1. The cinema of Japan in the 1940s is best represented by two directors – Kajiro Yamamoto and Akira Kurosawa. The former is remembered for his dramas during this period, including “War at Sea from Hawaii to Malaya,” “Horse,” and “The Falcons of Kato.”

    Akira Kurosawa is famous for many of his films on military and political themes, including “The Judo Saga,” “No Regrets for Our Youth,” and “One Wonderful Sunday.” The film that was directed jointly by Yamamoto and Kurosawa, “Those Who Make Tomorrow,” is also interesting. This applies to Yamamoto and Kurosawa themselves, as they laid the foundations of Japanese cinema.

  2. In the 1950s, there was a rethinking of the lessons of World War II. Kaneto Shindo filmed “Children of Hiroshima,” and Hideo Sekigawa filmed “Hiroshima.”

    The most successful director of that period remains Akira Kurosawa, who managed to release films such as “Scandal” and “The Idiot.” Yasujiro Ozu attracted attention to dramatic plots, presenting films such as “Tokyo Story,” “Early Summer,” and “The Munekata Sisters” to the public. In the mid-1950s, the instantly popular film “Godzilla” (Toho studio) was released, directed by Ishiro Honda.

  3. Throughout the decade, various directors (Ishiro Honda, Jun Fukuda) filmed sequels to the “Godzilla” movie – the character had become something of a trademark of the Land of the Rising Sun.

    Noriaki Yuasa from the Daiei company decides to create his own monster, which becomes Gamera, first appearing in the eponymous film. Such interest in monsters is explained by a certain fear of nature – after all, the Japanese have experienced natural disasters throughout their history. In addition to monster movies, dramas are popular (“The Flavor of Green Tea Over Rice” and “Late Autumn” by Yasujiro Ozu).

  4. In Japan, movies about Godzilla and Gamera continue to be made, while also paying attention to other genres. For example, Kinji Fukasaku releases a war drama called “Under the Flag of the Rising Sun,” and Moritani Shiro warns of a possible disaster with the film “The Sinking of Japan.”

    However, thanks to Kinji Fukasaku’s films, interest in Japanese history about yakuza and samurai increases with films like “Samurai Rebellion” and “Police Tactics.” Animated films also begin to emerge, including Hayao Miyazaki’s “The Castle of Cagliostro.”

  5. The 1980s were a period of gaining popularity for Japanese cinema, primarily through animated films. “Barefoot Gen” by Mori Masaki, “Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind” by Hayao Miyazaki, and “Patlabor: The Movie” by Mamoru Oshii are all foundations of anime, which became the real highlight of Japanese animation.

    Japanese directors of that time also addressed military themes: Akira Kurosawa released “Kagemusha,” and Masahiro Shinoda filmed “The Children of MacArthur.” There was a growing interest in science fiction, which was fueled by the release of “Virus” by Kinji Fukasaku and “Akira” by Katsuhiro Otomo.

  6. In the 1990s, Japanese directors experimented with horror films – for example, at the end of the decade, the film “Twins” by Shinya Tsukamoto was released. Throughout the decade, interest in anime and manga continued: Hiroyuki Okiura created the cartoon “Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade”, Mamoru Oshii – “Ghost in the Shell”, and Hayao Miyazaki – “Princess Mononoke”.

    Concern for the future of humanity prompted directors to turn to science fiction – a collection of novellas directed by various directors, entitled “Memories”, was released on screens.

  7. In 2002, when the horror film “Ju-On” directed by Takashi Shimizu was released, the whole world was shocked – as were Japanese viewers themselves. This launched a cycle of great interest in Japanese horror films, including “Suicide Club” by Sion Sono.

    Directors turn to science fiction plots: Takashi Yamazaki films “Returner”, and among anime, “Sakura Wars: The Movie” by Mitsuru Hongo is interesting. During this period, American directors often worked with Japanese film studios: for example, Clint Eastwood directed “Letters from Iwo Jima”, and Rob Marshall directed “Memoirs of a Geisha”.

  8. In the 2010s, Japanese directors showed interest in action films, directing “Unforgiven” (Lee Sang-il) and “Tokyo Ghoul” (Kentaro Hagiwara). They continue to surprise with horror films that become increasingly tense (“The Ghost Theater” by Hideo Nakata and “Paranormal Activity: Night in Tokyo” by Toshikazu Nagae).

    The period is permeated with sentimentality, as the Japanese combine fantasy and romance in anime. Examples include “Your Name” and “Weathering with You” by Makoto Shinkai.

  9. The beginning of the 2020s is characterized by the fact that due to the COVID-19 epidemic, the filming and premieres of many films had to be postponed, including in Japan. Nevertheless, a few interesting films were able to be released during this period.

    For example, the spin-off of the sci-fi film “Altered Carbon” by directors Yoshio Okada and Takera Nakajima. The directors also delve into dramas, such as Taitei Ishidate’s “Violet Evergarden” and Hideaki Anno’s “Evangelion 4.44: Final” (anime).




Feature Films


Gross box office


Japanese movies are known for their unique style that blends traditional storytelling techniques with modern visual aesthetics.

Japanese cinema is often characterized by its emphasis on themes of honor, duty, and tradition, as well as its exploration of complex human emotions and relationships. The country’s cinema has also been influential in the horror and science fiction genres, with many iconic films being produced in these categories.

Japanese animation, or anime, is another major aspect of the country’s film industry, with a wide range of styles and genres explored.

Japanese movies are known for their artistic innovation, cultural depth, and ability to captivate audiences with compelling stories and visually stunning imagery.


creative team

Akira Kurosawa


Kenji Mizoguchi


Yasujiro Ozu