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Greatest Japanese films by magazine Kinema Junpo (2009 version)

Angel

about 4 years ago

1 / TOKYO STORY / 1953 / OZU
2 / SEVEN SAMURAI / 1954 / KUROSAWA
3 / FLOATING CLOUDS / 1955 / NARUSE
4 / SUN IN THE LAST DAYS OF THE SHOGUNATE / 1957 / KAWASHIMA
5 / BATTLES WITHOUT HONOR & HUMANITY / 1973 / FUKASAKU
6 / TWENTY-FOUR EYES / 1954 / KINOSHITA
7 / RASHOMON / 1950 / KUROSAWA
7 / SAZEN TANGE AND THE POT WORTH A MILLION RYO / 1935 / YAMANAKA
7 / THE MAN WHO STOLE THE SUN / 1979 / HASEGAWA
10 / THE FAMILY GAME / 1983 / MORITA
10 / STRAY DOG / 1949 / KUROSAWA
10 / TYPHOON CLUB / 1985 / SOMAI
13 / IKIRU / 1952 / KUROSAWA
13 / SUZAKI PARADISE RED LIGHT / 1956 / KAWASHIMA
13 / HIGH AND LOW / 1963 / KUROSAWA
13 / A FUGITIVE FROM THE PAST / 1965 / UCHIDA
17 / HARAKIRI / 1962 / KOBAYASHI
17 / INTENTIONS OF MURDER / 1964 / IMAMURA
17 / TOKYO OLYMPIAD / 1965 / ICHIKAWA
17 / THE CASTLE OF SAND / 1974 / NOMURA
17 / FAILED YOUTH / 1974 / KUMASHIRO
17 / NAUSICAA OF THE VALLEY OF THE WIND / 1984 / MIYAZAKI
23 / HUMANITY AND PAPER BALLOONS / 1937 / YAMANAKA
23 / YOJIMBO / 1961 / KUROSAWA
23 / FIGHTING ELEGY / 1966 / SUZUKI
23 / FALL GUY / 1982 / FUKASAKU
23 / BOILING POINT / 1990 / KITANO
23 / UGETSU / 1953 / MIZOGUCHI
23 / CHIKAMATSU MONOGATARI / 1954 / MIZOGUCHI
23 / SHE WAS LIKE A WILD CHRYSANTHEMUM / 1955 / KINOSHITA
23 / FLOWING / 1956 / NARUSE
23 / SAMURAI VENDETTA / 1959 / MORI
23 / BRANDED TO KILL / 1967 / SUZUKI
23 / VENGEANCE IS MINE / 1979 / IMAMURA
23 / ZIGEUNERWEISEN / 1980 / SUZUKI
36 / HERE’S TO THE GIRLS / 1949 / KINOSHITA
36 / THE BALL AT THE ANJO HOUSE / 1947 / YOSHIMURA
36 / LATE SPRING / 1949 / OZU
36 / TILL WE MEET AGAIN / 1950 / IMAI
36 / THE LIFE OF OHARU / 1952 / MIZOGUCHI
36 / A BLOODY SPEAR AT MOUNT FUJI / 1955 / UCHIDA
36 / THE LOWER DEPTHS / 1957 / KUROSAWA
36 / THE CHASE / 1958 / NOMURA
36 / FLOATING WEEDS / 1959 / OZU
36 / GOOD MORNING / 1959 / OZU
36 / DESPERATE OUTPOST / 1959 / OKAMOTO
36 / HER BROTHER / 1960 / ICHIKAWA
36 / CRUEL STORY OF YOUTH / 1960 / OSHIMA
36 / THE GRACEFUL BRUTE / 1962 / KAWASHIMA
36 / PROXY WAR / 1973 / FUKASAKU
36 / THE WANDERERS / 1973 / ICHIKAWA
36 / THE YOUTH KILLER / 1976 / HASEGAWA
36 / MUDDY RIVER / 1981 / OGURI
36 / THE FUNERAL / 1984 / ITAMI
36 / HIMATSURI / 1985 / YANAGIMACHI
36 / MY NEIGHBOR TOTORO / 1988 / MIYAZAKI
36 / CURE / 1997 / KUROSAWA
36 / NORIKO’S DINNER TABLE / 2005 / SONO
59 / I WAS BORN, BUT… / 1932 / OZU
59 / WHAT DID THE LADY FORGET? / 1937 / OZU
59 / SINGING LOVEBIRDS / 1939 / MAKINO
59 / THE LIVE OF MATSU THE UNTAMED / 1943 / INAGAKI
59 / CARMEN COMES HOME / 1951 / KINOSHITA
59 / THE HUMAN CONDITION / 1959-61 / KOBAYASHI
59 / THE HUMAN VAPOR / 1960 / HONDA
