• My journey of self-discovery begins now,
    into the universe deep inside my heart

      In 2010, when the Japanese conductor Kobayashi Ken-ichiro turned 70, he and his “Koba Ken and Friends Orchestra” decided to invite 31 musicians with a range of disabilities to stage a concert together. Among those invited was Taguchi Makiko, who has autism and is intellectually disabled. Makiko began playing the violin as a little girl, inspired by CD violin recordings. Performing in this concert was an opportunity of a lifetime for her as she would be in the company of world-class violinists such as Sezaki Asuka, Kawabata Narimichi, Abe Shinya and the comic illustrator and musician, Ikeda Riyoko. The concert was borne from Kobayashi’s wish to see musicians performing their very best, regardless of disabilities. The six months of rehearsals leading up to the performance was filled with precious moments of the musicians and the conductor inspiring each other, and the concert, performed by “the most unique orchestra in the world” left its joyous mark on everyone involved.

      Filming the entire proceedings were the 9 members of the “Believe crew,” all with intellectual disabilities, who had first come together to film the 2005 Nagano Special Winter Olympics.

      On March 11th, 2011, the great earthquake and tsunami assaulted Japan’s east coast.

      Witnessing the devastation of his hard-hit hometown, Iwaki City in Fukushima prefecture, Kobayashi Ken-ichiro, struggled to express his emotions: “Thinking about the final moments of the thousands who lives were sacrificed, I can hardly worry about those who were spared…”

      In June, 2011, as Greece was engulfed by economic crisis, the World Summer Special Olympics were held in Athens. Among the athletes were two who had survived Japan’s catastrophe. Both Obara Aimi and Tanahashi Naoya had initially abandoned the Summer Olympics from the shock of the tsunami, but responding to the Greek audience applause, they achieved their mission to compete with confidence.

      In the fall of 2011, the conductor Kobayashi held a special class for the students of Toyoma Middle School, who had lost their beloved school along with their musical instruments to the tsunami. While improvising at the piano, Kobayashi recalled his own experience surviving the firebombs of WWII and Beethoven’s struggles to compose his masterpieces, to passionately plead the power of life to the students.

      *I would like to bring special attention to the fact that the intellectually disabled Believe Crew took part in filming every scene in the film and nearly half of the images are theirs.

    Performed by the Koba Ken and Friends Orchestra

    Symphonic Poem FINLANDIA Composer:Jean Sibelius
    Opera AIDA act 2 Composer:Giuseppe Verdi
    Zigeunerweis Composer:Pablo de Sarasate Violin:Sezaki Asuka / Kawabata Narimichi
    1812 Composer:Ru-Pyotr Tchaikovsky
    Nessun dorma from Turandot Composer:Giacomo Puccini
    Fujidana no shitani Composer:Kobayashi Ken-ichiro Songwriter:Sato Hachiro Soprano:Ikeda Riyoko
    NATSUMATSURI from Passacalia
     Composer:Kobayashi Ken-ichiro
    Symphony No.9 from the New World Composer:Antonin Dvorak

    Performed on piano by Kobayashi Kenichiro

    Piano Concerto No.23 Composer:Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Prelude No.6 Composer:Frederic Chopin

    Performed by the Iwaki City Toyoma Middle School Sokyoku Group

    KAMON Composer:Yoshizaki Katsuhiko

    Conductor:Kobayashi Ken-ichiro

  • Born in Iwaki,Fukushima. In 1974, Kobayashi won the 1st prize and the special award at the International Conductors Competition on Hungarian television. He has been resident conductor of the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra and of the Kyoto Symphony Orchestra. With the Japan Philharmonic Orchestra .

    In Europe, He served as principal conductor of the Hungarian State Symphony (now the Hungarian National Philharmonic) from 1987 to 1997, and is now conductor laureate of the orchestra. He was the first Asian conductor to conduct the Czech Philharmonic at the Prague Spring International Music Festival, in 2002. He has since held a regular guest conductorship with the Czech Philharmonic. He was one of three conductors who primarily led the orchestra after the sudden resignation of Gerd Albrecht from the chief conductorship orchestra in 1996 and before the advent of Vladimir Ashkenazy in 1998. In 2006, he became vaste dirigent ('permanent conductor') of Het Gelders Orkest of Arnhem, Netherlands.

