Friday, October 19, 2012

World Cinema Guide: Japan (257 Greatest Films 1929-2005)

World Cinema Guide: Japan (257 Greatest Films 1929-2005)

When I say ‘greatest’ in the title above I mean ‘most critically acclaimed, based on a consensus of opinion’ and for details of how I established that - and why this list only goes up to 2005 - please see ‘World Cinema Guide: Introduction’. 

In the alphabetical table of contents at the right you will also find similar lists for other countries: World Cinema Guide China, World Cinema Guide France, World Cinema Guide Germany etc

Note that within this list there is in effect a ‘best of the best’ list: the most critically acclaimed 10-20% of films from this country are marked with a *.


1935 Three Sisters with Maiden Hearts (Mikio Naruse)
1935 Wife Be Like a Rose (Mikio Naruse)
1936 Osaka Elegy (Kenji Mizoguchi)
1936 Sisters of Gion (Kenji Mizoguchi)
1937 Humanity and Paper Balloons* (Sadao Yamanaka)
1939 The Story of Late Chrysanthemums* (Kenji Mizoguchi)
1940 The Story of Tank Commander Nishizumi (Kimisaburo Yoshimura)
1941 The Loyal 47 Ronin* (Kenji Mizoguchi)
1946 No Regrets for Our Youth (Akira Kurosawa)
1946 Utamaro and His Five Women (Kenji Mizoguchi)
1947 The Record of a Tenement Gentleman (Yasujiro Ozu)
1948 Drunken Angel (Akira Kurosawa)
1948 Women of the Night (Kenji Mizoguchi)
1949 Late Spring* (Yasujiro Ozu)
1949 My Love Has Been Burning (Kenji Mizoguchi)
1949 Stray Dog* (Akira Kurosawa)
1949 The Quiet Duel (Akira Kurosawa)
1950 Rashomon* (Akira Kurosawa)
1951 Carmen Comes Home (Keisuke Kinoshita)
1951 Early Summer* (Yasujiro Ozu)
1951 Miss Oyu (Kenji Mizoguchi)
1951 The Idiot (Akira Kurosawa)
1952 Children of Hiroshima (Kaneto Shindo)
1952 Flavor of Green Tea over Rice (Yasujiro Ozu)
1952 Ikiru* (Akira Kurosawa)
1952 Lightning (Mikio Naruse)
1952 Mother* (Mikio Naruse)
1952 Sisters of Nishijin (Kozaburo Yoshimura)
1952 The Life of Oharu* (Kenji Mizoguchi)
1953 A Geisha (Kenji Mizoguchi)
1953 A Japanese Tragedy (Keisuke Kinoshita)
1953 Gate of Hell* (Teinosuke Kinugasa)
1953 Older Brother, Younger Sister (Mikio Naruse)
1953 Tokyo Story* (Yasujiro Ozu)
1953 Ugetsu Monogatari* (Kenji Mizoguchi)
1953 Where Chimneys Are Seen (Heinosuke Gosho)
1953 Wild Geese (Shiro Toyoda)
1954 Children in the Classroom (Susumu Hani)
1954 Godzilla: King of the Monsters (Inoshiro Honda)
1954 Late Chrysanthemums (Mikio Naruse)
1954 Master Swordsman (Hiroshi Inagaki)
1954 Sansho the Bailiff* (Kenji Mizoguchi)
1954 Seven Samurai* (Akira Kurosawa)
1954 The Crucified Lovers* (Kenji Mizoguchi)
1954 Twenty-Four Eyes* (Keisuke Kinoshita)
1955 Floating Clouds (Mikio Naruse)
1955 Princess Yang Kwei-Fei* (Kenji Mizoguchi)
1955 She Was Like a Wild Chrysanthemum (Keisuke Kinoshita)
