Japanese Films

 

DVDs in Japanese


Akira
Director: Katsuhiro Otomo
2001 (1987)
A powerful psychic force known only as Akira resurfaces in Neo-Tokyo in the 21st century. Tetsuo, a young, inexperienced motorcycle biker driven beyond the boundaries of sanity by the power of Akira, is forced to conjure up demons lying dormant within his subconscious.124 min. In English or Japanese ; with English subtitles.
Call number: DVD akir

The Bad Sleep Well / Warui Yatsu Hodo Yoku Nemuru
Director: Akira Kurosawa
2000 (1960)
Features a grieving son who seeks revenge for his father’s murder as he infiltrates the corrupt construction company that was responsible for his father’s death. 160 min., b&w.
Call number: DVD bads

Black Rain / Kuroi Ame
Director: Shohei Imamura
2009 (1989)
A woman caught in fallout during the bombing of Hiroshima returns to her village, where she is ostracized and considered unsuitable for marriage. 123 min.
Call number: DVD blac

Busu / Poison Sugar
Director: Shigeyama
1995
Video of a short comic play from the Kyogen repertoire. Depicts the antics of the clever servants Taro Kaja and Jiro Kaja, who are entrusted with a container of poison while their master is away. 28 min. In Japanese with English subtitles
Call number: DVD PN 2924.5 .K9 B87 1995

Departures / Okuribito
Director: Yôjirô Takita
2009 (2008)
Daigo Kobayashi is a devoted cellist in an orchestra that has just been dissolved and finds himself without a job. He decides to move back to his old hometown with his wife to look for work and start over. He answers a classified ad entitled ‘Departures’ thinking it is an advertisement for a travel agency. He discovers that the job is actually for a ‘Nokanshi’ or ‘encoffineer,’ a funeral professional who prepares deceased bodies for burial and entry into the next life. While his wife and others despise the job, Daigo takes a certain pride in his work and begins to perfect the art, acting as a gentle gatekeeper between life and death, between the departed and the family of the departed. 131 min.
Call number: DVD depa

Fireworks / Hana-bi
Director: Takeshi Kitano
1998
A hard-boiled ex-cop, haunted by a troubled past and pushed to the edge by the shooting of his partner, confronts his demons in a ruthless quest for justice and redemption. 103 min.
Call number: DVD fire

The Funeral / Ososhiki
Director: Juzo Itami
1999 (1986)
An old man’s unexpected death creates hilarious havoc with his family. The traditional three-day undertaking becomes a sly comedy of manners as the younger generation struggles with the complex rituals of the Buddhist ceremony. 124 min.
Call number: DVD fune

Gate of Hell / Jigokumon
Director: Teinosuke Kinugasa
1994 (1953)
A twelfth-century Japanese married noblewoman prefers death to dishonor when she is claimed as a prize of war by a soldier. 86 min.
Call number: VHS PN 1997.G384 1994

Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla / Gojira tai Mekagojira
Director: Masaaki Tezuka
2004
After year of scrupulous preparation under the prime minister, a new invincible robot, Mechagodzilla, has now reached completion, armed with various weapons, including the most powerful gun in history. Akane Yashiro is transferred to join the Mechagodzilla team as an operator who controls the mechanical monster. As soon as Mechagodzilla starts on its test run, the huge shadow of Godzilla begins to rise from its depth of the ocean. In Japanese and English with English and French subtitles. 88 min.
Call number: DVD godz

Grave of the Fireflies
Director: Isao Takahata
2009 (1988)
After their house is firebombed and family killed during WWII, two young Japanese children fight for survival, struggling to find food and shelter. English (2.0) or Japanese (2.0) dialogue; English subtitles. 89 min.
Call number: DVD grav

Hanabusa Shūjaku Jishi Sumidagawa / Shūjaku Lion Dance, Sumida River
The Best Selection of Kabuki
2004
Hanabusa shūjaku jishi: Shows a courtesan performing a classic lion dance. The lion invades her spirit and she dances in a frenzy to escape. Sumidagawa: A widow discovers that her only son has gone missing from the temple where he was being educated. While searching for her lost child, she encounters a boatman on the Sumida River who leads her to his grave. Learning of her son’s death, the woman madly chases after his ghost then collapses on his grave, vowing to spend the rest of her life in prayer. 87 min.
Call number: DVD PN 2924.5.K3 H346 2004