    His compositions include his Passacaglia for orchestra, in honour of the 400th anniversary of relations between Japan and the Netherlands in the year 2000. Kobayashi directed the premiere with the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra in 1999.

    He received the Liszt Memorial Decoration (1986), the Hungarian Order of Culture (1990), and the Middle Cross with the Star of the Order of the Republic of Hungary decoration (the highest civilian honour) from the Hungarian government in 1994.
  • Director:Oguri Ken’ichi

  • Filmography
    1988:Cho-Fu-Ban-Ri ,a short film shot on the Silk Road
    1991:ROOTS OF INFINITY, a feature film featuring Tibetans living in the
        Himalayas (1991 Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival,
    1999:Began filming Riven Guizi (producer), completed in Aug. 2000
        Berlin Film Festival, 2000 Munich Film Festival, 2000
        Troia Film Festival, 2000, Winner Silver Dolphin Toront Film Festival, 2001
    2000:Began filming able, completed in October, 2001
    2002:Official Nomination(able)
        (DOCtober Film Festival / IDFAmsterdam / Praha human-rights)
    2003:Began filming Host Town, completed in Feb. 2004
    2004:Began filming Believe, completed in Oct. 2005
    2006:Began filming TOKYO JOE, completed in Sep. 2008
    2009:Began filming INCLUSION, completed in Aug. 2011
    2011:Began filming Strains of Odyssey, completed in May. 2012
  • Executive Producer:Hosokawa Kayoko

    able, produced in 2001
    Host Town, produced in 2004
    Believe, produced in 2005
    INCLUSION, produced in 2011
    Strains of Odyssey, produced in 2012
  • Since She encountered the Special Olympics in 1991, her life has been greatly enriched by interacting with people with intellectual disabilities. Wanting to spread the ideals of Special Olympics, which support their independence and social engagement through sports. She established Special Olympics Nippon in 1994.
  • The chairperson of Japan Committee Vaccines for the world's children
    An honorary president of Special Olympics Nippon Foundation
    The chairperson of NPO Yuukinotsubasa Inclusion 2015
    The chairperson of able society
    The chairperson of Japan Floor Hockey Federation
  • Stuff and Cast

  • Executive Producer:Hosokawa Kayoko  
    Director:Oguri Ken’ichi
    Music:Ken-ichiro Kobayashi  
    Orchestra:Kobaken and Friends Orchestra
    Violin:Sezaki Asuka/Kawabata Narimichi
    Soprano:Ikeda Riyoko
    Trombone:Suzuki Kanako  Violin:Taguchi Makiko  Koto:Menbers of Koto music of Toyoma junior high school  Athlete:Obara Aimi Tanahashi Naoya 
    Special Thanks:Calliope Iconomacou Nicolaos Michailidis 
    Believe crew:Miyazaki Ryota  Kawaguchi Hiroki  Hirayama Koji  Katsumata Yuki  Maehara Erika Wada Yuto  Masumitsu Nobuaki  Shimoike Kenichi Watanabe Gen
    Camera:Akahira Tsutomu  K.P.Marron  Hanai Hiromi Believe Crew  Sussana Saronen  Kanetaka Kenji
    Sound:Ivonne Gaerber  Video engineer:Uwabo Yoshinori  Muro Akifumi  Watanabe Morio
    EED Editor:Kaji Akio  Sound Effect:Okada Takashi  Mixer:Higa Tsutomu
    Graphic Desingner:Ichikawa Chizuko Title: Kanazawa Shoko 
    Location Coordinator:Ueki Futaba Chrisostomos Theodoroudis
    Translator:James Yaegashi Line Producer:Hanai Hiromi
    Archive:able Film Committee Kamiya Kyoichi  NHK National Archives(USA)

  • A Film by Oguri Ken’ichi
    94min./color/vista size(16:9)/HD -Digital/Digital 5.1ch.stereo
    Prodaction:Tenshin no shirabe Film Committee/Directors System Co.,LTD.
    Ⓒ2012 Tenshin no shirabe Film Committee http://cinema-d.com