My month of Japanese cinema. 21 Feb 2019 - 21 Mar 2019. 41 films of forty-one Japanese directors were watched.

by lazylobster2011 | created - 6 months ago | updated - 6 months ago | Public

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1. Sanshiro Sugata (1943)

Not Rated | 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.

Director: Akira Kurosawa | Stars: Denjirô Ôkôchi, Susumu Fujita, Yukiko Todoroki, Ryûnosuke Tsukigata

Votes: 3,850

2. Princess Mononoke (1997)

PG-13 | 134 min | Animation, Adventure, Fantasy

76 Metascore

On a journey to find the cure for a Tatarigami's curse, Ashitaka finds himself in the middle of a war between the forest gods and Tatara, a mining colony. In this quest he also meets San, the Mononoke Hime.

Director: Hayao Miyazaki | Stars: Yôji Matsuda, Yuriko Ishida, Yûko Tanaka, Billy Crudup

Votes: 301,993 | Gross: $2.38M

3. Inn of Evil (1971)

121 min | Crime, Drama

The story takes place in feudal Japan, when any commerce with the rest of the world was strictly prohibited. An idealist suddenly appears in an isolated inn (the one that the title refers ... See full summary »

Director: Masaki Kobayashi | Stars: Tatsuya Nakadai, Komaki Kurihara, Wakako Sakai, Kan'emon Nakamura

Votes: 448

4. Tokyo Story (1953)

Not Rated | 136 min | Drama

An old couple visit their children and grandchildren in the city; but the children have little time for them.

Director: Yasujirô Ozu | Stars: Chishû Ryû, Chieko Higashiyama, Sô Yamamura, Setsuko Hara

Votes: 45,268

5. A Geisha (1953)

Not Rated | 85 min | Drama

In post-war Japan, sixteen-year-old Eiko seeks out the geisha Miyoharu in the district of Gion, in Kyoto asking her to be a maiko (geisha apprentice). Eiko explains that her mother - who ... See full summary »

Director: Kenji Mizoguchi | Stars: Michiyo Kogure, Ayako Wakao, Seizaburô Kawazu, Saburô Date

Votes: 1,565

6. Throw Away Your Books, Rally in the Streets (1971)

137 min | Drama, Music

An angst-ridden teen dealing with his dysfunctional family hits the streets. The story is inter-cut with various psychedelic, energetic vignettes.

Director: Shûji Terayama | Stars: Hideaki Sasaki, Masahiro Saito, Yukiko Kobayashi, Fudeko Tanaka

Votes: 1,224

7. Pigs and Battleships (1961)

Not Rated | 108 min | Action, Comedy, Crime

A young hoodlum decides to work for a criminal organization that is tearing itself apart.

Director: Shôhei Imamura | Stars: Hiroyuki Nagato, Jitsuko Yoshimura, Masao Mishima, Tetsurô Tanba

Votes: 1,772

8. The Naked Island (1960)

Not Rated | 96 min | Drama

A family of four are the sole inhabitants of a small island, where they struggle each day to irrigate their crops.

Director: Kaneto Shindô | Stars: Nobuko Otowa, Taiji Tonoyama, Shinji Tanaka, Masanori Horimoto

Votes: 4,431

9. Tag (2015)

85 min | Action, Fantasy, Horror

A girl's life cascades into chaos as everyone around her suffers a gruesome fate while she becomes less certain of who she is and her once-once normal.

Director: Sion Sono | Stars: Reina Triendl, Mariko Shinoda, Erina Mano, Yuki Sakurai

Votes: 4,540

10. Akitsu Springs (1962)

113 min | Drama, Romance

Just after WW2, a romance between an innkeeper and a man with tuberculosis unravels near a thermal spring.

Director: Yoshishige Yoshida | Stars: Mariko Okada, Hiroyuki Nagato, Sô Yamamura, Jûkichi Uno

Votes: 1,003

11. Asaki yumemishi (1974)

120 min | Drama

After a number of stressful affairs, a court lady becomes a nun in order to pursue a life without desire.

Director: Akio Jissôji | Stars: Janet Hatta, Shin Kishida, Minori Terada, Chisako Hara

Votes: 49

12. Tetsuo: The Iron Man (1989)

Not Rated | 67 min | Horror, Sci-Fi

A businessman accidentally kills The Metal Fetishist, who gets his revenge by slowly turning the man into a grotesque hybrid of flesh and rusty metal.

Director: Shin'ya Tsukamoto | Stars: Tomorô Taguchi, Kei Fujiwara, Nobu Kanaoka, Shin'ya Tsukamoto

Votes: 17,424

13. The Face of Another (1966)

Not Rated | 124 min | Drama, Sci-Fi

A businessman with a disfigured face obtains a lifelike mask from his doctor, but the mask starts altering his personality.

Director: Hiroshi Teshigahara | Stars: Tatsuya Nakadai, Mikijirô Hira, Kyôko Kishida, Miki Irie

Votes: 6,307

14. Battle Royale (2000)

Not Rated | 114 min | Adventure, Drama, Sci-Fi

81 Metascore

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.