1955 Swords of Doom (Hiroshi Inagaki)
1956 Bushido (Hiroshi Inagaki)
1956 Children Who Draw (Susumu Hani)
1956 Crazed Fruit* (Ko Nakahira)
1956 Early Spring (Yasujiro Ozu)
1956 Flowing (Mikio Naruse)
1956 Street of Shame (Kenji Mizoguchi)
1956 The Burmese Harp* (Kon Ichikawa)
1957 Snow Country (Shiro Toyoda)
1957 The Lower Depths (Akira Kurosawa)
1957 Throne of Blood* (Akira Kurosawa)
1957 Tokyo Twilight (Yasujiro Ozu)
1958 Giants and Toys (Yasuzo Masumura)
1958 Summer Clouds (Mikio Naruse)
1958 The Ballad of Narayama (Keisuke Kinoshita)
1958 The Hidden Fortress* (Akira Kurosawa)
1958 The Human Condition Pt.1: No Greater Love* (Masaki Kobayashi)
1958 The Rickshaw Man (Hiroshi Inagaki)
1958 The Temple of the Golden Pavilion* (Kon Ichikawa)
1959 Fires on the Plain* (Kon Ichikawa)
1959 Floating Weeds* (Yasujiro Ozu)
1959 Girl in the Mist (Hideo Suzuki)
1959 Odd Obsession (Kon Ichikawa)
1959 Ohayo (Yasujiro Ozu)
1959 The Human Condition Pt.2: Road to Eternity* (Masaki Kobayashi)
1960 Cruel Story of Youth* (Nagisa Oshima)
1960 Late Autumn (Yasujiro Ozu)
1960 Night and Fog in Japan (Nagisa Oshima)
1960 The Bad Sleep Well (Akira Kurosawa)
1960 When a Woman Ascends the Stairs (Mikio Naruse)
1961 Buddha (Kenji Misumi)
1961 End of Summer* (Yasujiro Ozu)
1961 The Human Condition Pt.3: A Soldier's Prayer* (Masaki Kobayashi)
1961 The Island* (Kaneto Shindo)
1961 Yojimbo* (Akira Kurosawa)
1962 An Autumn Afternoon (Yasujiro Ozu)
1962 Being Two Isn’t Easy (Kon Ichikawa)
1962 Chushingura (Hiroshi Inagaki)
1962 Harakiri (Masaki Kobayashi)
1962 Sanjuro (Akira Kurosawa)
1962 The Outcast (Kon Ichikawa)
1962 Zatoichi: The Life and Opinions of Masseur Ichi (Kenji Misumi)
1963 Alone on the Pacific (Kon Ichikawa)
1963 An Actor's Revenge* (Kon Ichikawa)
1963 High and Low (Akira Kurosawa)
1963 Insect Woman (Shohei Imamura)
1963 She and He (Susumu Hani)
1963 The Oath of Obedience* (Tadashi Imai)
1964 Intentions of Murder (Shohei Imamura)
1964 Kwaidan* (Masaki Kobayashi)
1964 Onibaba* (Kaneto Shindo)
1964 The Gate of Flesh (Seijun Suzuki)
1964 Woman in the Dunes* (Hiroshi Teshigahara)
1965 Red Beard (Akira Kurosawa)
1965 Samurai Assassin (Kihachi Okamoto)
1965 Story of a Prostitute (Seijun Suzuki)
1965 Tokyo Olympiad* (Kon Ichikawa)
1966 Elegy to Violence (Seijun Suzuki)
1966 Red Angel (Yusuzo Masumura)
1966 Sword of Doom (Kihachi Okamoto)
1966 The Face of Another (Hiroshi Teshigahara)
1966 The Pornographers* (Shohei Imamura)
1966 Tokyo Drifter (Seijun Suzuki)
1966 Violence at Noon (Nagisa Oshima)
1967 Branded to Kill* (Seijun Suzuki)
1967 Rebellion (Masaki Kobayashi)
1967 Scattered Clouds (Mikio Naruse)
1968 A Tale of Peonies and Lanterns (Satsuo Yamamoto)
1968 Black Lizard (Kinji Fukasaku)
