Forum Rocket Japanese Japanese Culture and Travel Japanese Documentaries—please suggest some

Japanese Documentaries—please suggest some


I stumbled on Behind the Cove on Netflix, and regardless of my thoughts on the subject matter I was very happy to hear native Japanese speakers in everyday situations. While Japanese movies and tv shows are helpful I think that like their American counterparts they offer a more stylized version of conversation. A documentary on the other hand is by definition realistic.

If you know of other documentaries with native Japanese speakers, please post to this thread.

If you are interested in the documentary I watched, Behind the Cove, it is available on Netflix (US) and YouTube ($).
The trailer is viewable on Vimeo:
And there is a short Q&A with the director, Keiko Yagi, on YouTube: (there is an English interpreter)


I used to watch some anime before the YouTube geoblocked the content. I grew up in the 80's and four years ago was watching all the 80's version of Tetsuwan Atomu in the authentic Japanese dub. I remember it in the English dub as a 5 to 7 year old and always liked it.

I have been to Taiji near that cove. It is a nice and peaceful area to visit and very hard to get there unless you speak Japanese to a higher standard. 

At the moment my Japanese is limited to importing DVD's from online stores opposed to finding it online which proved too difficult.


If Behind The Cove is accurate, Taiji is currently experiencing a glut of foreign activists and journalists thanks to the Oscar winning documentary The Cove.  I wonder if it is still peaceful?

I found a few more documentaries to add to the list:
Jiro Dreams of Sushi (2011)


Tokyo Idols (2017)

Jiro Dreams of Sushi & Tokyo Idols are currently available on Netflix (US).


I was in Taiji in October 2017 and it was very peaceful and quiet. It is very close to the Kumano Kondo and Nachi Falls which are very famous and beautiful. Most people would go there for that not the whale museum. Either way I did not notice or see any activists there and the locals were welcoming and friendly. No one there would speak English though. I had to rely entirely on my Japanese the entire time. I spent 3 nights there. It is over 4 hours from Osaka so I am sceptical that activists would have the know-how, patience or expertise to even find the place.

The only activism I found were "fake" Tripadvisor reviews for the place that was very clear people have never been to the place.



It's currently available to AmazonPrime subscribers for free.


Children Of The Tsunami

It's currently available to AmazonPrime subscribers for free.


Thanks I only saw the trailer for that link above. Interestingly I could mostly understand the boy but not the girl!


Grandma's Recipes|まさみおばあちゃんのおせち

This is 10 minutes long, on Youtube.


Japan's independent kids | The Feed

A short report, approximately 9 minutes (about 50% of the audio is spoken Japanese, subtitled).


Countryside Homestay Experience | Traditional Japan House In Akita

Approximately 14 minutes, Japanese & English spoken.


Thanks, I will check some out. When you start clicking those YouTube links they thankfully start suggesting more Japanese language based videos.


I have found YouTube suggestions to be unreliable (to put it kindly). I prefer human curators to an algorithm. d(⌒ー⌒)

Today I found a channel called "Easy Languages":

They have over 20 videos, most with subtitles, and at least two videos that are basic enough for complete beginners.


I'll have to check out those beginner ones.  Sounds like good practice.

toru e

I'll throw in ハーフ (Hafu) which is about the mixed race experience in Japan, and is available on Amazon Prime for free. Being half-Japanese, I think the representation is quite accurate.

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