and bear it.

It's fine.

I'll catch up with you soon. Until then, look after Kanta.

You can count on me, Grandpa.

Is everyone ready?

Miss Sawako!

Everyone's heading to the wharf. We have to hurry.

Right.

And your grandfather? He said to go, he'll catch up.

Uncle Genzo?

Uncle Genzo?

I'm an old man who doesn't have many years left.

I'm sorry, but look after Junpei and Kanta for me.

With us fishermen, we live, we eat, we fish, and we die.

We're content with that. That's a life we're proud of.


Hey! Miss Sawako!

Kanta! Miss Sawako!

Junpei! Kanta!

It's Uncle!

Hideo! You're okay!

You are speaking to an indestructible wandering crow!

They interrogated you, right?

Sure, but your uncle doesn't break easily.

Your dad is so stubborn.

If he'd played along, they would've let him go.

It was you?!

Hey, It's not like I sold him out or anything.

I tried to help him.

Oh, well. Say, where's Pops?

I asked Miss Sawako about him afterwards.

She said my grandpa had made up his mind that his last moments would be on the sea.

I wonder if we'll ever be able to come back to the island?

Junpei! Look!

Isn't that Tanya?

Tanya...

I'm sorry. Tanya, I'm so sorry.

Tanya!

Tanya!

Tanya! Tanya!

Tanya!

Tanya! Tanya!

And that was how we left the island.

Haven't we reached Japan yet? We must be almost there.

It's freezing...

Need the loo...

Give her back! Give back my baby!

Please!

Get off me!

Please! Give her back!

We're not allowed! It's the orders!

The baby's dead. There's nothing else to do.

No!

Yasuko!

Yasuko! Yasuko!

Poor woman...

Day after day, the storm raged on.

October 3, 1947.

What is this place?

This doesn't seem like Nemuro or Hakodate.

This isn't Japan!

Keep walking!

Sugar! Sugar! Who wants sugar?

It's sweet!

I'm beat... This is so heavy...

Kanta...

Are you okay, Kanta?

Sweet sugar, sir!

Wait here!

Three sugars, please!

Thanks.

Sugar!

Turn those frowns upside-down!

Wow, it's sugar!

Thanks, Uncle!

A token of my love, milady!

Be my guest!

The bottom is sand!

Sand? That little crook!

Where'd he go?! Come back here!

It's so fast! It's so big!

For the first time in our lives, we saw a real train.

Wow! That was the real thing!

The internment camp was a primary school at the top of a hilt.

Hey, no cutting!

This is all?

It's gross...

Boo!

Ta-dah!

Wow, biscuits! Eat up!

Look, everybody! Let's share them.

Apparently, we're in Maoka, in western Karafuto.

Oh.

Everybody from the islands is being rounded up here.

Then a ship from Japan will come pick us up, they say.

So we'll be able to go back to Japan?

I'm not so sure. Something tells me it won't be that simple.

Why?

Junpei, I'm so cold... Kanta?

I'm so cold...

Everything will be okay.

I wonder what Tanya is up to?

With everyone gone, she must be lonely.

Get moving! Get on the trucks!

Every day, they took the adults deep into the mountains to out wood.

It was back-breaking work, and some of them got hurt or got sick from the cold.

Kanta...

Where is Dad?

Don't worry. I'm sure he's fine.

Miss Sawako... Were you and Dad-.

Forget it.

I care a great deal for your father.

He knew that he would be arrested if he went to the cave.

He felt it was his duty.

I wonder if Dad has turned into the Fire of Scorpius...

Well, I - I'm sure that he has.

Your father lived his life for others.

And for you boys.

I have to be strong now, too.

You gave me the courage to go on, Junpei.

It's so cold...

Once they've taken everyone in the girls' school, it'll be our turn.

Hang in there. I can't...

I have great news! I found out where Tatsuo is!

Dad is alive?! Really?!

At the logging camp, I met a guy who's housed in the same place!

He says he's in the prison camp to the north!

Beyond those mountains! It's just a stone's throw from here!

Thank goodness... Kanta!

He didn't get sent to Siberia!

He said he's just past those mountains, right?

Did he mean those mountains? I guess.

Junpei, I'm gonna go see Dad.

Let's go! How?

We'd have to go way beyond that train's final stop.

I don't care!

See? You have to get better first.

I'd get better real quick if I saw Dad!

Still...

Don't you want to ever see Dad again?!

But how?

Let's take the Galactic Railroad there!

Kanta...

I'm freezing...

What's the matter?

Those kids!

Kanta!

Kanta! Hurry! Junpei!

