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Available March 4, 2021 8:01 AM UTC
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Co-presented by Huraiti Mana

TOKYO HULA explores the explosive popularity of the hula dance in Japan from both Native Hawaiian and Japanese perspectives. Today it is estimated there are nearly 2 million people dancing hula in Japan – a figure greater than the entire population of Hawaiʻi. With more people dancing hula in Japan than in Hawaiʻi where the native art was born, this phenomenal growth has created a multi-million dollar industry based on culture as commodity. But what motivates Japanese students and teachers to dance hula and how is it translated into a foreign culture? How do Native Hawaiians participate in this cross-cultural exchange? Through the personal stories of Hawaiian master hula teachers and Japanese teachers and dancers, the documentary examines how tourism, economics and a love affair with the islands of Hawaiʻi have made hula big business in Japan. (Content Warning: Cultural Appropriation)

  • Year
    2019
  • Runtime
    72 minutes
  • Language
    English, Japanese
  • Country
    Japan, United States
  • Premiere
    Seattle Premiere
  • Note
    English Subtitles, Closed Captions
  • Director
    Lisette Marie Flanary
  • Cast
    Kumu Hula Seiko Okamoto, Kumu Hula Aloha Dalire, Kumu Hula Sonny Ching, Kumu Hula Lōpaka Igarta-DeVera, Lehua Hula Kawaikapuokalani Hewett, Kumu Hula Kuʻuleinani Hashimoto