Romantic Japanese Movies

Friday, March 25 by Elizabeth Ahn

Looking for excellent romantic Japanese movies?  Like Korean movies, these movies are nothing like what you'll see in American or British cinemas—and that's a good thing.  The following movies below are considered the best in Japanese cinema.

  1. "Shall We Dance?": Shohei Sugiyama, a successful–and married–accountant in Tokyo, is frustrated about his life and wants to take a new direction.  He soon gets that sign when he looks up at a window one day and sees a beautiful lady by the name of Mai.  He decides to get to know her better.  He soon finds out that she offers dance lessons and decides to take dancing lessons in order to get closer to her.  Unfortunately, his wife begins suspecting Shohei might be up to something, leading to a heart-wrenching turn of events.
  2. "Love Exposure": Yu Tsunoda isn't very lucky, and after losing a bet, he is forced to fulfill a strange request: to enter town and kiss the first woman he encounters, dressed as a woman.  As he enters town, he comes across Yoko, a young girl about to be attacked by gangsters.  Yu saves her life, and then fulfills the bet by kissing her–but Yoko assumes Yu is a woman.  Things start to get interesting in this amusing movie.
  3. "Shinobi": This is a classic twist on Romeo and Juliet, set in the middle ages in Japan.  Two violent clans–the Shinobi and the Tsubagakure–are forced to live at peace, but the Lord of the Lords believes both clans cannot uphold the peace.  Instead of talking to each clan about his concerns, he vows to kill their best trained warriors instead.  In the midst of this controversy lies Iga and Koga, who are falling in love despite being from the opposing clans the Lord of the Lords wants to kill off.  This star-struck tale of love, deceit and anguish is a real tear-jerker.
  4. "Last Love": Saxophonist Akira decides to go into retirement after his wife's untimely death, in hopes of spending more time with his only daughter.  In the height of his career, Akira spent more time on his career instead of his family–and now her death has finally made him realize the error of his ways.  But things get interesting when he meets a woman that touches that spark he thought he'd never get back–the love, the passion and the infatuation of having a woman by his side.
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