The Hidden Blade / Kakushi ken oni no tsume
Director: Yoji Yamada
2006 (2004)
During a civil war in medieval Japan a deposed princess hides within a secret fortress guarded by a brave general, and waits for a chance to escape with her clan’s fortune to safety in a neighboring province. 139 min., In Japanese with English subtitles.
Call number: DVD hidd

Hidden Fortress / Kakusi Toride No San Akunin
Director: Akira Kurosawa
2001 (1958)
During the time of change of the mid-19th Century, Yaichiro is bid farewell by his fellow samurai friends Munezo and Samon as he leaves their clan’s fiefdom on the northwest coast of Japan. 132 min., Japanese dialogue, English or Spanish subtitles.
Call number: DVD hidd

High and Low / Tengoku to Jigoku
Director: Akira Kurosawa
1998 (1963)
A complex crime thriller in which a wealthy shoe manufacturer’s chauffeur’s son is kidnapped in mistake for his own, and he faces a moral dilemma — should he pay the ransom anyway and risk losing his position? 143 min., In Japanese with English subtitles.
Call number: DVD high

Himatsuri
Director: Mitsuo Yanagimachi
1993 (1985)
A lumberjack opposes the development of his fishing community into a tourist park. The annual Fire Festival inspires him to action. 120 min., In Japanese with English subtitles.
Call number: DVD hima

Howl’s Moving Castle / Hauro no Ugoku Shiro
Director: Hayao Miyazaki
2004
When an unconfident young woman is cursed with an old body by a spiteful witch, her only chance of breaking the spell lies with a self-indulgent yet insecure young wizard and his companions in his legged, walking home. 2 discs, 119 min., English, French, Japanese or Spanish dialogue.
Call number: DVD howl

The Human Condition / Ningen no Joken
Director: Masaki Kobayashi
1999 (1958)
The chronicle of one man’s struggle to remain human amidst the distorted reality of war. 3 discs, 586 min., b&w. Originally produced as motion pictures, 1959-1961, based on the novel by Junpei Gomikawa.
Call number: DVD huma

Insect Woman
Director: Shohei Imamura
2009 (1963)
Portrays 45 years in the life of a woman and her struggles to survive. The story progresses from her life as a country girl to her years as a successful and ruthless madam in Tokyo and back again to her native village. 123 min.
Call number: DVD inse

Intentions of Murder
Director: Shohei Imamura
2009 (1964)
Sadako is a typical Imamura heroine: one who revels in the pleasures of food, labor, sex, and self-preservation. Carrying the burden of her status as a lowly, poor, prostitute-birthed commoner wife, Sadako is subjected to an escalating series of belittlement both at home and in society. 150 min.
Call number: DVD inse

Jasmine Women
Director: Hou Yong
2006 (2004)
This film follows five generations of Chinese women. It begins in the 30s in Shanghai where a single mother tries to build a business alone with her daughter. The daughter has other ideas and becomes pregant and alone just as the Japanese invade. The films follows the female ancestors of these two women as they attempt to survive, usually without help from the men in their lives. 130 min.
Call number: DVD jasm

Late Ozu ( 5 disc set)
Director: Yasujiro Ozu
2007
Call number: DVD late

Early Spring / Soshun
(1956)145 min.

Tokyo Twilight / Tokyo Boshoku
(1957)141 min.

Equinox Flower / Higanbana
(1958)118 min.

Late Autumn / Akibiyori
(1960)129 min.

The End of Summer / Kohayagawake no Aki
(1961)103 min.