59 / SANJURO / 1962 / KUROSAWA
59 / THE INSECT WOMAN / 1963 / IMAMURA
59 / PALE FLOWER / 1964 / SHINODA
59 / YEARNING / 1964 / NARUSE
59 / TOKYO DRIFTER / 1966 / SUZUKI
59 / JAPAN’S LONGEST DAY / 1967 / OKAMOTO
59 / THE PROFOUND DESIRE OF THE GODS / 1968 / IMAMURA
59 / THE HUMAN BULLET / 1968 / OKAMOTO
59 / BIG TIME GAMBLING BOSS / 1968 / YAMASHITA
59 / I, THE EXECUTIONER / 1968 / KATO
59 / BOY / 1969 / OSHIMA
59 / DOUBLE SUICIDE / 1969 / SHINODA
59 / IT’S TOUGH BEING A MAN / 1969-95 / YAMADA
59 / TAKE CARE, RED RIDING HOOD / 1970 / MORITANI
59 / RED PEONY GAMBLES HER LIFE / 1970 / KATO
59 / KAOYAKU / 1971 / KATSU
59 / WET SAND IN AUGUST / 1971 / FUJITA
59 / OUTLAW KILLERS: THREE MAD DOG BROTHERS / 1972 / FUKASAKU
59 / CONFIDENTIAL: SECRET MARKET / 1974 / TANAKA
59 / CASTLE OF CAGLIOSTRO / 1979 / MIYAZAKI
59 / KAGEMUSHA / 1980 / KUROSAWA
59 / CRAZY THUNDER ROAD / 1980 / ISHII
59 / CRAZED FRUIT / 1981 / NEGISHI
59 / NIPPON-KOKU FURUYASHIKI—MURA / 1982 / OGAWA
59 / P. P. RIDER / 1983 / SOMAI
59 / MERRY CHRISTMAS MR. LAWRENCE / 1983 / OSHIMA
59 / THE GIRL WHO CUT TIME / 1983 / OBAYASHI
59 / LOVE HOTEL / 1985 / SOMAI
59 / RAN / 1985 / KUROSAWA
59 / COMIC MAGAZINE / 1986 / TAKITA
59 / CASTLE IN THE SKY / 1986 / MIYAZAKI
59 / TETSUO: THE IRON MAN / 1989 / TSUKAMOTO
59 / MOVING / 1993 / SOMAI
59 / SONATINE / 1993 / KITANO
59 / KIDS RETURN / 1996 / KITANO
59 / CRAYON SHIN-CHAN: ARASHI WO YOBU – MOURETSU! OTONA TEIKOKU NO GYAKUSHUU / 2001 / MIZUSHIMA
59 / THE TWILIGHT SAMURAI / 2002 / YAMADA
59 / BRIGHT FUTURE / 2003 / KUROSAWA
59 / RAMBLERS / 2003 / YAMASHITA
59 / SUMMER DAYS WITH COO / 2007 / HARA
106 / A DIARY OF CHUJI’S TRAVELS / 1927 / ITO
106 / CAPRICIOUS YOUNG MAN / 1936 / ITAMI
106 / SISTERS OF THE GION / 1936 / MIZOGUCHI
106 / THE STORY OF THE LAST CHRYSANTEMUM / 1939 / MIZOGUCHI
106 / SANSHIRO SUGATA / 1943 / KUROSAWA
106 / WARE MABOROSHI NO SAKANA O MITARI / 1950 / ITO
106 / EARLY SUMMER / 1951 / OZU
106 / LIGHTNING / 1952 / NARUSE
106 / MOTHER / 1952 / NARUSE
106 / JIROCHO SANGOKUCHI / 1952-54 / MAKINO
106 / GODZILLA / 1954 / HONDA
106 / STREET OF SHAME / 1956 / MIZOGUCHI
106 / CRAZED FRUIT / 1956 / NAKAHIRA
106 / THRONE OF BLOOD / 1957 / KUROSAWA
106 / TOKYO TWILIGHT / 1957 / OZU
106 / WASHI TO TAKA / 1957 / INOUE
106 / ENJO / 1958 / ICHIKAWA
106 / THE HIDDEN FORTRESS / 1958 / KUROSAWA
106 / GHOST STORY OF YOTSUYA / 1959 / NAKAGAWA
106 / LATE AUTUMN / 1960 / OZU
106 / WHEN A WOMAN ASCENDS THE STAIRS / 1960 / NARUSE
106 / HITO MO ARUKEBA / 1960 / KAWASHIMA
106 / TEN DARK WOMEN / 1961 / ICHIKAWA
106 / THE LAST WAR / 1961 / MATSUBAYASHI
106 / A WIFE CONFESSES / 1961 / MASUMURA
106 / FOUNDRY TOWN / 1962 / URAYAMA
106 / DESTINY’S SON / 1962 / MISUMI
106 / THE OUTCAST / 1962 / ICHIKAWA
