Japanese Directors

by treasureplanet-997-192782 | created - 27 Jun 2011 | updated - 26 Apr 2013 | Public

1. Hayao Miyazaki

Director | Sen to Chihiro no kamikakushi

Hayao Miyazaki is one of Japan's greatest animation directors. The entertaining plots, compelling characters, and breathtaking animation in his films have earned him international renown from critics as well as public recognition within Japan. The Walt Disney Company's commitment to introduce the ...

3. Banmei Takahashi

Director | Tattoo Ari

Banmei Takahashi was born on May 10, 1949 in Nara, Japan. He is a director and writer, known for Tattoo Ari (1982), Box: Hakamada jiken - inochi towa (2010) and Hibi (2005). He has been married to Keiko Takahashi since June 8, 1982.

4. Gakuryû Ishii

Director | Yume no ginga

Gakuryû Ishii was born on January 15, 1957 in Hakata, Fukuoka, Japan. He is a director and writer, known for Labyrinth of Dreams (1997), Angel Dust (1994) and Electric Dragon 80.000 V (2001).

5. Gisaburô Sugii

Director | Arashi no yoru ni

He was born in Numazu City. Between 1958 and 1961 joined Toei Doga as animator. Here he became a close friend of reputed animation director Osamu Tezuka, and when Tezuka left the company to create his own, Mushi Production, he called Sugii to work with him. So Sugii joined Mushi until 1967. Here ...

6. Hideaki Anno

Director | Shin Gojira

Hideaki Anno was born on May 22, 1960 in Ube, Yamaguchi, Japan. He is known for his work on Shin Godzilla (2016), Evangelion: 1.0 You Are (Not) Alone (2007) and The Wind Rises (2013). He has been married to Moyoco Anno since March 26, 2002.

7. Hideo Nakata

Director | Honogurai mizu no soko kara

Hideo Nakata was born on July 19, 1961 in Okayama, Japan. He is a director and writer, known for Dark Water (2002), Ringu (1998) and Ringu 2 (1999).

9. Hirokazu Koreeda

Director | Manbiki kazoku

Born in Tokyo in 1962. Originally intended to be a novelist, but after graduating from Waseda University in 1987 went on to become an assistant director at T.V. Man Union. Snuck off set to film Lessons from a Calf (1991). His first feature, Maborosi (1995), based on a Teru Miyamoto novel and drawn ...

10. Hiromasa Yonebayashi

Director | Omoide no Mânî

Hiromasa Yonebayashi is known for his work on When Marnie Was There (2014), The Secret World of Arrietty (2010) and Mary and the Witch's Flower (2017).

11. Isao Takahata

Director | Hotaru no haka

Isao Takahata was born on October 29, 1935 in Ise, Mie, Japan. He was a director and writer, known for Grave of the Fireflies (1988), The Tale of The Princess Kaguya (2013) and Only Yesterday (1991). He died on April 5, 2018 in Tokyo, Japan.

12. Isshin Inudô

Director | Tatchi

Isshin Inudô was born on June 14, 1960 in Tokyo, Japan. He is a director and producer, known for Touch (2005), Zero no shôten (2009) and La maison de Himiko (2005).

13. Junji Sakamoto

Director | Kao

Junji Sakamoto was born on October 1, 1954 in Sakai, Japan. He is a director and writer, known for Face (2000), Dotsuitarunen (1989) and Someday (2011).

14. Kaneto Shindô

Writer | Ichimai no hagaki

Kaneto Shindô was born on April 22, 1912 in Hiroshima, Japan. He was a writer and director, known for Postcard (2010), A Last Note (1995) and The Naked Island (1960). He was married to Nobuko Otowa and Miyo Shindo. He died on May 29, 2012 in Hiroshima.

15. Kankurô Kudô

Writer | Go

Kankurô Kudô was born on July 19, 1970 in Miyagi, Japan as Shunichiro Kudo. He is a writer and actor, known for Go (2001), Too Young to Die (2016) and Yaji and Kita: The Midnight Pilgrims (2005).

16. Kazuhiro Sôda

Producer | Seishin

Kazuhiro Sôda is a producer and director, known for Mental (2008), Peace (2010) and Theatre 2 (2012). He is married to Kiyoko Kashiwagi.

17. Kazuo Hara

Director | Yuki yukite, shingun

Kazuo Hara was born on June 8, 1945 in Yamaguchi, Japan. He is a director and cinematographer, known for The Emperor's Naked Army Marches On (1987), A Dedicated Life (1994) and Sayonara CP (1972).

