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  • Mz

    “#2. Seven Samurai: If you only ever see one Japanese film, this has got to be it.”
    if that statement is true, shouldn’t #2 be #1?

  • Crazysan

    #11 on this list must certainly be Returner, since it wasn’t included. I love that movie!

  • Charles

    Yojimbo is one of the most perfect action movies ever. It has been copied at least three times: Once as a western, once as a sci-fi and once as a gangster movie.

    Tetsuo was pretty good also, with plenty of WTF.

    The Seven Samurai, if I had to choose, would be the top…

  • Keith Watabayashi

    You need some Juzo Itami on here; “Tampopo”, “Minbo”, “A Taxing Woman” any one of those is a fantastic example of Japanese social satire. And why is Kurosawa only on here once? What about “Rashoman”? A film that Siskel and Ebert said would be the one film they would leave in a time capsule if they had to choose.

    But a great list overall, well done.

  • Luke

    Great piece that I agree with on all but the number 1 simply as I have yet to see it. Love your wording throughout this by the way.

  • Kate Satan

    Omg I watched the movie Audition and it was just awful. So not disturbing it did not make any sense at all. I went through two hours hoping the awesome and disgusting part was near. So NOT good. That movie was soooooooooooooooooooooo retarded.

  • nicoal

    “Nobody Knows” was just such a horrible, sad story. I saw it a few years ago, and I still remember it vividly.

    • Juliana

      Not my favorite either. But I love the whole Japanese atmosphere so I would never call it terrible. Also, the vocabulary is very easy so it can be good for who is learning Japanese language.

  • Maura COsta

    check out “the Happiness of the Katakuris”

  • Costamar

    What?? No Imamura? I would change THE BALLAD OF NARAYAMA for a couple of the aforementioned.

  • Amillerb123

    No Miyazaki?

  • Jay

    Great to see some J-Horror on here as the Japanese have given us such great films in that genre at a time when most American and European horror has degenerated into mindless gore.

    These are somewhat different choices than I would have made -Rashomon, Ran, possibly even Ju-On could have been on here- but that’s good.

  • woundedduck

    Ikiru by Kurosawa is his best. And most Japanese horror of the 2000s is terrible. The Koreans have done a much better job in that genre–Old Boy, Lady Vengeance, etc.

  • Dr.Berlin

    Battle Royale 1 & 2 were absolutely awesome!

  • Arthur Schopenhauer

    “even Rob Zombie admitted to being uncomfortable watching the final scenes” hahaha like that poor guy was some kind of authority on what’s creepy
    btw who’s the woman in the nobody knows pic? she’s incredibly beautiful

  • I have watched the film Batte Royale 1 and 2 and they definitely are amazing in many ways… What I really like about them is the fact that they are full of suprises, unlike those American movies…..

  • kokoga

    Everyone MUST see Love Exposure (ai no mukidashi) by sono shion

  • bilbo baggins

    What a terrible list. Departures is not even there.

  • Grave of the Fireflies
    Shall We Dance
    Aruite mo Aruite mo
    Spirited Away

  • Hong

    Nobody knows is the most CRAPPIEST movie I’ve ever seen in my life. waste of life

  • Gauravpati Singh

    I’m a HUGE fan of Japanese movies & HAVE seen a lot!! but this list disappoints me…bigtime! “Audition” was not remotely horrible & actually pathetic! “Battle Royale’ was probably the worst i’ve seen of Takeshi Kitano. His better work was indeed ‘Hana-Bi’ & ‘Sonatine’ ( how’d THIS movie miss out??)..& even Takashii Miike i thought did a better job in “Ichi the Killer” rather than “audition”..also just “Akira” is NOT enough to have a top-10 in DOES deserve to be there but maybe a “Ghost in the shell” or “The last vampire” more?..also Ring, seven samurai, tokyo story & hana-bi would make my list too but how about “Yotsuya kwaidan” (or simply “kwaidan”)..or even “House” (1977)..or check out “Yojimbo” (that’d have been MY no. 1..& definitely Kurosawa’s best!)

    • Intrepid Traveler

      Takeshi Kitano did not direct Battle Royale. You statement seems to imply that he did, but he only starred in it. Kinji Fukasaku directed Battle Royale. You are correct however on Takeshi’s work for Hana-bi and Sonatine.

      • Gauravpati singh

        I actually did base the line purely on Beat Kitano’s acting rather than movie-making when i said ‘worst I’ve SEEN of him’…but i’ll clarify it now.Thank you for seconding my statement though.I’d like to see that modified look.I’m sure top-10 will look better than what it is now. 🙂

  • sarang semut

    Samurai 7 is my favorite japanese films

  • zaglossus

    No Mizoguchi, Naruse or Kinoshita – except for your top 2, a pretty awful list. Japan’s Golden Age of Cinema runs from about 1940 to 1965. The more recent stuff here just doesn’t measure up.

    • joz

      Agreed- those directors and Ozu, cream of the crop, and any crop for that matter.

  • Jesus

    Spirited away?

  • mindbird

    I suggest additionally:


    Princess Mononoke

  • Crowdfunding Film

    Love this list! Battle Royale and Akira are two of my favorites. What about Ghost in the Shell and Parika?

    thanks for the post

  • Imane

    It’s an afful list, the best ones for me are: (tokyo dogs);(shokojo seira);( hanazakari no kimitachi);(otomen);(hana-bi) thoose are the filmes that we can really and defenetly called them japan’s tresore

  • Stephanie

    Rashomon should definitely be on here. It is not only a great film, but it set the stage for numerous parodies/homages in movies and TV throughout the years. CSI even had an episode titled “Rashomama.” And if it were not for Rashomon, we would not have Jose Chung’s From Outer Space!!