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Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter (2014)

Not Rated | | Drama | 20 February 2015 (UK)
2:05 | Trailer

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A jaded Japanese woman discovers a hidden copy of Fargo (1996) on VHS, believing it to be a treasure map indicating the location of a large case of money.


David Zellner
10 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Rinko Kikuchi ... Kumiko
Nobuyuki Katsube Nobuyuki Katsube ... Sakagami
Kanako Higashi Kanako Higashi ... Michi
Ichi Kyokaku Ichi Kyokaku ... Library Security Guard
Ayaka Ohnishi ... Chieko (Young Office Girl)
Mayuko Kawakita Mayuko Kawakita ... Ms. Kanazaki
Asami Tano Asami Tano ... Office Lady
Ako Yoshida Ako Yoshida ... Office Lady
Anna Wakamori Anna Wakamori ... Office Lady
Risa Hotta Risa Hotta ... Office Lady
Hitomi Sawano Hitomi Sawano ... Office Lady
Maki Issô Maki Issô ... Office Lady
Ariei Umefune Ariei Umefune ... Office Lady
Takao Kinoshita Takao Kinoshita ... Dry Cleaning Clerk
Tetsuya Hayakawa Tetsuya Hayakawa ... Dancing Couple


A jaded Japanese woman becomes convinced that a satchel of money buried and lost in a fictional film, Fargo, is in fact, real. With a crudely drawn treasure map and limited preparation, she escapes her structured life in Tokyo and embarks on a foolhardy quest across the tundra of Minnesota in search of her mythical fortune. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site




English | Japanese

Release Date:

20 February 2015 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Kumiko See more »

Filming Locations:

Minnesota, USA See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$34,114, 22 March 2015, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$621,127, 31 May 2015
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Although the film features footage from "Fargo," there is no acknowledgment in the end credits that the clips were licensed from MGM, its current owner, or anyone else. See more »


In one scene, the police officer and Kumiko watch her Japanese copy of "Fargo." Region 2 DVDs do not work in Region 1 DVD players. See more »


Kumiko: I only need page 95. It is my destiny.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The credits are almost entirely bilingual in English and Japanese -- even though the movie has never been released in Japan as of early 2016 (either in theaters, media, or internet streaming). See more »


References Fargo (1996) See more »


Mechanic Nonsense
Written by XiROH
Performed by Buddy Girl and Mechanic
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Beautiful and fantastical: She's driven like the blanketing white snow.
8 April 2015 | by jdesandoSee all my reviews

"It is my destiny." Kumiko (Rinko Kikuchi)

Kumiko, finding a hidden VHS copy of Fargo (1996), leaves Tokyo to go to N. Dakota to find the film's buried treasure. Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter, is as fine a fantasy as you will find outside of the Disney Empire, and more insightful. Based upon an urban legend about a Japanese tourist who froze to death seeking the treasure, a bit of the Coen brothers' fabulous story lingers in this equally endearing tale.

Kumiko's a lost 29 year-old soul looking for the end of the rainbow--a little like most of us with dreams or bucket lists just beyond our grasp—but we'll still dream of them or actually pursue the dream in the face of insurmountable odds. Kumiko at her job is distanced from her peers and an enigma to her boss, who lets her go with the company credit card because she is depressed, and he needs to fill her "office lady" spot with a younger model.

As she's reminded along her journey, the film Fargo is just fiction, and the town not a pleasant time to be in winter. Yet, Kumiko persists with help from a kindly old lady (Shirley Venard), who would rather take her to The Mall of America, and deputy sheriff (director Zellner), whose motives are pure as the driven snow that covers the land. That snow gradually overcomes every scene with purity and menace, a blank slate upon which her dream can come true and nature, human and otherwise, can send her to oblivion if it wishes.

Looking a little like Red Riding Hood, she's the opposite of realists, who see Kumiko's folly yet cannot stop her drive to get to Fargo and the buried loot.

The film is a Seinfeld variant because nothing happens except the most profoundly simple occurrences strengthening Kumiko's resolve and making us believers in her Quixote-like quest. For the lost Tokyo soul with only a pet bunny rabbit as Panza-like friend, Kumiko seeks to fulfill her fantasy, the naysayers be damned. (She likens herself to a Spanish Conquistador.) She hurts no one, and when at last she smiles, you know her quest is valuable only to her, a symbol of her achieving something in life to set her apart from boring normalcy.

This film works as allegory, applying to all who should hold on to their dreams if only for themselves. Otherwise, it's a delightful tale acted perfectly, a treat to please our fancy and remind us about private dreams that keep us going.

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