What are the best Japanese movies to improve my Japanese?
Japanese is an East Asian language spoken by about 128 million people, primarily in Japan, where it is the national language. It is a member of the Japonic (or Japanese-Ryukyuan) language family, and its relation to other languages, such as Korean, is debated. Although there are a number of dialects and accents around Japan, the essentially monolingual status that prevails here is quite rare, experts say. Several principal languages are widely spoken within the borders of most countries. According to Nagoya University linguistics professor Ken Machida, there are between 6,000 and 7,000 living languages in the world today, which, if evenly distributed, would break down to about 30 per country. Outside of Japan, 2.98 million people in 133 countries are studying the language at 13,639 institutions, according to a 2006 survey by the Japan Foundation. Japonic languages have been grouped with other language families such as Ainu, Austroasiatic, and the now-discredited Altaic, but none of these proposals has gained widespread acceptance.
Let's now see how you can get the best out of the innocent-looking movies, understood to serve the purpose of entertainment only!
To learn Japanese seriously, you would need to gather as much exposure possible to the language besides insights about the culture. Learners at the beginning are not only intimidated about learning Japanese but to make matters worse, the thought of watching Japanese films disturbs their state of mind due to incomplete improper knowledge of Japanese
The Japanese film industry is one of the few that continues to have a significant influence on global cinema, and yet maintaining its own identity and characteristics sacrosanct while incorporating a variety of new genres and features to further enrich their cinema. Japanese movies don’t display complacency or conformity to the classics; they maintain a positive attitude toward classic directors, performers, genres, and films, and also introduce a number of new directors and actors to the list, who are becoming increasingly well-known both nationally and internationally.
IMO Japanese cinema encompasses a wide variety of themes and ideas and there is bound to be some Japanese movies that you’d gladly watch over and over.
Let’s first discuss how watching Japanese movies would really help.
Besides imparting new vocabulary, Japanese movies can help you gain a trained ear for spoken Japanese, as well as introduce you to the types of spoken Japanese that are unable to make it to textbooks. Furthermore, watching movies is a calming and pleasurable experience that will help you break the monotony of learning a new language. It’s a nice activity to incorporate into your Japanese study routine.
Before you jump over movies let’s also discuss some important perquisites
Choose a movie for your level.
Don’t go straight to the classic gems by Akira Kutosawa, Hiroshi Teshigahara and Yasujirô Ozu if you’re a beginner. Remember that the way the Japanese language was used to be once upon a time differs from how it is spoken now.
As a result, while some films may be considered classics of Japanese cinema, the vocabulary and phrases used in them may no longer in use today.
I recommend that beginners watch simple films such as:
Action movies (Action movies are perfect because even if you can’t really understand the dialogue, the action will give you a good understanding of what’s going on).
Also, don’t confuse Japanese and Chinese films. Since there are completely different languages.
Look for a movie with subtitles.
Look for movies with both English and Japanese subtitles if at all necessary. Keep in mind, however, that the English subtitles do not fit the Japanese dialogue word for word.
Japanese subtitles, on the other hand, can assist you in correctly spelling and assembling posts, which is crucial when studying new terms that you haven’t encountered before.
“Actively” watch the film.
By actively, I mean that you’d need a pen and paper or some other kind of writing instrument to jot down your thoughts.
Start by watching One Movie per Day
Here are a few movies for your 1st week you can start from.
This list tries to show the essential films of the Japanese industry, both classics and modern.
The Family Game (Yoshimitsu Morita, 1983)
Youth of the Beast (Seijun Suzuki, 1967)
The Burmese Harp (Kon Ichikawa, 1956)
Early Summer (Yasujirô Ozu, 1951)
Giants and Toys (Yasukô Masumara, 1958)
Samurai Rebellion (Masaki Kobayashi, 1967)
Onibaba (Kaneto Shindô, 1964)
Post 7 days, look for more movies here, or online. For best horror movies, netflix, gems, classics, also 21st century best movies and forgotten gems, besides anime movies that are a hit with youngsters!
There no doubt that a new foreign language like Japanese will definitely increase your job opportunities and salary potential.
There is no information available about the language’s prehistory or when it first appeared in Japan. A few Japanese words were documented in Chinese records dating back to the third century, but significant texts did not exist until the eighth century. During the Heian period (794–1185), Chinese had a major influence on Old Japanese vocabulary and phonology. Late Middle Japanese (1185–1600) saw improvements in features that took it closer to modern Japanese, as well as the first use of European loanwords. During the Early Modern Japanese era (early 17th century–mid-19th century), the traditional dialect shifted from the Kansai area to the Edo (modern Tokyo) region. Following the end of Japan’s self-imposed isolation in 1853, there was a substantial rise in the influx of loanwords from European languages. English loanwords, in particular, have proliferated, as have Japanese words with English origins.
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