Late Spring / Banshun
Director: Yasujiro Ozu
2006 (1949)
A widowed father feels compelled to marry off his beloved only daughter. 200 min. Japanese dialogue, with optional English subtitles.
Call number: DVD late

To Live / Ikiru
Director: Akira Kurosawa
2004 (1952)
Discovering that he is in the terminal stages of cancer, a clerk spends his last months in search of the meaning to life. After his pursuit of pleasure has failed, he finds self-realization in bringing about the building of a children’s playground in the slums and dies quiety fulfilled. 161 min.
Call number: DVD ikir

Kwaidan / Kaidan
Director: Masaki Kobayashi
2000 (1965)
Consists of four stories of the supernatural based on Japanese folk material. In The black hair, a poor young samurai leaves his first wife to marry a rich woman. When he is unhappy in his second marriage, he returns to his first wife, who at first appears unchanged from when he last saw her. In The woman of the snow, a woodcutter is spared by a mysterious ghost-like woman in the snow, but must promise never to tell anyone what he has seen. In Hoichi, the earless, a blind musician-monk named Hoichi is commanded by a gathering of ghosts to sing the saga of their ancient deeds. The head monk paints Hoichi’s body with prayer verses to protect him, but unfortunately overlooks Hoichi’s ears. In In a cup of tea, a writer wonders what would happen to a person who drinks another’s soul and finds out.
Call number: DVD kwai

The Makioka Sisters / Sasame Yuki
Director: Kon Ichikawa
2001
This sensuously beautiful film chronicles the activities of four sisters who gather in Kyoto every year to view the cherry blossoms. It paints a vivid portrait of the pre-war lifestyle of the wealthy Makioka family from Osaka, and draws a parallel between their activities and the seasonal variations in Japan. 140 min.
Call number: DVD maki

Pigs and Battleships
Director: Imamura Shōhei
2009 (1961)
Portrays postwar Japan through the power struggles between small-time gangsters in the port town of Yokosuka, where there are American soliders based. In Japanese with optional English subtitles. 108 min.
Call number: DVD pigs

The Pillow Book
Director: Peter Greenaway
1996
A modern-day Japanese woman’s life experiences are inspired by the writings of Sei Shonagon, a female courtier who lived during the Heian Dynasty in 10th century Japan and her father’s relationship with his publisher. 126 min. In Japanese, Chinese, and English with English subtitles
Call number: DVD pill

Porco Rosso
Director: Hayao Miyazaki
2005 (1992)
Slouching towards middle age, Porco Rosso makes his living by flying about in his red bi-plane and fighting sky bandits who prey on cruise ships sailing the Adriatic. When he’s not engaging in dog fights, this pilot lives on a deserted island retreat. Porco was once a strappling young man, but after his entire squardron was wiped out, he is mysteriously transformed into a pig. Then he is defeated in a dogfight against a dashing American rival, who has been hired by the dastardly bandits. With his plane damaged, he finds a repair hanger near Milan where a local woman fixes his plane. 93 min. In English, Japanese or French.
Call number: DVD porc

Ran
Director: Akira Kurosawa
1998 (1985)
In 16th century Japan, an aging ruler attempts to divide his kingdom among his three sons, who turn against each other and betray their father, triggering events that ultimately shatter the kingdom, destroy the family, and drive their father insane. Based on Shakespeare’s King Lear. 160 min.
Call number: DVD ran

Rashomon
Director: Akira Kurosawa
2002 (1950)
Set in the Middle Ages, the nature of truth and subjective reality are probed in a series of flashbacks from four viewpoints to present the case history of a man’s murder and the rape of his wife by a bandit.. 88 min., b&w.
Call number: DVD rash

Red Cliff / Chi Bi
Director: John Woo
2008
The story of the Battle of Red Cliffs in the 3rd century, a decisive battle in Chinese history. The battle gave Liu Bei the support to establish the Han dynasty. This is a key battle in the story of the Chinese classic The Three Kingdoms. 140 min.
Call number: DVD redc

Ronin Gai
Director: Kasuo Kuroki
2005 (1990)
Story of ronin on the outskirts of Edo in the last of the samurai era. These masterless samurai have taken to drunkenness and debauchery with the local prostitutes. They can regain their honor when renegade samurai invade the area to kill the prostitutes. This project was undertaken in commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the death of Shozo Makino, the ‘father of the Japanese cinema.121 min.
Call number: DVD roni

Samurai Fiction
Director: Hiroyuki Nakan
2001 (1998)
Feudal lord Kanzen Inukai receives a precious sword from the Shogun only to have it stolen by the samurai Kazamatsuri. Kanzen;s young son, Heishiro, insists on retrieving the sword himself to protect the family from the shame of losing such a precious gift. 111 min., b&w.
Call number: DVD samu

