Kurara Hokusai no Musume (2017) poster
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 34 users
# of Watchers: 123
Reviews: 1 user
Ranked #22778
Popularity #99999
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Oei, later known as Katsushika Oi, was born the third daughter of Edo’s talented painter Katsushika Hokusai and his second wife Koto. Although Oei became the wife of a town painter for a time, her love of the paintbrush more than her husband spelt disaster and she comes back home to Hokusai from the family she had married into. This is how Oei starts to help her father out in his painting of the “insurmountable high wall”. Meanwhile, Oei can only talk to the painter Ikeda Zenjiro, who is her father’s student, about her pain and worries. Zenjiro has taken Edo by storm as Keisai Eisen, the master of ukiyo-e portraying beautiful women. He visits regularly because he admires Hokusai and secretly likes Oei although their relationship is like childhood friends. Oei respects her father whose paintings fascinated her and continues to work as a painter who supports him behind the scenes. When Hokusai’s masterpiece Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji was completed, she was also by his side. As Hokusai progressed in age, he could no longer move the paintbrush as he wished but Oei continued to draw his paintings as her father’s “shadow”. She was content to be the shadow while he dazzled. And she kept on painting, obsessed with colour and shadow. Time eventually passes and by the time Oei has developed her own unique style, Zenjiro whom she had constantly turned to for support and even Hokusai have left this world. Now over 60 years old, Oei arrives at a single truth, “The shadow shapes everything. The light illuminates it. This world is made of light and shadow.” Edit Translation

  • English
  • Español
  • magyar / magyar nyelv
  • dansk
  • Country: Japan
  • Type: Special
  • Episodes: 1
  • Aired: Sep 18, 2017
  • Original Network: NHK
  • Duration: 1 hr. 21 min.
  • Score: 7.4 (scored by 34 users)
  • Ranked: #22778
  • Popularity: #99999
  • Content Rating: Not Yet Rated

Where to Watch Kurara Hokusai no Musume

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Cast & Credits


Kurara Hokusai no Musume (2017) photo
Kurara Hokusai no Musume (2017) photo


The Butterfly
5 people found this review helpful
Mar 20, 2022
1 of 1 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 7.5
Story 7.5
Acting/Cast 8.0
Music 7.0
Rewatch Value 5.5
This review may contain spoilers

The shadow shapes everything. The light illuminates it.

The current synopsis tells the entire story of the special on Katsushika Oi so I won’t go much into the story for this review. I wanted to write something to highlight this interesting special to draw attention to it.

Oi and her famous father, Katsushika Hokusai, are at the center of this special. Though their relationship isn’t delved into very deeply it does show some of the conflict and comradery between them. Two artists obsessed with becoming better, letting everything else fall by the wayside. Along with their artistic disciplines there was a glimpse into their domestic habits. Neither cooked or cleaned, moving when the place became too cluttered.

The more Oi observed the world, the more interested she became in vibrant colors and the play of light and shadow. A fire could give her inspiration for creating new colors to work with. How much of Hokusai’s work she contributed to, especially after his stroke and/or palsy, may never be known, but her work can be seen in some of his. The ten surviving paintings directly attributed to her show a stunning use of color and shadow and also a different perspective than was often displayed at the time. This special attempts to understand her thinking as she worked through her own artistic beliefs and style.

The production values were quite good. The sets, costumes, and music all helped this viewer become emersed in the artists’ world. Miyazaki Aoi gave a wonderful performance as the daughter as consumed with painting as her famous father. Nagatsuka Kyozo’s portrayal of the wild haired artist and father was also quite good. Matsuda Ryuhei gave a nice turn in the supporting role of Keisai Eisen, an artist with whom Oi has a flirtatious friendship. It would have been more interesting for me if they could have gone deeper into what it would have been like for a single woman of advancing years staying unmarried and working as an artist with her father. All in all, as a brief look at Oi’s life and work, I found it educational and entertaining. I thought they did a good job of not making it about the more famous men in her life and giving her own artistic journey the proper attention. Even so, Oi may have been the focus of the film, her story couldn’t be told without her father. Until a light was illuminated on her own significant talent she worked in his shadow. Fortunately, a light did find the colorful storytelling in her own paintings.

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  • Special: Kurara Hokusai no Musume
  • Country: Japan
  • Episodes: 1
  • Aired: Sep 18, 2017
  • Original Network: NHK
  • Duration: 1 hr. 21 min.
  • Content Rating: Not Yet Rated


  • Score: 7.4 (scored by 34 users)
  • Ranked: #22778
  • Popularity: #99999
  • Watchers: 123

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