1968 Death by Hanging (Nagisa Oshima)
1968 Diary of a Shinjiku Thief (Nagisa Oshima)
1968 Inferno of First Love (Susumu Hani)
1968 The Black Cat (Kaneto Shindo)
1969 Boy* (Nagisa Oshima)
1969 Double Suicide (Masahiro Shinoda)
1969 Eros Plus Massacre (Yoshishige Yoshida)
1970 Dodes'ka-Den (Akira Kurosawa)
1970 History of Post War Japan As Told by a Bar Hostess (Shohei Imamura)
1970 The Ambush (Hiroshi Inagaki)
1970 The Man Who Left His Will on Film (Nagisa Oshima)
1970 Zatoichi Meets Yojimbo (Kihachi Okamoto)
1971 The Ceremony (Nagisa Oshima)
1971 Throw Away Your Books, Rally in the Streets (Shuji Terayama)
1972 Minamata: The Victims and Their World (Noriaki Tsuchimoto)
1973 Battles Without Honor & Humanity* (Kinji Fukasaku)
1973 Lady Snowblood: Blizzard from the Netherworld (Toshiya Fujito)
1973 The Wanderers (Kon Ichikawa)
1974 Extreme Private Eros (Kazuo Hara)
1974 Pastoral: To Die in the Country (Shuji Terayama)
1974 Sandakan No. 8 (Kei Kumai)
1976 In the Realm of the Senses* (Nagisa Oshima)
1977 Ballad of Orin (Masahiro Shinoda)
1977 The Yellow Handkerchief (Yoji Yamada)
1978 The Incident (Yoshitaro Nomura)
1979 Vengeance Is Mine* (Shohei Imamura)
1980 Kagemusha* (Akira Kurosawa)
1980 Tsigoineruwaizen (Seijun Suzuki)
1981 Eijanaika (Shohei Imamura)
1981 Eki Station (Yasuo Furuhata)
1981 Muddy River (Kohei Oguri)
1981 Station (Yasuo Furuhata)
1982 Fall Guy (Kinji Fukasaku)
1982 The Ballad of Narayama (Shohei Imamura)
1983 Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence (Nagisa Oshima)
1983 The Family Game (Yoshimitsu Morita)
1983 The Makioka Sisters (Kon Ichikawa)
1984 Fire Festival (Mitsuo Yanagimachi)
1984 The Crazy Family (Sogo Ishii)
1984 The Funeral* (Juzo Itami)
1985 Ran* (Akira Kurosawa)
1985 Typhoon Club (Shinji Somai)
1986 Comic Magazine (Yojiro Takita)
1986 Gonza the Spearman (Masahiro Shinoda)
1986 Laputa: Castle in the Sky* (Hayao Miyazaki)
1986 The Sea and Poison (Kei Kumai)
1986 To Sleep So As to Dream (Kaizo Hayashi)
1987 A Taxing Woman* (Juzo Itami)
1987 Tampopo* (Juzo Itami)
1987 The Emperor's Naked Army Marches On (Kazuo Hara)
1988 A Taxing Woman's Return (Juzo Itami)
1988 Akira* (Katsuhiro Otomo)
1988 Grave of the Fireflies* (Isao Takahata)
1988 Kyoshu (Takehiro Nakajima)
1988 My Neighbor Totoro (Hayao Miyazaki)
1988 Wuthering Heights* (Yoshishige Yoshida)
1989 Black Rain (Shohei Imamura)
1989 Kiki's Delivery Service (Hayao Miyazaki)
1989 Rikyu (Hiroshi Teshigahara)
1990 Childhood Days (Masahiro Shinoda)
1990 The Sting of Death (Kohei Oguri)
1991 My Sons (Yoji Yamada)
1992 Sumo Do, Sumo Don't (Masayuki Suo)
1992 Tetsuo II: Body Hammer (Shinya Tsukamoto)
1992 The Gangster's Moll (Juzo Itami)
1993 All under the Moon (Yoichi Sai)
