Japanese films I've watched from the 1980s

by tsfinfilm24 | created - 30 Dec 2017 | updated - 2 weeks ago | Public
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1. The Family Game (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 »

Director: Yoshimitsu Morita | Stars: Yûsaku Matsuda, Jûzô Itami, Saori Yuki, Ichirôta Miyakawa

Votes: 701

2. The Funeral (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 »

Director: Jûzô Itami | Stars: Tsutomu Yamazaki, Nobuko Miyamoto, Kin Sugai, Hideji Ôtaki

Votes: 1,021

3. 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.

Director: Shôhei Imamura | Stars: Ken Ogata, Sumiko Sakamoto, Tonpei Hidari, Aki Takejô

Votes: 6,365

4. Ran (1985)

R | 162 min | Action, Drama

96 Metascore

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.

Director: Akira Kurosawa | Stars: Tatsuya Nakadai, Akira Terao, Jinpachi Nezu, Daisuke Ryû

Votes: 100,183 | Gross: $3.52M

5. Kagemusha (1980)

PG | 162 min | Drama, History, War

84 Metascore

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.

Director: Akira Kurosawa | Stars: Tatsuya Nakadai, Tsutomu Yamazaki, Ken'ichi Hagiwara, Jinpachi Nezu

Votes: 28,807

6. 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.

Director: Nagisa Ôshima | Stars: David Bowie, Tom Conti, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Takeshi Kitano

Votes: 13,430 | Gross: $2.31M

7. Typhoon Club (1985)

115 min | Drama, Romance

The movie takes place in the five-day period before, during and after a ferocious, seemingly liberating typhoon, which several students endure while marooned in their school gymnasium.

Director: Shinji Sômai | Stars: Yuichi Mikami, Yûki Kudô, Tomokazu Miura, Shigeru Benibayashi

Votes: 357

8. 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.

Director: Jûzô Itami | Stars: Nobuko Miyamoto, Tsutomu Yamazaki, Masahiko Tsugawa, Yasuo Daichi

Votes: 1,533

9. Comic Magazine (1986)

120 min | Comedy

Kinameri is a moderately successful television journalist itching for a big scoop. So when a corrupt local businessman barricades himself in his house, of course he's going to be excited with things picking up.

Director: Yôjirô Takita | Stars: Yûya Uchida, Yumi Asô, Takeshi Kitano, Hiromi Gô

Votes: 125 | Gross: $0.03M

10. A Taxing Woman's Return (1988)

127 min | Comedy, Crime

Ryoko Itakura returns as the government tax agent willing to tackle the toughest cases. This time she takes on a fanatical but lucrative religious cult run by a vile lecher.

Director: Jûzô Itami | Stars: Nobuko Miyamoto, Rentarô Mikuni, Masahiko Tsugawa, Tetsurô Tanba

Votes: 513 | Gross: $0.33M

11. The Crazy Family (1984)

106 min | Comedy, Drama

The Kobayashi family finally get the chance to move out of their tiny, cramped Tokyo apartment in favour of the suburban house of their dreams. But all is not well: the house is infested by... See full summary »

Director: Gakuryû Ishii | Stars: Katsuya Kobayashi, Mitsuko Baishô, Yoshiki Arizono, Yûki Kudô

Votes: 681

13. Fall Guy (1982)

109 min | Comedy, Romance

A hot shot teen stumbles onto a mob execution and the gangsters conveniently set him up as the fall guy.

Director: Kinji Fukasaku | Stars: Keiko Matsuzaka, Morio Kazama, Mitsuru Hirata, Chika Takami

Votes: 537

14. The Little Girl Who Conquered Time (1983)

104 min | Romance, Sci-Fi

A high-school girl acquires the ability to time travel.

Director: Nobuhiko Ôbayashi | Stars: Tomoyo Harada, Ryôichi Takayanagi, Toshinori Omi, Toshie Negishi

Votes: 433

15. Lonelyheart (1985)

112 min | Comedy, Fantasy, Romance

Lonely and love-struck, high-school student Hiroki pursues one girl but another one mysteriously appears in his life. Is she a figment of his lonely psyche, or real? An intricate triangle ... See full summary »

Director: Nobuhiko Ôbayashi | Stars: Yasuko Tomita, Toshinori Omi, Yumiko Fujita, Nenji Kobayashi

Votes: 64

16. Yasha (1985)

127 min | Crime, Drama

Shuji was once a feared member of the Yakuza crime syndicate, but he's reformed his ways, abandoned his old life and left the city for a small coastal fishing town where he's become an honest fisherman.

Director: Yasuo Furuhata | Stars: Ken Takakura, Ayumi Ishida, Hisamitsu Nakamura, Kenichi Kobayashi

Votes: 142

17. Sailor Suit and Machine Gun (1981)

131 min | Action, Romance

A teenage delinquent schoolgirl named Izumi Hoshi inherits her father's Yakuza clan.

