Japanese People Famous Film Directors from Japan

Reference
17.2k views 746 items

List of famous film directors from Japan, listed alphabetically with photos when available. Japan has given birth to some great movie directors over the years, many of who have gone on to direct popular comedies, dramas, horror movies and more. These are some of the best Japanese directors in the history of the world, so if you're a native of Japan and an aspiring director then these are people you should look up to.

Items include everything from Tomoharu Katsumata to Morio Asaka.

This list answers the questions, "Who are the best Japanese directors?" and "Which directors are from Japan?"

You can click on the names of these legendary directors of Japan in order to get more information about each one. If you're a film buff use this list of talented Japanese directors to find some new movies you haven't already seen.

1
Aki Mizusawa is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Famous Film Directors from Japan
Aki Mizusawa age 64 Aki Mizusawa is an actress.

2
Akihiko Shiota is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Famous Film Directors from Japan
age 57 Akihiko Shiota is a Japanese film director and screenwriter.

3
Akihiko Yamashita is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Famous Film Directors from Japan
Akihiko Yamashita age 52 Akihiko Yamashita is a Studio Ghibli animator who is famous for Howl's Moving Castle and Giant Robo.

4
Akihiro Kitamura is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Famous Film Directors from Japan
age 39 Akihiro Kitamura is a Japanese actor and director, who appeared in The Human Centipede.

5
Akihito Izuhara is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Famous Film Directors from Japan
age 54 Akihito Izuhara is a film director and producer.

6
Akio Jissoji is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Famous Film Directors from Japan
Died at 69 (1937-2006) Akio Jissoji was a Japanese television and film director best known outside of Japan for the 1960s TV series Ultraman and Ultra Seven, as well as for his auteur erotic ATG-produced Buddhist ...more

7
Akio Watanabe is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Famous Film Directors from Japan
age 49 Akio Watanabe is a Japanese animator, character designer and animation director currently living in Tokyo, Japan. He often goes by the pseudonym Poyoyon Rock. He is also a member of the dōjinshi ...more

8
Akio Yoshida is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Famous Film Directors from Japan
Akio Yoshida age 67 Akio Yoshida is a Television director and the husband of Noriko Ogawa.

9
Akira Emoto is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Famous Film Directors from Japan
age 70 Akira Emoto is a Japanese actor.

10
Akira Inoue is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Famous Film Directors from Japan
Akira Inoue age 90 Akira Inoue is a film director.

11
Akira Kobayashi is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Famous Film Directors from Japan
age 80 Akira Kobayashi is a Japanese actor and singer. His nickname is Maitogai.

12
Ann Hui is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Famous Film Directors from Japan
age 71 Ann Hui On-Wah, MBE is a Hong Kong actress, film director, film producer and occasional screenwriter, one of the most critically acclaimed amongst the Hong Kong New Wave. She is best known for ...more

13
Akira Kurosawa is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Famous Film Directors from Japan
Died at 88 (1910-1998) Akira Kurosawa was a Japanese filmmaker. Regarded as one of the most important and influential filmmakers in the history of cinema, Kurosawa directed 30 films in a career spanning 57 years. ...more

14
Akira Nishimori is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Famous Film Directors from Japan
Akira Nishimori age 57 Akira Nishimori is a Japanese anime director.

15
Akira Ogata is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Famous Film Directors from Japan
Akira Ogata age 59 Akira Ogata is a Japanese film director. He was given the Directors Guild of Japan New Directors Award for his debut film, Boy's Choir, in 2000, and then won the award for best director at the ...more

16
Akira Toriyama is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Famous Film Directors from Japan
age 63 Akira Toriyama is a Japanese manga and game artist. He first achieved mainstream recognition for his highly successful manga Dr. Slump, before going on to create Dragon Ball—his best-known ...more

17
Akitaro Daichi is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Famous Film Directors from Japan
age 62 Akitaro Daichi is an anime director, producer, and photography director.

18
Akiyuki Shinbo is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Famous Film Directors from Japan
age 57 Akiyuki Shinbo, born September 27, 1961 in Fukushima, Japan, is a Japanese animation director. Shinbo started his career as an animator in 1981 at Studio One Pattern. He then made his ...more

19
Alala Kurosawa is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Famous Film Directors from Japan
Alala Kurosawa Alala Kurosawa, also known as Arara Kurosawa, is a Japanese adult video director who has specialized in producing videos in the Japanese porn genre of bukkake. He has been called the best in the ...more

20
Amica Kubo is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Famous Film Directors from Japan
Amica Kubo age 35 Amica Kubo is a film director.

21
Asumi Matsumura is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Famous Film Directors from Japan
Asumi Matsumura Asumi Matsumura is a TV director.

22
Atsuji Shimizu is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Famous Film Directors from Japan
Atsuji Shimizu Junji Shimizu is a film director.

23
Atsuko Ishizuka is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Famous Film Directors from Japan
age 37 Atsuko Ishizuka is a Japanese animator and director at Madhouse, one of the leading animation production companies in the world. She was born on September 3, 1981 and has been with Madhouse ...more

24
Atsuo Okunaka is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Famous Film Directors from Japan
Atsuo Okunaka Died at 82 (1930-2012) Atsuo Okunaka was a film and television director.

25
Atsuro Watabe is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Famous Film Directors from Japan
age 50 Atsuro Watabe is a Japanese actor.

