7.2/10
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14 user 24 critic

Hula Girls (2006)

Hura gâru (original title)
Young women in a small Japanese town look to revive their home's declining fortunes by building a Hawaiian village tourist attraction.

Director:

Sang-il Lee
23 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Yasuko Matsuyuki ... Madoka Hirayama
Etsushi Toyokawa Etsushi Toyokawa ... Yojiro Tanikawa
Yû Aoi ... Kimiko Tanikawa
Shizuyo Yamasaki Shizuyo Yamasaki ... Sayuri Kumano
Shoko Ikezu Shoko Ikezu
Eri Tokunaga Eri Tokunaga ... Sanae Kimura
Kojo Miyake Kojo Miyake
Susumu Terajima Susumu Terajima
Masaru Shiga Masaru Shiga
Hiroshi Ohkôchi Hiroshi Ohkôchi
Daikichi Sugawara
Katsumi Takahashi Katsumi Takahashi
Ittoku Kishibe Ittoku Kishibe ... Norio Yoshimoto
Sumiko Fuji Sumiko Fuji ... Chiyo Tanikawa (as Junko Fuji)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Tomori Abe Tomori Abe ... Yoneko Tsutaya
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Storyline

In 1965 the planned closing of a coal mine in Iwaki (northeastern Japan) will put 2,000 people out of work with devastating effects on the community. The mining company plans to build the Hawaiian Center to promote tourism, but the idea meets with resistance by the community's union families who boycott the effort. However, a few of the young women in Joban see the call for dancers to possibly provide a more promising future. Norio Yoshimoto is put in charge of organizing the center, with Madoka Hirayama, a professional dancer fleeing creditors in Tokyo hired to train the dancers. Kimiko, her friend Sanae, and Sayuri are amongst the handful first showing up for lessons but soon others join them. When Kimiko's mother, Chiyo, discovers that she has skipped school classes to learn dancing the two argue and Kimiko leaves home. Her brother Yojiro, one of the newly out of work miners, comes to be supportive of her dancing as he becomes protective of Madoka. The girls start to tour ... Written by Brian Greenhalgh

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

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Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Japan

Language:

Japanese

Release Date:

23 September 2006 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Hula Girls See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

|

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

None of the actresses had any dance training prior to the film, so they trained for three months. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Brings back old memories
27 November 2014 | by sapporonunSee all my reviews

Between 1966 and 1970 I was stationed at Misawa AFB in Aomori Prefecture, Japan. I had a car and traveled a lot. Eventually went to the Joban Hawaiian Center at the suggestion of a Japanese friend and fell in love with the place. I made the JHC my main spot for R&R after that and even scheduled several trips there for my coworkers.

This movie is NOT a comedy, in my mind, but a true life story about overcoming tragedy. I went to the JHC very often and the dancers and staff got to know me well. Between performances I often drank coke with the Hula dancers and on one visit I was asked to help a male-female duet with the pronunciation of the words for "The Hawaiian Wedding Song". I watch this movie every chance I get and it always brings tears to my eyes. The Joban Hawaiian center is one of the reasons I eventually spent 30 years teaching English in Japan (returned to the U.S. in Feb. 2014).


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