1993 Dying At a Hospital (Jun Ichikawa)
1993 Moving (Shinji Somai)
1993 Sonatine* (Takeshi Kitano)
1994 Rampo (Rintaro Mayuzumi, Kazuyoshi Okuyama)
1994 The Most Terrible Time in My Life* (Kaizo Hayashi)
1995 Ghost in the Shell (Mamoru Oshii)
1995 Gonin (Takashi Ishii)
1995 Maboroshi (Hirokazu Koreeda)
1995 Memories (Koji Morimoto, Tensai Okamura, Katsuhiro Otomo)
1995 Okaeri (Makoto Shinozaki)
1996 Focus (Satoshi Isaka)
1996 Fudoh- The New Generation (Takashi Miike)
1996 Shall We Dance?* (Masayuki Suo)
1996 Swallowtail (Shunji Iwai)
1996 The Sleeping Man (Kohei Oguri)
1996 Village of Dreams (Yoichi Higashi)
1997 Cure (Kiyoshi Kurosawa)
1997 Hana-Bi* (Takeshi Kitano)
1997 Lost Paradise (Yoshimitsu Morita)
1997 Perfect Blue (Satoshi Kon)
1997 Princess Mononoke* (Hayao Miyazaki)
1997 Suzaku (Naomi Kawase)
1997 The Eel (Shohei Imamura)
1997 Tokyo Lullaby (Jun Ichikawa)
1998 After Life* (Hirokazu Koreeda)
1998 Dr Akagi (Shohei Imamura)
1998 Evil Dead Trap (Toshiharu Ikeda)
1998 Ringu* (Hideo Nakata)
1998 The Bird People in China (Takashi Miike)
1999 After the Rain (Takashi Koizumi)
1999 Audition (Takashi Miike)
1999 Charisma (Kiyoshi Kurosawa)
1999 Dead Or Alive* (Takashi Miike)
1999 Gohatto (Nagisa Oshima)
1999 M/Other (Nobuhiro Suwa)
1999 Moonlight Whispers (Akihiko Shiota)
1999 Railroad Man (Yasuo Furuhata)
2000 Alley Cat (Kon Ichikawa)
2000 Battle Royale (Kinji Fukasaku)
2000 Eureka (Shinji Aoyama)
2000 Face (Junji Sakamoto)
2000 I Am an S and M Writer (Ryuichi Hiroki)
2000 Seance (Kiyoshi Kurosawa)
2001 All about Lily Chou-chou* (Shunji Iwai)
2001 Avalon (Mamoru Oshii)
2001 Cowboy Bebop: The Movie (Shinichiro Watanabe)
2001 Distance (Hirokazu Koreeda)
2001 H Story (Nobuhiro Suwa)
2001 Ichi the Killer* (Takashi Miike)
2001 Kamikaze Taxi* (Masato Harada)
2001 Metropolis (Rintaro)
2001 Millennium Actress (Satoshi Kon)
2001 Spirited Away* (Hayao Miyazaki)
2001 The Happiness of the Katakuris* (Takashi Miike)
2001 Visitor Q* (Takashi Miike)
2001 Warm Water Under a Bridge (Shohei Imamura)
2001 Waterboys (Shinobu Yaguchi)
2002 Dark Water (Hideo Nakata)
2002 Dolls* (Takeshi Kitano)
2002 Gomen (Shin Togashi)
2002 Hotel Hibiscus Yuji Nakae)
2002 Out (Hideyuki Hirayama)
2002 Ping Pong (Fumihiko Sori)
2002 Suicide Club (Shion Sono)
2002 The Twilight Samurai* (Yoji Yamada)
2003 Gozu (Takashi Miike)
2003 Vibrator (Ryuichi Hiroki)
2003 When the Last Sword Is Drawn (Yojiro Takita)
2003 Zatoichi* (Takeshi Kitano)
2004 Blood and Bones* (Yoichi Sai)
2004 Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence (Mamoru Oshii)
2004 Howl's Moving Castle* (Hayao Miyazaki)
2004 Nobody Knows* (Hirokazu Koreeda)
2004 Vital (Shinya Tsukamoto)

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