Japan’s Oscar WinnersEntertainment Cinema Economy
Drive My Car, directed by Hamaguchi Ryūsuke, won the Academy Award for Best International Feature on March 27, 2022, becoming the latest Japanese film to be recognized with an Oscar.
In the 1950s, three Japanese films won honorary awards for Best Foreign Language Film before it became an official category: Rashōmon, directed by Kurosawa Akira; Gate of Hell, directed by Kinugasa Teinosuke; and Miyamoto Musashi, directed by Inagaki Hiroshi. It was not until 2009 that Takita Yōjirō’s Departures took an official award. (In 2019, this category was renamed to become the award for Best International Feature.)
Here, we list Japan’s Oscar-winning films and filmmakers in full.
Best International Feature (2022)
Drive My Car (Hamaguchi Ryūsuke)
Best Foreign Language Film (2009)
Departures (Takita Yōjirō)
Best Animated Short Film (2009)
La Maison en Petits Cubes (Katō Kunio)
Best Animated Feature (2003)
Spirited Away (Miyazaki Hayao)
Best Documentary (Short Subject) (1999)
The Personals (Ibi Keiko)
Best Foreign Language Film (Honorary) (1956)
Miyamoto Musashi (Inagaki Hiroshi)
Best Foreign Language Film (Honorary) (1955)
Gate of Hell (Kinugasa Teinosuke)
Best Foreign Language Film (Honorary) (1952)
Rashōmon (Kurosawa Akira)
Among Japanese individuals to receive Oscars, Umeki Miyoshi won the 1958 award for Best Supporting Actress in the US film Sayonara, while Sakamoto Ryūichi was among those honored in 1988 for Best Score for Bernardo Bertolucci’s The Last Emperor. Wada Sanzō became the first of three Japanese winners for Best Costume Design in 1955; Wada Emi won the award in 1986 and Ishioka Eiko in 1993. Tsuji Kazuhiro won for Best Makeup and Hairstyling in both 2018 and 2020. Film greats Kurosawa Akira and Miyazaki Hayao received Academy Honorary Awards in 1990 and 2015, respectively.
(Originally published in Japanese. Banner photo: Hamaguchi Ryūsuke speaks at the Academy Awards on March 27, 2022, after his Drive My Car wins the Oscar for Best International Feature. © Reuters.)