The Info List - Nagisa Oshima

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Nagisa Oshima
Nagisa Oshima
(大島 渚, Ōshima Nagisa, March 31, 1932 – January 15, 2013) was a Japanese film director and screenwriter. His films include In the Realm of the Senses
In the Realm of the Senses
(1976), a sexually explicit film set in 1930's Japan, and Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence
Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence
(1983), about Japanese WW2
prisoners of war.


1 Early life 2 1960s 3 1970s 4 1980s and beyond 5 Awards 6 Filmography

6.1 Films 6.2 Television

7 Writings

7.1 Translations

8 Notes

8.1 References

9 External links

Early life[edit] After graduating from Kyoto University, where he studied political history,[1] Oshima was hired by film production company Shochiku
Ltd. and quickly progressed to directing his own movies, making his debut feature A Town of Love and Hope in 1959. 1960s[edit] Oshima's cinematic career and influence developed very swiftly,[2] and such films as Cruel Story of Youth
Cruel Story of Youth
and Night and Fog in Japan
Night and Fog in Japan
followed in 1960. The last of these 1960 films explored Oshima's disillusionment with the traditional political left, and his frustrations with the right, and Shochiku
withdrew the film from circulation after less than a week, claiming that, following the recent assassination of the Socialist Party leader Inejiro Asanuma
Inejiro Asanuma
by the ultranationalist Otoya Yamaguchi, there was a risk of "unrest". Oshima left the studio in response, and launched his own independent production company. Despite the controversy, Night And Fog In Japan was placed tenth in that year's Kinema Jumpo's best-films poll of Japanese critics, and it has subsequently amassed considerable acclaim abroad.[3] In 1961 Oshima directed The Catch, based on a novella by Kenzaburō Ōe about the relationship between a wartime Japanese village and a captured African American
African American
serviceman. The Catch has not traditionally been viewed as one of Oshima's major works, though it did notably introduce a thematic exploration of bigotry and xenophobia, themes which would be explored in greater depth in the later documentary Diary of Yunbogi, and feature films Death by Hanging and Three Resurrected Drunkards.[4] He embarked upon a period of work in television, producing a series of documentaries; notably among them 1965's Diary Of Yunbogi. Based upon an examination of the lives of street children in Seoul, it was made by Oshima after a trip to South Korea.[3][5] Oshima directed three features in 1968. The first of these - Death by Hanging (1968) presented the story of the failed execution of a young Korean for rape and murder, and was loosely based upon an actual crime and execution which had taken place in 1958.[6] The film utilizes non-realistic "distancing" techniques after the fashion of Bertold Brecht or Jean-Luc Godard
Jean-Luc Godard
to examine Japan's record of racial discrimination against its Korean minority, incorporating elements of farce and political satire, and a number of visual techniques associated with the cinematic new wave in a densely layered narrative. It was placed third in Kinema Jumpo's 1968 poll, and has also garnered significant attention globally.[7] Death By Hanging inaugurated a string of films (continuing through 1976's In the Realm of the Senses) that clarified a number of Oshima's key themes, most notably a need to question social constraints, and to similarly deconstruct received political doctrines.[8] Months later, Diary of a Shinjuku Thief
Diary of a Shinjuku Thief
