Movies about Japan

List of the best movies about Japan, selected by visitors to our site: Kikujiro, Seven Samurai, Rashomon, The Last Samurai, Yojimbo, Zatoichi, Isle of Dogs, The Outsider, Batman Ninja, Shoplifters.

In the top there are new films of 2021, a plot description and trailers for films that have already been released.

Kikujiro (1999)
Mark10 (imdb: 7.8)
Genrecomedy, drama
CountryJapan
Duration02:01
CharactersThieves, Orphans, Good people
PlotTravel
PlaceJapan, Asia
TimeSummer
StyleTouching, Fancy

Brash, loudmouthed and opportunistic, Kikujiro is the unlikely companion for Masao who is determined to see the mother he has never met. The two begin a series of adventures which soon turns out to be a whimsical journey of laughter and tears with a wide array of surprises and unique characters along the way.

Seven Samurai (1954)
Mark8
Genredrama, adventure
CountryJapan
Duration03:22
CharactersHeroes, Samurai
PlotFear
PlaceJapan, Village
Time16th century

A samurai answers a village's request for protection after he falls on hard times. The town needs protection from bandits, so the samurai gathers six others to help him teach the people how to defend themselves, and the villagers provide the soldiers with food. A giant battle occurs when 40 bandits attack the village.

Rashomon (1950)
Mark1.6
Genredrama, crime
CountryJapan
Duration01:28
PlaceJapan

Brimming with action while incisively examining the nature of truth, "Rashomon" is perhaps the finest film ever to investigate the philosophy of justice. Through an ingenious use of camera and flashbacks, Kurosawa reveals the complexities of human nature as four people recount different versions of the story of a man's murder and the rape of his wife.

The Last Samurai (2003)
Mark8.8 (imdb: 7.7)
Genreaction, drama, military, history
CountryUSA, New Zealand, Japan
Duration02:34
CharactersSamurai, Warriors, Military
PlotMartial Arts, War
PlaceJapan
StyleExciting, Fascinating

Nathan Algren is an American hired to instruct the Japanese army in the ways of modern warfare, which finds him learning to respect the samurai and the honorable principles that rule them. Pressed to destroy the samurai's way of life in the name of modernization and open trade, Algren decides to become an ultimate warrior himself and to fight for their right to exist.

Yojimbo (1961)
Mark7
Genreaction, drama
CountryJapan
Duration01:50
CharactersSamurai, Heroes, Bodyguards
PlotCheating
PlaceJapan, Village, Small cities
StyleAtmospheric, Exciting, Depressive, For men

A nameless ronin, or samurai with no master, enters a small village in feudal Japan where two rival businessmen are struggling for control of the local gambling trade. Taking the name Sanjuro Kuwabatake, the ronin convinces both silk merchant Tazaemon and sake merchant Tokuemon to hire him as a personal bodyguard, then artfully sets in motion a full-scale gang war between the two ambitious and unscrupulous men.

Zatoichi (2003)
Mark8.2 (imdb: 7.5)
Genreaction, comedy, drama, crime, music
CountryJapan
Duration01:56
CharactersSamurai, Blind
PlaceJapan

Zatôichi is a 19th century blind nomad who makes his living as a gambler and masseur. However, behind this humble facade, he is a master swordsman gifted with a lightning-fast draw and breathtaking precision. While wandering, Zatôichi discovers a remote mountain village at the mercy of Ginzo, a ruthless gang-leader. Ginzo disposes of anyone who gets in his way, especially after hiring the mighty samurai ronin, Hattori, as a bodyguard. After a raucous night of gambling in town, Zatôichi encounters a pair of geishas--as dangerous as they are beautiful--who've come to avenge their parents' murder. As the paths of these and other colorful characters intertwine, Ginzo's henchmen are soon after Zatôichi. With his legendary cane sword at his side, the stage is set for a riveting showdown.

