Article: Top 10 Japanese Movies That Portray The Natural World

People are inspired by real-life stories every time they see them. Often, movies based on such stories do better at the box office! A film based on or inspired by a real story lends dramatic weight to something that would otherwise be fictitious and appeals to audiences. Here we are going to talk about ten such Japanese movies which portray the natural world:

1. Hokusai

Release Date: 28 May 2021

Director: Hajime Hashimoto

Genre: Biopic


The film is about the life of a Japanese artist of the 1800s. A young-unpopular painter, Hokusai Katsushika, is torn between his profession and his desire to paint. As an elderly, he is still passionate about painting and works to improve it. His most famous work is a series of landscape prints called "Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji."


2. Sunshine Ahead

Release Date: 24 April 2010

Director: Toshio Lee

Genre: biopic


Based on a true story, Sunshine Ahead is a story of an environmentalist Kinjo Koji and his wife, who embark on an ambitious dream to create coral reefs in the sea. Although it takes a time of 10 years to succeed, they can become the first persons to make coral reefs.


3. I Am Ichihashi- Journal Of A Murderer

Release Date: 9 November 2013

Director: Dean Fujioka

Genre: Drama, Crime, Thriller


In 2007, Tatsuya Ichihashi became a sought-after fugitive after killing a British-born teacher, Lindsay Ann Hawker, who worked as an English teacher in Japan. Ichihashi then eluded authorities for two years while getting plastic surgery.

In 2011, Tatsuya Ichihashi, convicted for the murder of Lindsay Hawker in 2007, wrote his autobiographical book "Taihou Sareru Made."


4. Nobody Knows

Release Date: 7 August 2004

Director: Hirokazu Koreeda

Genre: Family, Drama


The film is related to an event in 1988 known as the "Affair of the four abandoned children of Sugamo." A single mother with her 12-year-old son, Akira, moves into a new apartment. They lie to the landlord about having only one son but later opens her suitcase to pop out her other three children. After settling down for a while, the mother abandons the children for good. Now the oldest son, Akira, must take care of his siblings alone, or they get separated into foster homes.


5. Hayabusa

Release Date: 1 October 2011

Director: Yukihiko Tsutsumi

Genre: Drama, Space


Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) launched Hayabusa to space on 9 May 2003. Its mission is to collect the samples from a near-Earth asteroid, scheduled to make contact in November 2005. As the spacecraft approaches its targeted asteroid, problems start arising from the staff of JAXA.


6. Hachi-Ko

Release Date: 1 August 1987

Director: Seijiro Koyama


A professor of Tokyo University receives a newborn puppy as a gift. Although his wife does not want to keep the puppy, Professor loves him so much that he names the puppy Hachi. Every day Professor goes to work by railway while Hachi walks with him to the station and greets him when he arrives in the evening. One day, the Professor passes away, and his family moves to another city, but Hachi keeps vising the house and station to wait for his master to come.

7. Tokyo Biyori

Release Date: 18 October 1997

Director: Naoto Takenaka


This movie portrays a strange and passionate marriage based on a book by photographer Nobuyoshi Araki about his dead wife. Shimazu, a photographer, quits his job and goes freelance. His wife, Yoko, takes work to pay the bills. During a dinner party, Yoko confuses the name of a young editor and makes herself slide into shame. She disappears for three days and later returns with a young boy. Despite Yoko's often baffling behavior, she and Shimizu remain in love.


8. Tengaramon

Release Date: 11 December 2020

Director: Mitsutoshi Tanaka

Genre: Biopic


The movie is about the life of Tomoatsu Godai (1836-1885). Tomoatsu Godai has the talent of a merchant and the spirit of a warrior. He worked as a government officer and later became a businessman, who laid the foundation for Osaka city to become a commercial metropolis.


9. Hashire! Ichiro

Release Date: 28 April 2001

Director: Kazuki Ohmori


The story is the story "Hashire! Takahashi" by Ryuu Murakami. The Kobe Green Stadium is home to the Orix Blue Wave baseball team. Since the earthquake in 1995, Blue Wave has been helping with the reconstruction of Kobe city. The star player, Ichiro, has become a hope for many people. Several named Ichiro are at the stadium, ready to 'run' for the future.


10. The Climber's High

Release Date: 5 July 2008

Director: Masato Harada

Genre: Airline, Disaster, Journal


The film is about a novel by Hideo Yokoyama that reports an airplane crash. It is on the real-life plane crash of Japan Airlines Flight 123 in 1985.

On 12 August 1985, a jet crashed, causing 500 fatalities, making the accident the most significant plane accident in the world.