Seven Samurai / Shichinin no Samurai
Director: Akira Kurosawa
1992 (1954)
A desperate village hires seven samurai to protect it from marauders in this crown jewel of Japanese cinema. 203 min., b&w. Also available in VHS.
Call number: DVD seve

Shall We Dance? / Dansu wo Shimashô ka?
Director: Masayuki Suo
2004 (1997)
A lawyer’s life and marriage take an unexpected turn when he follows a woman to a dance studio and begins to take lessons and finds he has a passion for dance. His wife thinks he is having an affair and hires a detective to follow him. 119 min.
Call number: DVD shal

Spirited Away / Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi
Director: Hayao Miyazaki; Animators: Megumi Kagawa … [et al.]
2000
When a young girl gets trapped in a strange new world of spirits, she must call upon the courage she never knew she had to free herself and rescue her parents. 2 discs, 124 min., English, French, Japanese or Spanish dialogue.
Call number: DVD spir

Stray Dog / Nora Inu
Director: Akira Kurosawa
2004 (1949)
Set in Tokyo during the late 1940s, the film captures the chaos and humiliation that existed in Japan immediately after World War II. When detective Murakami loses his revolver, he must descend into Tokyo’s underworld and face the killer who has taken it. 122 min., In Japanese with optional English subtitles.
Call number: DVD stra

Talking Silents
2007
Back in the age of silent films, the movie theaters in Japan fascinated audiences with exciting performances in which screenings were accompanied by live music and Benshi narration.
Call number: DVD talk v.1-3

Volume 1
Water Magician / Taki No Shiraito
(1933) 98 min.

Tokyo March / Tokyo Koshinkyoku
(1929) 28 min.

Volume 2
Downfall of Osen / Orizuru Osen
(1935) 90 min.

Tojin Okichi
(1930) 4 min.

Volume 3
Serpent / Orochi
(1925) 74 min.

Backward Flow / Gyakuryu
(1924) 28 min.

Tampopo
Director: Juzo Itami
1998 (1987)
Tampopo follows a young widow who runs a small noodle restaurant in Tokyo and Goro, a cowboy hat wearing truck driver, as they attempt to devise the perfect bowl of top ramen.
Call number: DVD tamp

Terakoya
Best Selection of Kabuki
2004
This final act of Sugawara denju tenarai kagami = Sugawara’s secrets of calligraphy is one of the great tragic scenes in all Kabuki in which Matsuōmaru and his wife Chiyo sacrifice their own child so that the son of their Lord Michizane may live. 89 min.
Call number: DVD PN 2924.5.K3 H346 2004

Thirst
Director: Park Chan-wook
2009
Sang-hyun is a priest working for a hospital. He selflessly volunteers for a secret vaccine development project intended to eradicate a deadly virus. However, the virus eventually takes over the priest. He nearly dies, but makes a miraculous recovery after receiving an accidental transfusion of vampire blood. He quickly realizes his sole reason for living involves taking the pleasures of the flesh. He struggles to control his insatiable thirst for blood until a love affair unleashes his darkest desires in deadly new ways. 134 min.
Call number: DVD thir

Throne of Blood / Kumonosu-Jo
Director: Akira Kurosawa
2003 (1957)
Adaptation of Shakespeare’s Macbeth, set in feudal Japan. Tells the story of a Samurai lord who kills his master and usurps his power in fulfillment of a witch’s prophecy. 109 min.
Call number: DVD thro

Tokyo Godfathers
Director: Satoshi Kon
2004 (2003)
The story takes place on Christmas Eve in Shinjuku, Tokyo. Middle-aged has-been Gin, aging transvestite Hana, and teenage runaway Miyuki are homeless friends who have formed a makeshift family structure bond. That bond is tested when they find an abandoned baby while searching for food in a trash dumpster. They try to care for the infant themselves, and travel throughout the city in search of the baby’s parents. 91 min.
Call number: DVD toky

To Live / Ikiru
Director: Akira Kurosawa
2004 (1952)
Discovering that he is in the terminal stages of cancer, a clerk spends his last months in search of the meaning to life. After his pursuit of pleasure has failed, he finds self-realization in bringing about the building of a children’s playground in the slums and dies quietly fulfilled. 161 min.
Call number: DVD ikir

