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'Oppenheimer' isn't opening in Japan this week, but the country has a long history of cinema about the war

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By Peter C Pugsley

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Japan late as per usual. Always waiting to see what happens in the rest of the world. Should be more proactive.

4 ( +14 / -10 )

Has anybody noticed that Oppenheimer is low key, dark and rather edgy while Barbie, the other popular movie this summer, is lighthearted and fun, making for a playful dichotomy at the box offices.

It's probably an unpopular opinion but I think this movie will be quite controversial in Japan.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Doesn't matter that this movie will be a huge success... Japan will postpone showing it if it does not paint Japan in a positive light related to the war. Period. No doubt that the movie will show the conflict of Oppenheimer's decisions, and the terrible chaos they create, but if it shows American generals pointing out Japan's war crimes, sex slaves, or anything wherein Japan is not the victim, expect a straight-to-video/streaming release in two years.

-9 ( +7 / -16 )

A delay in naming a release date is nothing new for Japan, where Hollywood releases often take place weeks or months later than other national markets.

Per usual. (sigh)

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

These are some facts about Oppenheimer that may help to understand his personality. Oppenheimer struggled with his mental health. He expressed suicidal thoughts during his time in college, as claimed by Yahoo News in its report. The most remarkable thing about his adolescence was the diagnosis he was given to explain his dark character: dementia praecox, i.e. schizophrenia. He attempted two murders and was sexually confused. His health condition, Dementia Praecox is also called premature dementia, a term used to describe what we now know as schizophrenia. The psychiatrist who saw Oppenheimer described him as a "hopeless case," which most modern psychiatrists would never consider saying to a patient, as reported by FHE Health portal.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

if it shows American generals pointing out Japan's war crimes, sex slaves, or anything wherein Japan is not the victim, expect a straight-to-video/streaming release in two years.

If so, it will be available to stream from other countries' services via VPN long before then.

But, I doubt it will be necessary. The movie will be too big to ignore.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Many Japanese filmmakers have explored World War II.

But have they really explored it? Everything Pugsley mentions are cautionary tales of war and the horrors of the bomb to fit in with the new-found ideology of "peace" (or, rather, war is bad for Japan) and of course the ultimate absolution of Hiroshima. There may be some more knowledgeable than I regarding Japanese cinema who can put me right though.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

One key Japanese WW2 trilogy missed by Pugsly is Ningen no jōken by Kobayashi.

Definitely explored the individual IJA soldier's experience from the oppressive regime in Japan, bullying, military corruption and being a Soviet POW.

Captures the universal themes of humans serving a purpose they disagree with but are powerless to resist the march to destruction.

It's dated now, but certainly worth it if you want to see a reflective on Japan's war.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Ossan,seeing Japanese children shiver while American GI give them food,I remember this army reel so vividly,an American GI giving a Japanese child some of his ration

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

The main reason Japan and it's elite don't feel the need to censor is because they are in the rare position of not having to, the majority of Japanese just consumes what ever they are fed. Very rarely to they wander outside of the Japanese news and entertainment bubble. Other big reason, Japanese don't pirate anything, any other country and half the country would have seen the movie already if it was one week late to premiere. in Japan most wouldn't even know of a movies existence if Japan decided to not release it.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

'Oppenheimer' the subject matter is dark and disconcerting.

Kids will wallow in Barbie, why not?

There are few 'Oppenheimer' toys that are kid friendly awaiting to be emptied off the shelves this Christmas.

The film is more than just a reflection of what could, and may I suggest should be a moment in history that frankly changed the world for reasons that took humanity to the brink of Armageddon.

Edward Teller should not escape mention ....

https://ahf.nuclearmuseum.org/ahf/profile/edward-teller/

J. Robert Oppenheimer was/is a troubled soul, I hope this film is released in Japan soon.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I would like to believe this 'Oppenheimer' is down to a purely a commercial decision.