18. Kazuyoshi Kumakiri

Director | Kichiku dai enkai

Kazuyoshi Kumakiri was born on September 1, 1974 in Obihiro, Japan. He is a director and writer, known for Kichiku dai enkai (1997), Hole in the Sky (2001) and Sketches of Kaitan City (2010).

19. Kazuyuki Izutsu

Director | Pacchigi!

Kazuyuki Izutsu was born on December 13, 1952 in Yamatokoriyama, Japan. He is a director and writer, known for Break Through! (2004), Boys Be Ambitious (1996) and Get Up! (2003).

20. Keiichi Hara

Director | Kappa no Kû to natsuyasumi

Born in Tatebayashi city. After working in a PR firm, joined Shin'Ei Animation Company in 1982. After doing animation tasks for the TV series "Doraemon" (created by Fujiko-Fujio), he was promoted to chief director with others TV series of the same creators, "ESPer Mami" (1987-88) and "21-Emon" (...

21. Kenji Uchida

Writer | Unmei janai hito

Kenji Uchida is a writer and director, known for A Stranger of Mine (2005), Key of Life (2012) and After School (2008).

22. Kichitaro Negishi

Director | Yuki ni negau koto

Kichitaro Negishi was born on August 24, 1950 in Tokyo, Japan. He is a director and assistant director, known for What the Snow Brings (2005), Distant Thunder (1981) and Villon's Wife (2009).

23. Kiyoshi Kurosawa

Director | Kairo

Kiyoshi Kurosawa was born on July 19, 1955 in Kobe, Japan. He is a director and writer, known for Pulse (2001), Tokyo Sonata (2008) and Journey to the Shore (2015).

24. Kiyoshi Sasabe

Director | Han-ochi

Kiyoshi Sasabe was born on January 8, 1958 in Shimonoseki, Yamaguchi, Japan. He is a director and writer, known for Half a Confession (2004), My SO Has Got Depression (2011) and Kekkon shiyou yo (2008).

25. Kôji Wakamatsu

Director | Jitsuroku Rengo Sekigun: Asama sanso e no michi

The pioneering Kôji Wakamatsu (born Ito Takashi) was a contemporary of Oshima Nagisa and equally controversial, yet not as famous. The man was born in Miyagi Prefecture in the north of Japan before dropping out of agricultural school, some say following a physical altercation, moving to Tokyo at ...

26. Koji Yamamura

Director | Atama-yama

Koji Yamamura is a director and producer, known for Mount Head (2002), The Old Crocodile (2005) and Muybridge's Strings (2011).

27. Kôki Mitani

Writer | Rajio no jikan

Kôki Mitani was born on July 8, 1961 in Tokyo, Japan. He is a writer and director, known for Welcome Back, Mr. McDonald (1997), The Kiyosu Conference (2013) and Suite Dreams (2006). He was previously married to Satomi Kobayashi.

28. Kunio Kato

Director | Tsumiki no ie

Kunio Kato was born in 1977 in Japan. He is known for his work on The House of Small Cubes (2008), Aru tabibito no nikki (2003) and Robotting (2000).

29. Kunitoshi Manda

Director | Unloved

Kunitoshi Manda was born in 1956 in Tokyo, Japan. He is a director and writer, known for Unloved (2001), The Kiss (2007) and Ano tonneru (2004).

30. Makoto Shinkai

Writer | Kimi no na wa.

Makoto Shinkai is a Japanese director, writer, producer, animator, editor, cinematographer, voice actor, manga artist and former graphic designer.

Shinkai studied Japanese literature at Chuo University where he was a member of juvenile literature club where he drew picture books. In 1999, Shinkai ...

32. Mamoru Hosoda

Director | Ookami kodomo no Ame to Yuki

Mamoru Hosoda is a Japanese film director and animator. Formerly employed at Toei Animation, he went to work at Madhouse from 2005 to 2011. Hosoda left Madhouse in 2011 to establish his own animation studio, Studio Chizu. He first came to public attention in the early 2000s with the first two films...

33. Mamoru Oshii

Director | Innocence

Mamoru Oshii is a Japanese filmmaker, television director and screenwriter. Famous for his philosophy-oriented storytelling, Oshii has directed a number of popular anime, including Urusei Yatsura (1981-1984), Angel's Egg (1985), Patlabor: The Movie (1989), Ghost in the Shell (1995), and Ghost in ...

34. Masato Harada

Writer | Waga haha no ki

Born in 1949, He has worked as a film critic for several Japanese magazines and newspapers and was considered one of Japan's most severe social critics before becoming a film director.

35. Masayuki Suo

Director | Shall we dansu?

Masayuki Suo was born on October 29, 1956 in Tokyo, Japan. He is a director and writer, known for Shall We Dance? (1996), Sumo Do, Sumo Don't (1992) and I Just Didn't Do It (2006). He has been married to Tamiyo Kusakari since March 9, 1996.