To Love / Aisuru
Director: Kumai Kei
1999 (1997)
Mitsu meets Yoshioka on Christmas and spends the night with him. But their happiness comes to an end quickly when Mitsu is diagnosed with leprosy, and needs to be transferred to a sanitarium. Yoshioka dares not visit her. Fortunately, the pitiable Mitsu meets the warmest greeting from the people in the Sanitarium. She decides to stay, even when she finds out her diagnosis is mistaken. She realizes her own identity there as Yoshioka eventually hurries to the sanitarium for her. 114 min. In Japanese with English, Chinese (traditional), and Chinese (simplified) subtitles.
Call number: DVD tolo

Tokyo Story / Tokyo Monogatari
Director: Yasujiro Ozu
2003 (1953)
Tokyo Story follows an aging couple, Tomi and Sukichi, on their journey from their rural village to visit their two married children in bustling, post-war Tokyo. Their reception is disappointing: too busy to entertain them, their children send them off to a health spa. After Tomi falls ill she and Sukichi return home, while the children, grief-stricken, hasten to be with her. 136 min.. b&w.
Call number: DVD toky

Tora-San Series:

It’s Tough Being a Man / Otoko wa tsurai yo.

Tora-san’s Cherished Mother / Zoku otoko wa tsurai yo
Director: Yoji Yamada
2002 (1969)
Tora-san returns home because his sister, Sakura, has given birth to a son. He reunites with a professor and becomes attracted to the professor’s daughter. Upon hearing that his mother, whom he has not met since birth, lives in Kyoto, he decides to go see her. To his great shock and disappointment, however, he finds her to be a proprietress of a disreputable house. 93 min..
Call number: DVD tora p.2

Tora-san’s Runaway / Boukyou-hen
Director: Yoji Yamada
2002 (1970)
Tora-san believes he has a serious disease and returns to Hokkaido, his family’s origin. He lives in the home of his uncle and sister, causing chaos and trouble as usual. He moves into a bean curd shop by chance and secretly loves Setsuko, the daughter of the shopkeeper who already has a lover: Will Tora-san be disappointed again? 88 min.
Call number: DVD tora p.5

Tora-san’s Lovesick / Torajiro Koiyatsure
Director: Yoji Yamada
2005 (1974)
Tora-san is getting married! Oh no, it was a mistake. Tora-san thought that single parent Okinu will marry him. However, the father of her son comes back to reunite with his family all of a sudden, which leaves the lonely Tora-san to another heartbreak again… On his way, he meets Utako again. Two years ago, Utako married a young artist and moved to Tsuwano. Now, her husband died and she stays at his home. Utako wants to come back to Tokyo to find a job, but she was afraid that her father would oppose to the idea, until Tora-san appears and changed her mind. 104 min.
Call number: DVD tora p.13

Tora-san’s Lullaby / Torajiro Komoriuta
Director: Yoji Yamada
2005 (1974)
Tora-san has an illegitimate child? To everyone’s suprise, he brought a child back to Shibamata. When everyone in his family decides to raise the child as a family member, they find that he was only an abandoned child that Tora-san found on the street!. 103 min.
Call number: DVD tora p.14

Tora-san Meets the Songstress Again / Torajiro Aiaigasa
Director: Yoji Yamada
2005 (1975)
Tora-san meets the weird and lonely Hyodo in the Northeast. Hyodo is determined to leave his home in Tokyo and goes back to Hokkaido to find his true love that he has not seen for 30 years. Tora-san accompanies him and meets Lily again on their way! He found out that Lily has divorced her husband and becomes a songstress again. 90 min.
Call number: DVD tora p.15

Twilight Samurai / Tasogare Seibei
Director: Yoji Yamada
2004 (2002)
Set during the Bakumatsu period (mid 19th century) a low-ranking samurai is forced to choose service over love. 129 min.
Call number: DVD twil

Vengeance is Mine / Fukushusuru Wa Ware Ni Ari
Director: Shohei Imamura
2007 (1979)
A true crime story about Iwao Enokizu, self-styled “King of criminals.” Director Imamura turns this fact-based story of the seventy-eight day killing spree of a remorseless man from a devoutly Catholic family, into a cold, perverse, and at times funny tale of the primitive coexisting with the modern. 140 min.
Call number: DVD veng

