Top 20 Japanese Films

by witzcharm | created - 23 Nov 2010 | updated - 23 Nov 2010 | Public
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1. Ugetsu (1953)

Not Rated | 96 min | Drama, Fantasy, War

8.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A tale of ambition, family, love, and war set in the midst of the Japanese Civil Wars of the sixteenth century.

Director: Kenji Mizoguchi | Stars: Masayuki Mori, Machiko Kyô, Kinuyo Tanaka, Mitsuko Mito

Votes: 16,321 | Gross: $0.01M

2. Tokyo Story (1953)

Not Rated | 136 min | Drama

8.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

An old couple visit their children and grandchildren in the city; but the children have little time for them.

Director: Yasujirô Ozu | Stars: Chishû Ryû, Chieko Higashiyama, Sô Yamamura, Setsuko Hara

Votes: 33,983

3. Seven Samurai (1954)

Not Rated | 207 min | Adventure, Drama

8.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  
98 Metascore

A poor village under attack by bandits recruits seven unemployed samurai to help them defend themselves.

Director: Akira Kurosawa | Stars: Toshirô Mifune, Takashi Shimura, Keiko Tsushima, Yukiko Shimazaki

Votes: 256,228 | Gross: $0.27M

4. Erosu purasu gyakusatsu (1969)

202 min | Biography, Drama

8.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Two interwoven stories. The first is a biography of anarchist Sakae Osugi which follows his relationship with three women in the 1920s. The second centers around two 1960s' students researching Osugi's theories.

Director: Yoshishige Yoshida | Stars: Mariko Okada, Toshiyuki Hosokawa, Yûko Kusunoki, Kazuko Inano

Votes: 1,565

5. Tetsuo, the Iron Man (1989)

Not Rated | 67 min | Horror, Sci-Fi

7.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A businessman accidentally kills The Metal Fetishist, who gets his revenge by slowly turning the man into a grotesque hybrid of flesh and rusty metal.

Director: Shin'ya Tsukamoto | Stars: Tomorô Taguchi, Kei Fujiwara, Nobu Kanaoka, Shin'ya Tsukamoto

Votes: 15,689

6. Harakiri (1962)

Not Rated | 133 min | Action, Drama, History

8.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  

An elder ronin samurai arrives at a feudal lord's home and requests an honorable place to commit suicide. But when the ronin inquires about a younger samurai who arrived before him things take an unexpected turn.

Director: Masaki Kobayashi | Stars: Tatsuya Nakadai, Akira Ishihama, Shima Iwashita, Tetsurô Tanba

Votes: 21,821

7. Ai no mukidashi (2008)

Unrated | 237 min | Action, Comedy, Drama

8.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
78 Metascore

A bizarre love triangle forms between a young Catholic upskirt photographer, a misandric girl and a manipulative cultist.

Director: Sion Sono | Stars: Takahiro Nishijima, Hikari Mitsushima, Sakura Andô, Yutaka Shimizu

Votes: 8,844

8. Giants and Toys (1958)

95 min | Comedy, Drama

7.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

In the middle of a fierce commercial competition between three caramel companies, an executive builds up a ditsy teenage girl as a mascot while simultaneously trying to uncover the rival companies' plans.

Director: Yasuzô Masumura | Stars: Hiroshi Kawaguchi, Hitomi Nozoe, Osamu Abe, Kôichi Fujiyama

Votes: 625

9. Onna ga kaidan wo agaru toki (1960)

Not Rated | 111 min | Drama

8.2
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A middle-aged bar hostess, constantly in debt, is faced with numerous social constraints and challenges posed to her by her family, customers and friends.

Director: Mikio Naruse | Stars: Hideko Takamine, Tatsuya Nakadai, Masayuki Mori, Reiko Dan

Votes: 2,889

10. Branded to Kill (1967)

Not Rated | 91 min | Action, Crime, Drama

7.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

After a badly done assignment, a hitman finds himself in conflict with his organisation, and one mysterious and dangerous fellow-hitman in particular.

