3 user 2 critic

Fireflies: River of Light (2003)

Hotaru no hoshi (original title)
This is a story that shows the potential dreams and teaches kids to never give up


Hiroshi Sugawara


Hiroshi Sugawara, Osamu Sôda (original story)
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »




Credited cast:
Yukiyoshi Ozawa ... Hajime Miwa
Risako Sugaya Risako Sugaya ... Hikari Hoshi
Kôji Yakusho ... Mr. Takiguchi
Mirai Yamamoto Mirai Yamamoto ... Ms. Nanami
Nobuo Yana Nobuo Yana ... Tanaka-san
Kirin Kiki ... Headmistress
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Takuya Asada Takuya Asada
Moeko Ezawa Moeko Ezawa
Toshiyuki Kitami Toshiyuki Kitami
Yukimi Koyanagi Yukimi Koyanagi
Yurina Kumai Yurina Kumai
Kumiko Mori
Hitomi Nakahara Hitomi Nakahara
Takashi Sasano Takashi Sasano
Makoto Satô


A young teacher comes up with the idea of the elementary school students in his charge taking care of fireflies and their habitat. While as in any classroom there are different characters with distinctive personalities they ultimately come together as they care for the environment and the creatures in it. The teacher and students are up against the established way of doing things however. Written by aghaemi

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Family


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User Reviews

Hotaru no Hoshi is a warm story about a young teacher who fights against Japan's regimented school system, and in doing so earns the respect of his students
18 December 2004 | by rajioSee all my reviews

"Hotaru no Hoshi" is quite a wonderful film. It is a warm story about a young teacher who has some good ideas about teaching, but he finds himself up against Japan's regimented and conservative school system.

As a class project he decides to raise Hotaru (fireflies). Through the project his students become united and end up cleaning up a local river so the fireflies will have a home.

Hiroshi Sugawara who directed this film was offered a part in "The Last Samurai" starring Tom Cruise. He rejected the part to make this film. When he approached people to get the film made, they asked him if it had a love interest, he answered that the only love scenes were the fireflies. They asked if there was any action, to which he answered there was no action. They then asked, how long would it take to make and his answer was he needed 12 months so he could capture all the seasons. They thought he was crazy but thankfully someone saw the potential and the film was made.

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Official Sites:

Official site [Japan]





Release Date:

5 June 2004 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Fireflies: River of Light See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Cinema Voice Y.K. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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