Kas' Favorite Japanese Movies

by KasparM | created - 22 Feb 2017 | updated - 22 Feb 2017 | Public
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1. The Only Son (1936)

Not Rated | 87 min | Drama

A widow sends her only son away to receive a better education. Years later, she visits him, finding him a poor school teacher with a wife and son.

Director: Yasujirô Ozu | Stars: Chôko Iida, Shin'ichi Himori, Masao Hayama, Yoshiko Tsubouchi

Votes: 2,875

2. An Autumn Afternoon (1962)

Not Rated | 113 min | Drama

An aging widower arranges a marriage for his only daughter.

Director: Yasujirô Ozu | Stars: Chishû Ryû, Shima Iwashita, Keiji Sada, Mariko Okada

Votes: 7,150

3. Late Spring (1949)

Not Rated | 108 min | Drama

Noriko is twenty-seven years old and still living with her widowed father. Everybody tries to talk her into marrying, but Noriko wants to stay at home caring for her father.

Director: Yasujirô Ozu | Stars: Chishû Ryû, Setsuko Hara, Yumeji Tsukioka, Haruko Sugimura

Votes: 12,923

4. Ugetsu (1953)

Not Rated | 96 min | Drama, Fantasy, War

A tale of ambition, family, love, and war set in the midst of the Japanese Civil Wars of the sixteenth century.

Director: Kenji Mizoguchi | Stars: Masayuki Mori, Machiko Kyô, Kinuyo Tanaka, Mitsuko Mito

Votes: 18,933 | Gross: $0.01M

5. Seven Samurai (1954)

Not Rated | 207 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

98 Metascore

A poor village under attack by bandits recruits seven unemployed samurai to help them defend themselves.

Director: Akira Kurosawa | Stars: Toshirô Mifune, Takashi Shimura, Keiko Tsushima, Yukiko Shimazaki

Votes: 296,973 | Gross: $0.27M

6. Good Morning (1959)

Not Rated | 94 min | Comedy, Drama, Family

Two boys begin a silence strike to press their parents into buying them a television set.

Director: Yasujirô Ozu | Stars: Keiji Sada, Yoshiko Kuga, Chishû Ryû, Kuniko Miyake

Votes: 6,914

7. 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: 309,739 | Gross: $2.38M

8. I Was Born, But... (1932)

Not Rated | 100 min | Comedy, Drama

91 Metascore

Two young brothers throw a tantrum when they discover that their father isn't the most important man in his workplace.

Director: Yasujirô Ozu | Stars: Tatsuo Saitô, Tomio Aoki, Mitsuko Yoshikawa, Hideo Sugawara

Votes: 4,508

9. Early Summer (1951)

Not Rated | 125 min | Drama

A family chooses a match for their daughter Noriko, but she, surprisingly, has her own plans.

Director: Yasujirô Ozu | Stars: Setsuko Hara, Chishû Ryû, Chikage Awashima, Kuniko Miyake

Votes: 6,615

10. The Story of the Last Chrysanthemum (1939)

Not Rated | 148 min | Drama, Romance

The adopted son of a legendary actor, and an aspiring star himself, turns to his infant brother's wet nurse for support and affection - only for her to give up everything for her beloved's glory.

Director: Kenji Mizoguchi | Stars: Shôtarô Hanayagi, Kôkichi Takada, Ryôtarô Kawanami, Kinnosuke Takamatsu

Votes: 2,920

11. Late Autumn (1960)

Not Rated | 128 min | Comedy, Drama

A widow tries to marry off her daughter with the help of her late husband's three friends.

Director: Yasujirô Ozu | Stars: Setsuko Hara, Yôko Tsukasa, Mariko Okada, Keiji Sada

Votes: 4,082

12. Like Someone in Love (2012)

Not Rated | 109 min | Drama

76 Metascore

In Tokyo, a young sex worker develops an unexpected connection with a widower over a period of two days.

