Documentary The Best Documentaries About Japan  

Ranker Film
370 votes 183 voters 58.8k views 34 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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Jiro Dreams Of Sushi is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Documentaries About Japan
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
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23 2
The Tsunami and the Cherry Blo... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Documentaries About Japan
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.
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20 5
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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
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20 7
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Suicide Forest in Japan
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The Sword Maker
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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
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8 1
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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
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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
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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
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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
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6 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
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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
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5 1
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A Man Vanishes is a 1967 Japanese film by director Shohei Imamura.
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Baby Drain
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4 1
Tendenko: Surviving the Tsunam... is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Documentaries About Japan
Tendenko: Surviving the Tsunami
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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
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Minka
Minka is a 2010 documentary film directed by Davina Pardo.
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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
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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
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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
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4 2
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A Normal Life: Chronicle of a Sumo Wrestler
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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.
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3 1
Torn Memories of Nanjing is listed (or ranked) 23 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
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A Trace of the Sun
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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