unites a number of Oshima's thematic concerns within a dense, collage-style presentation. Featuring a title which alludes to Jean Genet's The Thief's Journal, the film explores the links between sexual and political radicalism,[9] specifically examining the day-to-day life of a would-be radical whose sexual desires take the form of kleptomania. The fragmented narrative is interrupted by commentators, including an underground noh performance troupe, a psychoanalyst, and an impromptu symposium featuring actors from previous Oshima films (along with Oshima himself), all dissecting varied aspects of shifting sexual politics, as embodied by various characters within the film. Boy (1969), based on another real-life case, was the story of a family who use their child to make money by deliberately getting involved in road accidents and making the drivers pay compensation. 1970s[edit] The Ceremony (1971) is a satirical look at Japanese attitudes, famously expressed in a scene where a marriage ceremony has to go ahead even though the bride is not present. In 1976, Oshima made In the Realm of the Senses, a film based on a true story of fatal sexual obsession in 1930s Japan. Oshima, a critic of censorship and his contemporary Akira Kurosawa's humanism, was determined that the film should feature unsimulated sex and thus the undeveloped film had to be transported to France to be processed. An uncensored version of the movie is still unavailable in Japan. Oshima testified in a Japanese court about whether the film was obscene. "Nothing that is expressed is obscene," the director said. "What is obscene is what is hidden."[10] In his 1978 companion film to In the Realm of the Senses, Empire of Passion, Oshima took a more restrained approach to depicting the sexual passions of the two lovers driven to murder, and the film won the 1978 Cannes Film Festival
Cannes Film Festival
award for best director.[11][12] 1980s and beyond[edit] In 1983 Oshima had a critical success with a film made partly in English, Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence, set in a wartime prison camp, and featuring rock star David Bowie
David Bowie
and musician Ryuichi Sakamoto, alongside Takeshi Kitano. The movie has become a cult classic.[citation needed] Max, Mon Amour
Max, Mon Amour
(1986), written with Luis Buñuel's frequent collaborator Jean-Claude Carrière, was a comedy about a diplomat's wife (Charlotte Rampling) whose love affair with a chimpanzee is quietly incorporated into an eminently civilised ménage à trois. For much of the 1980s and 1990s, he served as president of the Directors Guild of Japan.[13] He won the inaugural Directors Guild of Japan New Directors Award in 1960.[14] A collection of Oshima's essays and articles was published in English in 1993 as Cinema, Censorship and the State.[15] A critical study by Maureen Turim appeared in 1998.[16] In 1996 Oshima suffered a stroke, but he recovered enough to return to directing in 1999 with the samurai film Taboo (Gohatto), set during the bakumatsu era and starring Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence
Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence
actor Takeshi Kitano. Ryuichi Sakamoto, who had both acted in and composed for Lawrence, provided the score. He subsequently suffered more strokes, and Gohatto
proved to be his final film. Oshima had initially planned to create a biopic entitled Hollywood Zen based off the life of Issei
actor Sessue Hayakawa. The script had been allegedly completed and set to film in Los Angeles, but due to constant delays, declining health, and Oshima's eventual death in 2013 (see below), the project went unrealized.[17][18] Oshima had a degree of fluency in English. In the 2000s, he worked as a translator, translating four volumes by John Gray into Japanese, including "Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus". Oshima died on January 15, 2013 of pneumonia. He was 80.[1] The 2013 edition of the San Sebastian Film Festival
San Sebastian Film Festival
scheduled a retrospective of Oshima's films in September.[19] Awards[edit] Blue Ribbon Awards 1961 Night and Fog in Japan
Night and Fog in Japan
& Cruel Story of Youth
Cruel Story of Youth
– Best New Director 2000 Taboo – Best Director & Best Film Cannes Film Festival[11] 1978 Empire of Passion
Empire of Passion
– Best Director (Prix de la mise en scène) Kinema Junpo
Kinema Junpo
Awards 1969 Death by Hanging – Best Screenplay 1972 The Ceremony – Best Director, Best Film & Best Screenplay 1984 Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence
Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence
– Readers' Choice Award for Best Film Filmography[edit] Films[edit]

