American life is becoming more infused with Japanese culture through food, fashion and arts. Even Hollywood movies — one of the most popular U.S. exports to the world — include stories set against the backdrop of Japan and exploring its vibrant history.
Here are moments from American movies that capture the magic of Japan:
Lost in Translation (2003)
This Academy Award–winning film takes advantage of scenic views of Tokyo, Kyoto and Fuji in telling the story of the unlikely friendship between a middle-aged actor (Bill Murray) and an aimless young woman (Scarlett Johansson), both visiting Japan from America.
The Last Samurai (2003)
Set in the late 19th century, The Last Samurai follows a veteran of the American Civil War (Tom Cruise) who learns to honor the Bushido traditions of the samurai (the military nobility of pre-modern Japan). The film’s locations include Kyoto’s Nijo Castle and Awaji City in Hyogo.
The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006)
The third of a popular series, this film follows a rebellious teenager from California who becomes involved in the street racing community of Tokyo, offering some dizzying nighttime views of the city from a car moving at top speed.
Jiro Dreams of Sushi (2011)
(This video is not available for viewing in Japan.)
This documentary was nominated for awards at film festivals around the globe. The film introduces the world to Jiro Ono, proprietor of Tokyo’s Sukiyabashi Jiro — considered by many to be the greatest sushi restaurant in the world.