Respecting one's nation is a fundamental obligation on the part of every citizen. In almost every case, it is because of the fruits of our ancestors' labor that we live a happy life today. The land on which we are born and brought up should not be taken for granted. There are countless films that try to capture this sense of togetherness and unity in order to instill it in future generations. These may be based on historical occurrences, wars, or internal struggles amongst the people of yesteryear. Without any further ado, here is a list of the Top 10 Most Patriotic Japanese Movies.
1. Seven Samurai
Seven Samurai, directed by Akira Kurosawa , is the tale of a village infested by bandits that invaded and stole their crops every harvest. Frustrated, the farmers hire 7 ronin to protect their fields. A timeless classic, this film is considered one of the most "referenced, reworked, remade" movies in cinematic history.
2. Fires On The Plain
This story follows Private Tamura who is diagnosed with tuberculosis and now considered useless by his platoon. They abandon him with the order to commit suicide if he is not able to find a field hospital on his journey. This bleak and war-ridden film is now considered a timeless classic.
3. Twilight Samurai
This movie is based on the Shuhei Fujisawa short story "The Bamboo Sword". Starring Hiroyuki Sanada, this film tells the story of a low-rank samurai Seibei Iguchi, who is currently working as a bureaucrat living in a house with his mother and daughters. The film proceeds as a series of misfortunate events turn the tides against him.
4. The Eternal Zero
A film with varying points of view, the story mainly follows a brother and sister who discover their grandfather's occupation back in the day- a kamikaze pilot. The film goes on to recount his life through the eyes of his former colleagues and friends who give vastly varying accounts.
5. Japan's Longest Day
This thoroughly detailed film describes the exact series of events between noon August 14 and 15 of the year 1945 that led to the reigning Emperor Hirohito's decision to surrender to the Allies during the Second World war. It features plot points like the Emperor's broadcasted message to the people of Japan.
6. Tokyo Olympiad
A recording of the 1964 Summer Tokyo Olympics, this documentary focused on the participants and their human side and not their wins and losses. This film is claimed to be a major milestone in cinematography and documentary filmmaking and is quite similar to Leni Riefenstahl's Olympia based on the 1936 Berlin Summer Olympics.
7. Better Wishes For Tomorrow
This period film received criticism for its view that the Pearl Harbour incident and war crimes were "evened" by the Hiroshima bombing. The film gives a view of the trial and execution of 38 U.S soldiers in Japan, as a tit for tat regarding the prosecution of Lieutenant General Tasuku Okada by the US.
This cinematic masterpiece follows Japan's Operation Ten-Go. It follows the points of view of the crew of servicemen aboard the infamous Yamato, a Japanese battleship to the moments leading up to their deaths. The movie flashes back and forth between the present and the past, giving us a more nuanced field of view.
9. Oba: The Last Samurai
This historical piece recounts the tale of a samurai who has to lead his unit in one last war against Saipan that lasted 512 days after the Emperor's surrender to the Allies in World War II. This battle is considered as the last structured resistance of the World War II Japanese forces.
The 1996 Humanitas Prize winner, this film follows the historic Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombing and the series of drastic decision-making that led up to this infamous tragedy. This Japanese- Canadian piece also was nominated for "Outstanding Miniseries" by the Emmys.