7.1/10
1,833
15 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 & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Yasuko Matsuyuki ... Madoka Hirayama
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
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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Did You Know?

Trivia

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

User Reviews

 
A Nice Family Drama
30 September 2008 | by duksoeSee all my reviews

Comparing to other Japanese dramas that I've ever watched, this film was quite unique. Unlike most other Japanese dramas whose atmospheres are quite refined and reserved, where the characters display their emotions and feelings in moderate and poetic manners that we often regard as a typical Japanese culture, the characters in "Hula girls" are pretty much straight forward in expressing their emotions and rather rough in manners. It reminded me of the atmosphere of old Sicilian village where Toto of "Cinema Paradiso" had spent his boyhood, where people are rough and tough in manners and sometimes even vulgar but still warm-hearted and have good humanity.

"Hula girls" is a heart-warming human drama. It will warm your heart in a little different manners from other typical Japanese human dramas. It makes audiences sometimes laugh and sometimes shed tears. It will make a wonderful family movie. Especially, I loved the last hula dancing scene where all the emotions, the joy, the sadness, the struggle and the overcoming are melted down and sublimated into a beautiful performance. It was really beautiful and touching.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

Japan

Language:

Japanese

Release Date:

23 September 2006 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Hula Girls See more »

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Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$9,483,095
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

|

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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