127 user 66 critic

Japanese Story (2003)

Against the background of an Australian desert, Sandy, a geologist, and Hiromitsu, a Japanese businessman, play out a story of human inconsequence in the face of the blistering universe. ... See full summary »


Sue Brooks


Alison Tilson

Watch for Free

on IMDb Freedive

20 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »


Learn more

More Like This 

Cosi (1996)
Comedy | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Lewis is a young Sydney amateur theater director at his first experience: he is offered a job with a Governmental program for the rehabilitation of mentally ill patients in a Sydney ... See full summary »

Director: Mark Joffe
Stars: Ben Mendelsohn, Barry Otto, Toni Collette
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A young social outcast in Australia steals money from her parents to finance a vacation where she hopes to find happiness, and perhaps love.

Director: P.J. Hogan
Stars: Toni Collette, Rachel Griffiths, Bill Hunter
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

For forty years Lilian Singer has been locked up in a 'loony bin' by her father. Her release is eventually secured by her eccentric Aunt Kitty and her brother, John. Lilian starts to carve ... See full summary »

Director: Jerzy Domaradzki
Stars: Ruth Cracknell, Barry Otto, Toni Collette
War Bride (2001)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

WW2: In London, Lily marries a Canadian soldier who goes off to war. She and her newborn daughter are invited to come and live with his family in Canada, where conditions are not as ... See full summary »

Director: Lyndon Chubbuck
Stars: Anna Friel, Brenda Fricker, Aden Young


Cast overview, first billed only:
Toni Collette ... Sandy Edwards
Gotaro Tsunashima Gotaro Tsunashima ... Hiromitsu Tachibana
Matthew Dyktynski Matthew Dyktynski ... Bill Baird
Lynette Curran ... Mum
Yumiko Tanaka Yumiko Tanaka ... Yukiko Tachibana
Kate Atkinson ... Jackie
Bill Young ... Jimmy Smithers
Reg Evans ... Bloke in Row Boat
George Shevtsov George Shevtsov ... James
Justine Clarke ... Jane
Igor Sas Igor Sas ... Fraser
Mike Frencham Mike Frencham ... Blake
John Howard ... Richards
Phil Bennett Phil Bennett ... Barman
Heath Bergersen Heath Bergersen ... Petrol Bloke


Against the background of an Australian desert, Sandy, a geologist, and Hiromitsu, a Japanese businessman, play out a story of human inconsequence in the face of the blistering universe. The end of the journey leaves no one capable of going back to where they started from. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Some stories can change your life.


Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some sexuality and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »





English | Japanese

Release Date:

25 September 2003 (Australia) See more »

Also Known As:

Uma História Japonesa de Amor See more »


Box Office


$5,740,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$94,642 (Australia), 19 September 2003, Limited Release

Opening Weekend USA:

$15,119, 9 January 2004, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$647,054, 6 June 2004
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (TV)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?

Crazy Credits

Our thanks to the people of Nyamal, Ngarluma, Yinjibarndi, Bunjima and Nyiparli Nations. See more »


On the Road Again
Written by Willie Nelson
© Full Nelson Music Inc./EMI Longitude Music Co.
Licensed by EMI Music Publishing Australia Pty Limited
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Almost impossible to talk about without having a spoilers that is disastrous to the enjoyment of the film
20 September 2004 | by harry_tk_yungSee all my reviews

Spoilers - hopefully kept to a minimum, but you are duly warned !!

Thanks to the summary line 'The less you know about this film, the better', I curbed my urge to find out more about this film before watching it, something that I'm often tempted to do. If I had known the full plot, I would have been deprived of the dramatic experience of fully empathising with the emotions of the characters.

As others have said, this film is in three parts, call it three acts if you like plays or three movements if you like concertos. The first part is rather cliché, even banal, perhaps by intention. The scene of being stuck in the sand with the wheels spinning feverishly but going nowhere does strike a chord with those of us who have had similar experiences, on sand as well as on snow. The second part starts to intrigue and has all the necessary build-up. It's the third and final part, however, that has given me a cinematic experience that I've never had before. 'Powerful' will be an understatement. 'Powerful' however is not a fair description, because the word conjures up an image of being hit by an abrupt emotional blow. It's not quite like that. There's a sustained drive of waves of emotions, layer after layer. I know I'm getting myself into a lot of trouble saying this, but I think that it needs a woman director to pull this off. It also needs an actress in the caliber of Toni Colette.

Can't finish without mentioning the music. There are in fact a lot of scenes with absolutely no sound, not even the ambiance noise of the vast outback. But when there is music, they're the best. One good example is the love-making scene. But that is soon dwarfed compared with the hauntingly beautiful piece of music that is the background, sometimes just noticeable, sometimes coming forth, throughout the last twenty minutes of the film. Essentially, it alternates between a simple phrase of 8 notes on a plucked instrument and a haunting soprano chorus, blending in perfectly with the mood of the film.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 127 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

IMDb Freedive: Watch Movies and TV Series for Free

Watch Hollywood hits and TV favorites for free with IMDb Freedive. Start streaming on IMDb and Fire TV devices today!

Start watching

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial

Recently Viewed