キネマ旬報見るべき映画100本:日本映画編by eiganerd | last updated - 16 Nov 2011 | Public
These are the 100 Japanese films that film journal "Kinema Jumpo" lists as required viewing.
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4. Gion no shimai (1936)
95 min | Drama
Two geisha sisters lead a hard life in the Gion district of Kyoto. After one of them feels obliged to support a bankrupt businessman, the other sister sets up various schemes to get rid of him.
5. Ninjô kami fûsen (1937)
86 min | Drama
The lives of two slum neighbors, one of a happy-go-lucky gambler and the other of a poor ronin, converge when the two get involved with the affairs of a powerful samurai official and his gangsters.
6. Muhomatsu no issho (1943)
80 min | Action, Adventure
Matsugoro is a poor rickshaw driver whose animated spirit and optimistic demeanor make him a favorite of the town. Matsu helps an injured boy, Toshio, and is hired by the boy's parents.
7. Anjô-ke no butôkai (1947)
89 min | Drama
After Japan's loss in the war, the wealthy, cultured, liberal Anjo family have to give up their mansion and their way of life. They hold one last ball at the house before leaving. The ... See full summary »
8. Aoi sanmyaku (1949)
92 min | Drama, Romance
When a post-war high school girl is seen with an older boy many find the nontraditional notion unacceptable and try to trick the girl and also assail her right to continue the relationship.... See full summary »
9. 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.
12. Karumen kokyô ni kaeru (1951)
86 min | Comedy
A girl who had left her home village for life in Tokyo returns to her home years later, and evokes a scandal when the locals discover that she's a stripper.
14. Entotsu no mieru basho (1953)
108 min | Drama
Where Chimneys Are Seen focuses primarily on the interconnected lives of two couples in a lower-middle-class neighborhood in Senju, a poor industrial section of Tokyo.
19. Twenty-Four Eyes (1954)
Not Rated | 156 min | Drama
Schoolteacher Hisako Oishi forms an emotional bond with her pupils and teaches them various virtues, while at the same time worrying about their future.
23. Kurutta kajitsu (1956)
Not Rated | 86 min | Drama, Romance
Spending their summer on an exotic beach, two brothers fall for the same beautiful girl, whose charm and looks may hide more than they they bargained for.
24. Bakumatsu taiyôden (1957)
110 min | Comedy
In the last days of the Shogunate, a resourceful grifter seeks to outwit competing prostitutes, rebellious samurai and other inhabitants of a brothel in order to survive the hardened times.
25. Harikomi (1958)
116 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery
Harikomi is an atypical film noir with a social background. It tells the story of two detectives of Tokyo that, on the trail of a murderer, they have to faced with Sadako that will end up questioning their role of police officers and men.
26. The Ballad of Narayama (1958)
Not Rated | 98 min | Drama
A kabuki theatre-inflected story about a poor village whose people have to be carried to a nearby mountain to die once they get old.
27. Giants and Toys (1958)
95 min | Comedy, Drama
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.
28. 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.
30. Nihon no yoru to kiri (1960)
107 min | Drama
Long takes and a highly theatrical visual approach combine to form a tense and confrontational look at the decline of a socialist student activists' movement in Japan.
31. Otôto (1960)
98 min | Drama
Set in 1926 when Japanese tradition was much stronger, this standard drama looks at the inner workings of a small family, especially the relationship between a sister and brother.
35. Miyamoto Musashi (1961)
110 min | Action, Drama, History
The film begins when the legendary swordsman Miyamoto Musashi is still named Shinmen Takezo. After being on the losing side of the Battle of Sekigahara, Takezo and his friend manage to escape and come across a young woman and her mother.
37. Kyûpora no aru machi (1962)
99 min | Drama
Set in Kawaguchi, just north of Tokyo in the early 60s, this simple story chronicles the lives of poor foundry workers and their families, and one girl's dreams of self-improvement through ... See full synopsis »
40. 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.
