7 Japanese Movies To Add To Your Watchlist

Tokyo Story – 1953

Directed by Yasujirō Ozu, the film follows a retired couple’s journey to visit their grown children in postwar Tokyo. It’s a simple story that explores the complex world of family relations, generational conflict, and the predicament of old age. 

The Departure – 2017

The Departure is a moving documentary about a former punk-turned Buddhist priest in Japan. He has found meaning by helping suicidal patients to find reasons to live.

After The Storm – 2017

Directed by Hirokazu Kore-eda, it follows the story of a private detective who dwells on his past glory as a prize-winning author after the death of his father. The film opens a window for us into the modern Japanese family life.

Uzumasa Limelight – 2014

Uzumasa Limelight is about the end of an era of classic ‘jidaigeki’ films. The movie tells the unbecoming fate of these ‘unsung heroes’ who dedicate their lives in an art form when the inevitable change is taking place.

The Garden Of Words – 2013

The Garden of Words is a short film by Makoto Shinkai who is known for his mastery of fantastical landscaping in the world of anime. The story follows a lonely teenage boy who is passionate about shoemaking. 

Yojimbo – 1961

Yojimbo is a masterpiece of the legendary Akira Kurosawa and classic Japanese cinema at its best. It is a story of a samurai who arrives in the middle of a Japanese village where there are two rival gangs competing for power. 

Cat Heaven Island

Cat Heaven Island is a short documentary film about the island of Tashirojima where the feline inhabitants outnumber its elderly residents. The film offers a great glimpse into the dwindling community of Japan and its rich culture.

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