I suspect otherwise.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians were vaporized as never before.

Worse still, many more suffered with the after effects of radiation sickness.

That is a difficult fact for any country to come to terms with.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

It, innocent is in the eye of the beholder,the Victor always write history,while the loser is usually vanquish

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Not mentioned here but one of the best Japanese movies (though from a Japanese perspective and also accused of stoking up nationalist sentiments) is 'The Eternal Zero'.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I’ll be off to see it when it comes

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The politics are enough to make the blood freeze.

I thought to present some of the Youtube 'Oppenheimer' previews to J neighbors and friends tomorrow izakaya Friday

Father suggested I had my head read by the crazy wagon bonkers bus right now.

Straight to the padded cell.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

While Christopher Nolan’s new film "Oppenheimer" is opening in much of the world this week, a Japanese release date has not yet been announced.

Don't worry, there'll be bootlegs of it out there a few hours after its release

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

While Christopher Nolan’s new film "Oppenheimer" is opening in much of the world this week, a Japanese release date has not yet been announced.

No doubt a few Crayon Shin-chan and Kamen Rider crapfests have to be pumped through the system first.

Can't have people actually choosing what they want to see.

Also, if we can't see this film until all the domestic pabulum has been and gone, what's the point in printing articles about it on JT?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

'Oppenheimer' isn't opening in Japan this week, but the country has a long history of cinema about the war

Talk about a non sequitur.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

What a great movie to show some history on why the bomb was created, and how it had an impact on Japan, and the Cold War, and open up an awareness of what would happen if the Germans, Japan, or the Soviet Union were first. Japan nuclear program. While Japan may wish to say how evil these weapons were, they are completely unaware that Japan itself was chasing the very same weapon. I hope this movie comes here. Would be great if we had a Japanese version based on the Ni-Go project and the Jin Project. Hostory could have been very different.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Wouldn't like to stake money on the accuracy of the subtitles.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Japan’s cinema industry is savvy enough to take a wait-and-see approach to blockbuster films. If "Oppenheimer" fails at the box office in other markets, then Japan may decide on a quick opening in a smaller number of cinemas. If it is the global hit the producers hope, it may open across the country.

This from a supposed academic, a professor of English, Creative Writing and Film? He knows nothing about Japanese cinema. It has nothing at all to do with wait-and-see, how would that explain a six month delay for John Wick 4, the latest in a very successful franchise starring one of Japan's absolute favourite movie stars, Keanu Reeves? Christopher Nolan's movies are always hugely popular in Japan and it would be very painful for distributors for "Oppenheimer" not to open.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Yeah, I'm sure Martin Scorsese’s Oscar-nominated film "Kundun", Brad Pitt's "Seven Years in Tibet" and Richard Gere's "Red Corner" were welcomed with open arms in China.

And yet, here we are, giving the Japanese a hard time about this film.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Old SausageToday 05:54 pm JST

These are some facts about Oppenheimer that may help to understand his personality. Oppenheimer struggled with his mental health. He expressed suicidal thoughts during his time in college, as claimed by Yahoo News in its report. The most remarkable thing about his adolescence was the diagnosis he was given to explain his dark character: dementia praecox, i.e. schizophrenia. He attempted two murders and was sexually confused. His health condition, Dementia Praecox is also called premature dementia, a term used to describe what we now know as schizophrenia. The psychiatrist who saw Oppenheimer described him as a "hopeless case," which most modern psychiatrists would never consider saying to a patient, as reported by FHE Health portal.

He expressed suicidal thoughts during his time in college,.......... He attempted two murders....

