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Japanese Studies: Japanese Film

Guide to resources for the study of Japan and Japanese

Encyclopedias and other Reference Works

Periodicals/Journals on Film

Film Quarterly (1945–present)

Film & History: An Interdisciplinary Journal (1971–present)

Film Criticism (1976–present)

Literature/Film Quarterly (1973–present)

Film Research Databases

Use these databases to locate scholarly articles about Japanese Film. While there may be some overlap in what you discover with your search, keep in mind that each database includes some unique works of academic literature. So, searching more than one database will provide you with different resources. For detailed information about each database, click the relevant "Information Icon" .

EBSCO Databases

These databases can be searched at the same time by clicking on the "Choose Databases" link above the search bar. The more databases you add, the more likely you are to find articles, but it can also take longer to load.

ProQuest Databases

Try searching these databases at the same time.

Additional Databases/Resources

Books on Japanese Film

Influential Japanese Directors

Below are influential Japanese Directors and links to resources about them at the library.

Kurosawa Akira

b.1910 d.1998
Genres: Samurai, Gangster, Drama
Films directed by Kurosawa
Books & Screenplays by Kurosawa
Books & Articles on Kurosawa/Works


Ozu Yasujirô

b. 1903 d.1963
Genres: shomin-geki (commoner drama)
Films by Ozu
Articles & Screenplays by Ozu
Books & Articles on Ozu/Works

Miyazaki Hayao 

Genre: Anime
Films directed by Miyazaki
Books (Art, Manga, Fiction) by Miyazaki
Books & Articles on Miyazaki/Works

Takahata Isao

b.1935 d. 2018
Genres: Anime
Films directed by Takahata
Books & Articles on Takahata/works

Kore-eda Hirokazu 

Genres: Documentary, Drama
Films directed by Koreeda
Books & Articles on Koreeda/works

Japanese Films at the Library

In the library homepage search box, use either the advanced search option or the left sidebar to narrow search results. Results can be narrowed under Subject or Genre/Style. Below are some example searches.

There are viewing stations in the library (ask at a help desk). You can also check out DVD and BlueRay disks.

If you have a suggestion for what the library should order, fill out this form. You must have a library account to do so. 

Streaming Services

Through HBLL:

Hover over the link to learn more about the resource. Click this link to recommend a title for the library to purchase.

External Streaming Services:

Highlighting Japanese Women Directors

あん = Sweet bean

Baker Sentaro's business enjoys new success when his new 76-year-old assistant Tokue shares her recipe for the sweet red bean paste used in the bakery's dorayaki pancakes, but another of Tokue's secrets may bring their happy work life to an early end. Directed by Kawase Naomi PN 1995.97 .J3 J37an 2016

Naomi Kawase

Naomi Kawase, (born May 30, 1969, Nara, Japan), Japanese film director who was the youngest person to win the Caméra d’Or (for best debut feature film) at the Cannes film festival, for Moe no suzaku (1997)... (Britannica)


Misako is a passionate writer of film versions for the visually impaired. At a screening, she meets Nakamori, an older photographer who is slowly losing his eyesight. Misako soon discovers Nakamori’s photographs, which will strangely bring her back to her past. Together, they will learn to see the radiant world that was invisible to her eyes.  Directed by Kawase Naomi Stream on Kanopy

Ten Nights of Dreams

Delves into the surreal subconscious with ten madly imaginative, reality-subverting visions that range from wonderfully wacky to nightmarishly unsettling. Miwa Nishikawa directs one of these visions. PN 1995.97 .J3 J37ten 2008

Miwa Nishikawa

Miwa Nishikawa is a award-winning screenwriter/director from Okayama, Japan. She worked with Koreeda Hirokazu and is often considered as one of his protégés.

Japanese Film Recommendations

Below are different lists and rankings for Japanese Films.