Most Popular Japanese History Movies and TV Shows
- Movies or TV
- IMDb Rating
- Instant Watch Options
- In Theaters
- On TV
- Release Year
1. Silence (I) (2016)
R | 161 min | Drama, History
In the 17th century, two Portuguese Jesuit priests travel to Japan in an attempt to locate their mentor, who is rumored to have committed apostasy, and to propagate Catholicism.
Votes: 87,239 | Gross: $7.08M
3. Letters from Iwo Jima (2006)
R | 141 min | Action, Adventure, Drama
The story of the battle of Iwo Jima between the United States and Imperial Japan during World War II, as told from the perspective of the Japanese who fought it.
Votes: 147,366 | Gross: $13.76M
4. Kagemusha (1980)
PG | 162 min | Drama, History, War
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.
5. Men Behind the Sun (1988)
Not Rated | 105 min | Drama, History, Horror
Japanese troops round up Chinese and Russian prisoners of war and take them to a place called Squadron 731, where they are grotesquely tortured and experimented on to test new biological weapons.
6. Emperor (2012)
PG-13 | 105 min | Drama, History, War
As the Japanese surrender at the end of World War II, General Fellers is tasked with deciding if Emperor Hirohito will be hanged as a war criminal. Influencing his ruling is his quest to find Aya, an exchange student he met years earlier in the U.S.
Votes: 12,534 | Gross: $3.35M
7. Samurai I: Musashi Miyamoto (1954)
Not Rated | 93 min | Action, Adventure, Biography
Depicts the early life of the legendary warrior Musashi Miyamoto; his years as an aspiring warrior, an outlaw and finally a true samurai.
8. The Barbarian and the Geisha (1958)
TV-G | 105 min | Adventure, Drama, History
In 1856, the first U.S. Consul General to Japan encounters the hostility of the local authorities and the love of a young geisha.
10. MAGI Tensho Keno Shonen Shisetsu (2019)
An Italian missionary arrived in Japan during the Middle Ages in order to proselytize, evangelize and recruit people to his religion. He instituted seminaries around the country and picked ... See full summary »
12. Nanking (2007)
R | 88 min | Biography, History, War
Through readings of historical account by actors and the testimony of survivors, the events of the Nanjing Massacre are recounted.
Votes: 3,244 | Gross: $0.16M
13. Heaven and Earth (1990)
PG-13 | 125 min | Action, Adventure, Drama
In 16th century Japan, two samurai engage in massive battles across the countryside; one attempting to conquer and the other attempting to defend his land while repressing his love for a woman after taking a vow of celibacy.
Votes: 862 | Gross: $0.31M
14. The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness (2013)
Not Rated | 118 min | Documentary
Follows the routines of those employed at Studio Ghibli, including filmmakers Hayao Miyazaki, Isao Takahata, and Toshio Suzuki as they work to release two films simultaneously, The Wind Rises and The Tale of the Princess Kaguya.
140 min | Biography, Drama, War
The life of Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto from the early 1930's to his death at the hands of the US military in 1943.
17. 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.
18. Samurai III: Duel at Ganryu Island (1956)
Not Rated | 105 min | Action, Adventure, Drama
Musashi Miyamoto is challenged to a duel by a confident swordsman Sasaki Kojiro. He agrees to fight him in a year's time.
20. Yamato (2005)
145 min | Drama, History, War
The movie follows 3 Japanese friends from embarking on Yamato, the world's largest battleship, until it's sunk 3 1/2 years later on April 7, 1945 on it's way to Okinawa to stop American advance at the end of WWII.
21. Eiga: Tôken ranbu (2019)
Action, Drama, Fantasy
A sage travels to the past and collects a set of legendary swords, which he brings to life as a gang of talented but dysfunctional young men, to fight a battle against evil.
23. Japan's Longest Day (1967)
157 min | Drama, History, War
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 »
24. Behind 'The Cove' (2015)
110 min | Documentary, History
Negative media coverage on the never-ending whaling issue prompted first-time documentary filmmaker Keiko Yagi to find out more about the topic. With no budget, limited experience in ... See full summary »
25. Gekido no showashi: Okinawa kessen (1971)
149 min | Drama, History, War
Told from the Japanese perspective, this war drama captures the events of World War II's Battle of Okinawa - a massive amphibious assault by U.S. troops that left more than 150,000 Japanese civilians dead.
26. Bethune: The Making of a Hero (1990)
115 min | Biography, Drama, Romance
Canadian surgeon Norman Bethune journeys 1500 miles into China to reach Mao Zedong's eighth route army in the Wu Tai mountains where he will build hospitals, provide care, and train medics.... See full summary »
28. Himiko (1974)
100 min | Drama, Fantasy, History
A freestyle, imagined telling of the life of shaman queen Himiko, who falls in love with her half-brother, making her powers weaken thus putting her position to risk.
29. Manga Mito Kômon (1981–1982)
30 min | Animation, Adventure, History
Special Agent Mito Komon and his brave companions travel across the country to see people's problems closely and manage possible governmental local rulers' cruelties.
