Yukiyoshi Ozawa: Hajime Miwa
Risako Sugaya: Hikari
Hitomi Nakahara: Hikari's aunt
Kimiko Yo: Hikari's mother
Kirin Kiki: Headmistress
Koji Yakusho: Teacher, Takiguchi
The DVD of this film is now available.
Director: Hiroshi Sugawara
Screenplay: Hiroshi Sugawara
Based on a novel, "Hotaru no Hoshi" by Satoshi Muneda.
This novel is written based on the real story.
Running time: 101 min.
Release date: June 4, 2004 (Tokyo)
March 13, 2004 (Yamaguchi prefecture)
Hajime Miwa has only recently succeeded in becoming a primary school teacher in Yamaguchi
prefecture, after many times failing the annual examinations for state primary school teaching. At his
first school, however, Miwa confronts various difficulties in his relationships with his colleagues, the
pupils, and the parents.
One day, when hearing Miwa mumble that it will be splendid if fireflies are actually seen to fly, his
pupils show some interest and curiosity. From that day onwards, Miwa and his pupils start the scheme of
breeding fireflies. One girl, Hikari, in particular, shows great interest in this scheme because she believes
that when fireflies fly, she will be able to see her deceased mother again. Hikari is a girl who has worried
Miwa, since she rarely speaks in class either to himself or even to her classmates.
In due course, Miwa is confronted by his school authorities' objection to the firefly scheme, but he is
determined to continue with it, so that he can fulfill his pupils'dream: he even prepares the possibility of
resigning his job. To his joy, however, his pupils have started working together through this scheme.
Meanwhile, the banks of the river where Miwa and his pupils intend to release fireflies into the open air,
are now the focus of an embankment construction scheme....
Koji Yakusho appears twice in this film briefly as Takiguchi sensei, a teacher whom Hajime Miwa still
respects from boyhood days.
Takiguchi first appears in a flashback scene where Miwa recollects his primary school days. When Hajime
is absent from school, feeling depressed and neglected due to rough treatment by his parents,Takiguchi
kindly visits his home in the evening in order to teach him the subjects he has missed at school. Looking
up at the stars in the sky from Hajime's room window, Takiguchi encourages him, saying, "Try to grasp
your dream by yourself!"( Jibun-no yume- wa jibun-de tsukamunda!).
Koji Yakusho's voice and smile when he utters this are splendid! Indeed, his voice sounds so warm and
Takiguchi appears again in a fantasy scene, while Miwa is watching the fireflies on the river bridge;
smiling, he says to Miwa,"Well done!"
"Hotaru no Hoshi" is really a heart-warming film.
Hikari and Miwa
Hotaru no Hoshi /Fireflies: River of Light (2004)
Koji Yakusho Fan Site