42. Sleepy Eyes of Death: The Chinese Jade (1963)
82 min | Drama
Nemuri Kyoshiro, a youthful and cynical ronin with unparalleled skill, is approached by both sides in a game of corruption, ambition, and double crosses. The leader of the Kaga clan, who ... See full summary »
44. Kiga kaikyô (1965)
183 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery
Three thieves escape from a heist, one of them killing the other two. He is sheltered by a prostitute and sought after by the police, but only after ten years his true motivation unravels.
46. Tôkyô orinpikku (1965)
Not Rated | 170 min | Documentary, Sport
Ichikawa's cameras follow the 1964 Summer Olympics from opening to closing ceremonies. Sometimes he focuses on spectators, as athletes pass in a blur; sometimes he isolates a competitor; ... See full summary »
47. Shiroi Kyotô (1966)
150 min | Drama
Zaizen Goro may only be an assistant professor but he has already made a name for himself. His superior, however, does not approve of his attitude towards their profession, and is at odds ... See full summary »
48. Kenka erejî (1966)
Not Rated | 86 min | Action, Comedy, Drama
In Okayama in the mid-1930s, Kiroku attends high school and boards with a Catholic family whose daughter, Michiko, captures his heart. He must, however, hide his ardor and other aspects of ... See full summary »
49. Nihon no ichiban nagai hi (1967)
157 min | Drama, History, War
Following the detonation of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Japanese military and the government clash over the demand from the Allies for unconditional surrender. Minister ... See full summary »
52. Kamigami no fukaki yokubô (1968)
GP | 173 min | Drama
An engineer from Tokyo arrives on a drought-ridden tropical island to drill a well to power a nearby sugar mill. He meets the inbred Futori family, hated by the locals for breaking religious customs.
55. Am I Trying (1969)
91 min | Drama, Comedy, Romance
Tora-San, an itinerant peddler who is thrown out of his father's house twenty years before but reconnects with his aunt, uncle and sister Sakura. Tora wreaks some havoc in their lives, like getting drunk and silly at a marriage meeting.
56. Erosu purasu gyakusatsu (1969)
202 min | Biography, Drama
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.
57. Wet Sand in August (1971)
One summer morning, Kiyoshi (Shosuke Hirose) is racing on his bike down the beach. While there, a girl with her clothes torn up is thrown out from a green convertible. This is how he and ... See full summary »
59. Battles Without Honor and Humanity (1973)
Not Rated | 99 min | Crime, Drama
During the violent chaos of post-War Japanese black market, a young gangster called Shozo Hirono has to keep up with the rapid shifts of power between unscrupulous bosses.
61. Sandakan 8 (1974)
120 min | Drama, History, War
A journalist interviews an old woman who was forced into prostitution, just like many other Japanese women working in Asia outside of Japan during the first half of the 20th century. She worked in a Malaysian brothel called Sandakan 8.
62. Pastoral Hide and Seek (1974)
104 min | Drama, Fantasy
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.
64. Inugami-ke no ichizoku (1976)
146 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery
After the death of the Father , His family are gathered to share Inheritances , but suddenly a woman with a mysterious masked man arrive there , claiming to be the other wife of the man ...
67. Fuyu no hana (1978)
121 min | Crime, Drama
A thug is released after fifteen years in prison for the murder of a yakuza gang boss. Things were never going to be simple and bygones were never going to be bygones of course, but to make... See full summary »
68. Akai kami no onna (1979)
73 min | Comedy, Drama
At his working place, Kozo and his colleague gangrape the boss' teenage daughter. Then, on the highway, he picks up a red-haired woman walking on the road back to his home. She ends up ... See full summary »
71. The Man Who Stole the Sun (1979)
147 min | Action, Crime, Thriller
A high school science teacher builds an atomic bomb and uses it to extort the nation, but cannot decide what he wants. Meanwhile, a determined cop is catching up to him, as is radiation poisoning.
72. Mo hozue wa tsukanai (1979)
103 min | Drama
Mariko is living the life of a typical Japanese college student in the 70's, spending far more of her time balancing boyfriends and part-time jobs than on her schoolwork. She finds herself ... See full summary »
73. Zigeunerweisen (1980)
Not Rated | 144 min | Horror, Mystery
A surreal period film following an university professor and his eerie nomad friend as they go through loose romantic triangles and face death in peculiar ways.
74. 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.