26
Atsushi Funahashi is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list Famous Film Directors from Japan
Atsushi Funahashi age 55 Atsushi Funahashi is a Japanese film director.

27
Atsushi Ogata is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list Famous Film Directors from Japan
Atsushi Ogata Atsushi Ogata is a Japanese film director, scriptwriter, video artist and actor. Born in Japan and partly raised in the United States, Ogata has worked in the Netherlands, Germany, Japan, and in ...more

28
Atsushi Wada is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list Famous Film Directors from Japan
age 38 Atsushi Wada is an animator, a film director and a screenwriter.

29
Aya Koretzky is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list Famous Film Directors from Japan
age 35 Aya Koretzky is a film director, screenwriter, cinematographer, actor, film score composer and production designer.

30
Azuma Morisaki is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list Famous Film Directors from Japan
Azuma Morisaki age 91 Azuma Morisaki is a Japanese film director and screenwriter.

31
Bandō Tamasaburō V is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list Famous Film Directors from Japan
age 68 Bandō Tamasaburō V is a Kabuki actor, and the most popular and celebrated onnagata currently on stage. He has also acted in a handful of films. Born in 1950, Shin'ichi Morita was adopted by ...more

32
Banmei Takahashi is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list Famous Film Directors from Japan
Banmei Takahashi age 69 Banmei Takahashi is a Japanese film director. Takashi started his career in the pink film industry, making his directorial debut in 1972 with Escaped Rapist Criminal. Due to a disagreement with ...more

33
Buichi Saito is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list Famous Film Directors from Japan
Buichi Saito Died at 86 (1925-2011) Buichi Saito was a film director.

34
Chikara Iwai is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list Famous Film Directors from Japan
Chikara Iwai age 41 Chikara Iwai is a film director, screenwriter and cinematographer.

35
Chosei Funahara is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list Famous Film Directors from Japan
age 65 Osao Chosei Funahara is a musician and film director and producer. Born in Hyōgo Prefecture of Japan, Chosei Funahara was educated in both America and Japan. He received his Bachelor of Fine ...more

36
Chūsei Sone is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list Famous Film Directors from Japan
Chūsei Sone Died at 77 (1937-2014) Chūsei Sone was a Japanese film director known for his stylish and popular Roman Porno films for Nikkatsu, particularly the first two installments of the Angel Guts series. Despite a somewhat ...more

37
Daihachi Yoshida is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list Famous Film Directors from Japan
age 55 Daihachi Yoshida is a Japanese film director. He won the award for best new director at the 29th Yokohama Film Festival for Funuke Show Some Love, You Losers!.

38
Daiki Nishimura is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list Famous Film Directors from Japan
Daiki Nishimura Daiki Nishimura is a film director.

39
Daiki Yamada is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list Famous Film Directors from Japan
Daiki Yamada age 62 Daiki Yamada is a film director.

40
Daisuke Itō is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list Famous Film Directors from Japan
Daisuke Itō Died at 83 (1898-1981) Daisuke Itō was a Japanese film director and screenwriter who played a central role in the development of the modern jidaigeki and samurai cinema.

41
Daisuke Tengan is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list Famous Film Directors from Japan
age 59 Daisuke Tengan is a film director and screenwriter .

42
Daisuke Tsutsumi is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list Famous Film Directors from Japan
age 44 Daisuke “Dice” Tsutsumi is an animation artist and illustrator living in San Francisco, California. He is the former art director of Pixar Animation Studios.

43
Dave Tatsuno is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list Famous Film Directors from Japan
Dave Tatsuno Died at 93 (1913-2006) Dave Tatsuno was a Japanese American businessman who documented life in his family's internment camp during World War II. His footage was later compiled into the film Topaz. The film was placed ...more

44
Demo Tanaka is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list Famous Film Directors from Japan
Demo Tanaka Demo Tanaka is an actor.

45
Devi Kobayashi is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list Famous Film Directors from Japan
Devi Kobayashi age 52 Devi Kobayashi is a composer, screenwriter, actor, film director, film editor, production designer, film producer, and film score composer.

46
Dragon Nishikawa is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list Famous Film Directors from Japan
Dragon Nishikawa Dragon Nishikawa is a Japanese adult video director who primarily works with the Cross AV company.

47
Ei Aoki is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list Famous Film Directors from Japan
Ei Aoki age 42 Ei Aoki is a Japanese anime director. He credits the show "Megazone 23" as his inspiration to have a career in animation. In 2013, he created the animation studio Troyca with Toshiyuki ...more

48
Eiichi Kudo is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list Famous Film Directors from Japan
Eiichi Kudo Died at 71 (1929-2000) Eiichi Kudo was a Japanese film director. He directed 30 films between 1956 and 1998. His 1982 film Yaju-deka was entered into the 33rd Berlin International Film Festival. His 1963 film The ...more

49
Eiichi Yamamoto is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list Famous Film Directors from Japan
age 78 Eiichi Yamamoto is a Japanese film director and screenwriter of Anime. He is known directing the Animerama film series for Osamu Tezuka. Yamamoto directed ten films between 1962 and 1986. His ...more

50
Eiichiro Hasumi is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list Famous Film Directors from Japan
Eiichiro Hasumi age 51 Eiichiro Hasumi is a film director.