Director: Kinji Fukasaku | Stars: Tatsuya Fujiwara, Aki Maeda, Tarô Yamamoto, Takeshi Kitano

Votes: 160,978

15. Shoplifters (2018)

R | 121 min | Crime, Drama

93 Metascore

A family of small-time crooks take in a child they find outside in the cold.

Director: Hirokazu Koreeda | Stars: Lily Franky, Sakura Andô, Kirin Kiki, Mayu Matsuoka

Votes: 38,846 | Gross: $3.31M

16. Double Suicide (1969)

Not Rated | 105 min | Drama

A doomed love between a paper merchant and a courtesan.

Director: Masahiro Shinoda | Stars: Kichiemon Nakamura, Shima Iwashita, Shizue Kawarazaki, Tokie Hidari

Votes: 1,926

17. The Tale of Zatoichi (1962)

Not Rated | 95 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

The adventures of a blind, gambling masseur who also happens to be a master swordsman.

Director: Kenji Misumi | Stars: Shintarô Katsu, Masayo Banri, Ryûzô Shimada, Hajime Mitamura

Votes: 4,276

18. The Wolves (1971)

131 min | Crime, Drama

After going to prison for killing the boss of the Kanno gang, a gangster gets released early - only to find that his ex-gang has merged with the Kannos. But with bitter resentments lingering on both sides, bloodshed is bound to begin anew.

Director: Hideo Gosha | Stars: Rumi Aiki, Hideyo Amamoto, Noboru Andô, Mitsuko Aoi

Votes: 425

19. Cure (1997)

Not Rated | 111 min | Crime, Horror, Mystery

70 Metascore

A frustrated detective deals with the case of several gruesome murders committed by people who have no recollection of what they've done.

Director: Kiyoshi Kurosawa | Stars: Masato Hagiwara, Kôji Yakusho, Tsuyoshi Ujiki, Anna Nakagawa

Votes: 8,998 | Gross: $0.09M

20. Samurai II: Duel at Ichijoji Temple (1955)

Not Rated | 104 min | Action, Adventure, Biography

Musashi Miyamoto returns to Kyoto after years of absence. After a series of fights against the Yoshioka School, he challenges its master to a duel.

Director: Hiroshi Inagaki | Stars: Toshirô Mifune, Mariko Okada, Kôji Tsuruta, Kaoru Yachigusa

Votes: 5,066

21. Funeral Parade of Roses (1969)

Not Rated | 105 min | Drama

The trials and tribulations of Eddie and other transvestites in Japan.

Director: Toshio Matsumoto | Stars: Pîtâ, Osamu Ogasawara, Yoshimi Jô, Koichi Nakamura

Votes: 3,911

22. Fort Graveyard (1965)

132 min | Drama, Music, War

In 1945, Japanese Army Sergeant Kosugi and a platoon of young green recruits must retake and defend a fort occupied by the Chinese forces.

Director: Kihachi Okamoto | Stars: Toshirô Mifune, Makoto Satô, Reiko Dan, Yûnosuke Itô

Votes: 150

23. Sweet Bean (2015)

Not Rated | 113 min | Drama

60 Metascore

Burdened with a heavy and ever-increasing debt, a dorayaki baker hires a kind ageing woman, after tasting her delicious surprise. Little by little, she unravels her beautiful inner world. Could she be holding the secret to his success?

Director: Naomi Kawase | Stars: Kirin Kiki, Masatoshi Nagase, Kyara Uchida, Miki Mizuno

Votes: 7,449 | Gross: $0.12M

24. 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.

Director: Takeshi Kitano | Stars: Takeshi Kitano, Kayoko Kishimoto, Ren Osugi, Susumu Terajima

Votes: 25,346 | Gross: $0.23M

25. In the Realm of the Senses (1976)

NC-17 | 109 min | Drama, Romance

A passionate telling of the story of Sada Abe, a woman whose affair with her master led to a sexual obsession which then came to a violent end.

Director: Nagisa Ôshima | Stars: Tatsuya Fuji, Eiko Matsuda, Aoi Nakajima, Yasuko Matsui

Votes: 16,688

26. Grave of the Fireflies (1988)

Not Rated | 89 min | Animation, Drama, War

A young boy and his little sister struggle to survive in Japan during World War II.

Director: Isao Takahata | Stars: Tsutomu Tatsumi, Ayano Shiraishi, Akemi Yamaguchi, Yoshiko Shinohara

Votes: 203,948

27. 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.

Director: Seijun Suzuki | Stars: Yoshio Harada, Naoko Ôtani, Kisako Makishi, Akaji Maro

Votes: 843

28. An Actor's Revenge (1963)

Not Rated | 115 min | Drama

Yukinojo, a Kabuki actor, seeks revenge by destroying the three men who caused the deaths of his parents. Also involved are the daughter of one of Yukinojo's targets, two master thieves, and a swordsman who himself is out to kill Yukinojo.