106 / THE ELEGANT LIFE OF MR. EVERYMAN / 1963 / OKAMOTO
106 / THE THIRTEEN ASSASSINS / 1963 / KUDO
106 / WOMAN IN THE DUNES / 1964 / TESHIGAHARA
106 / RED BEARD / 1965 / KUROSAWA
106 / SEISAKU’S WIFE / 1965 / MASUMURA
106 / STORY OF A PROSTITUTE / 1965 / SUZUKI
106 / THE HITMAN / 1967 / MORI
106 / LIKE A SHOOTING STAR / 1967 / MASUDA
106 / A COLT IS MY PASSPORT / 1967 / NOMURA
106 / IT’S TOUGH BEING A MAN / 1969 / YAMADA
106 / GO, GO SECOND TIME VIRGIN / 1969 / WAKAMATSU
106 / GENDAI SEI HANZAI ZEKKYO HEN: RIYU NAKI BOKO / 1969 / WAKAMATSU
106 / DODES’KA-DEN / 1970 / KUROSAWA
106 / HAKUCYU NO SYUGEKI / 1970 / NISHIMURA
106 / MINAMATA / 1972 / TSUCHIMOTO
106 / THE MORNING SCHEDULE / 1972 / HANI
106 / MESUNEKOTACHI NO YORU / 1972 / TANAKA
106 / AKAI TORI NIGETA? / 1973 / FUJITA
106 / TORA SAN’S FORGET ME NO / 1973 / YAMADA
106 / SANRIZUKA: HETA BURAKU / 1973 / OGAWA
106 / STREET OF JOY / 1974 / KUMASHIRO
106 / SHIRANUI SEA / 1975 / TSUCHIMOTO
106 / GRAVEYARD OF HONOR / 1975 / FUKASAKU
106 / PREPARATION FOR THE FESTIVAL / 1975 / KUROKI
106 / IN THE REALM OF THE SENSES / 1976 / OSHIMA
106 / LULLABY OF THE EARTH / 1976 / MASUMURA
106 / HOUSE / 1977 / OBAYASHI
106 / THE DEVIL’S BOUNCING BALL SONG / 1977 / ICHIKAWA
106 / SHINJUKU MIDAREGAI: IKUMADE MATTE / 1977 / SONE
106 / MOUNT HAKKODA / 1977 / MORITANI
106 / RAPE! 13TH HOUR / 1977 / HASEBE
106 / THIRD BASE / 1978 / HIGASHI
106 / SHOUJO SHOFU: KEMONOMICHI / 1980 / KUMASHIRO
106 / STATION / 1981 / FURUHATA
106 / ATTACKED WOMEN / 1981 / TAKAHASHI
106 / ANGEL GUTS: RED PORNO / 1981 / IKEDA
106 / SOMETHING LIKE IT / 1981 / MORITA
106 / THE IMPERIAL NAVY / 1981 / MATSUBAYASHI
106 / TRANSFER STUDENT / 1982 / OBAYASHI
106 / BURST CITY / 1982 / ISHII
106 / THE MAKIOKA SISTERS / 1983 / ICHIKAWA
106 / INUJINI SESI MONO / 1986 / IZUTSU
106 / THE SEA AND POISON / 1986 / KUMAI
106 / VIOLENT COP / 1989 / KITANO
106 / THE STING OF DEATH / 1990 / OGURI
106 / A SCENE AT THE SEA / 1991 / KITANO
106 / THE ROCKING HORSEMEN / 1992 / OBAYASHI
106 / TETSUO II: BODY HAMMER / 1992 / TSUKAMOTO
106 / WHERE IS THE MOON? / 1993 / SAI
106 / SHALL WE DANCE? / 1996 / SUO
106 / TOKIWA: THE MANGA APARTMENT / 1996 / ICHIKAWA
106 / GAKKO III: THE NEW VOYAGE / 1998 / YAMADA
106 / FACE / 2000 / SAKAMOTO
106 / KAZA-HANA / 2000 / SOMAI
106 / SWING GIRLS / 2004 / YAGUCHI
106 / NOBODY KNOWS / 2004 / KOREEDA
106 / THE REASON / 2004 / OBAYASHI
106 / BREAK THROUGH! / 2004 / IZUTSU
106 / WHO’S CAMUS ANYWAY? / 2005 / YANAGIMACHI
106 / MEMORIES OF MATSUKO / 2006 / NAKASHIMA
106 / HULA GIRLS / 2006 / LEE SANG-IL
106 / WHAT THE SNOW BRINGS / 2005 / NEGISHI
106 / DEPARTURES / 2008 / TAKITA
106 / ALL AROUND US / 2008 / HASHIGUCHI
106 / CHILDREN OF THE DARK / 2008 / SAKAMOTO