Go on!

Real trains sure are bumpy, huh?

This will take us to Dad in no time flat!


Kanta, are you okay?

This thing cost me everything I had, damn it!

Will we catch them?

The end of the train line is just ahead.

I'm so sorry... Don't worry about it.

Thanks. Are you okay?

I'm fine...

If they got off the train and walked, they should be around here.

You two idiots!

Uncle Hideo!

If I were a Soviet soldier, you'd be dead right now!

What were you thinking?!

We're sorry.

Come on, we're going back!

No! I'm gonna see Dad!

Kanta!

No! Put me down!

You dumb kid! Even if you do see him, then what?!

I wanna see him!

We're going to see Dad! Our minds are made up!

Ow!

You stubborn little kids! That's the last thing he wants!

No! We're seeing him, no matter what!

Of all the stupid...

Hey!

Come back here!

Uncle, please! We want to see Dad!

No!

I can't let you two die in a place like this!

No, I want to see him!

You're the one who said he was just a stone's throw away!

Fine, I said that. But I didn't mean it literally!

What am I gonna do with you two'?

Come on, Sawako! Talk sense into them!

I'm going, too. Wha-?

Please, let us go. I want to see Tatsuo, too.

Besides, we're closer to his camp than we are to ours.

Guards might be on our trail, too.

Oh, for crying out loud...

At a time like this, what's a man supposed to do?

Could one of you tell me?

Thank you, Uncle! Thank you!

Cut it out, damn it! Thank you!

I wish I were as popular as my brother...

Man, you two are heavy...


What's that?

A fortification?

It's so warm...

Thank goodness for this pillbox.

I'd love a hot bath right about now. Here.

Boy, this warms you right up!


Hideo!

Wow, it's freezing!

What's up, Sawako?

Soldiers. What'?

Looks like they found where I hid the car.

Sawako, wake up the boys! Right!

What's wrong?

While I keep them distracted, you and the boys make a break for it.

Here's the address of our relatives on the mainland.

Junpei, look after Kanta and Sawako, you hear?

Uncle...

Hideo...

If I were a Soviet soldier, I could give you a big bear hug to say goodbye.

Maybe I will anyway.

Sawako. I always loved you.

I hope you get to see your dad, Kanta.

Uncle...

Hey, I'm an indestructible, wandering crow!

And now, everyone, I bid you farewell.

Look, look! Halt!

Halt!

Stop, or we'll shoot!


Let's go, boys.


Just a little further, Kanta. Hold on until the settlement up ahead.

Kanta...

"Wow, would you look at this!"

You could even go to the real Heaven with this ticket!

"And not just Heaven! This is a free pass to go anywhere!"

Kanta, this is a sign that we can make it to see Dad!

We're almost there!

Junpei...

This is the Galactic Railroad, isn't it'?

I have this free pass to go anywhere!

Please take me to where my father is!

Please!

Please! Let us on board!

Please let us on!

Let us on, please!


Eat this and go.

Thank you so much.

About that matter we discussed. I do hope we can count on you.

I swear...

If we weren't talking about kids, I wouldn't feel the least bit obligated to help a bunch of Japs.

Go on, move it! There's nothing to see here.

It's so warm...

Junpei...

Take a look out that window.


What's this? My end of the bargain.

I only pulled it off because I'm on the camp's kitchen staff.

Thank you so much!

So kind of Japan to send ships for you, but not bother to send us home to Korea.

Junpei!

"Wait here tomorrow at midnight. T".

Dad...!

"Wait here tomorrow at midnight. T".

That day was the Russian New Year.

The night of their Yolka Festival.

Junpei...

Happy New Year!

A mail troika dashes along the frozen Mother Volga...

Hey, cool it! We'll get in trouble!

Relax! The Commandant will overlook it today!

The coachman hums a sad tune and shakes his head...

Hey, come down here and drink with us!

As you command!

There!

No, wait!

It's Dad!

Kanta! Kanta!

Dad!

What were you thinking?! What if you're caught?!

It's not safe here! Go back this instant!

Go back.

Go back right now!

Junpei!

Kanta! Dad!

Thank you. I'm so glad you came.

I'm so glad!

We came on the Galactic Railroad!

You did? You did, did you?

Dad!

Dad!

Junpei!

Dad!

Kanta!

Dad!

Wait for me! I'll come home alive, no matter what!

Thank you, Sawako. Please look after the boys.

I will.

Dad...

Let's go.

Kanta!

Kanta!

Kanta! Kanta!

Kanta!

Kanta! Kanta! Are you all right, Kanta?

Kanta!

