Japanese Movie Listing - T

There are wealth of wonderful Japanese movies beginning with the letter T. Throne of Blood is one of those that is well worth watching. Tora! Tora! Tora! is another classic that I own. Tenchu has earned accolades from many reviewers.

Tampopo (Dandelion) (1987) D: Juzo Itami
Starring Nobuko Miyamoto and Tsutomu Yamazaki, Tampopo is the name of a woman who wants to run a noodle house. Goro is the hero who encounters her while in search of the perfect noodle restaurant. Together they try to achieve this aim, and run into a variety of mishaps. The movie shows that the quest for delicious food can be just as important as other goals in life, and that achieving that perfect taste can be as fulfilling as other pleasures.

Tenchu (Hitokiri) (1969)
Meiji Restoration historical drama, with anti-shogunate bigwig Tatsuya Nakadai playing star assassin Shintaro Katsu for a sucker until he realizes that if he can not save himself, at least he can take everybody else with him. (And with the real Yukio Mishima, in a magnetic cameo immolating himself on screen a year before he did it in life.) Containing perhaps Katsu's finest serious performance, this is Gosha's action-packed masterpiece, with a last scene shock effect guaranteed to straighten you in your seat. "One of the most penetrating and intense films Japan or any nation has produced in the last two decades."-Alain Silver. Directed by Hideo Gosha. Written by Shinobu Hashimoto. With: Katsu, Nakadai, Mishima, Mitsuko Baisho, Yujiro Ishihara. Color, scope, 140 minutes, Japanese with English subtitles. [Daniel Richard]

Thirteen Assassins (2010).
Be warned, director Takashi Miike has created a very bloody telling of a feudal Japan story loosely based on reality. Naritsugu is a sadistic lord - and we get to see just how nasty he is. He shoots arrows into kids for fun, and chops arms and legs off of teenaged girls to torment them. We are shown all the bloody details to help us rile up and feel righteous anger, to encourage those 13 assassins to go and save Japan from Naritsugu's clutches. What follows is fairly similar to the Seven Samurai - a band of differentiated characters all glob together into a fighting force and map out a strategy to take on a vastly larger enemy. It takes a while to build up to that final fight scene - but once it begins, it certainly doesn't let up. There are flaming cows, exploding buildings, and suddenly appearing wall-of-spikes worthy of any video game. What gives it an extra tweak of interest is that this is set in a period after peace has descended - so this type of battle no longer was the norm. The assassins had to work hard to find enough samurai who still retained the art of sword fighting, to be able to pull off the daring attack. A great movie if you love samurai battles - just be aware, again, that the gore factor is a little high in this one.

Thirty Seconds over Tokyo (1944 - US).
Van Johnson, Spencer Tracy, Robert Mitchum. WWII action flick depicts first air raids on Tokyo. Academy Award (I think) for effects, but not filmed in Japan.

Throne of Blood (Kumonosu-Jo) (1957)
Akira Kurosawa's savage flowing adaptation of Shakespeare's Macbeth plunges viewers into an eerie, fog shrouded world of madness and obsession. Set in medieval Japan during a period of feudal conflict, Kurosawa's masterpiece combines the stylization of the Noh theater with the dynamic energy of the American Western to tell the tragic story of an ambitious warlord, international star Toshiro Mifune gives one of his finest performances as the proud warrior who is destroyed by his wife's murderous greed and his own all consuming desire for power. From its first frenzied battle sequences to the brutal climax, in which an entire forest seems to move against Mifune, and he is slain by arrows from his own army. Kurosawa's brilliantly staged classic is a cinematic triumph.


Tokyo After Dark (1959 - US).
Richard Long on the lam in Tokyo from unintentional homicide.

Tokyo Decadence (1992 - J). D/W: Ryu Murakami.
Depressing life of Tokyo S/M call girl Miko Nikaido. Not for the squeamish.

Tokyo Joe (1949 - US).
With Sessue Hayakawa and Humphrey Bogart. Not quite Casablanca, but Bogart will always be Bogart. American in post war Tokyo into smuggling to help ex-wife and child.

Tokyo Olympiad (1966 - J). D: Kon Ichikawa.
Brilliant documentary of 1964 Olympics. At least two versions out. See the original 170m version, with minimal narration. Cinema verite masterpiece.

Tokyo Pop (1988).
New York punker Carrie Hamilton flies to Tokyo. Good on atmospherics.

Tokyo Rose (1945 - US).
Drama about famous female radio propagandist for the Axis during WWII. [Local Chicago lore has it that her children (?) relocated here and opened a large dry goods import store under the name of Toguri, which in 1997 is still a thriving business.] [Gavin Hougham ]

Tokyo Story (1953) D: Yasujiro Ozu. 139m.
Elderly couple visit their children in Tokyo, who are too busy living their lives and treat them tactlessly. Quietly powerful story of old age. A masterpiece.

Tora! Tora! Tora! (Japan/US: 1970) D: Richard Fleischer. 140m.
Events leading up to Pearl Harbor attack with both US and Japanese points of view. Well-documented screenplay shows major and minor blundering on both sides, then recreates attack with frightening realism. Well-made film creates incredible tension. Oscar-winning special FX.

Twenty Four Eyes (1954) (Nijushi no Hitomi) D: Kinosha Keisuke.
A schoolteacher's life in a small island village, before and during the war, is recalled by her students. Takamine Hideko stars in this Kinema Junpo "Best Film of the Year." Sato Tadao cites this film for its "inherent social value ... giving the audience a common emotional experience."

Twilight Samurai (2002) D: Yji Yamada. 129m.
An amazing film that is not your typical all-action carnage. Hiroyuki Sanada plays a low level samurai who cares for his two young daughters and ailing mother after his wife passes away. He is extremely poor, but still better off than the peasants who routinely die of starvation around him. He finds solace in his quiet life, even though the other samurai pick on him for his holes in his clothes and grungy appearance. These are samurais in a time of peace - most are now pencil-pushers who never have an opportunity to wield their sword.

When a childhood sweetheart tries to woo him, he is appreciative, but he worries that his poor condition could never please her. She comes from a richer family, and he has already seen how much people - including his dead wife - look down on the shape of his house and clothing.

There are some action scenes in here - it turns out this quiet samurai is good with a blade when he's forced into action. He wishes he could be a peaceful farmer, but as a samurai he's required to follow the orders of his clan, even if he disagrees with them.

Great all around. Great dialogue, great action sequences, great relationship moments, and a great insight into the challenges faced in life in such a rigid society.

Japanese Movies by Title
A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z
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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