Kenji

about 4 years ago

Absolute heathens. O tempora, o mores

This is like Indians not picking the Taj Mahal among the country’s top 200 buildings.

Angel

about 4 years ago

Half of my personal top 10 are missing, but I could not say it’s a bad list.
Think: I could not take seriously a Japanese boarder saying that a Spanish critical list is bad because it does not include some of his favorites (‘Cría Cuervos’, ‘La mala educación’ or ‘Abre los ojos’ are typical exclusions), when he has not seen a lot of the listed movies…

Kenji

about 4 years ago

If the greatest artwork of the 20th century isn’t worth a place here, how can it be taken seriously? Irrespective of interesting selections to discover. Sansho is NOT Bad Education or Open your Eyes or even Cria Cuervos. No, no and no again, and i am about to have a fit. It’s like Spaniards not having Spirit of the Beehive in the top 100 then

We live in a world in which beauty and the art of mise-en-scene are not properly appreciated.

Nohea

about 4 years ago

Kenji, I would like to hear an explanation from Kinema Junpo. Why not write them and share it with us.

Nohea

about 4 years ago

^^ You possess an appropriate amount of rage and skill to make it a memorable letter!

raphael​a

about 4 years ago

Who’s emailing them? I’d love to read their reason for overlooking Sansho

Here’s my eloquent letter. Feel free to attach your name to it, Kenji.