Tomorrow? Then...

Yes. Of course.

Kanta...

Here.

Thank you.

Put them on a truck and take them to Kholmsk.

Comrade Commandant?

A Japanese repatriation ship is leaving from Kholmsk tomorrow.

Make sure they're on it. At once!

Happy New Year!

Kanta! We're going home! We're going back to Japan!

I told you to keep quiet!

Can't you see that he's sick? Be kind and let them talk.

The stars are so pretty...

Are we riding the Galactic Railroad?

That's right! We're Giovanni and Campanella!

You and me, together forever!

Look, Kanta! The Indian and the Bird Catcher are here, too!

I can see the Southern Cross and the big Coalsack!

Junpei...

Am I gonna die?

No way! You're not gonna die, not here!

We have this magic ticket to go wherever we want, remember?

See, Kanta? It's a ticket for the Galactic Railroad!

It is...

It's a magic ticket that will let you go anywhere you want in the whole universe!

Kanta, let's go home to Japan.

We'll head straight home and eat a whole bunch of tasty food!

We can do anything. What do you want to be, Kanta?

I know! A conductor on the Galactic Railroad, right?

An airplane pilot?

You could even be a sailor or own a toy store or a bookshop!

You can be anything!

When you grow up, you can even get married and have kids!

You can ride in cars, sing songs, go swimming, see movies, go fishing!

You're right, Junpei...

I can see a light...

I wonder if it's the final stop?

No! Don't go there!

I can see a lovely field...

It's such a lovely field...

This has to be the final stop on the line.

Dummy!

We're supposed to stick together forever!

Right, Kanta?!

Kanta?

Kanta?

Kanta!

Kanta...

Kanta!

Kanta!


Hey!

Uncle?! Hideo!

I'm an indestructible, wandering crow, you know!

Hideo, what happened to your leg?

The Russkies are rusty, but their bullets have bite.

Did you see Tatsuo?

Hey, Kanta. What's the matter?

He didn't make it, huh? Damn.

Come on, let's all go home together.

Honey!

If you die, you get thrown by the wayside.

Junpei! Prop up Kanta!

Make it look like he's alive! Talk to him! About anything!

There has to be something! Think!

I know! Kenji Miyazawa! Wasn't the Galactic Railroad born here?

It was! Kenji Miyazawa came to Karafuto because he wanted to talk to his late sister.

The Galactic Railroad was his way of communicating with his sister in space!

That story was born right here! On this very spot!

Junpei!

Kanta. Let's go home together.

Back to Japan!

"It was at that precise moment that it happened."

In the far distance of the Milky Way's downstream course, a cross, bejewelled with bright orange and blue lights, "appeared, standing shimmering in the midst of the river."

Kanta, can you see it? Can you see the cross?

"'Hallelujah! Hallelujah!'"

Brightly and happily the passengers' voices resounded together.

From far off in the distant, cold depths of the sky

"came the clear, bracing, indescribable blast of a trumpet."

Kanta, can you hear it? Can you hear it?

Just a little further. Just ten more metres!

There's the border! It's Japan!

"I'll no longer be afraid of that vast darkness."

I'd go looking in there for what would make people happy.

You and me, always together! Always together!

Always together! Always together!

"Always together, forward we go!"

"Together!"

Hey! Don't those fields look so lovely?

And everybody's gathered there! That must be the real Heaven!

"Look! She's there! There's my mother!"

Kanta, we're home!

We've come home to Japan!

Kanta...


More than fifty years have passed since all that happened.

The island where my family lived... The island where I met Tanya...

Our island stood before us, looking exactly the same.

"Seno Family Grave".

We've finally managed to come back.

Kanta.

Tatsuo.

That day, a primary school graduation ceremony was held.

For those of us who weren't able to graduate back then.

"Welcome, Visitation Group!"

I hereby certify you have completed your primary school education at Shikotan National People's School after a 56 year course of study.

Congratulations. Thank you, ma'am.

I'll never forget that. Me, neither.

Wait, did that happen?

Tanya!

Giovanni?

My grandma told me to give that to you.

Is Tanya here?

This is Nina. She is Tanya's granddaughter.

Tanya was my mother. She passed away last year.

She always said that she hoped to see you again.

So, she's gone...


Then this is for you.

"Night on the Galactic Railroad".

What's it about?

When people die, they rise up into the heavens and become stars in the night sky.

Those countless stars fill the sky, shining brightly and eternally, and we live our lives down here, basking in their light.

That's what the story is about.

That's very beautiful.


Giovanni? Shall we dance, too?

Thank you.

Hold this, Mum!