Japanese Historical Movies

Friday, April 15 by Ed Mulero

Japanese historical movies explore the culture and the people throughout the ages and display them on the glorious silver screen. Audiences sit back and marvel at these historical movies, which reenact significant period of the Japanese people's past for the world to marvel. Movies are an excellent medium to take Japanese traditions, culture and certain historical aspects to create a blend of wondrous entertainment and drama. Japanese movies have taken their historical roots and merged them often times with modern day to compose similar effects. Japanese historical movies represent the long and storied lives of this proud people and the many tales from the oceans of time.

  1. "Letters from Iwo Jima." Clint Eastwood directed this World War II drama about the Japanese Imperial army impending battle against the U.S. forces. Ken Watanabe plays General Kuribayashi who tries to prepare his troops for the difficult battle ahead of them.  This historical film gives the rare glimpse of the Japanese soldiers point-of-view in the midst of impending peril at the hands of an immense foe.
  2. "Memoirs of a Geisha." A young girl from a Japanese fishing village is sold to a geisha house in Kyoto during 1929. Zhang Ziyi plays Sayuri as she grows to become a famous geisha among an intriguing world of wealth and privilege. Rob Marshall led an all star cast to bring this historical drama where a lady must delegate her newfound status with the pratfalls of politics and history.
  3. "The Last Samurai." Tom Cruise is a war weary veteran of the Civil War who travels to Japan to train their soldiers in modern warfare using guns. Traditional families devoted to the historical samurai way revolt against the Westernizing influence of combat. The captain is captured in battle and soon learns the ancient Japanese traditions and works with the rebels to preserve the Bushido way.
  4. "Seven Samurai." Famed director Akira Kurosawa creates this historical Japanese period piece about a seasoned samurai trying to protect a poor village. He enlists six others to go and instruct the townsfolk how to protect themselves against bandits. Soon, the rag tag group of samurai face forty bandits who are hell bent on sacking the village.

-Eduardo Camacho

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