2017 / Drama / 169min PG12
Available Worldwide(except Japan, China, US, Canada, UK and Ireland)
English, Spanish (Latin America), Indonesian, Thai, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese
PG12. Contains sexual scenes, drinking, and smoking scenes.


An OBAYASHI’s film shot entirely in Karatsu, depicting the poetic way of life of young people.

Director OBAYASHI Nobuhiko adapted the short story of the same name by DAN Kazuo into a film, serving as the final installment of his "Anti-War Trilogy", following “Casting Blossoms in the Sky” and “Seven Weeks”. Set in the spring of 1941, the film portrays the life of 17-year-old Toshihiko, who seeks refuge with his aunt in Karatsu, Saga Prefecture. He spends his days with his classmates, Ukai, Kira, and Aso, going on adventures and testing their courage. While harboring feelings for his cousin Mina, who is suffering from a lung disease, he also embraces the exhilarating moments of youth with his female friends Akine and Chitose. Their everyday lives are soon engulfed in the vortex of war. This film is infused with the charm of Japanese culture from the Taisho to the Showa era and showcases the allure of Karatsu city as the filming location. This film is recommended by THEATER ENYA, which is operated by the nonprofit organization KFP. They have been involved in the production from the beginning and continue to maintain the legacy of this film by hosting regular screenings in Karatsu.
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Director Profile


OBAYASHI WAS Born in 1938 in Onomichi City, Hiroshima Prefecture. His film "HANAGATAMI" won various awards including the 72nd Mainichi Film Concours Japanese Film Grand Prize, the 33rd Takasaki Film Festival Special Grand Prize, and ranked 2nd in the 91st Kinema Junpo Best Ten of Japanese Films. Selected for Best Director Award. He passed away at the age of 82 on April 10, 2020, due to lung cancer. His last contribution to the world of film was "Seaside Movie Theater - Kinema no Tamatebako" (20).
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Karatsu Film Project

Based on the original work by literary master DAN Kazuo, master filmmaker OBAYASHI Nobuhiko has dreamed of bringing “HANAGATAMI” to the silver screen for 40 years. When Obayashi visited DAN Kazuo and asked for advice on film locations of “HANAGATAMI” , then Dan said, “Go to Karatsu.” The project to realize this dream began when Director Obayashi and KAIDA Haruko, the director of THEATER ENYA (formerly known as Karatsu Cinema Club), crossed paths during an interview in the magazine of the cinema, “IMAKARA”. The passion of Director Obayashi to someday bring “HANAGATAMI” to life in Karatsu, and the vision of THEATER ENYA’s director Kaida who was dedicated to revitalizing the town through films, aligned perfectly. Subsequently, Karatsu City set up a platform for donations to cover the film’s production costs, with influential figures representing Karatsu’s economy rallying behind the initiative, and both the public and private sectors collaborated on the film production efforts. With an all-Karatsu shooting, over 3,000 citizen volunteers participated as extras, and the iconic “Karatsu Kunchi” festival provided wholehearted support, leading to the successful completion of this movie.
As the culmination of Director OBAYASHI Nobuhiko ‘s illustrious career, this film received high praise from both domestic and international audiences, winning numerous prestigious film awards in Japan and receiving invitations to over 20 film festivals across the globe.
Presently, THEATER ENYA continues its monthly regular screenings since its opening, aiming to pass on this film to future generations as a legacy of the town of Karatsu.

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The initial draft of the screenplay that serves as the foundation for the film “HANAGATAMI” was written over 40 years ago, long before I, OBAYASHI Nobuhiko, directed my first theatrical film, “HOUSE” (1977). The plan was to produce my debut work under the title “Hanakatami”.
In 1937, on the announcement day for the publication of the debut short story collection “Hanagatami”, DAN Kazuo received a military draft notice and was sent to the battlefield. Many precious lives vanished like the morning dew on the battleground. At first glance, the attitudes and actions of the young characters in this work, who may seem carefree and rebellious, actually embody a deep-seated determination to live—Was my life, my soul, a manifestation of the fervent belief coursing through my blood that I wished to be free as I believed? I now aim to retell this story, but set in the year 1941, during the outbreak of the Pacific War. This is because it represents a more poignant memory of the war for those of us living in the present.
“This is a film that is needed now”. encouraged by the words of a local from the Karatsu city…

A comment via the official website of the film “HANAGATAMI”

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  • Poland

    I did not enjoy the beginning as it was so terribly unrealistic and artificial. But the story unfolds and becomes absolutely frantic and.. beautiful. Thanks for the movie.

  • Hungary

    The most beautiful dying I’ve ever seen…

  • Russian Federation

    A beautiful story about terrible things… Surrealistic and grotesque, metaphoric, tender and brutal at the same time… Brilliant!

    It may sound naive, but I believe that if the world has more films like this one, that deliver strong ant-war message, the world will be safer.

    Thank you Obayashi-sensei, all actors and crew! You created a beautiful film.


  • Philippines
    Carlo Miguel Araneta

    thank you for showing this making it available. it was wonderfully made. even though some scenes are to be described as terrible, it was portrayed thru beautiful interpretations and the shuffle scene felt like a switch of melody style, definitely love it!

  • Finland
    Niko Pulkkinen

    The movie is worth an Oscar. I got tears on my eyes…

  • Australia

    Sad but beautiful!
    Brilliant theatrical scenes.
    Loved it!

  • Mexico

    La cinematografía es hermosa, de compleja composición y maravillosos colores, cada imagen tiene una poderosa carga emotiva que refuerza el aire poético del diálogo y las actuaciones. La música, más que ambientar las escenas, se volvió un personaje indispensable de esta historia. Realmente fue una grata experiencia, ¡qué gusto que el festival la compartiera con el público de este lado del mundo!

  • Germany
    Horst Fabry

    Wow, what a powerful movie. My soul and heart were really touched. Thank you JFF-team for including it into this years lineup.

  • China

    Very touching with its focus on youth under the influence from war.

  • China

    Tears ran out of my eyes two times today when I watched this movie. I am not hundred percent sure about the reasons. Perhaps it is because of the topic about youth, love and war in this movie, or because of the current evolving and shaking world situation. I like this movie very much.

  • United States of America
    Keiko Ellis

    Thank for providing these films, free of charge!!

  • Brazil
    Gustavo Gonçalves


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