This article will highlight the best Japanese movie directors and their most artistic films. A director is the person responsible for guiding the actors and crew in the shooting of a movie. Here is the list of the best Japanese directors and some of their movies that you should watch.

  1.  Imamura Shohei. Imamura became an assistant director with Ofuna Studios in 1951. As a director, Shohei was known for shooting films with themes and characters that were previously taboo in Japan, such as incest, gangsters, prostitutes and pornographers. His unsettling films have received worldwide acclaim, Shohei directed his last movie in 2001, and passed on in 2006. He is know for such bizarre films as "The Pornographers" and "Vengeance is Mine." 

  2. Hayao Miyazaki. When is comes to Anime, Miyazaki is uncontested in Japan as well as the United States.  Miyazaki began his career as an animator for Toei Animation Company, and went on to direct his first feature movie, "Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro" in 1979. He co-founded Studio Ghibli with director Isao Takahata in 1985, and has since directed eight feature movies. Miyazaki gained international attention after the release of his 1997 film "Princess Mononoke." 

  3. Makoto Shinkai. Since making his mark in the world of today's Anime, Shinkai is heralded as being "The next Miyazaki," a title for which he shies away from. In 2002 he directed his first movie, "Voices of a Distant Star" almost entirely by himself. Since then, all three of his films have been deep heartfelt, and tragic love stories. Shikai's latest movie, "Hosi o Ou Kodomo," is in post production.

  4. Mamoru Oshii. Oshii is best know for his 1996 cyberpunk movie "Ghost in the Shell," which climbed to the top of the US Billboards video charts. Oshii is also known for such popular Anime titles as "Urusei Yatsura 2: Beautiful Dreamer," and "Patlabor2." His directing talent was discovered while working as a storyboard artist on the Japanese animated TV series "Urusei Yatsura." Oshii's most recent film "Assault Girls," 2009 was based on his earlier film "Avalon."

  5. Takeshi Kitano. Kitano began his career in Japanese television as half of the comedy duo "The Two Beats." He got his start as a director while acting in his first major role in the movie "Violent Cop." The original director of "Violent Cop" left the job due to Kitano insisting on single shots, Kitano took over and in spite of his inexperience, prove to have an artistic eye. Takeshi went on to direct such popular titles as "Sonatine" and "Outrage", which competed for the Palme d' Or at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival.