The Best Documentaries About Japan

Voting Rules
Vote up your favorite documentaries about Japan.

More than 250 movie fans have come together to cast their votes for the best documentaries about Japan. From its long and storied history to its modern-day culture, Japan is an endlessly fascinating topic of exploration. These documentaries offer an in-depth look at a wide range of topics related to Japanese culture, from ancient traditions and customs to contemporary social issues facing the country today.

Fans of these films admire how they manage to capture the complexity of life in Japan, exploring everything from festivals to matters such as the effects of nuclear disasters on local communities or poverty among the elderly population. Whether you're looking for a lighthearted travel documentary or an eye-opening exposé on current events, there's something here for everyone.

So why not check out this list now? It features some truly amazing films that will take your understanding of Japanese culture to new heights. Be sure to vote up your favorites so that others can discover these wonderful documentaries too.

Photo: Jiro Dreams of Sushi / Magnolia Pictures
Ranked by
    • Released: 2011
    The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom is a 2011 documentary film directed by Lucy Walker. The film was nominated for the 2012 Academy Award for Best Documentary.

    Available On:

  • Jiro Dreams Of Sushi
    77 votes
    • Actors: Jiro Ono, Yoshikazu Ono, Masuhiro Yamamoto
    • Released: 2011
    Jiro Dreams Of Sushi is a a 2011 documentary film directed by David Gelb. "An appetizing documentary in every sense, Jiro Dreams of Sushi follows 85-year-old master sushi chef Jiro Ono, paying ...more
  • Abduction: The Megumi Yokota Story

    Abduction: The Megumi Yokota Story

    Chris Sheridan, Patty Kim
    7 votes
    • Actors: Teruaki Masumoto
    • Released: 2006
    Filmmakers Chris Sheridan and Patty Kim examine the case of a 13-year-old Japanese girl who was kidnapped on her way home from school in 1977. Though the incident at first seems to be a typical ...more
  • Pray for Japan
    Stuart J. Levy
    7 votes
    • Released: 2012
    Pray for Japan is a 2012 Japanese documentary film about the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami. Stu Levy produced and directed the film. All of the crew, including Levy, volunteered to make it, and ...more
  • Budo: The Art of Killing
    Masayoshi Nemoto
    5 votes
    • Actors: Harry J. Quini
    • Released: 1979
    Budo: The Art of Killing is an award winning 1978 Japanese martial arts documentary created and produced by Hisao Masuda and financed by The Arthur Davis Company. Considered a cult classic, the film ...more
  • The Sword Maker

    The Sword Maker

    16 votes