Japanese Movie Listing - N

Oddly, while the letter N is a fairly common letter, none of the Japanese movies beginning with the letter N really call to me. Maybe there are others out there that I haven't seen or heard of yet. Do you know of other N movies to add to this list?

Naked Island (1961) (Hadaka no Shima) D: Shindo Kaneto. The hard life of a peasant family on an island in the inland sea is chronicled. Slow paced, meditative with little dialogue.

New Tales of the Taira Clan (1955) 108m. (Shin Heike monogatari)
One of only two films Mizoguchi made in colour (The Princess Yang Kwei Fei is the other), The Taira Clan Saga has been hailed as "arguably Mizoguchi's best and the best of all films" (Ian Cameron). "Mizoguchi spared nothing in this lavish treatment of the popular historical novel about the fortunes of the Taira clan in the 12th century. The prosperity of the Japanese film industry in the mid-Fifties allowed him most everything -- sumptuous colour, elaborate sets and costumes, armies of extras -- except CinemaScope, which he wanted for this epic but was denied. Against a backdrop of political struggles, this tale of the Taira clan focuses on an ambitious young general who seizes power, then is defeated by his own vanity. Visually stunning, Taira is orchestrated around the contrast between the serene composure of the imperial court and the chaos of the streets outside, where the traditional aristocratic order was disintegrating. The use of colour is, as one might expect with Mizoguchi, meticulously planned. Cahiers du cinéma championed Taira, saying that it made all contemporary cinema look `slow, old, and turgid'" (James Quandt, Cinematheque Ontario). "Seldom has a historical period been evoked so vividly" (Michael McKegney). Director: Kenji Mizoguchi. Cast: Raizo Ichikawa, Yoshiko Kuga, Naritoshi Hayashi, Michiyo Kogure. Colour, In Japanese with English subtitles.[Daniel Richard]

The Next Karate Kid (1994)
Fourth movie in the Karate Kid Series, this one has Pat Morita training a girl, Hilary Swank. Actually pretty good when compared to the Ralph Maccio ones.

Night and Fog in Japan (1960) 107m.
Fascinating story about Japanese students of the 1950s and 60s. Initially withheld from release in Japan as being too politically sensitive. D: Nagisa Oshima.

9 Deaths of the Ninja (1984)
The film begins with a training demo of the D.A.R.T. team, an anti-terrorist group. Sho Kosugi plays a ninja who was forced to leave his sect because he had too much compassion (this is told in a flashback segment). Together with the other members of the D.A.R.T. team, he rescues a group of tourists who have been kidnapped. A funny movie that was not really intended to be funny. (If you're a fan of Sho Kosugi you will probably like this film. If not ...? The production is very cheap and Sho's voice is dubbed in this really deep American voice. The supporting cast features some really bad actors. However, I like this movie quite a bit. It's a lot of fun and there are some great fight scenes. -- Richard) [Daniel Richard]

Ninja III: The Domination (1984)
The story begins with the assassination of a political figure on a golf course, the ninja assassin is cornered by the police and is shot many many many times. Somehow, he manages to survive (perhaps he had a bullet proof ninja suit :-)), and disappears in a puff of smoke. A short time later a telephone repair woman finds him. He grabs her and in a last gasp of breath, somehow transfers his spirit into his sword...and later into her. Essentially he possesses her. Through her he begins to kill the policemen who shot him. Sho Kosugi plays Yamada, a ninja who arrives from Japan to kill his enemy, the assassin. He discovers that he must first "excorcise" the girl in order to destroy the spirit of his enemy. (I know, it sounds pretty ridiculous, and I'm sure it's not everyone's cup of tea. But it is a very entertaining film. The fight scene at the end between Sho and the assassin is another phenominal segment. As for the supernatural element to the story, it is very much in keeping with the Japanese-made ninja films I have seen and heard about. In the Japanese ninja films, ninjas often have supernatural powers. Go figure! This was Sho Kosugi's third and final film for the Cannon Production Group. "Enter", "Revenge" and "Ninja III" are sometimes referred to as The Ninja Trilogy. They are however not really a film series (i.e. "Revenge" and "Ninja III" aren't really sequels to "Enter"). The only common denominator between the 3 films are Sho Kosugi and the Cannon Production Group. The 3 films however complement each other quite well. -- Richard) [Daniel Richard]

Ninja Wars (Iga Ninpou Cho) (1984)
In 16th Century Japan, a young ninja named Jotaro battles five ninja assassins, who along with an evil sorcerer, have kidnapped his ninja girlfriend. Dubbed into English. Hiroyuki "Henry" Sanada, Shinichi "Sonny" Chiba, Jun Miho

No, Not Yet (Maada Dayo) (1993)
Directed by: Akira Kurosawa.

Notebook on Cities and Clothes (1990 - Germany) D: Wim Wenders.
Free form visual diary of Japanese designer Yohji Yamamoto

No Regrets for Our Youth (1946) (Wa ga Seishun ni Kui Nashi)
D: Kurosawa Akira. After the war, Kurosawa flourished on stories that promoted democracy and individualism. A young woman, her husband and professor-father seek intellectual freedom in a prewar Kyoto Universaity. After her husband is executed as a spy, she returns to his farm village to work in the rice fields and achieve personal fulfillment. The heroine as protagonist is somewhat unusual for Kurosawa.

Japanese Movies by Title
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Japanese Movie Listing Main Page | Lisa's Favorite Japanese Movies | Japanese Movies By Director

Note that since each of these movies was seen by a normal human being, what you read here is just one person's opinion :) Your own opinion may of course be different! If you notice that a movie listing is missing or incorrect, please Contact Me (Really!! WRITE ME!!!) so I can update the list!

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