Director: Shinji Sômai | Stars: Hiroko Yakushimaru, Tsunehiko Watase, Rentarô Mikuni, Yuki Kazamatsuri

Votes: 334

18. Kaisha monogatari: Memories of You (1988)

99 min | Drama

In this downbeat, comedic portrait of '80s corporate Japan, a section chief and family man (Hajime Hana) fights off the gloom of his impending retirement by rekindling his youthful love of jazz music.

Director: Jun Ichikawa | Stars: Hajime Hana, Yumi Nishiyama, Hitoshi Ueki, Kei Tani

Votes: 42

19. Distant Thunder (1981)

135 min | Drama

Urban sprawl and corrupt materialism have a devastating effect on farming families near Tokyo.

Director: Kichitaro Negishi | Stars: Toshiyuki Nagashima, Johnny Ohkura, Eri Ishida, Rie Yokoyama

Votes: 75

20. Detective Story (1983)

111 min | Mystery, Romance

Naomi is a university student who is leaving for the US to study in a week; Shuichi is a washed-up gumshoe who's hired by Naomi's father to bodygard his daughter until she leaves. Shuichi ... See full summary »

Director: Kichitaro Negishi | Stars: Hiroko Yakushimaru, Yûsaku Matsuda, Lisa Akikawa, Chû Arai

Votes: 115

21. The Beast to Die (1980)

119 min | Drama, Crime, Action

A journalist steals a gun from a cop after killing him and goes on a spree of robbery and murder.

Director: Tôru Murakawa | Stars: Yûsaku Matsuda, Mako Midori, Akemi Mari, Toshio Kurosawa

Votes: 139

22. Izakaya Chôji (1983)

126 min | Drama

Eiji, also known as Choji, quits the shipyard to start Izakaya Choji (snack bar) with his wife Shigeko on the outskirts of Hakodate.

Director: Yasuo Furuhata | Stars: Ken Takakura, Reiko Ôhara, Tokiko Katô, Kunie Tanaka

Votes: 60

23. The Aimed School (1981)

90 min | Fantasy, Sci-Fi

Mitamura Yuka (Hiroko Yakushimaru) is a normal shy middle school student that has psychic powers. When a new student with similar powers begins to show his skills, by stealing the student ... See full summary »

Director: Nobuhiko Ôbayashi | Stars: Hiroko Yakushimaru, Ryôichi Takayanagi, Masami Hasegawa, Miyoko Akaza

Votes: 170

24. The Catch (1983)

140 min | Drama

A young man tries to overcome the hostility of his girlfriend's father, a tuna fisherman, by getting the older man to teach him the secrets of his dangerous trade.

Director: Shinji Sômai | Stars: Ken Ogata, Masako Natsume, Kôichi Satô, Yukiyo Toake

Votes: 81

25. Onimasa (1982)

146 min | Drama

A yakuza melodrama, covering decades in the lives of Boss Onimasa, his adopted daughter Matsue, and his biological daughter Hanako.

Director: Hideo Gosha | Stars: Tatsuya Nakadai, Masako Natsume, Akiko Nakamura, Akiko Kana

Votes: 329

26. P. P. Rider (1983)

118 min

Three high-school students tangle with the Yakuza and the police as they set out in search of the class bully, who has been kidnapped.

Director: Shinji Sômai | Stars: Tatsuya Fuji, Michiko Kawai, Masatoshi Nagase, Shinobu Sakagami

Votes: 44

27. Kita no hotaru (1984)

125 min | Drama

During the Meiji era, a brutal prison warden terrorizes convicts sentenced to forced labor to build the roads needed to open up the territory in the icy wilderness of Hokkaido.

Director: Hideo Gosha | Stars: Tatsuya Nakadai, Shima Iwashita, Kôichi Satô, Ai Saotome

Votes: 70

28. Kimurake no hitobito (1988)

113 min | Comedy

Comedy about a family and their obsession for making money.

Director: Yôjirô Takita | Stars: Takeshi Kaga, Kaori Momoi, Hiromi Iwasaki, Mitsunori Isaki

Votes: 75

30. I Are You, You Am Me (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 »

Director: Nobuhiko Ôbayashi | Stars: Satomi Kobayashi, Toshinori Omi, Makoto Satô, Sayuri Ishibashi

Votes: 249

31. Shôgun Iemitsu no ranshin - Gekitotsu (1989)

114 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

Iemitsu, Tokugawa Shogun III, hates his eldest son Takechiyo; all his love is given to his younger son Tokumatsu. One day, he orders Takechiyo to an initiation rite in Yedo (today's Tokio).... See full summary »

Director: Yasuo Furuhata | Stars: Ken Ogata, Norihito Arai, Toshihiro Asari, Shin'ichi Chiba

Votes: 443

33. Final Take: The Golden Age of Movies (1986)

135 min | Drama

This is Japanese melo-dramatist director Yoji Yamada's ode to 1930s film production during the transition from silent film to talkies. With many loose associations we can see the rise of a ... See full summary »

