Bunshun Bunko's Top 150 Japanese Filmsby mymovieslists | created - 16 Jan 2012 | updated - 16 Jan 2012 | Public
Missing from IMDb: 或日の干潟 (1940)
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6. 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.
7. 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.
8. 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.
9. 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.
10. 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.
19. 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.
20. 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 »
21. 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.
24. 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.
25. 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.
26. 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 »
28. 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.
29. Nippon konchûki (1963)
Not Rated | 123 min | Drama
Life story of a woman born in poverty trying to succeed. Through her many schemes, she faces her ups and downs in a cyclical nature, fueled mostly by self-interest.
30. Chikamatsu monogatari (1954)
102 min | Drama, History, Romance
Ishun is a wealthy, but unsympathetic, master printer who has wrongly accused his wife and best employee of being lovers. To escape punishment, the accused run away together, but Ishun is certain to be ruined if word gets out.
33. 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.
34. 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 »
36. 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.
37. 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.
38. The Human Condition II: Road to Eternity (II) (1959)
Not Rated | 181 min | Drama, History, War
As a conscript in war-time Japan's military, a pacifist struggles to maintain his determination to keep his ideals.
39. The Human Condition III: A Soldier's Prayer (1961)
Not Rated | 190 min | Drama, History, War
His ideals challenged by life as a conscript in war-time Japan's military, a pacifist faces ever greater tests in his fight for survival.
40. Nogiku no gotoki kimi nariki (1955)
100 min | Drama, Romance
An old man, being rowed along a river, sees a field of daisies (or Wild Chrysanthemums, as they are described in the title, or starworts, as they are referred to in the subtitles), and ... See full summary »
41. 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 »
42. 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 »
43. 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.
47. 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 »
48. 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.
51. 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.
52. Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1984)
PG | 117 min | Animation, Adventure, Fantasy
Warrior/pacifist Princess Nausicaä desperately struggles to prevent two warring nations from destroying themselves and their dying planet.
56. The Story of the Last Chrysanthemum (1939)
Not Rated | 148 min | Drama, Romance
The adopted son of a legendary actor, and an aspiring star himself, turns to his infant brother's wet nurse for support and affection - only for her to give up everything for her beloved's glory.
57. 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.
58. 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.
60. 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.
61. 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.
62. 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 »
64. 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 »
65. 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 »
67. Sanshiro Sugata (1943)
79 min | Action, Adventure, Drama
Sugata, a young man, struggles to learn the nuance and meaning of judo, and in doing so comes to learn something of the meaning of life.
68. 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 »
70. Kiku to Isamu (1959)
117 min | Drama
Immediately after the Second World War, sister Kiku and brother Isamu, whose mother was a prostitute and the father was a GI, live with their grandmother in the country. Because their ... See full summary »
72. Ryûji (1983)
92 min | Drama
This is an excellent piece of cinema, about life of yakuza (gangster) and his family. Ryuji tries to quit yakuza and spend a decent life with his wife Mariko and daughter Aya...but as he's ... See full summary »
75. Times of Joy and Sorrow (1957)
162 min | Drama
Covering the years from 1932 through 1957, this is the story of the trials and tribulations of lighthouse keeper Keiji Sada and his wife Hideko Takamine.
77. 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 »
78. A Japanese Tragedy (1953)
116 min | Drama
Alternating in time, between the end of World War II and 1953, Haruko, a widow, does what she can to keep her daughter Utako and son Seiichi safe, fed, and sheltered. By 1953, it's clear ... See full summary »
79. Sanjuro (1962)
Not Rated | 96 min | Action, Crime, Drama
A crafty samurai helps a young man and his fellow clansmen save his uncle, who has been framed and imprisoned by a corrupt superintendent.
81. Waga seishun ni kuinashi (1946)
110 min | Drama
The daughter of a politically disgraced university professor struggles to find a place for herself in love and life, in the uncertain world of Japan leading into WWII.
82. I Want to Be a Shellfish (1959)
89 min | Drama, War
On a post-war peaceful day in Japan, Toyomatsu Shimizu, a barber as well as a good father and husband, is suddenly arrested by the Prefectural Police as a war criminal and sued for murder. ... See full summary »
84. Gishiki (1971)
123 min | Comedy, Drama
Upon receiving a shocking telegram from his cousin, a man recounts his early life, as a member of a broad family full of dark secrets that slowly reveal themselves through the clan ceremonies.
86. Subarashiki nichiyôbi (1947)
108 min | Drama, Romance
Yuzo and his fiancée Masako spend their Sunday afternoon together, trying to have a good time on just thirty-five yen. They manage to have many small adventures, especially because Masako's... See full summary »
87. Kôshikei (1968)
Not Rated | 117 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama
A Korean man is sentenced to death by hanging, but he survives the execution. For the following two hours, his executioners try to work out how to handle the situation in this black farce.
90. Kawaita hana (1964)
Not Rated | 96 min | Crime, Thriller
A gangster gets released from prison and has to cope with the recent shifts of power between the gangs, while taking care of a thrill-seeking young woman, who got in bad company while gambling.
91. The Girl I Abandoned (1969)
116 min | Drama
Tsutomu Yoshioka, a Tokyo office worker, is enaged to Mariko, the niece of his company's president. But Yoshioka has a crisis of consence when he remembers his former love Mitsu, a rural ... See full summary »
93. Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence (1983)
R | 123 min | Drama, War
During WWII, a British colonel tries to bridge the cultural divides between a British POW and the Japanese camp commander in order to avoid bloodshed.
Votes: 11,930 | Gross: $2.31M
95. Tonari no Yae-chan (1934)
76 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance
Keitaro (Obinata Den) is a law student and Yaeko (Aizome Yumeko) is a high school girl. They are neighbors, and their friendship is starting to develop into something more romantic. Then, ... See full summary »
96. Nigorie (1953)
104 min | Drama
Story 1 : "The Thirteenth Night". Seki turns up at her parents' house in the dead of night, where she breaks down and says she cannot continue to live with her husband, a rich man to whom ... See full summary »