Director: Kon Ichikawa | Stars: Kazuo Hasegawa, Fujiko Yamamoto, Ayako Wakao, Eiji Funakoshi

Votes: 1,804

29. When a Woman Ascends the Stairs (1960)

Not Rated | 111 min | Drama

A middle-aged bar hostess, constantly in debt, is faced with numerous social constraints and challenges posed to her by her family, customers and friends.

Director: Mikio Naruse | Stars: Hideko Takamine, Tatsuya Nakadai, Masayuki Mori, Reiko Dan

Votes: 3,298

30. Paprika (2006)

R | 90 min | Animation, Drama, Fantasy

81 Metascore

When a machine that allows therapists to enter their patients' dreams is stolen, all Hell breaks loose. Only a young female therapist, Paprika, can stop it.

Director: Satoshi Kon | Stars: Megumi Hayashibara, Tôru Emori, Katsunosuke Hori, Tôru Furuya

Votes: 62,885 | Gross: $0.88M

31. Ichi the Killer (2001)

R | 129 min | Action, Crime, Drama

55 Metascore

As sadomasochistic yakuza enforcer Kakihara searches for his missing boss he comes across Ichi, a repressed and psychotic killer who may be able to inflict levels of pain that Kakihara has only dreamed of achieving.

Director: Takashi Miike | Stars: Tadanobu Asano, Nao Ohmori, Shin'ya Tsukamoto, Paulyn Sun

Votes: 49,301 | Gross: $0.02M

32. Voices of a Distant Star (2002)

Unrated | 25 min | Animation, Short, Drama

The love of Japanese high school students Mikako Nagamine and Noboru Tera is tested when Mikako is sent to fight aliens in a distant universe and voice mails to and from Earth become months to years in transmission.

Director: Makoto Shinkai | Stars: Mika Shinohara, Makoto Shinkai, Sumi Mutoh, Chihiro Suzuki

Votes: 7,840

33. Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust (2000)

R | 103 min | Animation, Action, Fantasy

62 Metascore

When a girl is abducted by a vampire, a legendary bounty hunter is hired to bring her back.

Director: Yoshiaki Kawajiri | Stars: Andrew Philpot, John Rafter Lee, Pamela Adlon, Wendee Lee

Votes: 27,256 | Gross: $0.15M

34. A Wife Confesses (1961)

91 min | Drama, Mystery

Ayako is charged with murdering her much older academic husband while climbing a mountain. Ayako was having an affair, apparently with her husband's approval, and this complicates the trial.

Director: Yasuzô Masumura | Stars: Ayako Wakao, Hiroshi Kawaguchi, Eitarô Ozawa, Haruko Mabuchi

Votes: 388

35. Humanity and Paper Balloons (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.

Director: Sadao Yamanaka | Stars: Chôjûrô Kawarasaki, Kan'emon Nakamura, Tsuruzô Nakamura, Chôemon Bandô

Votes: 1,623

36. The River Fuefuki (1960)

117 min | Drama, History, War

A young man decides to become a warrior, causing trouble for his clan.

Director: Keisuke Kinoshita | Stars: Hideko Takamine, Takahiro Tamura, Kôshirô Matsumoto, Shima Iwashita

Votes: 240

37. Crossroads (1928)

74 min | Drama

After falling in love with a courtesan, Rikiya is blinded by ash during a fight in a brothel. Believing the blindness permanent and his opponent dead, Rikiya goes back home to his sister. ... See full summary »

Director: Teinosuke Kinugasa | Stars: Akiko Chihaya, Junosuke Bandô, Yukiko Ogawa, Ippei Sôma

Votes: 280

38. Akira (1988)

R | 124 min | Animation, Drama, Sci-Fi

A secret military project endangers Neo-Tokyo when it turns a biker gang member into a rampaging psychic psychopath who can only be stopped by two teenagers and a group of psychics.

Director: Katsuhiro Ôtomo | Stars: Mitsuo Iwata, Nozomu Sasaki, Mami Koyama, Tesshô Genda

Votes: 145,192 | Gross: $0.55M

39. The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (2006)

TV-PG | 98 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

A high-school girl named Makoto acquires the power to travel back in time, and decides to use it for her own personal benefits. Little does she know that she is affecting the lives of others just as much as she is her own.

Director: Mamoru Hosoda | Stars: Riisa Naka, Takuya Ishida, Mitsutaka Itakura, Ayami Kakiuchi

Votes: 54,140

40. Lady Snowblood 2: Love Song of Vengeance (1974)

Not Rated | 89 min | Drama, Thriller

Lady Snowblood is caught in the politics of early 20th century Japan.

Director: Toshiya Fujita | Stars: Meiko Kaji, Jûzô Itami, Kazuko Yoshiyuki, Yoshio Harada

Votes: 2,777

41. Majin the Monster of Terror (1966)

Unrated | 84 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror

A giant stone statue comes to life to protect the residents of a small town against the depradations of an evil warlord.

Director: Kimiyoshi Yasuda | Stars: Miwa Takada, Yoshihiko Aoyama, Jun Fujimaki, Ryûtarô Gomi

Votes: 1,056



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