Warm Water Under a Red Bridge / Akai Hashi No Shita No Nerui Mizu
Director: Shohei Imamura
2003 (2001)
A frustrated, unemployed architect travels to a remote fishing village in search of a treasure rumored to be hidden in a house near a red bridge. He builds an intense relationship with one of the occupants of the house, a woman with an unusual condition. 119 min.
Call number: DVD warm

When the Last Sword is Drawn / Mibu Gishiden
Director: Yôjirô Takita
2005 (2003)
Samurai Yoshimura Kanichirō leaves for a larger city so he can make more money to support his family. Initially he is seen as money hungry, but he soon gains respect in his new clan with his master swordsmanship and his honor. 137 min.
Call number: DVD when

Woman in the Dunes / Suna no Onna
Director: Hirosi Teshigahara
2006 (1964)
An entomologist is tricked by villagers into spending the night in a shack in a sandpit with a widow whose task is endlessly to haul away sand. He finds he cannot escape and gradually develops an intense, erotic bond with his companion and resigns himself to a lifetime of hypnotic routine. 123 min.
Call number: DVD woma

Yoshitsune senbonzakura / Yoshitsune and the 1,000 Cherry Trees
The Best Selection Of Kabuki
2004
The three scenes presented here come from the fourth and fifth act of this historical drama set in the late 12th century. In the final scene Ichikawa Ennosuke performs his signature piece as the enchanted fox. 99 min.
Call number: DVD PN 2924.5 .K3 Y674 2004


VHS tapes in Japanese


The Bodyguard / Yojimbo
Director: Akira Kwiosawa
1983 (1961)
A wandering Samurai becomes embroiled in a small town’s feud. 108 min., b&w.
Call number: VHS PN 1997 .Y6

Cruel Story of Youth / Seishun Zankoku Monogatari
Director: Nagisa Oshima
1992 (1960)
A teenage girl and her criminal boyfriend perform sexual shakedowns on well-to-do middle-aged men. Story portrays the disillusionment that took hold in Japan following World War II. 96 min., In Japanese with English subtitles.
Call number: VHS PN 1997 .C79 1992

Dreams / Yume
Director: Akira Kurosawa
1990
A collection of tales based upon the actual dreams of director Akira Kurosawa.
Call number: VHS PN 1995.9 .J34 D74

Early Summer / Bakushû
Director: Yasujiro Ozu
1996 (1951)
Early Summer focuses on Noriko, a 28-year-old woman who must choose beteween staying single or marrying the man her family has picked for her. 125 min., b&w.
Call number: VHS PN 1997 .E27 1996

The Gate of Flesh / Nikutai no Mon
Director: Suzuki Seijun
1999 (1964)
Presents all the lurid details of Taijiro Tamura’s enormously popular novel about black marketers and prostitutes struggling to stay alive in the ruins of post-World War II Tokyo. 90 min.
Call number: VHS PN 1997 .N55 1999

Late Chrysanthemums / Bangiku
Director: Mikio Naruse
1995 (1954)
Geishas in their declining years. Based on the stories by Fumiko Hayashi. 101 min.
Call number: VHS PN 1997 .L38 1995

Life of Oharu / Saikaku Ichidai Onna
Director: Kenji Mizoguchi
1995 (1954)
In 17th-century Japan, a samurai’s daughter, Oharu, falls in love with a pretty servant. Caught together, the man is beheaded and Oharu and her family are exiled. After enduring further misfortunes as a concubine, a courtesan, wife, and prostitute, Oharu becomes a mendicant nun in her old age. 137 min., b&w.
Call number: VHS PN 1995.9 .F67 S35 1992

Minbo or the Gentle Art of Japanese Extortion / Minbo no Onna
Director: Juzo Itami
1994 (1992)
A feisty and resourceful woman lawyer is hired by a big hotel to deal with extortionists, and transforms timid hotel staff into an effective anti-yakuza task force. 123 min.
Call number: VHS PN 1997 .M551 1994

