List of Japanese submissions for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film
Japan has submitted films for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film since the conception 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 2009, 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 conception 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 conception.
All Japanese submissions were in Japanese.
|Film title used in nomination||Original title||Director||Result|
|Rashomon||Rashōmon (羅生門?)||Kurosawa, AkiraAkira Kurosawa||Won Honorary Award|
|Gate of Hell||Jigokumon (地獄門?)||Kinugasa, TeinosukeTeinosuke Kinugasa||Won Honorary Award|
|Samurai, The Legend of Musashi||Miyamoto Musashi (宮本武蔵?)||Inagaki, HiroshiHiroshi Inagaki||Won Honorary Award|
|Harp of Burma||Biruma no Tategoto (ビルマの竪琴?)||Ichikawa, KonKon Ichikawa||Nominated|
|Aruse||Arakure (あらくれ?)||Naruse, MikioMikio Naruse||Not Nominated|
|The Ballad of Narayama||Narayama Bushiko (楢山節考?)||Kinoshita, KeisukeKeisuke Kinoshita||Not Nominated|
|Fires on the Plain||Nobi (野火?)||Ichikawa, KonKon Ichikawa||Not Nominated|
|Late Autumn||Akibiyori (秋日和?)||Ozu, YasujirōYasujirō Ozu||Not Nominated|
|Immortal Love||Eien no Hito (永遠の人?)||Kinoshita, KeisukeKeisuke Kinoshita||Nominated|
|Being Two Isn't Easy||Watashi wa ni sai (私は二歳?)||Ichikawa, KonKon Ichikawa||Not Nominated|
|Twin Sisters of Kyoto||Koto (古都?)||Nakamura, NoboruNoboru Nakamura||Nominated|
|Woman in the Dunes||Suna no Onna (砂の女?)||Teshigahara, HiroshiHiroshi Teshigahara||Nominated|
|Kwaidan||Kaidan (怪談?)||Kobayashi, MasakiMasaki Kobayashi||Nominated|
|Lake of Tears||Mizūmi no Kin (湖の琴?)||Tasaka, TomotakaTomotaka Tasaka||Not Nominated|
|Portrait of Chieko||Chieko-sho (智恵子抄?)||Nakamura, NoboruNoboru Nakamura||Nominated|
|The Sands of Kurobe||Kurobe no Taiyō (黒部の太陽?)||Kumai, KeiKei Kumai||Not Nominated|
|Kuragejima, Legends From a Southern Island||Kamigami no fukaki yokubō (神々の深き欲望?)||Imamura, ShōheiShōhei Imamura||Not Nominated|
|The Scandalous Adventures of Buraikan||Buraikan (無頼漢?)||Shinoda, MasahiroMasahiro Shinoda||Not Nominated|
|Dodes'ka-den||Dodes'ka-den (どですかでん?)||Kurosawa, AkiraAkira Kurosawa||Nominated|
|Under the Flag of the Rising Sun||Gunki hatameku moto ni (軍旗はためく下に,?)||Fukasaku, KinjiKinji Fukasaku||Not Nominated|
|Coup d'Etat||Kaigenrei (戒厳令?)||Yoshida, YoshishigeYoshishige Yoshida||Not Nominated|
|The Fossil||Kaseki (化石?)||Kobayashi, MasakiMasaki Kobayashi||Not Nominated|
|Sandakan No. 8||Sandakan Hachibanshokan Bohkyo (サンダカン八番娼館 望郷?)||Kumai, KeiKei Kumai||Nominated|
|Mt. Hakkoda||Hakkōda-san (八甲田山?)||Moritani, ShiroShiro Moritani||Not Nominated|
|Empire of Passion||Ai no Bōrei (愛の亡霊?)||Oshima, NagisaNagisa Oshima||Not Nominated|
|Gassan||Gassan (月山?)||Murano, TetsutaroTetsutaro Murano||Not Nominated|
|Kagemusha (The Shadow Warrior)||Kagemusha (影武者?)||Kurosawa, AkiraAkira Kurosawa||Nominated|
