List of Japanese submissions for the Academy Award for Best International Feature Film
Japan has submitted films for the Academy Award for Best International Feature Film[nb 1] since the inception of the award. The award is handed out annually by the United States Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to a feature-length motion picture produced outside the United States that contains primarily non-English dialogue.
The Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film was not created until 1956; however, between 1947 and 1955, the Academy presented Honorary Awards to the best foreign language films released in the United States. These awards were not competitive, as there were no nominees but simply a winner every year that was voted on by the Board of Governors of the Academy. Three Japanese films were recipients of Honorary Awards during this period. For the 1956 Academy Awards, a competitive Academy Award of Merit, known as the Best Foreign Language Film Award, was created for non-English speaking films, and has been given annually since.
As of 2020[update], twelve Japanese films have been nominees for Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, and one film, Departures, has won the award. The only Japanese directors to have multiple films be nominated for the award are Akira Kurosawa and Noboru Nakamura. Kurosawa received an Honorary Award prior to the inception of the formal award for his work on Rashomon and the actual Academy Award for Dersu Uzala (submitted for the former Soviet Union), and had four other films submitted, with two of them accepted as nominees. Notably, Kurosawa's 1985 film Ran was deliberately not nominated by the Japanese film industry for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film due to the poor perception he had among Japanese filmmakers at the time. Nakamura had two films, Twin Sisters of Kyoto and Portrait of Chieko, submitted as nominees for the award. Among all the countries that have submitted films for the award, Japan ranks fifth in terms of total nominees, behind Sweden (fourteen nominees) and ahead of the former Soviet Union (nine nominees).
Every year, each country is invited by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to submit its best film for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. The Foreign Language Film Award Committee oversees the process and reviews all the submitted films. Following this, they vote via secret ballot to determine the five nominees for the award. Before the award was created, the Board of Governors of the Academy voted on a film every year that was considered the best foreign language film released in the United States, and there were no submissions. Below is a list of the films that have been submitted by Japan for review by the Academy for the award since its inception.
All Japanese submissions were in Japanese.
|Film title used in nomination||Original title||Director||Result|
|Rashomon||Rashōmon (羅生門)||Akira Kurosawa||Won Honorary Award|
|Gate of Hell||Jigokumon (地獄門)||Teinosuke Kinugasa||Won Honorary Award|
|Samurai, The Legend of Musashi||Miyamoto Musashi (宮本武蔵)||Hiroshi Inagaki||Won Honorary Award|
|Harp of Burma||Biruma no Tategoto (ビルマの竪琴)||Kon Ichikawa||Nominated|
|Aruse||Arakure (あらくれ)||Mikio Naruse||Not Nominated|
|The Ballad of Narayama||Narayama-bushi Ko (楢山節考)||Keisuke Kinoshita||Not Nominated|
|Fires on the Plain||Nobi (野火)||Kon Ichikawa||Not Nominated|
|Late Autumn||Akibiyori (秋日和)||Yasujirō Ozu||Not Nominated|
|Immortal Love||Eien no Hito (永遠の人)||Keisuke Kinoshita||Nominated|
|Being Two Isn't Easy||Watashi wa ni sai (私は二歳)||Kon Ichikawa||Not Nominated|
|Twin Sisters of Kyoto||Koto (古都)||Noboru Nakamura||Nominated|
|Woman in the Dunes||Suna no Onna (砂の女)||Hiroshi Teshigahara||Nominated|
|Kwaidan||Kaidan (怪談)||Masaki Kobayashi||Nominated|
|Lake of Tears||Umi no Koto (湖の琴)||Tomotaka Tasaka||Not Nominated|