Odd Obsession / Kagi
Director: Kon Ichikawa
1997 (1960)
A blend of comic satire and drama, Odd obsession follows an elderly man’s attempts to satisfy his younger wife. When “potency” injections fail, Mr. Kenmochi incites his own jealousy by orchestrating an affair between his wife and his doctor, who happens to be his daughter’s fiance. 96 min.
Call number: VHS PN 1997 .O23 1997

Samurai Assassin
Director: Kihachi Okamoto
1998
Ronin gather to carry out an assassination of a Shogunate elder. One of them, Niiro Tsuruchiyo, hopes of taking the Shogunate’s severed head so he can win renown and a position in a great samurai house. Based on the book Samurai Nippon by Jiromasa Gunji. 121 min., b&w.
Call number: VHS PN 1997 .S26 1998

Samurai Banners / Furin Kazan
Director: Hiroshi Inagaki
1997 (1969)
Yamamoto Kansuke is a fearsome warrior who has risen to the position of Clan Chamberlain through trickery and deceit, but he learns the meaning of honor when he and his Lord, Takeda, fall in love with the same woman. 132 min.
Call number: VHS PN 1997 .S26 1997

Seven Samurai / Shichinin no Samurai
Director: Akira Kurosawa
1997 (1954)
A desperate village hires seven samurai to protect it from marauders in this crown jewel of Japanese cinema. 208 min., b&w. Also available in DVD.
Call number: VHS PN 1997 .S435

Sisters of the Gion / Gion no Shimai
Director: Kenji Mizoguchi
1997 (1936)
The story of two geisha sisters illuminates the plight of women in Japan. Based on the novel IAma by Aleksandr I. Kuprin. 66 min., b&w.
Call number: VHS PN 1997 .S584 1997

Story of the Last Chrysanthemum / Zangiku Monogatari
Director: Kenji Mizoguchi
1997 (1939)
When Kikunosuke, a mediocre actor from a famous Kabuki family, falls in love with a maid, he is cast out. The faithful Otoku supports her husband as he struggles to perfect his art. In the end, she is quite ill, yet willing to leave her husband so that he may take his rightful place at the head of the Kabuki community. 115 min., b&w.
Call number: VHS PN 1997 .Z37 1997

The Sun’s Burial / Taiyo No Hakaba
Director: Nagisa Oshima
1984 (1960)
Set in the underworld of Osaka’s biggest slum, where teenage gangs, prostitutes and a cruel femme fatale vie for control of the area’s most profitable business– an illegal blood-selling operation– and a right-wing fanatic prepares frantically for World War III. 87 min., In Japanese with English subtitles.
Call number: VHS PN 1997 .T32 1994

A Taxing Woman’s Return / Marusa no Onna 2
Director: Juzo Itami
1999 (1989)
A follow-up to the 1987 hit, A taxing woman. She investigates a corrupt fundamentalist religious order. 127 min.
Call number: VHS PN 1997 .T39 1999

To Live / Ikiru
Director: Akira Kurosawa
1985 (1952)
Discovering that he is in the terminal stages of cancer, a government clerk spends his last months in search of a meaning to life. 134 min., b&w.
Call number:VHS PN 1997 .I41 1966

Traffic Jam / Jutai
Director: Mitsuo Kurotsuchi
1991
Story of the ordinary Japanese family who are caught in a heavy traffic jam and encounter various events on the way from Tokyo to their hometown on the New Year’s Holiday season. 108 min.
Call number: VHS PN1997 .T7 1995


DVDs with Japanese Cultural Content


Hiroshima Mon Amour
Director: Alain Resnais
2003 (1959)
A Japanese architect and a French actress engage in a brief intense affair in Hiroshima in 1959. Both deal with their personal memories of World War II–he by articulating his firsthand experience with nuclear disaster, she by remembering her traumatic affair with a German soldier.
Call number: DVD hiro

The Last Samurai
Director: Edward Zwick
2003
Tormented Civil War veteran Capt. Nathan Algren is coerced by a mercenary officer to train the Japanese Emperor’s troops in the use of modern weaponry. Opposing this modernization are the samurai warriors who are holding fast to their traditions of honor, despite their strategic disadvantage. As a captive of the samurai leader, Algren learns, appreciates, and adopts the samurai code, switching sides for a climactic battle that will put everyone’s honor to the ultimate test. 2 discs, 154 min.
Call number: DVD last