78. Tenkôsei (1982)
113 min | Comedy
9th-graders Kazuo (boy) and Kazumi (girl) take a tumble at a temple in a small seacoast town in Japan. Through supernatural intervention, their minds and bodies are switched, and the result... See full summary »
79. Kamata kôshinkyoku (1982)
109 min | Comedy, Romance
Aging Kamata movie star "Gin-chan" Ginshiro (Morio Kazama) is filming a story about Samurai in Imperial Japan at the start of the Meiji. Also appearing in the movie, as his antagonist, is ... See full synopsis »
80. 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 »
81. Nankyoku monogatari (1983)
G | 112 min | Adventure, Drama
Two Japanese scientists, Ushioda and Ochi, develop a bond with their sled dogs while on an expedition in Antarctica. Ushioda and Ochi eventually leave Antarctica, only to return to search ... See full summary »
82. Osôshiki (1984)
124 min | Comedy
At the beginning of the film the father-in-law of the protagonist dies unexpectedly of a heart attack. The remainder of the film is episodic, moving from one incident to another over the ... See full summary »
83. A Taxing Woman (1987)
127 min | Comedy, Crime
If tax evasion is an art, wheeler-dealer Hideki Gondo is Rembrandt. And so, a determined taxing woman gets the tough assignment of trying to catch him.
84. Yuki yukite, shingun (1987)
122 min | Documentary, War
A documentary following Kenzo Okuzaki, a 62-year-old WW2 veteran notorious for his protests against Emperor Hirohito, as he tries to expose the needless executions of two Japanese soldiers during the war.
85. Sakura no sono (1990)
96 min | Drama
The film offers a glimpse at a group of school girls who are very flexible in terms of gender roles, playing males both in the school play and in real life. A modern-day all girls high ... See full summary »
88. 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: 9,643 | Gross: $9.68M
89. Rajio no jikan (1997)
103 min | Comedy
A radio play is going to go on air at a Tokyo radio station. It is a weepy melodrama written by housewife Miyako, who is the winner of the competition run by the station. Suddenly, the ... See full summary »
Votes: 1,276 | Gross: $0.01M
91. 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: 22,987 | Gross: $0.23M
92. Odoru daisosasen (1998)
119 min | Action, Comedy, Crime
Aoshima, a police detective working in the Bayside Precinct, is continually frustrated by the hierarchy and red tape that plague the system. His friend Muroi is climbing the ladder of the ... See full summary »
93. Railroad Man (1999)
112 min | Drama
A solitary middle-aged station manager is haunted by troubling memories of his past when he learns the line his station is on will be decommissioned for lack of profitability. He is visited... See full summary »
94. Battle Royale (2000)
Not Rated | 114 min | Adventure, Drama, Sci-Fi
In the future, the Japanese government captures a class of ninth-grade students and forces them to kill each other under the revolutionary "Battle Royale" act.
95. Spirited Away (2001)
PG | 125 min | Animation, Adventure, Family
During her family's move to the suburbs, a sullen 10-year-old girl wanders into a world ruled by gods, witches, and spirits, and where humans are changed into beasts.
Votes: 484,487 | Gross: $10.06M
96. Waterboys (2001)
91 min | Comedy, Sport
In a Japanese high school, a class of adolescent geeks joins the new synchronized swimming teacher and takes up the challenge to take part in the competition, in spite of the mockeries of the "real sportsmen".
97. Go (2001)
122 min | Drama
Sugihara, born in Japan but with North Korean parents, falls in love with a Japanese girl after changing from a North Korean school to a Japanese school. His boxer dad teaches him boxing - skills used a lot.
98. Tasogare Seibei (2002)
129 min | Drama, History
As the feudal Japan era draws to a close, a widower samurai experiences difficulty balancing 2 young daughters, an aged mother, clan loyalties, and the sudden reappearance of his childhood sweetheart.
99. Utsukushii natsu kirishima (2002)
118 min | Drama, History
In a film that recalls the memories of the director's youth in Miyazaki Prefecture in Southern Japan during World War II, the local population is working hard in factories, on the road and ... See full summary »
100. 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: 18,903 | Gross: $0.68M