In February 1958, the Second Cross-Winter Expedition for the Japanese Antarctic Surveying Team rode on the icebreaker The Sōya to take over from the 11-man First Cross-Winter Expedition. Due to the extreme weather conditions in Antarctica, Sōya could not get near enough to the Shouwa Base and they decided not to proceed with the stay-over. The First Cross-Winter Expedition retreated by helicopter, but they had to leave 15 Sakhalin Huskies at the unmanned Shouwa Base. The dogs were left chained at the base, as the team thought that they would be returning, but they did not due to fuel shortages. The team was worried about the dogs, as the weather was extremely cold and only one week of food was available. Meanwhile, eight of the fifteen sled dogs managed to break loose from their chains (Riki, Anko, Shiro, Jakku, Deri, Kuma, Taro, and Jiro), but the other seven were not so fortunate. As they journeyed across the frozen wilderness of Antarctica, the dogs were forced to survive on their own feces, hunting penguins and seals on the ice shelves and even eating the excrement of seal for food. As months passed, several of the dogs died or disappeared in the glacier. Riki was fatally injured by an orca while trying to protect Taro and Jiro. Anko and Deri fell through the ice and drowned in freezing waters. Shiro fell off a cliff to his death, and Jakku and Kuma disappeared in the wilderness. Nearly a year later, on 14 January 1959, Kitagawa, one of the dog handlers in the first expedition, returned with the Third Cross-Winter Expedition, wanting to bury his beloved dogs. He, along with the two dog-handlers Ushioda and Ochi, recovered the frozen corpses of seven dogs, but were even more surprised when they discovered that eight of their dogs had broken loose. To everyone’s surprise, they were greeted warmly at the base by two dogs, Taro and Jiro, brothers who were born in Antarctica. It is still unknown how and why the brothers survived, because an average husky can only live in such conditions for about one month. In the movie, the director used the data available, together with his imagination, to reconstruct how the dogs struggled with the elements and survived. —wikipedia
Koreyoshi Kurahara (蔵原惟繕 Kurahara Koreyoshi?) (May 31, 1927 – December 28, 2002) was a Japanese screenwriter and director. He is perhaps best known for directing Antarctica (1983), which won several awards and was entered into the 34th Berlin International Film Festival. He also co-directed Hiroshima (1995) with Roger Spottiswoode, which was nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Miniseries.
He was the nephew of literary critic Korehito Kurahara, and older brother of film director Koretsugu Kurahara. His son Jun Iwasaki, a former producer for Ishihara International Productions Inc., is currently secretary to politician Nobuteru Ishihara.
He was born in the city of Kuching, then part of the kingdom of Sarawak (now a state of Malaysia) on Borneo.
While a film student at Nihon University College of Art, he became a live-in student of Kajiro Yamamoto at the introduction of Ishirō Honda. Upon graduation in 1952 he joined Shochiku’s Kyoto studio and worked… read more