36. Miwa Nishikawa

Writer | Dia dokutâ

Miwa Nishikawa was born in 1974 in Hiroshima, Japan. She is a writer and director, known for Dear Doctor (2009), Sway (2006) and Wild Berries (2003).

37. Nagisa Ôshima

Director | Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence

Nagisa Oshima's career extends from the initiation of the "Nuberu bagu" (New Wave) movement in Japanese cinema in the late 1950s and early 1960s, to the contemporary use of cinema and television to express paradoxes in modern society. After an early involvement with the student protest movement in ...

39. Naomi Kawase

Director | An

Naomi Kawase was born on May 30, 1969 in Nara, Japan. She is a director and writer, known for Sweet Bean (2015), Suzaku (1997) and Still the Water (2014). She was previously married to Takenori Sentô.

40. Noboru Iguchi

Director | The ABCs of Death

Noboru Iguchi was born on June 28, 1969 in Tokyo, Japan. He is a director and writer, known for The ABCs of Death (2012), The Machine Girl (2008) and RoboGeisha (2009).

41. Nobuhiko Ôbayashi

Director | Hausu

Nobuhiko Ôbayashi was born on January 9, 1938 in Onomichi, Hiroshima Prefecture, Japan. He is a director and editor, known for House (1977), Turning Point (1994) and The Discarnates (1988).

42. Nobuhiro Yamashita

Director | Matsugane ransha jiken

Nobuhiro Yamashita was born on August 29, 1976 in Aichi, Japan. He is a director and writer, known for The Matsugane Potshot Affair (2006), Hazy Life (1999) and Linda Linda Linda (2005).

43. Ryosuke Hashiguchi

Writer | Gururi no koto

Hashiguchi Ryosuke directed 8mm-films while still at secondary school. In 1989 his short film "A Secret Evening" won the grand prix at the Pia Film Festival. In 1992 he made his first feature "The Slight Fever of a 20-year old", which was screened in Berlin and broke box-office records at one of ...

44. Ryuichi Hiroki

Director | Vibrator

Ryuichi Hiroki was born in 1955 in Kohriyama, Fukushima, Japan. He is a director and writer, known for Vibrator (2003), It's Only Talk (2005) and Tokyo Trash Baby (2000).

45. Satoshi Miki

Writer | Ore ore

Married to actress Eri Fuse who has appeared in several of his films.

47. Seijun Suzuki

Director | Tsigoineruwaizen

Seijun Suzuki was born in Nihonbashi, Tôkyô, on May 24, 1923. In 1943, he entered the army to fight at the front. In 1946, he enrolled in the film department of the Kamakura Academy and passed the assistant director's exam. For the next few years, he worked as an assistant director at several ...

48. Shinji Aoyama

Director | Yurîka

A director known for the thematic and visual bleakness of his work, Aoyama often sets his films in the Kyushu region from which he hails. He graduated from Rikkyo University and became known in 1996, but it was Eureka in 2000, which won him prizes at the Cannes Film Festival. Aoyama would continue ...

49. Shinobu Yaguchi

Director | Suwingu gâruzu

Shinobu Yaguchi was born on May 30, 1967 in Isehara, Kanagawa, Japan. He is a director and writer, known for Swing Girls (2004), Wood Job! (2014) and Hadashi no pikunikku (1993).

50. Shin'ya Tsukamoto

Actor | Tetsuo

Shin'ya Tsukamoto was born on January 1, 1960 in Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan. He is an actor and director, known for Tetsuo (1989), Ichi the Killer (2001) and Vital (2004).

51. Sion Sono

Director | Ai no mukidashi

Shion Sono is a Japanese director, writer and poet. Born in Aichi Perfecture in 1961 he started his career working as a poet before taking his first steps in film directing. As a student he shot a series of short films in Super 8 and managed to make his first feature films in the late 80s and early...

52. Shunji Iwai

Writer | Vampire

Having received his education at Yokohama National University, Shunji Iwai started out in the entertainment industry by directing music videos and television dramas, including the likes of Maria, Lunatic Love and Fireworks, for which he received the award for Best Newcomer from the Japanese ...

53. Shûsuke Kaneko

Director | Death Note: Desu nôto

Shûsuke Kaneko was born on June 8, 1955 in Tokyo, Japan. He is a director and writer, known for Death Note (2006), Gamera: Guardian of the Universe (1995) and Summer Vacation 1999 (1988).

54. Takahiro Nakamura

Director | Yokohama Merî

Takahiro Nakamura is a director and writer, known for Yokohama Mary (2006), Henri Mitowa: Zen to hone (2016) and Yasukuni (2007).

