Miss Hokusai 百日紅 ~Miss HOKUSAI~ (2015) Dir: Keiichi Hara

I recently landed a role as contributor to V-Cinema and I have reviewed a number of films for the website. I have been something of a fan and enjoyed listening to their podcasts when they have covered Japanese cinema so I’m pretty excited to be a part of the team and helping to highlight Japanese cinema. Writing reviews is something I enjoy doing and I hope people enjoy reading my reviews!

Here’s a snippet of my review of the film Miss Hokusai (2015), the latest from Keiichi Hara Colorful (2010). It tells the story of one of Katsushika Hokusai’s daughters, O-Ei, who was an artist in her own right. It is a historical tale played with some comedy and a touch of fantasy and rich in period detail.

Miss Hokusai Image

The film is based on a manga from an award-winning creator Hanako Sugiura who is an interesting person. She was the daughter of a kimono merchant and

Hinako Sugiura
From the website Prominent People of Minato City

made her manga debut in 1980 in the experimental magazine Garo, the place where artists Yoshihiro Tatsumi, Oji Suzuki, and Usamaru Furuya all came to fame. The website Prominent People of Minato City states that Sugiura defined her work with intricately researched historical stories about Japan’s Edo period with a focus on customs and manners and her unique storytelling won the Japan Cartoonists’ Association Award in 1984 and the Bunshun Manga Award in 1988. She retired from being a manga artist in 1995 and became a regular participant on NHK’s television program Comedy: Oedo de gozaru (Comedy; This is Edo) and was popular as the expert guide who gave interesting easy-to-understand commentaries about Edo culture. She passed away in 2005 at the age of 46.

Miss Hokusai   Miss Hokusai Film Poster

百日紅 ~Miss HOKUSAI~  Sarusuberi Miss HOKUSAI~」

Release Date: February 20th, 2015

Running Time: 89 mins.

Director: Keiichi Hara

Writer: Miho Maruo (Screenplay), Hinako Sugiura (Original Creator),

Studio: Production I.G

Starring: Anne Watanabe (O-Ei), Yutaka Matsushige (Tetsuzo/Katsushika Hokusai), Shion Shimizu (O-Nao), Kumiko Aso (Sayogoromo), Kengo Kora (Utagawa Kuninao),  Gaku Hamada (Zenjiro/Keisai Eisen), Jun Miho (Koto), Michitaka Tsutsui (Katsugoro/Totoya Hokkei), Danshun Tatekawa (Manjido), 

ANN   MAL  IMDB   Website  

The history of art is dominated by men. For much of history women were denied educational opportunities in the arts and some those who dared to create works found their careers were painted over in the grand narratives of art history (usually written by men). There were some female artists such as Berthe Morisot, Artemisia Gentileschi, Elisabeth Vigee-Lebrun, and Angelica Kauffmann who defied social mores to create, inspire, and amaze during their professional careers but for many more female artists, their works and lives remain waiting to be discovered, not least in Japan, a part of the world which has had a profound effect on the development of art.

When you think of Japanese art, chances are that you are familiar with the celebrated ukiyo-e artist Katsushika Hokusai whose woodblock prints of subjects such as Mount Fuji have become representative images of Japan. His most famous is “The Great Wave off Kanagawa,” that features a huge wave of blue surging water topped by white foam framing Mount Fuji. It is an image that can be found in galleries, on posters, and other types of merchandise and it is images like these that inspired some of the stylistic techniques of the French Impressionists. Would it surprise you to hear that Katsushika Hokusai had a daughter who was also an artist? That she created works in her own right? That some scholars suggest she was more than just her father’s assistant but a close collaborator who played a major role in his art as he neared 90 and had palsy? Like many a female artist it seems that her contribution to art has been forgotten about by history, something which the anime “Miss Hokusai” seeks to redress.


Here’s the link to the rest of the review on VCinema and here are some pictures:

Miss Hokusai film image 4 Miss Hokusai film Image 3 Miss Hokusai Film image 2 Miss Hokusai film image Miss Hokusai Film Image 2

Miss Hokusai Film Poster
Miss Hokusai Film Poster

Genki Miss Hokusai Image Comparison Miss Hokusai Shunga Miss Hokusai Gruff Miss Hokusai Helping Her Father Miss Hokusai Fashion Pictures 1 Miss Hokusai Fashion Pictures 2 Miss Hokusai Hokusai Himself

10 thoughts on “Miss Hokusai 百日紅 ~Miss HOKUSAI~ (2015) Dir: Keiichi Hara

  1. Good review as ever!

    I wish they’d hurry up and settle on a UK release date – the day i posted my DVD review they indefinitely postponed it’s release! >.<

    1. I’d buy it and give it to my artistic friends! I was at an art gallery last year and struck up a random conversation with another visitor from France and she had seen the film. That was so cool!

    1. It’s definitely worth watching especially for the historical details and the way it brings the characters to life. I’ve discovered a new artist thanks to this film and I’m telling others about her.

  2. I finally got to see this on Netflix DVD tonight! This is exactly what I would have loved when I was first falling in love with Japanese culture. Oh. yeah it is still a good movie.

    Indeed Miss Hokusai is a joy. The metaphysical parts worked very well for me.

    The “lesbian” scene was a little disappointing, but not nearly as bad as the one in “The Color Purple” which is the gold standard for worst lesbian scene of all time. If you review movies, you need to use that as a reference. I guess it is not unexpected that they did not get too risque with that scene or the paintings. Maybe they could have shown more in the special features, but then again I’m a pervert.

    1. Guillermo del Toro tweeted about his like of the film. It’s great to see it is still picking up viewers including your good self.

      Calm the perversion! The tone was just right. 😉

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