30. A Ghost of a Chance (2011)
142 min | Comedy, Crime
When a not-so-stellar lawyer is in need of something to help her case she has to rely on an unconventional witness for testimony. Will the court agree to hear testimony from and will the ... See full summary »
31. Hayabusa: The Long Voyage Home (2012)
From the Sumitomo Corporation website
"HAYABUSA: The Long Voyage Home" a film in whose production Sumitomo Corporation participated, premiered on January 19 at United Cinemas Toyosu, one of ... See full synopsis »
32. Sword of Honor (1996 Video)
R | 97 min | Action, Drama, Thriller
Cop partners Allen and Johnny receive a call about a robbery in progress at an art gallery where the ancient 'Sword of Honor' is being kept. They arrive in time to interrupt the theft, but ... See full summary »
33. The Floating Castle (2012)
144 min | Comedy, Drama, History
In the year 1590, powerful daimyo Toyotomi Hideyoshi nears his plan to unify all of Japan, but he comes across a floating fortress known as Oshi Castle. Narita Nagachika must use his army to defend the castle.
34. Shinsengumi: Assassins of Honor (1969)
122 min | Action, Adventure, Drama
Feudal Japan. Kamo Serizawa and Isami Kondo turn a collection of student fencers into a band of assassins known as the Shinsen Group, devoted to the Tokugawa shogunate and to an elegant ... See full summary »
35. Bakumatsu (1970)
120 min | Action, Adventure, Drama
The story of Ryoma Sakamoto, considered to be the architect behind the downfall of the Tokugawa shogunate. He was considered an outlaw by his own clan, hunted by his government, and was ... See full summary »
36. Daredevil in the Castle (1961)
95 min | Action, Adventure, Drama
Mohei is a wandering swordsman. He arrives in the city of Osaka, where the Toyotomi clan accepts him and comes to depend upon his courage and his battlefield skills. Those skills are sorely... See full summary »
37. Puraido: Unmei no toki (1998)
161 min | Drama, History, War
In 1946, Prime Minister Hideki Tojo and twenty-seven other Japanese officials stood trial for war crimes at the Tokyo Trial. This is their story.
38. Shinsho: shinobi no mono (1966)
91 min | Action, Drama
It is the 1570's in Japan. Ninja Kasumi Kanbey specializes in making gunpowder. He lives with his young son Kojiro, who witnesses his assassination by five skilled ninjas. Kanbey manages to... See full synopsis »
39. 3.11: Surviving Japan (2013)
Not Rated | 90 min | Documentary, History
The True Story of an American Volunteer that lived through and witnessed the 2011 Japanese Fukushima Nuclear disaster cover-up.
40. Handmade in Japan (2017)
90 min | Documentary
A look at traditional Japanese crafts and craftspeople. Each edition of the series follows the work of those making a culturally important product in the time-honoured way.
41. Shinobi No Mono 4: Siege (1964)
Not Rated | 87 min | Drama
Tokugawa Ieyasu is the ruler of all Japan. But one last loose thread must be tied up before his domination is complete -- the destruction of the Toyotomi clan, now beseiged in Osaka castle.... See full summary »
42. War Brides of Japan (2018)
WWII Japanese war brides share their stories of struggle and triumph. Arriving in the US alongside husbands who were their former enemies, they experienced being disowned by their Japanese families and rejection by their American in-laws.
43. Shinobi No Mono 3: Resurrection (1963)
Not Rated | 86 min | Drama, Crime, Action
When we last saw the intrepid ninja Ishikawa Goemon (Raizo Ichikawa), he was about to be boiled alive. But a good ninja is both hard to find, and even harder to kill. With the help of the ... See full summary »
44. Shinobi No Mono 2: Vengeance (1963)
Not Rated | 93 min | Action, Drama
Confident that he has destroyed the Iga Ninja, the evil Oda Nobunaga continues his quest to conquer Japan. Meanwhile, Ishikawa Goemon (Ichikawa Raizo) has settled down with his wife and ... See full summary »
45. Children of Nagasaki (1983)
128 min | Drama, War
In Nagasaki, Japan, on 09 August 1945, at 11:02 AM, 80.000 dead and thousand of persons wounded or contaminated by radiation were victims of one of the most hideous crimes of the mankind ... See full summary »
113 min | Drama, History, War
Meiji Tenno portrayed the ramp up to the Russo-Japan War. In addition to showing the political events that led to war, it also showed the era from the story of a farm family in rural Japan ... See full summary »
47. Flame of My Love (1949)
96 min | Drama, Romance
A woman's struggle for equality in Japan in the 1880s. Eiko Hirayama leaves Okayama for Tokyo, where she helps the fledgling Liberal Party and falls in love with its leader Kentaro Omoi, ... See full summary »
48. Gô-hime (1992)
142 min | Drama, History
Chronicles the trials and tribulations of Oribe, the successor to tea-master Rikyu, Usu, his gardener, and Princess Goh, who attempt to balance artistic expression and duty amid political intrigue in feudal Japan.
49. Hayabusa (2011)
Under the guidance of Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) the Hayabusa 'Falcon' spaceship shoots for an asteroid in order to correct samples and conduct scientific studies and then ... See full summary »