Directors: Abbas Kiarostami, Shay Modaressi | Stars: Rin Takanashi, Tadashi Okuno, Ryô Kase, Denden

Votes: 9,488 | Gross: $0.22M

13. My Neighbor Totoro (1988)

G | 86 min | Animation, Family, Fantasy

86 Metascore

When two girls move to the country to be near their ailing mother, they have adventures with the wondrous forest spirits who live nearby.

Director: Hayao Miyazaki | Stars: Hitoshi Takagi, Noriko Hidaka, Chika Sakamoto, Shigesato Itoi

Votes: 256,375 | Gross: $1.11M

14. High and Low (1963)

Not Rated | 143 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

An executive of a shoe company becomes a victim of extortion when his chauffeur's son is kidnapped and held for ransom.

Director: Akira Kurosawa | Stars: Toshirô Mifune, Yutaka Sada, Tatsuya Nakadai, Kyôko Kagawa

Votes: 26,166

15. Inazuma (1952)

87 min | Drama

Poor, pathetic mother Ose (Kumeko Urabe) has four children, three daughters and a son, by four different men.

Director: Mikio Naruse | Stars: Hideko Takamine, Mitsuko Miura, Kyôko Kagawa, Chieko Murata

Votes: 468

16. Late Chrysanthemums (1954)

101 min | Drama

What is the life of a Geisha like once her beauty has faded and she has retired? Kin has saved her money, and has become a wealthy money-lender, spending her days cold-heartedly collecting ... See full summary »

Director: Mikio Naruse | Stars: Haruko Sugimura, Ken Uehara, Sadako Sawamura, Chikako Hosokawa

Votes: 850

17. The End of Summer (1961)

103 min | Drama

The family of an older man who runs a small sake brewery become concerned with his finances and his health after they discover him visiting an old mistress from his youth.

Director: Yasujirô Ozu | Stars: Ganjirô Nakamura, Setsuko Hara, Yôko Tsukasa, Michiyo Aratama

Votes: 3,259

18. Sympathy for the Underdog (1971)

93 min | Crime, Drama

A yakuza gang gets driven out of Yokohama by a big gang from Tokyo. They relocate to Okinawa to violently start over.

Director: Kinji Fukasaku | Stars: Kôji Tsuruta, Tomisaburô Wakayama, Tsunehiko Watase, Akiko Kudô

Votes: 750

19. Tokyo Story (1953)

Not Rated | 136 min | Drama

An old couple visit their children and grandchildren in the city, but receive little attention.

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

Votes: 46,875

20. Ikiru (1952)

Not Rated | 143 min | Drama

A bureaucrat tries to find a meaning in his life after he discovers he has terminal cancer.

Director: Akira Kurosawa | Stars: Takashi Shimura, Nobuo Kaneko, Shin'ichi Himori, Haruo Tanaka

Votes: 61,782 | Gross: $0.06M

21. Samurai Rebellion (1967)

Not Rated | 128 min | Drama

90 Metascore

The mother of a feudal lord's only heir is kidnapped away from her husband by the lord. The husband and his samurai father must decide whether to accept the unjust decision, or risk death to get her back.

Director: Masaki Kobayashi | Stars: Toshirô Mifune, Yôko Tsukasa, Gô Katô, Tatsuyoshi Ehara

Votes: 9,727

22. Ghost in the Shell (1995)

Not Rated | 83 min | Animation, Action, Crime

76 Metascore

A cyborg policewoman and her partner hunt a mysterious and powerful hacker called the Puppet Master.

Director: Mamoru Oshii | Stars: Atsuko Tanaka, Iemasa Kayumi, Akio Ôtsuka, Kôichi Yamadera

Votes: 120,770 | Gross: $0.52M

23. 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: 162,855

24. Howl's Moving Castle (2004)

PG | 119 min | Animation, Adventure, Family

80 Metascore

When an unconfident young woman is cursed with an old body by a spiteful witch, her only chance of breaking the spell lies with a self-indulgent yet insecure young wizard and his companions in his legged, walking castle.