Year English title Japanese title Romaji Notes

1959 Tomorrow's Sun 明日の太陽 Ashita no Taiyō Short (7 min), color.

1959 A Town of Love and Hope 愛と希望の街 Ai to Kibō no Machi 62 min, B&W.

1960 Cruel Story of Youth 青春残酷物語 Seishun Zankoku Monogatari 96 min, color.

1960 The Sun's Burial 太陽の墓場 Taiyō no Hakaba 87 min, color.

1960 Night and Fog in Japan 日本の夜と霧 Nihon no Yoru to Kiri 107 min, color.

1961 The Catch 飼育 Shiiku 105 min, B&W.

1962 The Rebel 天草四郎時貞 Amakusa Shirō Tokisada 101 min, B&W.

1965 The Pleasures of the Flesh 悦楽 Etsuraku 90 min, color.

1965 Yunbogi's Diary ユンボギの日記 Yunbogi no Nikki (Short) 24 min, B&W.

1966 Violence at Noon 白昼の通り魔 Hakuchū no Tōrima 99 min, B&W.

1967 Tales of the Ninja (Band of Ninja) 忍者武芸帳 Ninja Bugei-Chō 131 min, B&W.

1967 Sing a Song of Sex (A Treatise on Japanese Bawdy Songs) 日本春歌考 Nihon Shunka-Kō 103 min, color.

1967 Double Suicide: Japanese Summer 無理心中日本の夏 Muri Shinjū: Nihon no Natsu 98 min, B&W.

1968 Death by Hanging 絞死刑 Kōshikē 117 min, B&W.

1968 Three Resurrected Drunkards 帰って来たヨッパライ Kaette Kita Yopparai 80 min, color.

1969 Diary of a Shinjuku Thief 新宿泥棒日記 Shinjuku Dorobō Nikki 94 min, B&W/color.

1969 Boy 少年 Shōnen 97 min, color.

1970 Man Who Left His Will On Film 東京戰争戦後秘話 Tōkyō Sensō Sengo Hiwa 94 min, B&W.

1971 The Ceremony 儀式 Gishiki 123 min, color.

1972 Dear Summer Sister 夏の妹 Natsu no Imōto 96 min, color.

1976 In the Realm of the Senses 愛のコリーダ Ai no Corrida 104 min, color.

1978 Empire of Passion 愛の亡霊 Ai no Bōrē 108 min, color.

1983 Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence 戦場のメリークリスマス Senjō no Merī Kurisumasu 123 min, color, UK/Japan.