Isle of Dogs (2018)
Mark5.6 (imdb: 7.9)
Genrefantastic, fantasy, comedy, drama, adventure, cartoon
CountryGermany, USA
Duration01:28
CharactersChildrens, Animals, Dogs, Warriors
PlotSurvival, Freedom, Fear
PlaceJapan, Islands
StyleFancy, Soulful, Tense, Fascinating

In the future, an outbreak of canine flu leads the mayor of a Japanese city to banish all dogs to an island that's a garbage dump. The outcasts must soon embark on an epic journey when a 12-year-old boy arrives on the island to find his beloved pet.

The Outsider (2018)
Mark8.8 (imdb: 6.3)
Genrethriller, drama, crime
CountryUSA
Duration01:57
CharactersYakuza
PlotWeapon
PlaceJapan, Prison
StyleNetflix, Worth watching

A former American G.I. joins a yakuza family after his release from prison in post-World War II Osaka.

Batman Ninja (2018)
Mark9 (imdb: 5.6)
Genrefantastic, action, fantasy, cartoon
CountryJapan, USA
Duration02:03
CharactersNinja, Superhero, Dogs, Horses, Monkeys, Birds, Criminals
PlotTime machine, Martial Arts, Time travel, Motorcycles, Weapon
PlaceJapan, Castle
TimeNight
StyleFancy, DC

Gorilla Grodd's time displacement machine transports many of Batman's worst enemies to feudal Japan —along with the Dark Knight and a few of his allies. The villains take over the forms of the feudal lords that rule the divided land, with the Joker taking the lead among the warring factions. As his traditional high-tech weaponry is exhausted almost immediately, Batman must rely on his intellect and his allies —including Catwoman and the extended Bat-family— to restore order to the land, and return to present-day Gotham City.

Shoplifters (2018)
Mark9 (imdb: 7.9)
Genredrama, crime
CountryJapan
Duration01:48
CharactersPoor, Family, Orphans, Thieves, Criminals
PlotMystery, Money, Death, Love, Snow, Loneliness, Chase
PlaceJapan, Trains, Prison
StyleHeavy, Disturbing

After one of their shoplifting sessions, Osamu and his son come across a little girl in the freezing cold. At first reluctant to shelter the girl, Osamu’s wife agrees to take care of her after learning of the hardships she faces. Although the family is poor, barely making enough money to survive through petty crime, they seem to live happily together until an unforeseen incident reveals hidden secrets, testing the bonds that unite them.

Sword of the Stranger (2007)
Mark6 (imdb: 7.8)
Genreaction, adventure, cartoon
CountryJapan
Duration01:43
CharactersOrphans, Samurai, Emperors, Heroes, Dogs, Spy
PlotAdventure, Political
PlaceJapan
StyleExciting, Fascinating, Touching, Disturbing

Pursued by formidable Chinese assassins, young Kotaro and his dog run into No Name, a mysterious stranger who gets pulled into the chase. The unlikely companions form a bond over saving the dog from a poison attack, but chaos erupts when the assassins find Kotaro, and No Name must face his past before a horrible fate is met again.

The Spies (2012)
Mark8 (imdb: 6.3)
Genreaction, comedy, drama
CountrySouth Korea
Duration01:55
CharactersFamily, Spy
PlotTime travel
PlaceJapan, China

Kim Myeong-min (39) is Agent Kim, a family man who lives a happy and contented life with his wife and two children. He is disguised as a manager in a company that sells fake viagra imported from China. Together with his three comrades, Agent Kang (Yeom Jeong-ah, 39), Agent Woo (Jeong Kyeo-woon, 29) and Adviser Yoon (Byeon Hee-bong, 70), Agent Kim was sent to South Korea 10 years ago for a special mission.

Lost in Translation (2003)
Mark8.6 (imdb: 7.7)
Genrecomedy, melodrama, drama
CountryUSA, Japan
Duration01:41
CharactersHousewives, Actors, Photographers
PlotTime travel, Love, Love with age difference, Loneliness
PlaceJapan, Hotels, Asia
StyleAtmospheric, Touching, Fascinating

Two lost souls visiting Tokyo -- the young, neglected wife of a photographer and a washed-up movie star shooting a TV commercial -- find an odd solace and pensive freedom to be real in each other's company, away from their lives in America.