Director: Hayao Miyazaki | Stars: Chieko Baishô, Takuya Kimura, Tatsuya Gashûin, Akihiro Miwa

Votes: 297,220 | Gross: $4.71M

25. Red Beard (1965)

Not Rated | 185 min | Drama

In 19th-century Japan, a rough-tempered yet charitable town doctor trains a young intern.

Director: Akira Kurosawa | Stars: Toshirô Mifune, Yûzô Kayama, Tsutomu Yamazaki, Reiko Dan

Votes: 15,166

26. Kiki's Delivery Service (1989)

G | 103 min | Animation, Adventure, Drama

83 Metascore

A young witch, on her mandatory year of independent life, finds fitting into a new community difficult while she supports herself by running an air courier service.

Director: Hayao Miyazaki | Stars: Kirsten Dunst, Minami Takayama, Rei Sakuma, Kappei Yamaguchi

Votes: 107,077

27. Kids Return (1996)

107 min | Crime, Drama, Sport

Dropping out of high school, two friends at first find success, one as a up-and-coming boxer and one as a low level gangster. Yet, their life decisions still find a way of catching up with them.

Director: Takeshi Kitano | Stars: Ken Kaneko, Masanobu Andô, Leo Morimoto, Hatsuo Yamaya

Votes: 5,138

28. Sonatine (1993)

R | 94 min | Action, Comedy, Crime

Several yakuza from Tokyo are sent to Okinawa to help end a gang war. The war then escalates and the Tokyo drifters decide to lay low at the beach.

Director: Takeshi Kitano | Stars: Takeshi Kitano, Aya Kokumai, Tetsu Watanabe, Masanobu Katsumura

Votes: 16,527

29. Taira Clan Saga (1955)

108 min | Drama, History

Special Forces commander Captain Tadamori returns to Kyoto after successfully defeating the uprising of pirates in the western sea of Japan. But because the high courtiers dislike career ... See full summary »

Director: Kenji Mizoguchi | Stars: Narutoshi Hayashi, Raizô Ichikawa, Tatsuya Ishiguro, Michiyo Kogure

Votes: 869

30. Female Prisoner #701: Scorpion (1972)

Not Rated | 87 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

After being used and betrayed by the detective she had fallen in love with, young Matsu is sent to a female prison full of sadistic guards and disobedient prisoners.

Director: Shun'ya Itô | Stars: Meiko Kaji, Rie Yokoyama, Yayoi Watanabe, Yôko Mihara

Votes: 3,021

31. Godzilla (1954)

Not Rated | 96 min | Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi

78 Metascore

American nuclear weapons testing results in the creation of a seemingly unstoppable, dinosaur-like beast.

Director: Ishirô Honda | Stars: Takashi Shimura, Akihiko Hirata, Akira Takarada, Momoko Kôchi

Votes: 26,957 | Gross: $2.42M

32. 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: 6,670

33. 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: 25,855 | Gross: $0.23M

34. Sanjuro (1962)

Not Rated | 96 min | Action, Comedy, Crime

A crafty samurai helps a young man and his fellow clansmen save his uncle, who has been framed and imprisoned by a corrupt superintendent.

Director: Akira Kurosawa | Stars: Toshirô Mifune, Tatsuya Nakadai, Keiju Kobayashi, Yûnosuke Itô

Votes: 29,583

35. The Human Condition I: No Greater Love (I) (1959)

Not Rated | 208 min | Drama, War

A Japanese pacifist, unable to face the dire consequences of conscientious objection, is transformed by his attempts to compromise with the demands of war-time Japan.

Director: Masaki Kobayashi | Stars: Tatsuya Nakadai, Michiyo Aratama, Chikage Awashima, Ineko Arima

Votes: 5,697

36. The Human Condition III: A Soldier's Prayer (1961)

Not Rated | 190 min | Drama, History, War

His ideals challenged by life as a conscript in war-time Japan's military, a pacifist faces ever greater tests in his fight for survival.