1986 Max, Mon Amour マックス、モン・アムール Makkusu, Mon Amūru 97 min, color. France/USA/Japan.

1999 Taboo 御法度 Gohatto 100 min, color.


Year Original title English title Notes

1962 Kōri no Naka no Seishun Youth on the Ice 25 min

1963 Wasurerareta Kōgun Forgotten Soldiers 25 min

1963 Chiisana Bōken Ryokō A Small Child's First Adventure 60 min

1964 Watashi wa Beretto It's Me Here, Bellett 60 min

1964 Seishun no Ishibumi The Tomb of Youth 40 min

1964 Hankotsu no Toride A Rebel's Fortress 25 min

1964 Gimei Shōjo The Girl Under an Assumed Name 30 min

1964 Chita Niseigo Taiheiyō Ōdan Crossing the Pacific on the Chita Niseigo 2 x 30 min

1964 Aru Kokutetsu-Jōmuin A National Railway Worker 25 min

1964 Aogeba Tōtoshi Ode to an Old Teacher

1964 Aisurebakoso Why I Love You

1964 Ajia no Akebono The Dawn of Asia 13 x 60 min

1965 Gyosen Sonansu The Trawler Incident 30 min

1968 Daitōa Sensō The Pacific War (The Greater East Asian War) 2 x 30 min

1969 Mō-Takutō to Bunka Daikakumē Mao and the Cultural Revolution 49 min

1972 Kyojin-Gun Giants 73 min

1972 Joi! Bangla

24 min

1972 Goze: Mōmoku no Onna-Tabigēnin The Journey of the Blind Musicians

1973 Bengal no Chichi Laman The Father of Bangladesh

1975 Ikiteiru Nihonkai-Kaisen The Battle of Tsushima 50 min

1976 Ikiteiru Gyokusai no Shima The Isle of the Final Battle 25 min

1976 Ōgon no Daichi Bengal The Golden Land of Bengal

1976 Ikiteiru Umi no Bohyō The Sunken Tomb

1976 Denki Mō-Takutō The Life of Mao

1977 Yokoi Shōichi: Guamu-to 28 Nen no Nazo o Ou Human Drama: 28 Years of Hiding in the Jungle 49 min

1977 Shisha wa Itsumademo Wakai The Dead Remain Young 49 min

1991 Kyōto, My Mother's Place

1994 100 Years of Japanese Cinema



Pasolini Renaissance, ISBN 978-4925095044


"Ai ga Fukamaru Hon - "Honto no Yorokobi" o shiru tame ni" (translation of "Making Heart-to-Heart Love in Bed" by John Gray) ISBN 978-4837970170 ベスト・パートナーになるために―男と女が知っておくべき「分かち愛」のルール 男は火星から、女は金星からやってきた (translation of "Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus" by John Gray) ISBN 978-4837971764


^ a b Bergen, Ronald (January 15, 2013). " Nagisa Oshima
Nagisa Oshima
obituary". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 16 January 2013.  ^ Bock 1978, p. 311 ^ a b Bock 1978, p. 333 ^ Turim 1998, p. 168 ^ Oshima 1992, p. 101 ^ Richie, Donald (2001). A Hundred Years Of Japanese Film. Tokyo: Kodansha International. p. 198.  ^ Bock 1978, p. 335 ^ Sato, Tadao (1982). Currents In Japanese Cinema. Tokyo: Kodansha International. p. 177.  ^ Turim 1998, p. 88 ^ Lim, Dennis (January 15, 2013). "Nagisa Oshima, Iconoclastic Filmmaker, Dies at 80". The New York Times. Retrieved January 15, 2013.  ^ a b "Festival de Cannes: Empire of Passion". festival-cannes.com. Retrieved January 16, 2013.  ^ "Nagisa Oshima". The Daily Telegraph. London. January 15, 2013.  ^ "Nihon eiga kantoku kyōkai nenpyō" (in Japanese). Nihon eiga kantoku kyōkai. Archived from the original on July 26, 2010. Retrieved August 17, 2010.  ^ "Nihon Eiga Kantoku Kyōkai Shinjinshō" (in Japanese). Directors Guild of Japan. Archived from the original on November 22, 2010. Retrieved December 11, 2010.  ^ Oshima 1992 ^ Turim 1998 ^ Schilling, Mark. "Nagisa Oshima: a leading force in film". The Japan Times. The Japan Times. Retrieved 21 December 2014.  ^ "Gil Rossellini Interview with Nagsia Oshima (Part 3 of 3)". YouTube. YouTube. Event occurs at 3:15. Retrieved 21 December 2014. Yes, I am planning to shoot a story of a Japanese. His name is Sessue Hayakawa. He was the only Japanese star in Hollywood. It was the 1910s silent film period of Hollywood. I will try to describe this star and the situation of the Japanese in the states.  ^ "The 61st San Sebastian Festival will dedicate a retrospective to Nagisa Oshima". San Sebastian Film Festival. January 17, 2013. Retrieved 17 January 2013. 


Turim, Maureen Cheryn (1998). The Films of Oshima Nagisa: Images of a Japanese Iconoclast. Berkeley: University of California. ISBN 978-0520206663.  Bock, Audie (1978). Japanese Film Directors. Kodansha. ISBN 0-87011-304-6.  Oshima, Nagisa (1992). Cinema, Censorship And The State. Cambridge: MIT Press. ISBN 0-262-65039-8. 