Love and Honor (2006)
Mark10 (imdb: 7.7)
Genremelodrama, drama
CountryJapan
Duration02:01
CharactersSamurai, Warriors, Heroes, Fish, Blind
PlotRevenge, Rivalry
PlaceJapan, Asia
StyleRomantic, By books

A look at the relationship between a young blind samurai (Kimura) and his wife, who will make a sacrifice in order to defend her husband's honor.

13 Assassins (2010)
Markimdb: 7.6
Genreaction, drama, adventure
CountryJapan, United Kingdom
Duration02:21
PlotMartial Arts, Power
PlaceJapan

A bravado period action film set at the end of Japan's feudal era in which a group of unemployed samurai are enlisted to bring down a sadistic lord and prevent him from ascending to the throne and plunging the country into a war-torn future.

10 Promises to My Dog (2008)
Markimdb: 7
Genrecomedy, melodrama, drama
CountryJapan
CharactersDogs, Teens, Friends, Mothers, Fathers
PlotLove, Death, Moving
PlaceJapan

One day a puppy comes to the house of Akari, who has just turned twelve, and was trying hard to act strong after her mother suddenly fell ill. She immediately falls in love with the puppy and names it "Socks" after the paws which looked like they had white socks on. Akari was together with Socks day and night. However, as Akari grows up, her feelings and interest moves away from Socks. Year by year, their distance grows, which also leads to her physical distance as she moves to a far off city, and must leave Socks behind to a childhood friend.One day Akari remembers the 10 promises that she had made with Socks and her deceased mother...

Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S. (2003)
Mark10 (imdb: 6.6)
Genrefantastic, action, thriller, fantasy, adventure
CountryJapan
Duration01:31
CharactersDinosaurs, Monsters, Scientists
PlotAdventure
PlaceJapan
TimeFuture

Forty-two years after her first visit in Tokyo, Mothra returns to warn mankind that they must return Kiryu, along with Godzilla's bones, to the sea, for the dead must not be disturbed. If not, dire consequences will follow. However, Godzilla has survived to menace Japan leaving Kiryu as the nations only defense.

The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (2006)
Mark8 (imdb: 7.7)
Genrefantastic, comedy, melodrama, drama, cartoon
CountryJapan
Duration01:38
CharactersTeens, Friends, Students
PlotTime travel, Magic, Adventure, Supernatural, Superpowers, Love, Dreams
PlaceSchool, Japan
StyleTouching

When 17-year-old Makoto Konno gains the ability to, quite literally, "leap" backwards through time, she immediately sets about improving her grades and preventing personal mishaps. However, she soon realises that changing the past isn't as simple as it seems, and eventually, will have to rely on her new powers to shape the future of herself and her friends.

Steins;Gate: The Movie − Load Region of Déjà Vu (2013)
Markimdb: 7.8
Genrefantastic, thriller, drama, cartoon
CountryJapan
Duration01:30
CharactersFriends
PlotAdventure, Travel, Time travel, Time machine
PlaceJapan, Parallel worlds, Asia
TimeFuture

One year after the events of the anime, Rintarou begins to feel the repercussions of extensive time travel, and eventually completely fades from reality. Kurisu, being the only companion to remember him, now must find a way to bring him back.

In His Chart (2011)
Markimdb: 6
Genredrama
CountryJapan
Duration02:08
CharactersDoctors
PlotAdventure
PlaceJapan

Dr. Ichito Kuriharai (Sho Sakurai) works at a clinic in Nagano Prefecture. He rarely has any free time due to the clinic's shortage of doctors and the constant influx of patients. Ichito even sometimes diagnoses patients out of his area of speciality and sometimes goes days without sleeping. He hopes to work at a major hospital where he can get more free time to spend with his wife Haruna (Aoi Miyazaki) and also specialize in his field of study. However, Ichito is also reluctant to add to shortage of doctors at the clinic and break his relationships with the patients. One day, Dr. Ichito Kuriharai clears out the belongings of a terminal cancer patient who passed away. During this time, he discovers a letter made out to him thanking him for the care he provided to her, even though he could not cure her sickness. Dr. Ichito Kuriharai then has a revelation about the medical chart he keeps in his hand - filled with personal observations and concerns ...




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