Profile

Born in 1942 in Tokyo, Japan. After earning a bachelor’s degree in art/art history at Kyoto University’s Department of Literature, he went on to do research in its graduate school for 3 years.
He founded a predecessor of the current WAO Corporation in Osaka in 1976. Its stock was listed on JASDAQ in 1988. Under his motto: “In order to change today's Japan, we need to reform the base of Japanese education system”, he developed WAO Corporation into a nationwide general educational service provider. He currently serves as a Chairman and CEO. His personal philosophy is summed up in the Japanese phrase Jitomyo or ‘self reliance.’

He founded an animation production company WAO World Co., Ltd. in 2000. He started the activity as a movie director writing the screenplay himself. He aimed at making films which were able to be enjoyed by parents and children and be filled with the messages to enrich their minds.

The first theatrical animation feature movie “NITABOH, the Shamisen Master” was released in 2004. The film won the Grand Prize at the 10th Seoul International Cartoon & Animation Festival SICAF 2006. It has been invited for screening by a lot of film festivals in the world, and it is still being shown in foreign countries.

The second movie “Japan, Our Homeland (Furusato-JAPAN)” is the story about a teacher and her students trying to pass down Doyo (Japanese traditional children’s songs) in Tokyo in the 31st year of the Showa Era (1956). The film also won the Grand Prizes of 2 categories at the 12th Lyon Asian Film Festival (France).

His third work “Symphony in August  Shibuya 2002-2003” was completed in 2009. The motif of the film is the autobiography of a singer-songwriter, Ai Kawashima. The film had the nationwide road show. It was also awarded the 2nd prize of the competition category at the 15th Lyon Asian Film Festival.

Movies

Works in Progress

Third theatrical feature animation
Symphony in August -Shibuya 2002 to 2003 Find out more
Second theatrical feature animation
Japan, Our Homeland (Furusato-JAPAN) (2006) Find out more
First theatrical feature animation
NITABOH, the Shamisen Master (2004) Find out more

Awards

“NITABOH, the Shamisen Master

May, 2006
The 10th Seoul International Cartoon & Animation Festival  SICAF2006 (Seoul / South Korea)
Grand Prize for best feature film
Nov, 2006
The 11th Lyon Asian Film Festival (Lyon / France)
The first prize of Public Award for Best Animated Film
Mar, 2005
The 7th REEL 2 REAL International Film Festival for Youth
(Vancouver / Canada)
Best Picture Youth Jury Award

“Japan, Our Homeland (Furusato-JAPAN)

Nov, 2006
The 12th Lyon Asian Film Festival (Lyon / France)
Grand Prize of Public Award for Best Animated Film
Grand Prize of Junior Jury Award

“Symphony in August Shibuya 2002-2003

Nov, 2009
The 15th Lyon Asian Film Festival (Lyon / France)
2nd Prize of Public Award for Best Animated Film
3nd Prize of Junior Jury Award
Trophies of Lyon Asian Film Festival Trophy of REEL 2 Real Film Festival Receiving award at SICAF 2006

Contact

Please contact Director Akio Nishizawa by e-mail regarding coverage request, screening request, support message and so on.

E-mailmovie@wao-corp.com

WAO Corporation Official Website (Provided only in Japanese)
WAO World Co.,Ltd. Official Website (Provided only in Japanese)

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