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Japan's Longest Day (1967)
"Nihon no ichiban nagai hi" (original title)

 -  Drama | History | War  -  26 March 1968 (USA)
7.7
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 396 users  
Reviews: 7 user | 3 critic

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 »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Seiji Miyaguchi ...
Foreign Minister Shigenori Togo
Rokko Toura ...
Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs Shunichi Matsumoto (as Matsuhiro Toura)
...
Prime Minister Baron Kantaro Suzuki
...
Navy Minister Admiral Mitsumasa Yonai
...
War Minister General Korechika Anami
Yoshio Kosugi ...
Minister of Public Welfare Keisuke Okada
...
Information Bureau Director Hiroshi Shimomura
Etsushi Takahashi ...
Lt. Colonel Masutaka Ida - Military Affairs Section
Takao Inoue ...
Lt. Colonel Masahiko Takeshita - Military Affairs Section
Tadao Nakamaru ...
Lt. Colonel Jiro Shiizaki - Military Affairs Section
Toshio Kurosawa ...
Major Kenji Hatanaka - Military Affairs Section
Akira Kitchôji ...
General Yoshijiro Umezu - Chief of the Army General Staff (as Hikaru Kitchôji)
Haruo Yamada ...
Admiral Soemu Toyoda - Chief of the Naval General Staff
Ryôsuke Kagawa ...
Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Tadaatsu Ishiguro
Ushio Akashi ...
President of the Privy Council Baron Kiichiro Hiranuma
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Storyline

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 of the Army Anami leads the military officers who propose to fight on, even to the death of every Japanese citizen. Emperor Hirohito, however, joins with his ministers in asking the unthinkable, the peaceful surrender of Japan. When the military plots a coup to overthrow the Emperor's civilian government, Anami must face the choice between his desires and loyalty to his Emperor. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | History | War

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Details

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Release Date:

26 March 1968 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Japan's Longest Day  »

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Trivia

Hakuô Matsumoto plays the Emperor Hirohito in this film, the first time Hirohito (or any living Japanese emperor) was played by a Japanese actor in a Japanese film. Matsumoto subsequently portrayed Hirohito's grandfather, the Meiji Emperor, in Nihonkai daikaisen (1969). See more »

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User Reviews

 
Superior historical drama
25 January 2010 | by (San Francisco) – See all my reviews

All historical adaptations take a certain artistic license with their source material. JAPAN'S LONGEST DAY is no exception, but for a variety of reasons, this film rises above the norm.

The black and white photography, framed conservatively, has the feeling of reality, as if it were almost documentary. There are distinct emotional highs and lows as Japan's high command wrestles with the concepts of unconditional surrender (the Potsdam agreement) and the army's hopes of keeping the war going indefinitely; but the drama seems more real than posed. And despite that the events depicted here really happened, there's a palpable sense of tension in the narrative.

JAPAN'S LONGEST DAY covers that short period just before the Allied bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki to Japan's surrender in August 1945. But the attention to detail is almost documentary in feel, as bureaucrats and politicos spar with each other to save what they feel is the spirit of Japan. This kind of film doesn't get much more compelling, and does a superior job at balancing accuracy with drama.


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