Director: Seijun Suzuki | Stars: Jô Shishido, Mariko Ogawa, Annu Mari, Kôji Nanbara

Votes: 6,215

11. Woman in the Dunes (1964)

Not Rated | 123 min | Drama, Thriller

8.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

An entomologist on vacation is trapped by local villagers into living with a woman whose life task is shoveling sand for them.

Director: Hiroshi Teshigahara | Stars: Eiji Okada, Kyôko Kishida, Hiroko Itô, Kôji Mitsui

Votes: 13,218

12. Blind Beast (1969)

86 min | Drama, Horror

7.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A blind sculpter and his mother kidnap a young model.

Director: Yasuzô Masumura | Stars: Eiji Funakoshi, Mako Midori, Noriko Sengoku

Votes: 2,511

13. Sansho the Bailiff (1954)

Not Rated | 124 min | Drama

8.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

In medieval Japan, a compassionate governor is sent into exile. His wife and children try to join him, but are separated, and the children grow up amid suffering and oppression.

Director: Kenji Mizoguchi | Stars: Kinuyo Tanaka, Yoshiaki Hanayagi, Kyôko Kagawa, Eitarô Shindô

Votes: 11,435

14. Rashômon (1950)

Not Rated | 88 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

8.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

A heinous crime and its aftermath are recalled from differing points of view.

Director: Akira Kurosawa | Stars: Toshirô Mifune, Machiko Kyô, Masayuki Mori, Takashi Shimura

Votes: 117,517

15. The Human Condition I: No Greater Love (I) (1959)

Not Rated | 208 min | Drama, War

8.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

A Japanese pacifist, unable to face the dire consequences of conscientious objection, is transformed by his attempts to compromise with the demands of war-time Japan.

Director: Masaki Kobayashi | Stars: Tatsuya Nakadai, Michiyo Aratama, Chikage Awashima, Ineko Arima

Votes: 4,464

16. Heroic Purgatory (1970)

118 min | Drama, Fantasy

7.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

An engineer's wife returns home with a lost teenager. A man posing as her dad tries to get her back, causing the engineer to recall his youth as a revolutionary, obscured by dreamlike disruptions of time and space, fantasy and reality.

Director: Yoshishige Yoshida | Stars: Mariko Okada, Kaizo Kamoda, Naho Kimura, Yoshiaki Makita

Votes: 356

17. The Life of Oharu (1952)

Not Rated | 133 min | Drama

8.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

Follows a woman's fight and survival amid the vicissitudes of life and the cruelty of the society.

Director: Kenji Mizoguchi | Stars: Kinuyo Tanaka, Tsukie Matsuura, Ichirô Sugai, Toshirô Mifune

Votes: 4,743

18. Ikiru (1952)

Not Rated | 143 min | Drama

8.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

A bureaucrat tries to find a meaning in his life after he discovers he has terminal cancer.

Director: Akira Kurosawa | Stars: Takashi Shimura, Nobuo Kaneko, Shin'ichi Himori, Haruo Tanaka

Votes: 48,964 | Gross: $0.06M

19. Maborosi (1995)

110 min | Drama

7.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
94 Metascore

A young woman's husband apparently commits suicide without warning or reason, leaving behind his wife and infant.

Director: Hirokazu Koreeda | Stars: Makiko Esumi, Takashi Naitô, Tadanobu Asano, Gohki Kashiyama

Votes: 3,016

20. Pastoral Hide and Seek (1974)

104 min | Drama, Fantasy

7.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A young boys' coming of age tale set in a strange, carnivalesque village becomes the recreation of a memory that the director has twenty years later.

Director: Shûji Terayama | Stars: Kaoru Yachigusa, Keiko Niitaka, Masumi Harukawa, Kan Mikami

Votes: 870