Japanese Movie Listing - F

One of my favorite movies is in the list of Japanese movies beginning with F. The 47 Ronin is a classic Japanese tale and features honor, loyalty, and some lovely fight scenes as well.

The Face of Another (1966) (Tanin no Kao) D: Teshigahara Hiroshi.
Just about as strange as Suna no Onna. After an industrial accident, a man chooses plastic surgery, and gets not just a new face, but also a new identity. He then attempts to deceive and seduce his own wife.

The Family Game (1983) (Kazoku Gemu) D: Morita Yoshimitsu.
A satirical look at the modern Japanese family, with the sarariiman (salaryman) father and emphasis on the children's education. In this case, the mother is weak - not the typical kyoiji mama (education mother) - so the father hires a tutor to discipline his youngest son.

A Family Gathering (1989) 58m.
Lise Yasuis Oscar-nominated short about her Japanese-American roots, focusing on the dark chapter of WWII internment. Digging through home movies, family photos and relatives recollections, Yasui uncovers the truth about the familys experience during the internment (1942-45), specifically the fate of her grandfather Masuo Yasui. Included: Masuos rise from 16-year-old immigrant to well-respected businessman in Hood River, Oregon; her uncles legal fight protesting the treatment of Japanese-Americans; Masuos attempt to rebuild his life after the war. Host: David McCullough.

The Famous Sword (1945) 66m. (Meito Bijomaru)
Mizoguchi's follow-up to Musashi Miyamoto was another swords-and-samurai epic intended by the wartime government to exalt traditional Japanese values and the country's military tradition. Once again Mizoguchi lent an unexpected feminist bent to the proceedings, here "shift[ing] attention away from the swordsman who was the intended center of the story to the woman who loves and encourages him" (David Owens). The Famous Sword is set in mid-19th century Japan, at a time when the ruling Tokugawa shogunate was opposing the restoration of authority to the Imperial throne. The plot concerns the loss of an important loyalist sword; the disgrace of the noble fencing master held responsible for the loss; the determined efforts of an honest swordsmith to replace the blade; and the swashbuckling efforts of the fencing master's daughter to avenge her father. The female lead is played by Mizoguchi regular Isuzu Yamada (Osaka Elegy, Sisters of Gion). Director: Kenji Mizoguchi. Cast: Shotaro Hanayagi, Isuzu Yamada, Ichijiro Oya, Eijiro Yanagi. B&W, In Japanese with English subtitles. [Daniel Richard]

Farewell to Manzanai (1976-US) 105m. D: John Kertz
TV movie, above average. Factual story of Japanese-American family's internment in WWII detention camp. Beautifully directed and captured in screenplay.

Fires on the Plain (1959) 105m. D: Kon Ichikawa
Japanese soldiers struggle to survive at the end of the Phillippine campaign of WWII. Focus is on travails of tubercular soldier separated from his unit. Graphically realistic, disturbing, depressing after-war movie.

Floating Weeds (1959) 119m. (Drifting Weeds) D: Yasujiro Ozo
Struggling acting troupe visits remote island where its leader visits his illegitimate son and the boys mother with whom he had an affair years before. Powerful drama, meticulously directed by Yasujiro Ozo.

The 47 Ronin (Genroku Chushingura) (1941/42 - 2 parts) D: Kenji Mizoguchi
The early 18th-century story of The Loyal 47 Ronin, a popular Japanese tale based on an actual historical incident, has spawned countless dozens of film versions, including Hiroshi Inagaki's 1962 spectacular Chushingura. Mizoguchi's two-part extravaganza -- "more mediative and less action-oriented" (David Owens) -- ranks amongst the finest screen adaptations of the legendary tale, notwithstanding Kurosawa's assertion that "Mizoguchi was no good at samurai." When 47 samurai are left masterless ronin by an injustice which forces their lord to commit harakiri in disgrace, they plot elaborate and bloody revenge, knowing full well that they will all ultimately share their master's fate. Largely dispensing with swordplay, Mizoguchi orchestrates a brilliant, stately pageant of ritual and ceremony, elaborate period reconstruction, geometrical composition, and lavish camera movement. The film was originally commissioned by Japan's military government to illustrate "true devotion to the cause," and was the most expensive Japanese production of the war period. Japan . Cast: Chojuro Kawarazaki, Yoshizaburo Arashi, Mantoyo Mimasu, Kanemon Nakamura. B&W, In Japanese with English subtitles. Part I: 111 mins. Part II: 108 mins. [Daniel Richard]

The 47 Ronin (Chushingura) (1962) D: Hiroshi Inagaki
This film is one of the two best Samurai films of all time. Forty-seven loyal retainers of a disgraced nobleman take revenge on the corrupt lord who caused his downfall. The story is timeless, the acting is uniformly magnificent, the camera work is so gorgeous that any frame of this film could be hung in an art gallery, and the music is exciting and heart-lifting. Don't miss it! -- T. Blackstone

The Funeral (1984) (O-soshiki) D: Itami Juzo.
An outrageous and irreverent look at the formalized ritual process in Japanese society. When father dies, the bereaved young couple rent a 'how to' video so that the proper funeral protocol can be assured. The funeral stretches out as a series of farcical events.

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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