On August 15th, 1945, the Japanese people faced utter destruction. Millions of soldiers and civilians were dead, the rest were starving, and their cities had been reduced to piles rubble — two of them vaporized by atomic bombs. The government was deadlocked; some ministers called for surrender, and others argued that honor demanded a final battle on home soil. To break the impasse, the cabinet took the unprecedented step of asking the Emperor to decide the fate of the nation.
Unable to bear the suffering of his people any longer, and finally given the power to do something about it, the Emperor decreed that Japan would surrender.
Much work remained to be done: the Imperial Rescript had to be composed, the Emperor had to record it, and it had to be broadcast to the nation. And there were many soldiers and civilians who could not accept surrender, and would do anything — even commit treason — to avoid it.
In a single 24 hour period, the fate of 100 million people would be decided.
This is the true story of August 15th, 1945… Japan’s Longest Day. —AnimEigo
Kihachi Okamoto (岡本 喜八 Okamoto Kihachi?, February 17, 1924–February 19, 2005) was a Japanese film director who has worked in several different genres, including jidaigeki.
Born in Yonago, Okamoto attended Meiji University, but was drafted in 1943 and entered World War II during its most difficult hours, an experience that had a profound effect on his later film work, one third of which dealt with war. Finally graduating after the war, he entered the Toho studies in 1947 and worked as an assistant under such directors as Mikio Naruse, Masahiro Makino, Ishirō Honda, and Senkichi Taniguchi. He made his debut as a director in 1958 with All About Marriage.
Okamoto directed almost 40 films and wrote the scripts for at least 24, in a career that spanned almost six decades. He worked in a variety of genres, but most memorably in action genres such as the jidaigeki and war films. But he was known for throwing “curve balls”, or making films with a twist. Inspired to become a filmmaker… read more