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In a Japanese high school, a class of adolescent geeks joins the new synchronized swimming teacher and takes up the challenge to take part in the competition, in spite of the mockeries of the "real sportsmen".
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A husband (Isao Hashizume) and wife (Kazuko Yoshiyuki) have been married for 50 years. For her birthday, the husband asks the wife what she wants for her birthday present. She replies that ... See full summary »
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
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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