Documentary The Best Documentaries About Japan  

Ranker Film
326 votes 157 voters 47.7k views 35 items

List Rules Documentaries about Japan and all things Japanese.

This list of the best documentaries about Japan has been ranked by the community and includes popular and recognizable titles, along with independent films. What is the best documentary about Japan? Vote up your favorites below.

As you vote, the order of the list will be changed to see which documentary about Japan comes out on top. If you do not see your favorite on the list, add it to the titles below so that others can vote on it, as well. This list currently includes titles such as Tokyo Olympiad, The Emperor's Naked Army Marches On, and The Great Happiness Space.

Documentaries are nonfiction and made with the intention of displaying reality for historical purposes and to educate viewers. Most documentaries are driven by independent filmmakers and those passionate about the topics they are portraying.
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1
64 7
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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, ...more

2
19 1
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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.

3
36 8
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Japan, A Story Of Love And Hate is a 2009 film directed by Sean Mcallister.

4
7 0
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ANPO: Art X War Setsu Asakura, Hiroshi Nakamura, Miyako Ishiuchi ANPO: Art X War is a 2010 documentary film directed by Linda Hoaglund. The film traces the public outrage that followed in the wake of the passing of Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security ...more

5
17 4
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The Great Happiness Space The Great Happiness Space: Tale of an Osaka Love Thief is a 2006 documentary film by Jake Clennell, describing a host club in Osaka. The male hosts and their female customers are interviewed, ...more

6
18 5
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Suicide Forest in Japan

7
12 2
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The Sword Maker

8
7 1
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Kenzo Okuzaki The Emperor's Naked Army Marches On is a 1987 Japanese war documentary film by director Kazuo Hara. The documentary centers on 62-year-old veteran of Japan's Second World War campaign in New ...more

9
7 2
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Tokyo Olympiad is a 1965 documentary film directed by Kon Ichikawa which documents the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. Like Leni Riefenstahl's Olympia, which documented the 1936 Summer Olympics ...more

10
6 1
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God Speed You! Black Emperor is a 1976 Japanese black-and-white 16 mm documentary film, 90 minutes long, by director Mitsuo Yanagimachi, which follows the exploits of young Japanese ...more

11
5 1
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Dear Pyongyang is a documentary film by Zainichi Korean director Yang Yong-hi about her own family. Shot in Osaka Japan and Pyongyang, North Korea, the film features Korean and Japanese dialogue ...more

12
4 0
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Abduction: The Megumi Yokota Story Teruaki Masumoto Abduction: The Megumi Yokota Story is an American documentary about Megumi Yokota, a Japanese student who was abducted by a North Korean agent in 1977. The film made its world premiere at the ...more

13
4 0
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Fast Future Generation is a rockumentary DVD featuring Good Charlotte on tour in Japan. It was made and produced by Marvin Scott Jarrett in the fall of 2005. The DVD was released on December 26, ...more

14
4 1
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A Man Vanishes is a 1967 Japanese film by director Shohei Imamura.

15
4 1
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Baby Drain

16
4 1
Tendenko: Surviving the Tsunam... is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Documentaries About Japan
Tendenko: Surviving the Tsunami

17
3 0
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Harry J. Quini 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 ...more

18
3 0
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Minamata: The Victims and Their World Minamata: The Victims and Their World is a Japanese documentary made in 1971 by Noriaki Tsuchimoto. It is the first in a series of independent documentaries that Tsuchimoto made of the mercury ...more

19
3 0
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Minka Minka is a 2010 documentary film directed by Davina Pardo.

20
3 0
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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, ...more

21
5 3
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Han Ji-min Death of a Japanese Salesman is a 2011 documentary written and directed by Mami Sunada about the illness and death of her father, Tomoaki Sunada. The film was a box office success in Japan, and ...more

22
4 2
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A Normal Life: Chronicle of a Sumo Wrestler

23
4 2
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Interview with a Cannibal Interview with a Cannibal is a 2007 crime fiction film directed by Jane Cameron and Günter Stampf.

24
4 2
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Rokkasho Rhapsody Rokkasho Rhapsody is a Japanese documentary directed by Hitomi Kamanaka and released in 2006. It is the second in Kamanaka's trilogy of films on the problems of nuclear power and radiation, ...more

25
2 0
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Same Old Story: A Trip Back 20 Years is a 2008 Japanese documentary film about a Japanese musician, Cheep Hiroishi who takes a look back at his life over the last 20 years. Traveling back to the ...more

26
2 0
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Battling the Yakuza

27
2 0
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A Trace of the Sun

28
2 0
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Shin Koyamada Wine Road of The Samurai is a feature film based on a true story about a delegation of 34 samurai to Europe in 1863. It was directed by Sone Eiji and starred Shin Koyamada as himself and the ...more

29
3 2
Children Full of Life is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Documentaries About Japan
Children Full of Life

30
2 1
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The Morning Sun Shines The Morning Sun Shines is a fiction-documentary film by director Kenji Mizoguchi and Seiichi Ina. Only 25 minutes of it is known to have survived.

31
2 1
Torn Memories of Nanjing is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Documentaries About Japan
Torn Memories of Nanjing " Japanese activist Tamaki Matsuoka reveals the truth about Nanking. For years, Japanese activist Tamaki Matsuoka tried to counter denials of her country’s notorious wartime massacre of ...more

32
2 1
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Yasukuni Yasukuni is a 2007 film made by Japan-resident Chinese director Li Ying. It took ten years to complete and had been screened at the Pusan International Film Festival 2007, World Cinema ...more

33
2 1
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Paul Watson At the Edge of the World is a 2008 documentary film directed by Dan Stone.

34
3 4
The Japanese Version is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Documentaries About Japan
The Japanese Version

35
1 2
Nanking is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Documentaries About Japan
Woody Harrelson, Mariel Hemingway, Stephen Dorff A powerful, emotional and relevant reminder of the heartbreaking toll war takes on the innocent, NANKING tells the story of the Japanese invasion of Nanking, China, in the early days of World ...more