Based on Kazuo Dan's 1937 novella, Director Nobuhiko Obayashi, whose surreal phenomenon 'House (Hausu)' became an international cult classic, achieves his filmmaking dream of forty years with his new feature 'Hanagatami'. In the spring of 1941, sixteen-year-old Toshihiko leaves Amsterdam to attend school in Karatsu, a small town on the western coast of Japan, where his aunt Keiko cares for his ailing cousin Mina. Immersed in the seaside's nature and culture, Toshihiko soon befriends the town's other extraordinary adolescents as they all contend with the war's inescapable gravitational pull. With his memories as a survivor of World War II echoing in the uncertainty of world events unfolding today, director Obayashi returns us to 1941, a pivotal time for Japan, as the unstoppable momentum of war forcibly seized the lives of youth away to battlefields where they disappeared forever. In dazzling, full-bloom Obayashi style, 'Hanagatami' captures the passion, innocence, and struggle of the end days of youth in a country consumed by the flames of war.