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Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Japan Tours and Life Style

15 Japanese movies to watch

Japan is considered a class apart from international cinema, and viewing Japanese movies seems like an acquired taste once you’ve experienced it. A unique style of Japanese cinema not only presents their culture, taste but also delivers out-of-the-box storylines that may linger in the mind for a lifetime.

So, here are a few of the best Japanese movies to get you started.

1.Nobody Knows/Dare Mo Shiranai (2004)

Nobody Knows/Dare Mo Shiranai (2004) japanese movies
Directed by Hirokazu Koreeda, Nobody Knows is based on true events involving four step-siblings. They were abandoned by their mother, who moved in with a new lover, leaving Akira to look after his brothers, two sisters, an apartment, and little food. Each child in the apartment building – each born to a different biological father – struggles to survive without basic necessities as they try to adjust to their strange, solitary existence without access to a school. This Japanese drama captures the claustrophobic life of these four children and is gripping and heartbreaking.


2.The Taste Of Tea/Cha No Aji (2004)

japanese books The Taste Of Tea/Cha No Aji (2004)
Director Katsuhito Ishii envisioned this drama as a tale of individuals whose lives are tied together under unprecedented circumstances. Almost the entire film was shot in the Japanese countryside, and the performances were superb. The film follows the Haruno family, who live in rural Tochigi Prefecture, north of Tokyo.


3.Seven Samurai/Shichinin No Samurai (1954)

Seven Samurai/Shichinin No Samurai (1954) japanese books
This film is a legendary classic for many reasons, as thousands of reviews have observed, but one is its extraordinary portrait of human complexity. Seven Samurai is a straightforward film that reveals an unknown tale about a group of farmers who had been ravaged by bandits. Wondering what to do, they call upon their elder, who tells them to hire samurai warriors to defend them from the vicious bandits.


4. Tokyo Drifter (Suzuki)

Tokyo Drifter (Suzuki) japanese books
A 1966 yakuza gangster thriller with a pop-art look by the formidable B-movie director Seijun Suzuki. Kurata, ( boss) decides to retire from the criminal empire and disbands his gang. Tetsuya “Phoenix Tetsu” Hondo, his fiercely loyal enforcer, is unable to enjoy a life outside of organized crime. Following his refusal of a recruitment offer by the boss of the rival gang, Otsuka, he is hounded by the group.

Kurata’s retirement provides Otsuka with a chance to win back his territory via a real estate scam, but Tetsu sees it as a threat. At some point, Kurata tries to convince Tetsu to become a drifter.


5.Letters from Iwo Jima (Eastwood)

Letters from Iwo Jima (Eastwood) japanese books
The story of the battle of Iwo Jima during World War II between the United States and Imperial Japan was told from the perspective of the Japanese who fought there. The film does get emotional in parts and highlights both the physical and mental toll of war on the human body combined with the added pressure of forced national honour.


6.Tokyo Sonata (2008)

Tokyo Sonata (2008) japanese books
Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s Tokyo Sonata is a drama about the slow disintegration of an ordinary family in Tokyo after the head of the family loses his job.

This story follows Ryuhei, a typical Japanese office worker who is fired after realizing Chinese workers are cheaper. In his pursuit of a new job, Ryuhei runs into an old classmate, Kurosu, who has also been reduced in size and the plot starts to take turns. The harsh reality of the life of the middle class combined with a slice of joy, the movie captures life’s decisions and family dynamics.


7.Like Father, Like Son/Soshite Chichi Ni Naru (2013)

Like Father, Like Son/Soshite Chichi Ni Naru (2013)
In this drama directed by Hirokazu Koreeda, a father is torn between despair and elation when he learns that his biological son was swapped at birth for another child he has been raising. Ryusei and Keita’s parents discover their biological son Ryusei was switched with Keita at birth, and after DNA tests prove the error, they must decide whether to keep Keita, who they raised as their own son or exchange him. The film confronts two types of Japanese families from differing social backgrounds and reflects opposing conceptions that coexist in contemporary Japanese society.


8.Zatôichi (2003)

Zatôichi (2003)
Zatôichi is a Japanese action-comedy following a blind masseur who travels through cities and winds up in a village controlled by rival gangs. When he arrives in a village torn apart by warring gangs, he sets out to protect the townspeople. The plot may be a little hard to follow, but you will definitely find the movie funnier in many ways and enjoy it to the end.


9.Grave Of The Fireflies/Hotaru No Haka (1988)

Grave Of The Fireflies/Hotaru No Haka (1988)
The film tells the story of two siblings, Seita and Setsuko, and their desperate struggle to survive during the final months of the Second World War. Grave Of The Fireflies, directed by Isao Takahata is a must-view classic war drama anime. Considered by critics as one of the best films to come out of Japanese cinema, The story follows teenager Seita and his younger sister Setsuko’s house is destroyed in a firebombing along with most of Kobe. They escape unharmed, but their mother dies from severe burns. Seita and Setsuko move in with a distant aunt, but they had to move eventually, the story then takes devastating turns. Starvation, poverty, traumas surround Seita who still tries to be a better big brother to her sister. The movie doesn’t go into the technicalities of the war, rather builds itself around the harrowing experiences of this brother and sister duo and how they deal with the circumstances through limited knowledge and awareness of the world.


