Learn Japanese By Watching Movies: 10 Modern Classics For Japanese Students

Learn Japanese: So you already enjoy learning Japanese through plays. Watching movies is another excellent approach to enhancing your Japanese. Of course, it isn’t just about going to the movies.

You must pay great attention, jot down new words and phrases, and study to get the most out of them. But it’s a lot more enjoyable than memorizing terminology from a textbook. That enjoyment translates into an increased drive to keep practicing.

Why Study Languages Through Films and Movies?

Learning a language using movies rather than textbooks has various advantages.

For starters, you’re learning authentic, genuine Japanese and how it’s spoken. Or, at the very least, the way it’s uttered in movies, but that’s plenty. You get to see the phrase in context, which helps you grasp it better. Gestures, facial expressions, conversational etiquette, and social traditions are examples of nonverbal communication.

Movies also provide a wide range of speakers to listen to. You are exposed to various accents, registers, styles, and modes of communication. Depending on the type of film you’re seeing, you could acquire different terminology sets.

Our modern age’s marvels make it easier than ever to study through movies. You don’t have to rewind or fast-forward because of the DVD miracle. You have complete control over the watching experience. As long as you have subtitles, you won’t get lost. You can start and stop whenever you want.

Movies are just enjoyable. You’re watching a movie while honing your listening comprehension and boosting vocabulary. When learning is enjoyable, you are naturally more driven to continue studying.

Finally, you will get knowledge about Japanese culture. Learning more about Japanese movies is essential if you want to communicate and connect with Japanese speakers.

How to Learn Japanese by Watching Movies

Using movies for studying can be done in a variety of ways.

As I previously stated, you may wish to use subtitles the first time you watch a movie, so you don’t become utterly lost within the first five minutes. It isn’t easy to enjoy when you’re not sure what’s going on in a movie.

After watching the film with subtitles, the first time, you can watch it again without them or in chunks. For example, you can watch a scene simultaneously, replaying it until you understand what the characters are saying.

To properly comprehend and examine every word is maybe the most effective (but most intensive) technique to study. Students who are advanced in Japanese should take this course.

In any other case, you will often be pausing. This entails seeking new terms, understanding how they’re used, and reviewing them regularly, either in a notebook or through a flashcard app. This strategy has the downside of requiring a considerable amount of discipline. The best way to learn Japanese is to join the best Japanese classes.

When you come across a new word, you must recognize the sound and look it up in your dictionary. You’ll spend more time and effort managing your learning than learning. If you want to be more efficient, you could look into Language Fluent, which was created to handle this issue. Language Fluent, they help you learn a foreign language at the ease of time.

It allows you to concentrate on studying Japanese rather than managing flashcards or searching things up in a dictionary. If you’re going to study movies, commit to it. Spend some time each day studying and watching other videos. It doesn’t matter if you watch your movies all the way through. What matters most in language acquisition, like in all things, is that you develop a habit that you can keep to.

Using Movies to Improve Your Speaking

Viewing movies will improve your listening comprehension. But, ideally, you’d like to develop your speaking skills as well. When I learned Japanese through movies, I jotted down and hammered each new word or phrase. To practice utilizing phrases, I would insert my own words within the phrase.

Shadowing is another approach to developing your speaking skills. This entails speaking the term or phrase in the same way as the character in the film. This will be a tremendous struggle if you don’t speak Japanese fluently, but it is one technique to help you recall words and phrases. Shadowing transforms a passive watching experience into an engaged one. You’ll also keep everyone around you entertained if they see you chatting on the TV.

It occasionally helps me to spend some time studying terms. A phrase like yoroshiku onegaishimasu can have a variety of meanings and applications. There is no equivalent word in English. This is why it is critical to comprehend the social environment. When you watch movies, you should pay careful attention to words like this.

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Why Should You Watch Classic Movies?

You may study Japanese by watching a variety of movies or TV episodes. It’s usually preferable to pick a genre or subject matter that you enjoy, whether old samurai films or current anime.

There are several reasons why I advocate watching classics. First and foremost, they are generally sound; they are considered classics.

But, more significantly, I believe classics provide a better understanding of Japanese culture. That’s another reason they’re considered classics. They go beyond the typical formulaic storyline and provide thoughts and viewpoints and a story.

