From director Keiichi Hara (Colorful) and Japanese powerhouse Production I.G (creators of Ghost in the Shell) comes a remarkable story of the daughter behind one of history’s most famous artists, Hokusai.
As all of Edo (present day Tokyo) flocks to see the work of the revered painter Hokusai, his daughter O-Ei toils diligently inside his studio. Her masterful portraits, dragons and erotic sketches – sold under the name of her father – are coveted by upper crust Lords and journeyman print makers alike.
Shy and reserved in public, in the studio O-Ei is as brash and uninhibited as her father, smoking a pipe while sketching drawings that would make contemporary Japanese ladies blush. But despite this fiercely independent spirit, O-Ei struggles under the domineering influence of her father and is ridiculed for lacking the life experience that she is attempting to portray in her art.
Miss Hokusai‘s bustling Edo is filled with yokai spirits, dragons, and conniving tradesmen, while O-Ei’s relationships with her demanding father and blind younger sister provide a powerful emotional underpinning to this sumptuously-animated coming-of-age tale.
*Stay after the film for a talk about Hokusai, his daughter and the evolution of woodblock printing in Japan with Ann H. Sievers, Director and Curator, Art Museum, University of Saint Joseph.
"[An] unusual, visually adventurous animated feature, simultaneously modern and steeped in Japanese culture and history."
"An important and mature film about 19th century Japanese artist Hokusai and his brilliant, perhaps equally talented daughter."
"There are meditations on mortality, art, relationships, love, fear, sexuality and spirituality in this sumptuous-looking film. They cohere into a portrait of a young woman as complex as any big screen character can be."