10. Spirited Away/Sen To Chihiro No Kamikakushi (2001)

Spirited Away/Sen To Chihiro No Kamikakushi (2001) japanese books
Ten-year-old Chihiro and her parents are traveling to their new home. A shortcut-loving father ends up at a tunnel leading to a riverbed and, beyond, what appears to be an abandoned village. According to him, they have stumbled upon a failed theme park, and he insists upon exploring it despite the misgivings of his daughter. Upon finding an unattended restaurant stall, the family enjoys a spread of fresh food. Instead of joining in, Chihiro explores on her own, finds an exquisite bathhouse, and meets a boy named Haku, who warns her to return across the river bed before sunset. Unfortunately, Chihiro discovers too late that her parents have changed into pigs, and can no longer cross the now-flooded river. A 10-year-old girl wanders into a magical world ruled by gods, witches, and spirits, where humans are transformed into beasts. She tries her hardest to return to the real world with her parents.


11.Our Little Sister’ (2015)

Our Little Sister’ (2015) japanese books
It depicts the interactions between three sisters who slowly welcome their half-sibling following the death of their father in Hirokazu Kore-eda’s poignant family drama. As the bond between the old and new is extended, there is tension in seeing how far that will go. Fans of Japanese cinema have quickly embraced Our Little Sister as a firm favourite. This film will make you cry, happy, and emotional. There are themes in this movie about family, finding a place to fit, and being unique. It is worth watching. There is a simple storyline, but it is touching.


12.I want to eat your pancreas

I want to eat your pancreas
I want to eat your pancreas is an anime movie, this movie never fails to bring tears in the eyes of the viewers. It’s a story that shows how a normal high school drama will be like. But in this case, there’s something really odd about a popular girl in the school who meets a guy who accidentally knew about her unavoidable pancreatic disease. And he is the kind of a guy who is a loner and not interested in anything but himself and avoids contact with his other classmates to avoid any conflict. This whole story will be indicating how these two souls nourish each other. The characters develop a unique friendship, what makes the movie beautiful are the thoughts of ‘living with dying’, the story gets painful and yet so beautiful. The movie does a wonderful job portraying the minds and feelings of the main characters and side characters, they felt real and you would be able to feel what they were going through. One last thing, the title for anyone wondering is a saying in japan where if you eat someone’s organ, the organ that you ate will make your own said organ heal.


13.A Silent voice

A Silent voice
A Silent Voice is a 2016 Japanese animated drama film. The film follows a former bully turned social outcast who decides to reconnect and befriend the deaf girl he had victimized years prior. A bully throughout middle school, Shoya is now a depressed loner in high school who cannot look others in the eye and visualizes an “X” mark over their faces. The male lead resents his doing and suffers from extreme social anxiety. Reviewers praised the direction, animation, and psychological complexity of the characters in the film, with praise for the direction, animation, and psychological complexity of the characters. The movie title ‘a silent voice’ represents silent suffering and communication, the movie never took the viewers inside the mind or inner thoughts of the characters and still manages to portray their feeling and power of finding not through words but actions. It deals with mature and disturbing themes like bullying, suicide, and atonement and should not be viewed by children under the age of 14.


14.Your name

Your name
Produced and directed by CoMix Wave Films, Your Name is a 2016 Japanese animated romantic fantasy film. A high school boy in Tokyo and a high school girl in the Japanese countryside are suddenly and inexplicably swapping bodies. Miyamizu, a high school student from Itomori, lives in a rural town in 2013 with her family. She dreams of being a Tokyo boy in her next life because she is bored of her town. After an inexplicable occurrence one day, she begins to alternate bodies with Taki Tachibana, a high school boy in Tokyo, who wakes up as her and has to live through her activities and social interactions for the day. Eventually, they learn to leave messages on the skin of each other, on paper, on phones, and occasionally on phones. Though their connection breaks, the movie follows a series of different timelines and ends on the note of finding love. The animation style of the movie is beyond beautiful, even the song involved in this movie are so magical that you will vibe to them even if you don’t understand them.


15.A whiskers away

A whiskers away
A Whisker Away is a 2020 Japanese animated film produced by Studio Colorido, Toho Animation, and Twin Engine.

After her mother left her, Miyo Sasaki, a middle school student from Tokoname, began to have problems with her stepmother Kaoru. In spite of Kento Hinode’s repeated rejections, she makes it a habit to flirt with him each day at school. A mysterious mask seller gives Miyo a magical Noh mask that allows her to become a cat. Although she longs for him to admit that the cat he loves and the girl he hates are both the same, she is afraid that he will reject her and stop visiting Taro (the cat). Despite its simplicity, the plot evokes powerful emotions and depicts the struggles of the protagonists quite well. The scenes added depth to the characters and helped connect with the audience without stretching it too far. It is an exciting new anime movie that is full of feelings and well worth seeing.


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