Epic War Movie ‘Japan’s Longest Day’ To Be Reworked

Epic War Movie 'Japan's Longest Day'

TOKYO – Shochiku has announced the cast for its reworking of the 1967 Kihachi Okamoto epic “Japan’s Longest Day” to be titled “The Emperor in August.”

The film, which details the events leading up to Japan’s unconditional surrender on August 15, 1945 following the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, stars Koji Yakusho as army minister Anami, a role originally played by Toshiro Mifune.

The director is Masato Harada, whose 2011 “Chronicle of My Mother,” which starred Yakusho as a best-selling writer with mother issues, won a slew of domestic and international prizes, including the jury prize at the Montreal World Film Festival.

Okamoto’s movie was based on a 1965 best-selling novel by Kazutoshi Hando about diehard militarists plotting a coup to stop the Emperor’s surrender announcement on August 15. Anami is caught between his loyalty to the Emperor, who wants to stop the killing, and his reluctance to admit defeat, even at the cost of more Japanese lives.

Harada’s picture will also draw from Hando’s 1988 nonfiction book about how Prime Minister Kantaro Suzuki and Emperor Hirohito (known posthumously as Emperor Showa) prevailed in the peace-versus-war struggle in the government.

In addition to Yakusho as Anami, Masahiro Motoki (“Departures”) is playing Emperor Hirohito and Tsutomu Yamazaki (“Kagemusha,” “Tampopo”) Prime Minister Suzuki.

Shochiku plans to release the pic in time for the 70th anniversary of the end of the war next August.

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  1. I am a WWII historian and author. When I give talks asking if the second atomic bomb was necessary, I open eyes to understand the minds of the Japanese thinking and what happened in Japan after the two atomic weapons were dropped. “Japan’s Longest Day” is a great tool to encourage persons to watch and mates with “The Last Mission,” book by Jim Smith.

    One of the persons in my recent lecture is trying to find how to order the new film version “The Emperor in August.” Can you send us such information? Does it exist with English subtitles?

    Nancy R. Bartlit, co-author of “Silent Voices of WWII: When Sons of the Land of Enchantment Met Sons of the Land of the Rising Sun.”

  2. Steve Jones says:

    “Novel”! The book is no novel. It is history. The movie was a dramatization of the history, but followed the history very well. Read the damn book, then watch the movie. I look forward to the new version.

  3. In fact when someone doesn’t know afterward its up to other people that they will help, so here it takes place.

  4. I wish the original film was available on DVD in the USA market. I can’t wait to see the remake next years.

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