So it's no surprised someone like that would be involved in the mass destruction of thousands of people.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Japan releases of foreign movies are always delayed. What's the problem?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

How about Senso to Ningen? Made from 1970 to 1973, a trilogy of 3 movies running at over 3 hours each. Very critical of the war and includes graphic scenes of rape and torture of Chinese civilians. Surprised it wasn't mentioned.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@K3PO Human Condition is also set in occupied Manchuria and shows the violence and abuse Chinese suffered under Japanese occupation. The trilogy is 8-9 hours in length but anyone interested in this period of Japanese history should see it. That the film features a very young Nakasai Tatsuya is a bonus.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I'll add Graves of the Fireflies and Burmese Harp as two greats. Fires on the Plain (野火) is tough to watch but shows how Japanese soldiers in far away South Pacific Islands suffered towards the end of WW2.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Movies come out so late in Japan it's embarrassing, not to mention extremely frustrating. I've seen movies being released in Japan over a year after it's been released everywhere else. The fact that Oppenheimer isn't opening in Japanese cinemas in time with the rest of the world isn't news. It's just Japan being late to the party again, as per usual.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Alfie Noakes

July 20 05:21 pm JST

Has anybody noticed that Oppenheimer is low key, dark and rather edgy while Barbie, the other popular movie this summer, is lighthearted and fun, making for a playful dichotomy at the box offices

Well, it might be a tad inappropriate to have Oppenheimer as lighthearted and fun (with Barbie being low key, dark, and rather edgy). I mean, that might work if Mel Brooks is directing it.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Does the movie cover the full context about why the bombs were developed and dropped on Japan?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Does the movie cover the full context about why the bombs were developed and dropped on Japan?

I haven't seen it, but seeing as it's not 324 hours long, I suspect it probably doesn't have the full context.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Japanese distributors, not U.S. studios, hold the final say on the release of films in Japan. At present, the distributor, Toho Towa, has not yet organized preview screenings but is expected to arrange them soon. The release of a film like “Oppenheimer” demands more meticulous planning and time than usual due to its sensitive content.

This statement, some two week old, suggests a long wait

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I am hoping that "Oppenheimer" will cover this subject.

Some background......

Storyville - The Trials Of Oppenheimer - BBC History Documentary

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xZXphvc-BVk

0 ( +0 / -0 )

1st June 1945......

Truman Warns Japanese........

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rSgq0jMJYT4

Now the Japanese city of Hiroshima was on the 6 August 1945 vaporized making it the first atomic weapon, killing more than 70,000 people instantly.

The second bomb three days later Nagasaki killed 40,000 more.

"Oppenheimer" should, be screened whether J pop queues up to view this film is debatable.

However this film should be available to all to decide

2 ( +2 / -0 )

There should be no censorship of the movie showing.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

If there's one movie subject you'd think Japan should be in, interested more than any other country, it's this.

However, no release date.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Peter Neil

Japan releases of foreign movies are always delayed. What's the problem?

The problem is that it sucks. The fact that foreign films are almost always delayed doesn't make it suck any less.

There is no legitimate reason for it. These movies have to be subtitled and dubbed into many languages for worldwide release. And, they manage to get it done quickly for other countries.

But, Japan, the 3rd largest economy in the world, and one of the world's biggest entertainment markets, always takes longer to release than the other major markets.

It's the same with foreign car models here, which is another peeve of mine.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

For everyone confused about why movies gets delayed here.

Japanese doesn't pirate movies and most wouldn't know how to if asked, so if something gets delayed they will just not know about it or just patiently wait, as a bonus they also don't complain. If other countries were to do the same most people that wants to see that movie would find other ways to do so, which is why this isn't done in other countries.

As for the reason why Japan delay some movies even really big titles. As they don't have to worry about piracy they can just wait around for the perfect timing to release something, too many blockbuster releases this summer, just push some to next summer, unthinkable in the rest of the world but in Japan it works.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Does the movie cover the full context about why the bombs were developed and dropped on Japan?

Saw it the other day. They touched upon the reasons why vaguely but didn't go into depth. It's a brilliant film though; I liked how it focused on the man and his character and reasonings and not the A-bomb itself. The cast for the film is also stacked. It was a great cinematic experience.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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