Happy Hour | ハッピーアワー
J-Film, Women in Cinema


Presented by JICC, Embassy of Japan and Japan Commerce Association of Washington, D.C., Inc.

Join us for an online Q&A with Director Hamaguchi Ryusuke a day before the screening launch on June 2 at 8 PM EDT!
(Registration is required.)

If 'Happy Hour' doesn't quite deliver all it promises, that may only be because it promises quite a lot.

Ben Kenigsberg, The New York Times

...Hamaguchi's study of human love, loss and trust

Mark Schilling, The Japan Times

HAPPY HOUR Trailer from Icarus Films on YouTube.

A powerful affirmation of the immersive potential of cinema. Happy Hour is a slow-burning epic chronicling the emotional journey of four thirty-something women in the misty seaside city of Kobe.

Winner of awards at major international festivals—including Locarno, where stars Tanaka Sachie, Kikuchi Hazuki, Mihara Maiko and Kawamura Rira shared the Golden Leopard for Best Actress—Happy Hour has brought new attention to the work and career of one of Japan’s most talented young directors.

Four women. All in their 30s. Three married, one divorcee. They are able to tell each other anything. Or at least they thought—up until the point one of them suddenly gets up and disappears. The three remaining women take a second look at their lives. The long night is full of questions. "Are you really the you you wanted to be?"

Starring Tanaka Sachie, Kikuchi Hazuki, Mihara Maiko, Kawamura Rira


Director Hamaguchi Ryusuke was born on Dec 16, 1978. After graduating from the University of Tokyo with a Bachelor of Art in Aesthetics in March 2003, he had been working as an assistant directors for film and TV industry for three years. Then, Hamaguchi has studied at the Graduate School of Film and New Media, Tokyo University of the Arts and got the degree of Master of Film in March 2008.

Passion is his graduation work which was well-received by the professors including renowned director Kurosawa Kiyoshi and officially selected in the Zabaltegi Section of San Sebastian International Film Festival 2008 as well as Tokyo FILMeX competition. He has been constantly working on films since then. The JICC has also screened his recent film Asako I & II in April 2020.

Photo & Video Policy

The Japan Information & Culture Center (JICC), Embassy of Japan reserves the right to use any photograph/video taken at any event sponsored by JICC, without the expressed written permission of those included within the photograph/video. JICC may use the photograph/video in publications or other media material produced, used or contracted by JICC including but not limited to: brochures, invitations, newspapers, magazines, television, social media, websites, etc. To ensure the privacy of individuals and children, images will not be identified using full names or personal identifying information without written approval from the photographed subject, parent or legal guardian. A person attending a JICC event who does not wish to have their image recorded for distribution should make their wishes known to the photographer/videographer, and/or the event organizers.