|Portrait of Chieko||Chieko-sho (智恵子抄)||Noboru Nakamura||Nominated|
|The Sands of Kurobe||Kurobe no Taiyō (黒部の太陽)||Kei Kumai||Not Nominated|
|Kuragejima, Legends From a Southern Island||Kamigami no fukaki yokubō (神々の深き欲望)||Shōhei Imamura||Not Nominated|
|The Scandalous Adventures of Buraikan||Buraikan (無頼漢)||Masahiro Shinoda||Not Nominated|
|Dodes'ka-den||Dodes'ka-den (どですかでん)||Akira Kurosawa||Nominated|
|Under the Flag of the Rising Sun||Gunki hatameku moto ni (軍旗はためく下に,)||Kinji Fukasaku||Not Nominated|
|Coup d'Etat||Kaigenrei (戒厳令)||Yoshishige Yoshida||Not Nominated|
|The Fossil||Kaseki (化石)||Masaki Kobayashi||Not Nominated|
|Sandakan No. 8||Sandakan Hachibanshokan Bohkyo (サンダカン八番娼館 望郷)||Kei Kumai||Nominated|
|Mt. Hakkoda||Hakkōda-san (八甲田山)||Shiro Moritani||Not Nominated|
|Empire of Passion||Ai no Bōrei (愛の亡霊)||Nagisa Oshima||Not Nominated|
|Gassan||Gassan (月山)||Tetsutaro Murano||Not Nominated|
|Kagemusha (The Shadow Warrior)||Kagemusha (影武者)||Akira Kurosawa||Nominated|
|Muddy River||Doro no Kawa (泥の河)||Kōhei Oguri||Nominated|
|Onimasa||Kiryūin hanako no shōgai (鬼龍院花子の生涯)||Hideo Gosha||Not Nominated|
|Antarctica||Nankyoku Monogatari (南極物語)||Koreyoshi Kurahara||Not Nominated|
|MacArthur's Children||Setouchi Shōnen Yakyū-dan (瀬戸内少年野球団)||Masahiro Shinoda||Not Nominated|
|Gray Sunset||Hanaichimonme (花いちもんめ)||Shunya Ito||Not Nominated|
|Final Take||Kinema no Tenchi (キネマの天地)||Yoji Yamada||Not Nominated|
|Zegen||Zegen (女衒)||Shōhei Imamura||Not Nominated|
|Hope and Pain||Dauntaun Hiirōzu (ダウンタウン・ヒーローズ)||Yoji Yamada||Not Nominated|
|Rikyu||Rikyu (利休)||Hiroshi Teshigahara||Not Nominated|
|The Sting of Death||Shi no Toge (死の棘)||Kōhei Oguri||Not Nominated|
|Rhapsody in August||Hachigatsu no Kyōshikyoku (八月の狂詩曲)||Akira Kurosawa||Not Nominated|
|The Oil-Hell Murder||Onna goroshi abura jigoku (女殺油地獄)||Hideo Gosha||Not Nominated|
|Madadayo||Mādadayo (まあだだよ)||Akira Kurosawa||Not Nominated|
|Pom Poko||Heisei Tanuki Gassen Ponpoko (平成狸合戦ぽんぽこ)||Isao Takahata||Not Nominated|
|Deep River||Fukai Kawa (深い河)||Kei Kumai||Not Nominated|
|Gakko II||Gakkō II (学校II)||Yoji Yamada||Not Nominated|
|Princess Mononoke||Mononoke Hime (もののけ姫)||Hayao Miyazaki||Not Nominated|
|Begging for Love||Ai o Kōhito (愛を乞う人)||Hideyuki Hirayama||Not Nominated|
|Poppoya||Tetsudōin (鉄道員)||Yasuo Furuhata||Not Nominated|
|After the Rain||Ame Agaru (雨あがる)||Takashi Koizumi||Not Nominated|
|Go||GO||Isao Yukisada||Not Nominated|
|Out||OUT||Hideyuki Hirayama||Not Nominated|
|The Twilight Samurai||Tasogare Seibei (たそがれ清兵衛)||Yoji Yamada||Nominated|
|Nobody Knows||Dare mo Shiranai (誰も知らない)||Hirokazu Koreeda||Not Nominated|
|Blood and Bones||Chi to Hone (血と骨)||Yoichi Sai||Not Nominated|
|Hula Girls||Hura Gāru (フラガール)||Sang-il Lee||Not Nominated|
|I Just Didn't Do It||Soredemo boku wa yatte nai (それでもボクはやってない)||Masayuki Suo||Not Nominated|
|Departures||Okuribito (おくりびと)||Yōjirō Takita||Won Academy Award|
|Nobody to Watch Over Me||Dare mo Mamotte Kurenai (誰も守ってくれない)||Ryoichi Kimizuka||Not Nominated|
|Confessions||Kokuhaku (告白)||Tetsuya Nakashima||Made Shortlist|
|Postcard ||Ichimai no hagaki (一枚のハガキ)||Kaneto Shindō||Not Nominated|
|Our Homeland||Kazoku no kuni (かぞくのくに)||Yong-hi Yang||Not Nominated|
|The Great Passage||Fune o Amu (舟を編む)||Yuya Ishii||Not Nominated|
|The Light Shines Only There||Soko nomi nite hikari kagayaku (そこのみにて光輝く)||Mipo O||Not Nominated|
|100 Yen Love||Hyakuen no koi (百円の恋)||Masaharu Take||Not Nominated|
|Nagasaki: Memories of My Son||Haha to Kuraseba (母と暮せば)||Yoji Yamada||Not Nominated|
|Her Love Boils Bathwater||Yu o Wakasu Hodo no Atsui Ai (湯を沸かすほどの熱い愛)||Ryōta Nakano||Not Nominated|
|Shoplifters||Manbiki Kazoku (万引き家族)||Hirokazu Kore-eda||Nominated|
|Weathering with You||Tenki no Ko (天気の子)||Makoto Shinkai||Not Nominated|
|True Mothers||Asa ga Kuru (朝が来る)||Naomi Kawase||Not Nominated|
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