Director: Yôji Yamada | Stars: Kiyoshi Atsumi, Kiichi Nakai, Narimi Arimori, Chieko Baishô

Votes: 123

35. The Terrible Couple (1980)

106 min | Drama

Aspiring to be admitted to a good university and to become a lawyer, Tasiro Yuusuke, a tenth-grader from Kyushu, enrols in a prestigious high school in Tokyo. Plans are made for him to live... See full summary »

Director: Shinji Sômai | Stars: Shingo Tsurumi, Hiroko Yakushimaru, Mieko Harada, Mariko Ishihara

Votes: 41

37. Ninja bugeicho momochi sandayu (1980)

R | 117 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

In the middle of the 16th century, Hideyoshi, a power hungry warlord sets out to destroy the Momochi clan. He sends his war commander in search of the clan's hidden gold only to find that ... See full summary »

Director: Norifumi Suzuki | Stars: Shin'ichi Chiba, Hiroyuki Sanada, Etsuko Shihomi, Yuki Ninagawa

Votes: 610

38. Lonely Heart (1981)

105 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

There is a shooting at a small bookstore in town. When the police arrive they find three victims two of whom have already died. One of the dead uttered something strange before dying. The ... See full summary »

Director: Kon Ichikawa | Stars: Yutaka Mizutani, Toshiyuki Nagashima, Rie Nakahara, Etsuko Ichihara

Votes: 48

39. Evil Dead Trap (1988)

102 min | Horror

A TV station employee takes a camera crew out to an abandoned factory to investigate a purported snuff film that was made there, only to end up running for her life when a small, fetus-like creature murders her crew.

Director: Toshiharu Ikeda | Stars: Miyuki Ono, Aya Katsuragi, Hitomi Kobayashi, Eriko Nakagawa

Votes: 2,024

40. Yakuza Ladies (1986)

120 min | Crime

While her husband is in prison doing time, Tamaki, the wife of a yakuza capo, runs her spouse's gang with an iron hand. Meanwhile, Makoto, her younger sister, marries a member of a rival ... See full summary »

Director: Hideo Gosha | Stars: Shima Iwashita, Rino Katase, Akiko Kana, Riki Takeuchi

Votes: 130

41. A Distant Cry from Spring (1980)

95 min | Drama

A mysterious stranger appears at the door of a farmhouse on a stormy night and asks for shelter. The young widow who owns the farm puts him up in the barn. At dawn, he helps to deliver a ... See full summary »

Director: Yôji Yamada | Stars: Ken Takakura, Chieko Baishô, Hidetaka Yoshioka, Tetsuya Takeda

Votes: 379

44. Station (1981)

132 min | Drama

Constantly put to the test and faced with tragedy wherever he turns, can a man finally find solace and a modicum of love or rest with what is left of his hometown, his family, love or himself?

Director: Yasuo Furuhata | Stars: Ken Takakura, Chieko Baishô, Ayumi Ishida, Setsuko Karasuma

Votes: 140

45. Rabu sutori o kimini (1988)

Drama, Romance

University student Akira meets the lovely 14-year-old Yumi, whom he had tutored years ago. Her mother is told by her doctor that the schoolgirl has leukaemia and has only 6 months to live. ... See full summary »

Director: Shin'ichirô Sawai | Stars: Kumiko Goto, Tôru Nakamura, Tomomi Satô, Ken Ogata

Votes: 16

46. 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.

Director: Jûzô Itami | Stars: Ken Watanabe, Tsutomu Yamazaki, Nobuko Miyamoto, Kôji Yakusho

Votes: 13,521 | Gross: $0.22M

47. W's Tragedy (1984)

108 min | Drama

Young college student Shizuka is given the opportunity to act in a stage play with professionals. Shizuka is willing to go to great lengths to master this role of a lifetime, but as the ... See full synopsis »

Director: Shin'ichirô Sawai | Stars: Hiroko Yakushimaru, Yoshiko Mita, Masanori Sera, Yumi Kusaka

Votes: 167

48. Four Days of Snow and Blood (1989)

114 min | Action, Drama, War

Based on the "2.26 Incident", an attempted coup d'état in Japan 1936, launched by radical ultra-nationalist parts of the military. Several leading politicians were killed and the center of ... See full summary »

Director: Hideo Gosha | Stars: Ken'ichi Hagiwara, Tomokazu Miura, Masahiro Motoki, Katsutoshi Arata

Votes: 126

49. Yuki no dansho - jonetsu (1985)

100 min | Drama

The story deals with a young girl getting adopted by a family that holds her like a slave and then being "freed" by a young man working for this family's company. 10 years later she gets involved in the murder of one of her step-sisters.

Director: Shinji Sômai | Stars: Yuki Saitô, Takaaki Enoki, Kiminori Sera, Mai Okamoto

Votes: 51