|Muddy River||Doro no Kawa (泥の河?)||Oguri, KōheiKōhei Oguri||Nominated|
|Onimasa||Kiryūin hanako no shōgai (鬼龍院花子の生涯?)||Gosha, HideoHideo Gosha||Not Nominated|
|Antarctica||Nankyoku Monogatari (南極物語?)||Kurahara, KoreyoshiKoreyoshi Kurahara||Not Nominated|
|MacArthur's Children||Setouchi Shōnen Yakyū-dan (瀬戸内少年野球団?)||Shinoda, MasahiroMasahiro Shinoda||Not Nominated|
|Gray Sunset||Hanaichimonme (花いちもんめ?)||Ito, ShunyaShunya Ito||Not Nominated|
|Final Take||Kinema no Tenchi (キネマの転地?)||Yamada, YojiYoji Yamada||Not Nominated|
|Zegen||Zegen (女衒?)||Imamura, ShōheiShōhei Imamura||Not Nominated|
|Hope and Pain||Dauntaun Hiirōzu (ダウンタウン・ヒーローズ?)||Yamada, YojiYoji Yamada||Not Nominated|
|Rikyu||Rikyu (利休?)||Teshigahara, HiroshiHiroshi Teshigahara||Not Nominated|
|The Sting of Death||Shi no Toge (死の棘?)||Oguri, KōheiKōhei Oguri||Not Nominated|
|Rhapsody in August||Hachigatsu no Kyōshikyoku (八月の狂詩曲?)||Kurosawa, AkiraAkira Kurosawa||Not Nominated|
|The Oil-Hell Murder||Onna ya abura jigoku (女殺油地獄?)||Gosha, HideoHideo Gosha||Not Nominated|
|Madadayo||Mādadayo (まあだだよ?)||Kurosawa, AkiraAkira Kurosawa||Not Nominated|
|Pom Poko||Heisei Tanuki Gassen Ponpoko (平成狸合戦ぽんぽこ?)||Takahata, IsaoIsao Takahata||Not Nominated|
|Deep River||Fukai Kawa (深い河?)||Kumai, KeiKei Kumai||Not Nominated|
|Gakko II||Gakkō II (学校II?)||Yamada, YojiYoji Yamada||Not Nominated|
|Princess Mononoke||Mononoke Hime (もののけ姫?)||Miyazaki, HayaoHayao Miyazaki||Not Nominated|
|Begging for Love||Ai o Kōhito (愛を乞う人?)||Hirayama, HideyukiHideyuki Hirayama||Not Nominated|
|Poppoya||Tetsudōin (鉄道員?)||Furuhata, YasuoYasuo Furuhata||Not Nominated|
|After the Rain||Ame Agaru (雨あがる?)||Koizumi, TakashiTakashi Koizumi||Not Nominated|
|Go||GO||Yukisada, IsaoIsao Yukisada||Not Nominated|
|Out||OUT||Hirayama, HideyukiHideyuki Hirayama||Not Nominated|
|The Twilight Samurai||Tasogare Seibei (たそがれ清兵衛?)||Yamada, YojiYoji Yamada||Nominated|
|Nobody Knows||Dare mo Shiranai (誰も知らない?)||Koreeda, HirokazuHirokazu Koreeda||Not Nominated|
|Blood and Bones||Chi to Hone (血と骨?)||Sai, YoichiYoichi Sai||Not Nominated|
|Hula Girls||Hura Gāru (フラガール?)||Lee, Sang-ilSang-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?)||Suo, MasayukiMasayuki Suo||Not Nominated|
|Departures||Okuribito (おくりびと?)||Takita, YojiroYojiro Takita||Won Academy Award|
|Nobody to Watch Over Me||Dare mo Mamotte Kurenai (誰も守ってくれない?)||Kimizuka, RyoichiRyoichi Kimizuka||Not Nominated|
|Confessions||Kokuhaku (告白?)||Nakashima, TetsuyaTetsuya Nakashima||Made January Shortlist|
|Postcard ||Ichimai no hagaki (一枚のハガキ?)||Shindō, KanetoKaneto Shindō||Not Nominated|
|Our Homeland||Kazoku no kuni (一かぞくのくに?)||Yang, Yong-hiYong-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|
- List of Academy Award winners and nominees for Best Foreign Language Film
- List of Academy Award-winning foreign language films
- Cinema of Japan
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