External links[edit]

Nagisa Oshima
Nagisa Oshima
on IMDb Profile at Japan Zone Kim, Nelson (April 2004). "Profile". Senses of Cinema. Great Directors (31). 

v t e

Films directed by Nagisa Oshima

Cruel Story of Youth
Cruel Story of Youth
(1960) Night and Fog in Japan
Night and Fog in Japan
(1960) Pleasures of the Flesh (1965) Death by Hanging (1968) Three Resurrected Drunkards (1968) Diary of a Shinjuku Thief
Diary of a Shinjuku Thief
(1969) Boy (1969) The Ceremony (1971) In the Realm of the Senses
In the Realm of the Senses
(1976) Empire of Passion
Empire of Passion
(1978) Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence
Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence
(1983) Max, Mon Amour
Max, Mon Amour
(1986) Taboo (1999)

v t e

Cannes Film Festival
Cannes Film Festival
Best Director Award

René Clément
René Clément
(1946) René Clément
René Clément
(1949) Luis Buñuel
Luis Buñuel
(1951) Christian-Jaque (1952) Jules Dassin
Jules Dassin
/ Sergei Vasilyev
Sergei Vasilyev
(1955) Sergei Yutkevich
Sergei Yutkevich
(1956) Robert Bresson (1957) Ingmar Bergman
Ingmar Bergman
(1958) François Truffaut
François Truffaut
(1959) Yuliya Solntseva
Yuliya Solntseva
(1961) Liviu Ciulei (1965) Sergei Yutkevich
Sergei Yutkevich
(1966) Ferenc Kósa
Ferenc Kósa
(1967) Glauber Rocha
Glauber Rocha
/ Vojtěch Jasný
Vojtěch Jasný
(1969) John Boorman
John Boorman
(1970) Miklós Jancsó
Miklós Jancsó
(1972) Michel Brault / Costa-Gavras
(1975) Ettore Scola
Ettore Scola
(1976) Nagisa Oshima
Nagisa Oshima
(1978) Terrence Malick
Terrence Malick
(1979) Werner Herzog
Werner Herzog
(1982) Robert Bresson / Andrei Tarkovsky
Andrei Tarkovsky
(1983) Bertrand Tavernier
Bertrand Tavernier
(1984) André Téchiné
André Téchiné
(1985) Martin Scorsese
Martin Scorsese
(1986) Wim Wenders
Wim Wenders
(1987) Fernando Solanas
Fernando Solanas
(1988) Emir Kusturica
Emir Kusturica
(1989) Pavel Lungin
Pavel Lungin
(1990) Joel Coen (1991) Robert Altman
Robert Altman
(1992) Mike Leigh
Mike Leigh
(1993) Nanni Moretti
Nanni Moretti
(1994) Mathieu Kassovitz
Mathieu Kassovitz
(1995) Joel Coen (1996) Wong Kar-wai
Wong Kar-wai
(1997) John Boorman
John Boorman
(1998) Pedro Almodóvar
Pedro Almodóvar
(1999) Edward Yang (2000) Joel Coen / David Lynch
David Lynch
(2001) Im Kwon-taek / Paul Thomas Anderson
Paul Thomas Anderson
(2002) Gus Van Sant
Gus Van Sant
(2003) Tony Gatlif
Tony Gatlif
(2004) Michael Haneke
Michael Haneke
(2005) Alejandro González Iñárritu
Alejandro González Iñárritu
(2006) Julian Schnabel
Julian Schnabel
(2007) Nuri Bilge Ceylan
Nuri Bilge Ceylan
(2008) Brillante Mendoza
Brillante Mendoza
(2009) Mathieu Amalric
Mathieu Amalric
(2010) Nicolas Winding Refn
Nicolas Winding Refn
(2011) Carlos Reygadas
Carlos Reygadas
(2012) Amat Escalante
Amat Escalante
(2013) Bennett Miller
Bennett Miller
(2014) Hou Hsiao-hsien
Hou Hsiao-hsien
(2015) Olivier Assayas
Olivier Assayas
/ Cristian Mungiu
Cristian Mungiu
(2016) Sofia Coppola
Sofia Coppola

