Filmed in the forest of Japan, Kamuy: The Japanese Brown Bear is the story of a year-old bear cub's coming-of-age under the tutelage of his mother and the significance of the Brown Bear in Japanese culture. In the language of the Ainu, Japan's indigenous race, the word "Kamuy" means "God." To the Ainu, God is everything and anything other than man. The whole world is inspirited, but among this pantheon, the supreme deity is the Brown Bear.
High definition cameras follow Kamuy and his mother for two years, through the crucial seasons leading up to his independence. We watch, sometimes at arm's length, as Kamuy learns to master his world. He and his mother have staked their claim to a stretch of river on Shiretoko Peninsula, Hokkaido's northernmost point. Here, in a home range smaller than that of any other population of Brown Bears in the world, Kamuy learns the secrets of survival, and when and how to fight for, or share, his territory.