“Dear Kinema Junpo,

Hey, asswipes, you forgot a little movie called Sansho the Bailiff in favor of turds like Shall We Dance? and Departures. Kutabare o Baka ze."

Nohea

about 4 years ago

lol … diversity of style…that’ll get em.

but my gawwd they’ve been in publication since 1919

Kinema Junpo (キネマ旬報, Kinema Junpō?), commonly called Kinejun (キネ旬?), is a Japanese academic[dubious – discuss] film magazine which began publication in July 1919. The magazine was founded by a group of four students, including Saburō Tanaka, at the Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Technical High School at the time). In that first month, it was published three times on days with a “1” in them. These first three issue were printed on art paper and had four pages each. Kinejun initially specialized in covering foreign films, in part because its writers sided with the principles of the Pure Film Movement and strongly criticized Japanese cinema. It later expanded coverage to films released in Japan.

After their building was destroyed in the Great Kanto Earthquake in September 1923, the Kinejun offices were moved to the city of Ashiya in the Hanshin area of Japan, though the main offices are now back in Tokyo.

Edit: high schoolers ??

Kenji

about 4 years ago

Well, i should have been forewarned by their list of best foreign films, which i did say was pretty naff and wondered what’s wrong with them. I’m only relieved i hadn’t praised them to the skies as magnficent arbiters of taste and judgment! The Glenn Miller Story, Enter the Dragon, Gran Torino, ha. Begone Tarkovsky, Renoir, bow to the great ones.

Great to draw attention to some hidden treasures unknown to many in the West, but come on, it’s like Welsh people leaving out any one of John Charles, Ryan Giggs, Ian Rush, Billy Meredith from our top 100 footballers. Or Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night (not my own favourite, but still) from the top 100 Welsh poems. Or Italians leaving out The Last Supper or the Sistine Chapel from the top 100 Italian paintings. It’s absurd.

Oh and a pity they don’t like Maborosi too much either. Yes, Shall we Dance and Departures- i;m with you again Blue K.

Jon K

about 4 years ago

WOW how high is Boiling Point? Mental, that’s my least favourite Kitano. Gotta say, despite the bizarre Sansho omission, most of these that I’ve seen are pretty damn good. Not so much Departures though.

Jon K

about 4 years ago

Anyone seen SUN IN THE LAST DAYS OF THE SHOGUNATE?

Kenji

about 4 years ago

Kinema Junpo’s annual top 10 Japanese films has been pretty important. Sansho didn’t place too high back in the top 10 in 54 either (though that was a platinum age admittedly)- seems like they’re stuck with the same mistake

Dan8700

about 4 years ago

Well, pretty inane like all these kind of lists, but I’m greatly proud to see finally Kurosawa’s Cure and Bright Future up there. Oh, I’m content. This amazing Japanese love for Kinoshita and Somai is however inexplicable.

Dimitri​s Psachos

about 4 years ago

“If the greatest artwork of the 20th century isn’t worth a place here, how can it be taken seriously?”

c’mon Kenji, you do know that Sansho isn’t the only number 1 film of the 20th century, eh? ;)

however, it IS a travesty that films like Blue K said and some art-house steterotypes like High and Low managed to snatch severely high places.

but i wonder…what’s wrong with Enter the Dragon? :P

M Klein

about 4 years ago

but i wonder…what’s wrong with Enter the Dragon? :P

… erm, isn’t it a Hong Kong /Chinese film? Which would preclude it from the list of greatest Japanese films. Not saying that should preclude it from their other list.

Dimitri​s Psachos

about 4 years ago

haha, aaaa, yes, in that case, one’s right to protest but i was talking about its camp value as a film, not necessarilly in the ranking position :)

Jon K

about 4 years ago

Enter the Dragon was in the ‘foreign’ poll, not this one. I happen to like it, but I think it’s funny it’s the highest ranking Chinese film on there. Almost seems like its a bit of a jab at their neighbours/rivals. Like if France put ‘The Full Monty’ ahead of ‘The Red Shoes’ in their list of best foreign films. haha

btw Dimitris what’s wrong with High & Low? I think it’s great!

