An Alphabet Of things I Like: J

Japanese Films.

I have written about my love for films from this country many times, so it was always going to be the choice for J.

From my early teens as a member of London’s National Film Theatre, I was introduced to some excellent foreign films, many of which were from Japan. I know lots of you don’t like to watch films with subtitles, but I am going to recommend some anyway.

Akira Kurosawa was one of the coutry’s foremost film-makers, and his historical epics are breathtaking to watch. They also inspired the later ‘Spaghetti Westerns’, and of course ‘The Magnificent Seven’.

But Japanese cinema is about more than Samurai warriors and feuding warlords.

The powerful family saga, ‘Tokyo Story’, made in 1953.

Tough Cop dramas, often starring Beat Takeshi.

Chilling horror films, like these two.

There is also the tradition of monster films, using stop-motion animation. They loved to have famous monsters fighting each other!

That brings me to the wonderful anime films made in Japan by studios that are now world-famous. There are far too many to list, but I have chosen three examples.

Many of the animated films are available in dubbed versions, voiced by famous western film stars. So you don’t even have to worry about those subtitles.
Let me know if you have a personal favourite Japanese film.

58 thoughts on “An Alphabet Of things I Like: J

  1. (1) I have several of Hayao Miyazaki’s films, but my favorite (and just in time for Halloween) is the more kid-friendly “Kiki’s Delivery Service.”
    (2) Also just in time for Halloween is Hiroyuki Kitakubo’s “Blood: The Last Vampire.”
    (3) Additionally, I have Mamoru Oshii’s “Ghost in the Shell.”
    (4) Not so Halloweenish is a manga series I have in my collection: “Elfen Lied.”
    (5) Of course, I’ve seen live action Japanese films. I’d have to check, but I probably have a couple in my film library.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have an artist friend who draws for her husband’s anime comics. She is a renowned oil painter. Of course we grew up with Godzilla and Mothra films. They were poorly dubbed over in English so the words and the mouth movement’s never matched up. I do not mind subtitles, but I only know a few Japanese feature films.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The only two of these films that were books are ‘Throne Of blood’, that is an adaptation of ‘Macbeth’, and ‘Ran’ is based on ‘King Lear’. So not really books even, rather plays. 🙂
      Best wishes, Pete.


  3. Well, you know me and how much I like Asian movies😀 Many of these I have seen, and Tokyo Story is one of them that I own on dvd but simply haven’t gotten around to yet.
    As for a Japanese anime film that I highly recommend it’s Grave of the Fireflies. It’s a truly memorable and heartbreaking film.
    Live action wise, I don’t have many too add besides the ones you have already mentioned here. Great list, and definitely something I love as well!

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Ah…those are two great choices Pete. The Wind Rises especially! Such a great movie. I’ll be watching two films for the upcoming anime month that I’m looking forward to very much and haven’t yet seen. One of them is from Studio Ghibli as well😀 I will reveal them in November 😊

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I keep discovering new (to me, not necessarily new new) Japanese films I love. I caught Tokyo Story again not long ago and it is such a beautiful and understated film. I haven’t watched it for many years but I remember loving The Rickshaw Man. Thanks, Pete, and have a great weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. My son’s really into anime so I was introduced to it a few years back. Not Japanese but have you seen the recent film The Invisible Man (not the classic)? It’s incredible

    Liked by 1 person

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