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Hanagatami (2017)

Fulfilling his filmmaking dream of 40 years, Nobuhiko Obayashi's luminous new feature "Hanagatami" delivers a timeless story of the pureness of youth beset by the chaos of war.


Nobuhiko Ôbayashi
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Shunsuke Kubozuka Shunsuke Kubozuka ... Toshihiko Sakakiyama
Shinnosuke Mitsushima ... Ukai
Keishi Nagatsuka Keishi Nagatsuka ... Kira
Tokio Emoto Tokio Emoto ... Aso
Honoka Miki ... Mina Ema (as Honoka Yahagi)
Hirona Yamazaki Hirona Yamazaki ... Akine
Mugi Kadowaki ... Chitose
Takako Tokiwa Takako Tokiwa ... Keiko Ema
Takehiro Murata Takehiro Murata ... Professor Yamauchi
Tetsuya Takeda Tetsuya Takeda ... Dr. Ichijo
Wakaba Irie Wakaba Irie ... Old Maid
Kiyotaka Nanbara ... Toshihiko's Father
Yuriko Ono Yuriko Ono ... Toshihiko's Mother
Taiyo Okamoto Taiyo Okamoto ... Ryo Ema
Toshie Negishi ... Woman at the Brothel
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Based on Kazuo Dan's 1937 novella, Director Nobuhiko Obayashi, whose surreal phenomenon 'House (Hausu)' became an international cult classic, achieves his filmmaking dream of forty years with his new feature 'Hanagatami'. In the spring of 1941, sixteen-year-old Toshihiko leaves Amsterdam to attend school in Karatsu, a small town on the western coast of Japan, where his aunt Keiko cares for his ailing cousin Mina. Immersed in the seaside's nature and culture, Toshihiko soon befriends the town's other extraordinary adolescents as they all contend with the war's inescapable gravitational pull. With his memories as a survivor of World War II echoing in the uncertainty of world events unfolding today, director Obayashi returns us to 1941, a pivotal time for Japan, as the unstoppable momentum of war forcibly seized the lives of youth away to battlefields where they disappeared forever. In dazzling, full-bloom Obayashi style, 'Hanagatami' captures the passion, innocence, and struggle of the ...

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Drama | War


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Did You Know?


On August 2016, just before the film start the shooting, director Nobuhiko Obayashi was diagnosed with advanced lung cancer and told he only left 3 months to live. But the strong will of making the film helped him living and finished the film. See more »

User Reviews

Slow-paced, surreal and beautiful
17 December 2019 | by dnpian0See all my reviews

What I believe people should know before they decide to watch this is that it is long, the pace is slow, the imagery sometimes very confusing and there's some nudity (both male and female). There's also not much of a story. It's basically about a group of youths struggling with their relationships in the wake of WW2 (and by that I mean that each character has a strangely charged relationship with literally everyone else). That being said, it is a beautiful movie to look at. Many scenes are made to look like they were taken from old movies with overly saturated colours. Everyone acts as if in a daze which gives the whole movie a very dream-like atmosphere. In contrast to that you have the horrors of the looming war which feel completey out of place and all the more horrible.

I'm honestly not sure if I liked it or not. The length and pace made it a very hard watch for me, but in retrospect I do appreciate what it tried to achieve.

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Official Sites:

KARATSU Film Project





Release Date:

16 December 2017 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

花筐 HANAGATAMI See more »

Filming Locations:

Karatsu, Saga, Japan

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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