55. Takahisa Zeze

Writer | Kindan no sono: Za seifuku rezu

Takahisa Zeze was born in 1960 in Tochigi, Japan. He is a writer and director, known for Kindan no sono: Za seifuku rezu (1992), Upcoming Scenery (1996) and Owaranai sekkusu (1995).

57. Takashi Miike

Director | Koroshiya 1

Takashi Miike was born in the small town of Yao on the outskirts of Osaka, Japan. His main interest growing up was motorbikes, and for a while he harbored ambitions to race professionally. At the age of 18 he went to study at the film school in Yokohama founded by renowned director Shôhei Imamura, ...

58. Takashi Shimizu

Director | Ju-on

Takashi Shimizu was born on July 27, 1972 in Maebashi City, Gunma Prefecture, Japan. He is a director and writer, known for Ju-on: The Grudge (2002), The Grudge (2004) and The Grudge 2 (2006).

59. Takeshi Kitano

Actor | Zatôichi

Takeshi Kitano originally studied to become an engineer, but was thrown out of school for rebellious behavior. He learned comedy, singing and dancing from famed comedian Senzaburô Fukami. Working as a lift boy on a nightclub with such features as comic sketches and striptease dancing, Kitano saw ...

60. Takuji Suzuki

Director | Niji

Takuji Suzuki was born on February 14, 1967 in Shizuoka, Japan. He is an actor and director, known for Rainbow (1988), I'm a Cat Stalker (2009) and One Piece! (1999).

61. Tatsuya Mori

Director | A2

He was graduated from Rikkyo University in 1980. In his student time, he belongs to students' movie production circle "Rikkyo SPP" and he collaborated with Kiyoshi Kurosawa who is now one of most talented young movie director in Japan. After graduation, he tried to earn his life as actor and ...

62. Tetsuaki Matsue

Director | Furasshubakku memorîzu 3D

Tetsuaki Matsue was born in 1977 in Tachikawa, Tokyo, Japan as Yu Chol-myong. He is a director and actor, known for Flashback Memories 3D (2012), Live Tape (2009) and Annyong Kimchi (1999).

63. Tetsuya Nakashima

Director | Kokuhaku

Tetsuya Nakashima was born on September 2, 1959 in Fukuoka, Japan. He is a director and writer, known for Confessions (2010), Memories of Matsuko (2006) and Kamikaze Girls (2004).

64. Yôichi Sai

Director | Chi to hone

Yôichi Sai was born on July 6, 1949 in Nagano, Japan as Yang-il Choi. He is a director and writer, known for Blood and Bones (2004), All Under the Moon (1993) and Doing Time (2002).

65. Yôji Yamada

Writer | Tasogare Seibei

Yamada Yoji graduated Tokyo University in 1954, the year he joined Shochiku as an assistant director. In 1969, he launched the popular "Tora-san" series, the world's longest theatrical film series. "The Twilight Samurai" (The Twilight Samurai (2002)) marks his 77th film as well as his 41th year as ...

66. Yôjirô Takita

Director | Okuribito

Born in Takaoka, Toyama, Yojiro Takita came to international audiences' attention with the release of Okuribito ('Departures'), which won the Best foreign Language film awards at the Oscars in 2009. He had begun his directorial career in the 1980s with the 'chikan' ('molester') series depicting ...

67. Yoshimitsu Morita

Writer | Kazoku gêmu

Yoshimitsu Morita was born on January 25, 1950 in Chigasaki, Kanagawa, Japan. He was a writer and director, known for The Family Game (1983), And Then (1985) and Haru (1996). He was married to Misao Morita. He died on December 20, 2011 in Tokyo, Japan.

68. Yoshishige Yoshida

Director | Ningen no yakusoku

Yoshishige Yoshida was born on February 16, 1933 in Fukui, Japan. He is a director and writer, known for A Promise (1986), Wuthering Heights (1988) and Farewell to the Summer Light (1968). He has been married to Okada, Mariko since 1964.

69. Yû Irie

Director | SR: Saitama no rappâ

Yû Irie was born in 1979 in Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan. He is a director and writer, known for 8000 Miles (2009), SR: Saitama no rappâ - Rôdosaido no toubousha (2012) and Memoirs of a Murderer (2017).

71. Yûya Ishii

Director | Yozora wa itsudemo saikô mitsudo no aoiro da

Yûya Ishii is a director and writer, known for Tokyo Night Sky Is Always the Densest Shade of Blue (2017), The Great Passage (2013) and Kimi to arukou (2009). He was previously married to Hikari Mitsushima.

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