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  • Japan's War in Colour
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Japan's War in Colour

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Frequently Bought Together

Japan's War in Colour + Secrets of War - The Complete 65 Episode Series + Victory at Sea: The Complete Series
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Product Details

  • Actors: Brian Cox
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Rhino Theatrical
  • DVD Release Date: September 13, 2005
  • Run Time: 151 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (90 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000AQ69QI
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,818 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

It was assumed no color films existed in Japan until the victorious U.S. forces arrived in 1945. This DVD is remarkable proof that those assumptions were verifiably false. Now you can discover the story of a nation at war from its rare color films, plus letters and diaries from those who lived through it. Almost all the material in this color documentary has been recently discovered and allows the viewer to expereince Japanese culture and events from an entirely new perspective. Subject matter includes Imperial Japanese troops in 1931 Manchuria, remarkable domestic scenes of 1930s Japan, preparation for war in 1939, and images of occupation in 1940s Shanghai.

Customer Reviews

This is a very good film.
This is an excellent documentary about the rise of militarism in Japan and it's subsequent war against China, the US, and Great Britain.
David Cuddeback
This documentary film is actual color footage.
Ernest Jagger

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

158 of 161 people found the following review helpful By Ernest Jagger on December 17, 2006
Format: DVD
I highly recommend this DVD about Japan in the Second World War. The film does a great job in both the footage and narrative in exploring the Japanese viewpoint of the war. What is also very fascinating is the color footage in the film. Most of the footage shown about the war in the Pacific is black and white, or colorized. This documentary film is actual color footage. Not restored black and white into color: But the real deal here. The film does an excellent job in showing Japan's experience in the war.

Moreover, the narration is very, very good. You also have first-person accounts of the events of the war: which I have also found to be a plus in any documentary. Primary evidence, be it paper documents or the men who witnessed these historic events give a much more vivid picture when discussing historic events. The pictures in the film are incredible. Almost 95% is in color. And I might add, this footage has never been seen before.

There is also bonus material included in the DVD called "The Last Bomb" which detail the planning and massive attacks of the then Army Air Force on the city of Tokyo. The film shows air combat footage of the Air Force in color. I have seen many of these types of films while I served in the U.S Air Force many years ago, however, this footage compliments the entire rest of the documentary film. There is also footage of the Pacific Campaign dealing with the varoius battles, such as Iwo Jima. Plus, there is footage of post-war Japan, which many documentaries do not focus on, when discussing the war. The DVD is highly recommended.
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78 of 79 people found the following review helpful By UCLA Crew on December 2, 2006
Format: DVD
If there ever was one film that effectively captures and encapsulates Japan's wartime experience, this DVD is it--hands down.

Narration and editing is absolutely phenomenal. Combined with first-person account of events amplifying the footage, this film relentlessly draws the viewer in.

And, oh, what pictures! Virtually 95% of color footage is never before seen, and even startled to see what I always believed to be B/W playing out in color. These are genuine color footages and NOT colorized B/W stock.

Bonus material includes a complete War Department Oscar nominated color documentary "The Last Bomb" that chronicles the planning and attack on the city of Tokyo by the U.S. Army Air Force. It contains incredible air combat gun camera footage--in color!

DVD also includes 3 selections of original color footage not used in the main program: Battle for the island of Iwo Jima, Hiroshima & Nagasaki after the atom bombs, and vivid street scenes of Japan during the postwar period.

A must-own DVD (the price is right, too).

WARNING: Contains uncensored/unsanitized film footage. Graphic scenes may not be suitable for some. Viewer discretion is advised.
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75 of 79 people found the following review helpful By K. G. Godwin on February 16, 2008
Format: DVD
The producers of this documentary (and others in the series) have obviously spent a great deal of time and effort in tracking down the remarkable color footage and restoring it. However, they've also made the decision to convert the original 4:3 images to 16:9 -- obviously to satisfy those who've already bought their widescreen TVs. This cropping of about a third of the image from the top and bottom of the frame results in the frequently painful butchery of the image. Since the whole raison d'etre of the series is to present these rare images (as documentaries, the programs are efficient but unremarkable surveys of their subjects), this mutilation seems inexplicable. The material itself is worth five stars, but the presentation drags down the rating.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Cosmoetica on September 13, 2008
Format: DVD
Overall, Japan's War In Colour is a rarity- and a must see for historians of war and war buffs alike. The scenes of color footage, especially that from American airplanes, is devastating- far better than not only contemporary war films, but anything Hollywood has put out since, and if one recalls the video game-like atmosphere surrounding the First Gulf War, it will surprise one to see how eerily similar scenes from half a century were, as we hear tailgunners lock in and obliterate their targets with great precision; sometimes even shooting fleeing Japanese civilians in fields or on beaches. But it is more than a mere filmic experience. It captures a human quality too often missing in war films, be they fictive or documentary. There is an ambience to this film which, because it is in color, heightens the sense of reality and immediacy of the ghostly images before you. Almost all of these people are likely long dead, yet, there they are, not in grainy black and white, but, as the old tv slogan went, in `living color.' Their living, then hollowed, expressions core into a viewer like only the naked image can.

Finally, this film also sets the record straight about the neglected `Pacific War'- that it was even bloodier than the `European War,' accounting for close to 50 million of the 80 million people killed. Such truths are often not touched in documentaries where political sensitivities are heightened, and for that reason I doubt this DVD will be a big seller in Japan. Yet, for these and many other unenumerated reasons, I cannot recommend Japan's War In Colour highly enough. And, as a cherry (blossom?) on top, it once again proved my gut has never has never let me down. Nor will it let yours down. It is simply a masterful film, in both conception and presentation. Take that, Mr. Burns!
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