Spirited Away was awarded Best Picture at the 25th Japan Academy Awards ceremony, beating Go, Japan's nominee for the foreign film Oscar.
Spirited Away director Hayao Miyazaki also received an outstanding achievement award for a remarkable four-decade-long career that has produced Nausicaa Of The Valley Of The Wind, My Neighhbor Totoro and Princess Mononoke.
In his acceptance speech, Miyazaki expressed "deep appreciation to the audiences who have supported my films and to the jury members who regard animation as film."
Although Go missed the Best Picture prize, it garnered a record eight awards, including best director (Isao Yukisada), best actor (Yosuke Kubozuka), best supporting actor (Tsutomu Yamazaki), best supporting actress (Ko Shibasaki), as well as the screenplay, cinematography, lighting direction and editing prizes.
Meanwhile, Best Actress went to veteran Keiko Kishi for her work in Kon Ichikawa's Ka-chan . The Best Foreign Film award went to Billy Elliot, which beat the box office hits Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone and A.I.: Artificial Intelligence.