Ten Modern Classics for Japanese Students

Learn Japanese By Watching Movies 10 Modern Classics For Japanese Students


Tampopo is a famous Japanese comedy about the rehabilitation of a run-down ramen cafe. Aside from the language, it provides some interesting insights into Japanese society, particularly its food preoccupation. The film’s promotional material refers to it as the “world’s first ramen western,” a Japanese twist on the American “spaghetti” Western.

“An Atmosphere of the Sea”

Because A Scene at the Sea is about a deaf couple, there isn’t much dialogue, but it’s easy to understand when there is. Despite being written and directed by Beat Kitano, more renowned for his violent gangster films, A Scene by the Sea has no shoot-outs or violence. It tells the story of a deaf garbage collector who is desperate to learn how to surf.

“Good morning,” they say.”

Yasuhiro Ozu’s Good Morning is a Japanese cinema classic. It’s a comedy about two young boys who swear to remain silent, protesting their father’s unwillingness to get a television. It provides a unique and funny glimpse at a quickly changing Japan. Because many of the characters in the film are youngsters, the Japanese is quite simple to grasp. The film’s simplistic narrative also makes it simple to watch.

“Should We Dance?”

Shall We Dance is a timeless classic with a joyful, easy-to-follow plot. It doesn’t have any challenging dialects or difficult Japanese. Of course, I’m referring to the original version, not the 2004 American remake starring Richard Gere. In this romantic comedy, a teacher forces a student to take ballroom dancing lessons after a student falls in love with her.


You’ve undoubtedly seen Godzilla clumsily dubbed into English. On the other hand, the original Japanese version is excellent for honing your Japanese abilities. The narrative isn’t overly complicated (a giant radioactive monster destroys the city). There are extended sections with no dialogue other than Godzilla screaming. In addition, you may pick up some helpful terminology in case a giant monster ever besieges your city. The cheesiness component adds to the enjoyment.

“Tokyo Story”

Tokyo Story is a 1950s film about a traditional Japanese couple who travel to modern Tokyo to meet their young, active children. In addition to improving your Japanese, it provides insight into the age divide that arose in Japan following World War II. Although it moves at a sluggish pace, much of the action takes off-screen. You only know what’s going on because of the dialogue. I’d keep this one for advanced study, although it’s a pretty fantastic movie (it’s ranked high on many best-of lists).

“Woman in the Sands”

Several best-of lists list Woman in the Dunes. It’s not a horror film, but rather creepy and scary. It’s about a guy who collects insects and gets trapped in an underground house by some strange people, where he’s destined to shovel the creeping sand for all eternity. At least, that’s what I believe it’s about. I believe it is a metaphor for the human situation.

However, you may watch it to practice your Japanese without worrying too much about the philosophical implications. The dialogue was reasonably easy to follow and relatively slow-paced.


I swear we’ll move on to something more lighthearted after one more disturbing film. Kwaidan is a 1960s anthology horror film comprising four creepy stories. I wouldn’t advocate viewing it late at night since it isn’t as spooky as you may expect. It’s Japanese-creepy. The dialogue is slow and sparse, yet it may be challenging to understand due to the subject matter and the usage of slightly archaic Japanese.

“Stray Dog”

You haven’t watched Stray Dog if you thought Tango & Cash was a crazy spree of a buddy cop movie. Many consider this the first buddy police film but don’t let that deter you from seeing it.

As are many of his other excellent films, Akira Kurosawa’s film noir his samurai flicks overshadow police drama. Toshiro Mifune plays a rookie officer whose pistol is stolen in Stray Dog. He spends most of the film sprinting about the post-war Tokyo subway with an experienced older officer. Stray Dog is a fast-paced film, so you may need to pause it to comprehend the Japanese, but the narrative will keep you interested.

“Adrift in Tokyo”

I’m not sure whether this is a ‘classic’ because it’s just a few years old, but it’s an excellent movie for learning Japanese, and I’m sure it will be one in the future. Adrift in Tokyo is about a man who can’t return the money he borrowed from the yakuza.

Hence, a loan shark offers to eliminate the debt if the man wanders about Tokyo with him and then gives himself to the police. So the film is mainly about the two discussing while going about Tokyo. There’s a lot of highly genuine dialogue, and you get to see a lot of the city.

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