Jon K

about 4 years ago

And what’s an “arthouse stereotype”? Can you give some other examples? I wouldn’t really consider High & Low to be art-house anyway, just an excellent thriller/drama.

Dimitri​s Psachos

about 4 years ago

i think the hyper-inclusion of Kurosawa shows a minor sign of favoritism and well, personally, i’d rather see an Idiot on that poll instead of High and Low but i don’t think they added Dreams and any of his 80’s, so all’s cool. ;)

the inclusion of Tetsuo II is even worse, can’t they be more imaginative to add anything else by Tsukamoto besides the Tetsuo series?

“but I think it’s funny it’s the highest ranking Chinese film on there.”

yes, in addition to that, it’s basically an American-Chinese film to tell the truth, what with English being spoken and all.

Jon K

about 4 years ago

A little anecdote: When I went into the massive HMV in Tokyo they, predictably, had a huge amount of trashy Hollywood blockbusters, but they also had a Japanese ‘by Directors’ section.

I was disappointed to see that while they had a decent amount from newer directors and basically every Kurosawa film, they had only like two Ozu films and nothing at all by Mizoguchi.

Kenji

about 4 years ago

sorry, see below

Kenji

about 4 years ago

I’m in France at the moment, and in a book shop there was a section of books in a Cahiers series on about 20 major directors- Mizo included. Ditto a series with mags on 25 top directors included with a national Portuguese paper a couple of years ago. He’s hardly a household name in Japan (well, nowhere really, but Tarantino is)

Ok i wasn’t expecting or demanding Sansho come top (i would have been shocked), but it may be it still suffers from Kinema Junpo’s own valuation in 1954- just as Oscars and earlier prestige or lack of it still affect the AFI lists these days and it takes a while for some to work their way up (eg Night of the Hunter, Sunrise missed their top 100 altogether the previous poll). Still, the omission is surprising. Sansho’s appearance at Venice and Silver Lion gave it more prominence in Europe, along with Oharu and Ugetsu, whereas Sisters of the Gion was a #1 on the Kinema Junpo annual listing, and Chikamatsu Monogatari was higher in 54 than Sansho.

Jon K

about 4 years ago

I wonder if theres anything Japanese critics dislike about it

.

about 4 years ago

Thanks for sharing, Angel.

As a hardcore Naruse-phile, I’m pleased to see two of his finest in the Top 35: Floating Clouds and Flowing. But while Kenji is lamenting the absence of Sansho the Bailiff, there’s another highly acclaimed film from 1954 that didn’t make the cut: Naruse’s Sound of the Mountain. (I believe Kinoshita’s prominently featured Twenty-Four Eyes — which, if I’m not mistaken, I like more than you do, Kenji — won the KJ poll for that year.)

If I were to complain, however, it would be about the fact that key filmmakers such as Shimizu Hiroshi, Gosho Heinosuke and Yoshida Yoshishige aren’t represented at all.

Angel

about 4 years ago

I’m with you, Arsaib, Sound of the Mountain is my favorite Naruse.

Jon K

about 4 years ago

“I’m with you, Arsaib, Sound of the Mountain is my favorite Naruse.”

My favourite too. Japan’s 1954 film releases has got to be up there as one of the best years ever for any one country. Seven Samurai as well, remember.

Really, how can Yoshida and Shimizu not be represented at all in a poll done in their homeland? I can see how they could be overlooked in the West because of distribution issues, but in Japan? This is an amazing oversight indeed. And SIX Kurosawa films ranked above anything by Mizoguchi? This list looks like it was compiled in the Anglophone world, not in Japan.

Berjuan

about 4 years ago

What do the numbers mean? it goes from 6 to 7 and it just stays therere until 10,13,17?