Trailer for “Shodo Girls!!” starring Riko Narumi
By Kevin Ouellette on March 20, 2010 at 5:49pm EDT
Performance calligraphy is a traditional activity which has been regaining popularity in recent years, thanks in part to a televised event called “Shodo Performance Koshien” in which teams of high school girls use oversized brushes to write out messages on 10-meter sheets of paper before carefully raising it in unison to display to the crowd. The competitive aspect comes with how synchronized and entertaining the girls are during the process, often incorporating music and dance in their routines in a unique combination of Japanese tradition and youth culture.
The film is set in Shikokuchuo, Ehime Prefecture, a city which prides itself on being Japan’s #1 producer of paper. However, deep economic recession has caused the local shopping district to become all but deserted. Satoko (Riko Narumi) is the head of the calligraphy club at Shikokuchuo High School. One day she witnesses temporary adviser Ikezawa (Nobuaki Kaneko) writing characters on a large sheet of paper while a large crowd looks on and cheers. Shocked at the bustling scene, Satoko decides to refocus her traditional calligraphy club on the far more entertaining performance calligraphy in the hopes of revitalizing their town.
Warner Bros. will be releasing “Shodo Girls!!” in Japan on May 15, 2010.