Movies for Japanese Culture studentsby mogari | created - 12 Sep 2011 | updated - 18 Apr 2013 | Public
Not listed in any order
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5. Akira (1988)
R | 124 min | Animation, Action, Drama
A secret military project endangers Neo-Tokyo when it turns a biker gang member into a rampaging psychic psychopath that only two teenagers and a group of psychics can stop.
Votes: 123,953 | Gross: $0.55M
7. Densha otoko (2005)
101 min | Comedy, Romance
The supposedly true story of a 23-year-old otaku (Japanese geek) who intervenes when a drunk man is harassing several women on a train. The otaku ultimately begins dating one of the women, ... See full summary »
8. Fireworks (1997)
103 min | Crime, Drama, Romance
Nishi leaves the police in the face of harrowing personal and professional difficulties. Spiraling into depression, he makes questionable decisions.
Votes: 23,358 | Gross: $0.23M
9. Kazoku gêmu (1983)
107 min | Comedy, Drama
A sendup of the stereo-typical Japanese family: dad is a salaryman jerk, unable to relate to anyone; mom is a hopeless housewife; the older son is a moderate academic success; but the ... See full summary »
11. Pom Poko (1994)
PG | 119 min | Animation, Comedy, Drama
A community of magical shape-shifting raccoon dogs struggle to prevent their forest home from being destroyed by urban development.
12. Princess Mononoke (1997)
PG-13 | 134 min | Animation, Adventure, Fantasy
On a journey to find the cure for a Tatarigami's curse, Ashitaka finds himself in the middle of a war between the forest gods and Tatara, a mining colony. In this quest he also meets San, the Mononoke Hime.
Votes: 265,765 | Gross: $2.38M
13. Fanshî dansu (1989)
101 min | Comedy
Yohei, a punk rocker, has to become a Buddhist monk in order to inherit a mountain temple. Yohei though initially rebelling against the tough monastic discipline learns to adjust. Then his ... See full summary »
14. Shall We Dance? (1996)
PG | 136 min | Comedy, Drama, Music
A successful but unhappy Japanese accountant finds the missing passion in his life when he begins to secretly take ballroom dance lessons.
Votes: 9,716 | Gross: $9.68M
15. Nobody Knows (2004)
PG-13 | 141 min | Drama
In a small Tokyo apartment, twelve-year-old Akira must care for his younger siblings after their mother leaves them and shows no sign of returning.
Votes: 19,168 | Gross: $0.68M
16. The Pornographers (1966)
Not Rated | 120 min | Comedy, Drama
Life of a pornographer who tries to stay under the radar of the mob. He has a mistress, a step-son, a step-daughter (whom he's attracted to) and a wife who believes her first husband was reincarnated as a restless carp.
18. Letters from Iwo Jima (2006)
R | 141 min | Drama, History, War
The story of the battle of Iwo Jima between the United States and Imperial Japan during World War II, as told from the perspective of the Japanese who fought it.
Votes: 141,357 | Gross: $13.76M
19. Tampopo (1985)
Not Rated | 114 min | Comedy
A truck driver stops at a small family-run noodle shop and decides to help its fledgling business. The story is intertwined with various vignettes about the relationship of love and food.
Votes: 11,506 | Gross: $0.22M
20. Nana (II) (2005)
113 min | Drama, Music, Romance
A chance encounter between two girls of the same name, "Nana," triggers a series of events and relationships.
based on the manga
21. Pinpon (2002)
114 min | Comedy, Drama, Sport
The film traces the growth and friendship of two very different high-school ping-pong players. "Peco" Hoshino is a brash, arrogant player, determined to turn pro. He taught his quiet, nerdy... See full summary »
22. The Burmese Harp (1956)
Not Rated | 116 min | Drama, Music, War
In the War's closing days, when a conscience-driven Japanese soldier fails to get his countrymen to surrender to overwhelming force, he adopts the lifestyle of a Buddhist monk.
23. The Human Condition I: No Greater Love (I) (1959)
Not Rated | 208 min | Drama, War
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.
25. Onibaba (1964)
Not Rated | 103 min | Drama, Horror
Two women kill samurai and sell their belongings for a living. While one of them is having an affair with their neighbor, the other woman meets a mysterious samurai wearing a bizarre mask.
26. The Ballad of Narayama (1983)
Not Rated | 130 min | Drama
In a poor 19th century rural Japanese village, everyone who reaches the age of 70 has to climb a nearby mountain to die. An old woman is getting close to the cut-off age, and we follow her last days with her family.
27. Paprika (2006)
R | 90 min | Animation, Adventure, Crime
When a machine that allows therapists to enter their patients' dreams is stolen, all Hell breaks loose. Only a young female therapist, Paprika, can stop it.
Votes: 54,580 | Gross: $0.88M
28. Chûshingura (1962)
207 min | Action, Drama, History
After their lord is tricked into committing ritual suicide, forty-seven samurai warriors await the chance to avenge their master and reclaim their honor.
29. The Cove (2009)
PG-13 | 92 min | Documentary, Crime
Using state-of-the-art equipment, a group of activists, led by renowned dolphin trainer Ric O'Barry, infiltrate a cove near Taijii, Japan to expose both a shocking instance of animal abuse and a serious threat to human health.
Votes: 43,484 | Gross: $0.86M
30. Yabu no naka no kuroneko (1968)
Not Rated | 99 min | Drama, Horror
Two women are raped and killed by samurai soldiers. Soon they reappear as vengeful ghosts who seduce and brutally murder the passing samurai.
33. Late Spring (1949)
Not Rated | 108 min | Drama
Noriko is twenty-seven years old and still living with her widowed father. Everybody tries to talk her into marrying, but Noriko wants to stay at home caring for her father.
34. The Eel (1997)
Not Rated | 117 min | Drama
A businessman kills his adulterous wife and is sent to prison. After the release, he opens a barbershop and meets new people, talking almost to no one except an eel he befriended while in prison.
Votes: 4,816 | Gross: $0.41M
35. Sonatine (1993)
R | 94 min | Action, Comedy, Crime
Several yakuza from Tokyo are sent to Okinawa to help end a gang war. The war escalates and the Tokyo drifters decide to lay low at the beach.
36. Ran (1985)
R | 162 min | Action, Drama
In Medieval Japan, an elderly warlord retires, handing over his empire to his three sons. However, he vastly underestimates how the new-found power will corrupt them and cause them to turn on each other...and him.
Votes: 90,395 | Gross: $3.52M
37. Kagemusha (1980)
PG | 162 min | Drama, History, War
A petty thief with an utter resemblance to a samurai warlord is hired as the lord's double. When the warlord later dies the thief is forced to take up arms in his place.
39. Harakiri (1962)
Not Rated | 133 min | Action, Drama, History
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.
41. The Grudge (2004)
PG-13 | 91 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller
An American nurse living and working in Tokyo is exposed to a mysterious supernatural curse, one that locks a person in a powerful rage before claiming their life and spreading to another victim.
Votes: 125,745 | Gross: $110.36M
42. Erleuchtung garantiert (1999)
109 min | Drama, Comedy
Two very different brothers get together for a temporary stay in a Japanese zen monastry. The trip from Germany to Japan brings up some unexpected quests they have to manage. Soon both ... See full summary »