Director: Masaki Kobayashi | Stars: Tatsuya Nakadai, Michiyo Aratama, Tamao Nakamura, Yûsuke Kawazu

Votes: 4,427

37. The Human Condition II: Road to Eternity (II) (1959)

Not Rated | 181 min | Drama, History, War

As a conscript in war-time Japan's military, a pacifist struggles to maintain his determination to keep his ideals.

Director: Masaki Kobayashi | Stars: Tatsuya Nakadai, Michiyo Aratama, Kokinji Katsura, Jun Tatara

Votes: 4,505

38. Perfect Blue (1997)

R | 81 min | Animation, Horror, Mystery

A retired pop singer turned actress' sense of reality is shaken when she is stalked by an obsessed fan and seemingly a ghost of her past.

Director: Satoshi Kon | Stars: Junko Iwao, Rica Matsumoto, Shinpachi Tsuji, Masaaki Ôkura

Votes: 48,781 | Gross: $0.78M

39. Branded to Kill (1967)

Not Rated | 91 min | Action, Crime, Drama

After a badly done assignment, a hitman finds himself in conflict with his organisation, and one mysterious and dangerous fellow-hitman in particular.

Director: Seijun Suzuki | Stars: Jô Shishido, Mariko Ogawa, Annu Mari, Kôji Nanbara

Votes: 7,324

40. Spirited Away (2001)

PG | 125 min | Animation, Adventure, Family

96 Metascore

During her family's move to the suburbs, a sullen 10-year-old girl wanders into a world ruled by gods, witches, and spirits, and where humans are changed into beasts.

Director: Hayao Miyazaki | Stars: Daveigh Chase, Suzanne Pleshette, Miyu Irino, Rumi Hiiragi

Votes: 588,244 | Gross: $10.06M

41. Floating Weeds (1959)

Not Rated | 119 min | Drama

The head of a Japanese theatre troupe returns to a small coastal town where he left a son who thinks he is his uncle, and tries to make up for the lost time, but his current mistress grows jealous.

Director: Yasujirô Ozu | Stars: Ganjirô Nakamura, Machiko Kyô, Haruko Sugimura, Ayako Wakao

Votes: 6,638

42. Audition (1999)

R | 115 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery

69 Metascore

A widower takes an offer to screen girls at a special audition, arranged for him by a friend to find him a new wife. The one he fancies is not who she appears to be after all.

Director: Takashi Miike | Stars: Ryo Ishibashi, Eihi Shiina, Tetsu Sawaki, Jun Kunimura

Votes: 67,925

43. Rashomon (1950)

Not Rated | 88 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

98 Metascore

The rape of a bride and the murder of her samurai husband are recalled from the perspectives of a bandit, the bride, the samurai's ghost and a woodcutter.

Director: Akira Kurosawa | Stars: Toshirô Mifune, Machiko Kyô, Masayuki Mori, Takashi Shimura

Votes: 141,909 | Gross: $0.10M

44. Record of a Tenement Gentleman (1947)

72 min | Drama

A young boy follows Tashiro home to his tenement housing complex on the outskirts of Tokyo, the boy who was separated from his carpenter father somehow and somewhere in Kudan. All Tashiro ... See full summary »

Director: Yasujirô Ozu | Stars: Chôko Iida, Hôhi Aoki, Eitarô Ozawa, Mitsuko Yoshikawa

Votes: 1,609

45. Early Spring (1956)

145 min | Drama

A young man and his wife struggle within the confines of their passionless relationship while he has an extramarital romance.

Director: Yasujirô Ozu | Stars: Chikage Awashima, Ryô Ikebe, Teiji Takahashi, Keiko Kishi

Votes: 2,504

46. Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1984)

PG | 117 min | Animation, Adventure, Fantasy

8.1