v t e

Blue Ribbon Award for Best Newcomer

Shin Saburi
Shin Saburi
(1950) Rentarō Mikuni
Rentarō Mikuni
(1951) Yoshitarō Nomura (1953) So Yamamura
So Yamamura
(1954) Tsuneo Kobayashi (1955) Kōji Nanbara (1955) Yoshirō Kawazu (1956) Yujiro Ishihara
Yujiro Ishihara
(1957) Shohei Imamura (1958) Nagisa Oshima
Nagisa Oshima
(1960) Shima Iwashita (1961) Kirio Urayama (1962) Junya Sato (1963) Mako Midori (1964) Kei Kumai (1965) Tetsuya Watari (1966) Tomokazu Miura
Tomokazu Miura
(1975) Shinobu Otake (1975) Mieko Harada (1976) Nobuhiko Obayashi
Nobuhiko Obayashi
(1977) Toshiyuki Nagashima (1978) Kenichi Kaneda (1979) Daisuke Ryu (1980) Kōichi Satō (1981) Jun Miho
Jun Miho
(1982) Tomoyo Harada (1983) Shōji Kaneko (1983) Kōji Kikkawa (1984) Yuki Saito (1985) Narimi Arimori (1986) Masahiro Takashima (1987) Naoto Ogata (1988) Ayako Kawahara (1989) Riho Makise (1990) Joji Matsuoka (1990) Hikari Ishida (1991) Yuki Sumida (1992) Gorō Kishitani (1993) Kyōko Tōyama (1993) Sawa Suzuki (1994) Makiko Esumi (1995) Ninety-nine (1996) Kōki Mitani
Kōki Mitani
(1997) Hitomi Satō (1997) Rena Tanaka (1998) Ryuhei Matsuda
Ryuhei Matsuda
(1999) Tatsuya Fujiwara
Tatsuya Fujiwara
(2000) Ko Shibasaki (2001) Nakamura Shidō (2002) Manami Konishi
Manami Konishi
(2002) Satomi Ishihara
Satomi Ishihara
(2003) Anna Tsuchiya
Anna Tsuchiya
(2004) Mirai Moriyama (2004) Mikako Tabe
Mikako Tabe
(2005) Muga Tsukaji (2006) Rei Dan (2006) Yui Aragaki (2007) Yuriko Yoshitaka
Yuriko Yoshitaka
(2008) Lily Franky
Lily Franky
(2008) Masaki Okada
Masaki Okada
(2009) Daisaku Kimura (2009) Toma Ikuta (2010) Nanami Sakuraba (2010) Mana Ashida (2011) Makita Sports (2012) Haru Kuroki
Haru Kuroki
(2013) Fuka Koshiba (2014) Anna Ishii (2015) Izumi Okamura (2016) Shizuka Ishibashi (2017)

v t e

Japanese Movie Critics Awards for Best Director


Naoto Takenaka
Naoto Takenaka
(1991) Kaneto Shindo
Kaneto Shindo
(1992) Kōichi Saitō (1993) Tatsumi Kumashiro, Ryūichi Hiroki (1994) Makoto Shīna (1995) Yoshimitsu Morita (1996) Masahiro Shinoda (1997) Takeshi Kitano
Takeshi Kitano
(1998) Masahiro Shinoda, Nagisa Oshima
Nagisa Oshima


Ryūichi Hiroki, Kazuo Kuroki (2000) Isao Yukisada
Isao Yukisada
(2001) Yoichi Sai (2002) Toyohisa Araki (2003) Nobuhiko Obayashi
Nobuhiko Obayashi
(2004) Mitsuo Kurotsuchi (2005) Eiji Okuda
Eiji Okuda
(2006) Kichitaro Negishi (2007) Yōjirō Takita (2008) Kichitaro Negishi (2009)


Yōichi Higashi (2010) Izuru Narushima (2011) Takeshi Kitano
Takeshi Kitano
(2012) Keisuke Yoshida (2013) Mipo O (2014) Hitoshi Ōne (2015) Ryōta Nakano (2016)

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 109364179 LCCN: n80159815 ISNI: 0000 0001 1454 9289 GND: 118747762 SELIBR: 274270 SUDOC: 027338258 BNF: cb12629266j (data) BIBSYS: 90696292 NDL: 00062593 NKC: xx0119786 BNE: XX1167888 RKD: 404