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The Emperor in August (Blu-ray + DVD) (Deluxe Edition) (English Subtitled) (Japan Version) Blu-ray Region A, DVD Region 2

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The Emperor in August (Blu-ray + DVD) (Deluxe Edition) (English Subtitled) (Japan Version)
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YesAsia Editorial Description

On August 15, 1945, noontime, Japan's unconditional surrender to the Allies was announced by Emperor Hirohito in a radio broadcast. What took place the day before in the lead-up to this historic moment?

Based on Hando Kazutoshi's book Japan's Longest Day, WWII drama The Emperor in August examines the decision-making process of Japan's leadership and military brass during the final days of the Pacific War when defeat had become all but certain. Emperor Hirohito and his council convened repeatedly to debate the course of action for a lost war and the contents of the Potsdam Declaration, but no resolution could be reached until the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki changed everything.

Directed by Harada Masato (Chronicle of My Mother), the handsome historical drama brings together an award-winning lineup of actors to play the key figures who would determine the fate of the nation. Motoki Masahiro (Departures) stars as Emperor Hirohito, Yakusho Koji (Chronicle of My Mother) as army minister Anami Korechika, Yamazaki Tsutomu (Departures) as Prime Minister Suzuki Kantaro, Tsutsumi Shinichi (Always: Sunset on Third Street) as chief secretary Hisatsune Sakomizu, and Matsuzaka Tori (Gatchaman) as Hatanaka Kenji, the military officer who led an attempted coup the night of August 14, 1945, in a bid to stop the surrender announcement.

This edition includes the film on Blu-ray and DVD, as well as a bonus DVD of special features.

© 2016-2019 Ltd. All rights reserved. This original content has been created by or licensed to, and cannot be copied or republished in any medium without the express written permission of

Technical Information

Product Title: The Emperor in August (Blu-ray + DVD) (Deluxe Edition) (English Subtitled) (Japan Version) 日本最長的一天 (Blu-ray+DVD) (英文字幕) (豪華版)(日本版) 日本最长的一天 (Blu-ray+DVD) (英文字幕) (豪华版)(日本版) 日本のいちばん長い日 豪華版 (Blu-ray Disc+DVD) The Emperor in August (Blu-ray + DVD) (Deluxe Edition) (English Subtitled) (Japan Version)
Artist Name(s): Yakusho Koji | Motoki Masahiro | Matsuzaka Tori | Tsutsumi Shinichi | Yamazaki Tsutomu | Nakamura Ikuji | Akaji Maro | Yajima Kenichi | Renbutsu Misako | Fuuki Harumi 役所廣司 | 本木雅弘 | 松坂桃李 | 堤真一 | 山崎努 | 中村育二 | 麿赤兒 | Yajima Kenichi | 蓮佛美沙子 | Fuuki Harumi 役所广司 | 本木雅弘 | 松坂桃李 | 堤真一 | 山崎努 | 中村育二 | 麿赤儿 | Yajima Kenichi | 莲佛美沙子 | Fuuki Harumi 役所広司 | 本木雅弘 | 松坂桃李 | ツツミシンイチ | 山崎努 | 中村育二 | 麿赤兒 | 矢島健一 | 蓮佛美沙子 | 半藤一利 | 富貴晴美 Yakusho Koji | Motoki Masahiro | Matsuzaka Tori | Tsutsumi Shinichi | Yamazaki Tsutomu | Nakamura Ikuji | Akaji Maro | Yajima Kenichi | Renbutsu Misako | Fuuki Harumi
Director: Harada Masato 原田真人 原田真人 原田眞人 Harada Masato
Blu-ray Region Code: A - Americas (North, Central and South except French Guiana), Korea, Japan, South East Asia (including Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan) What is it?
Release Date: 2016-01-06
Publisher Product Code: SHBR-351
Language: Japanese
Subtitles: English, Japanese
Country of Origin: Japan
Picture Format: NTSC What is it?
Disc Format(s): DVD, Blu-ray
Region Code: 2 - Japan, Europe, South Africa, Greenland and the Middle East (including Egypt) What is it?
Other Information: Blu-ray Disc+DVD
Shipment Unit: 2 What is it?
YesAsia Catalog No.: 1045690944

Product Information

[アーティスト/ キャスト]
役所広司 / 本木雅弘 / 松坂桃李 / 原田眞人 (監督、脚本) / 半藤一利 (原作) / 富貴晴美 (音楽)



製作国 : 日本 (Japan)
公開年 : 2015



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YumCha! Asian Entertainment Reviews and Features

Professional Review of "The Emperor in August (Blu-ray + DVD) (Deluxe Edition) (English Subtitled) (Japan Version)"

February 24, 2016

Although Japan's unconditional surrender to the Allies in August 1945, as announced by Emperor Hirohito via a radio broadcast, is a well-known historic event, not so well-known is what happened in the days beforehand in which the decision was debated and contested by the country's politicians and military. Directed by Harada Masato (Chronicle of My Mother), The Emperor in August focuses on this short but crucial period of time, based upon Hando Kazutoshi's 1965 book Japan's Longest Day, which had previously been adapted for the screen in 1967 by Okamoto Kihachi. Very much a prestige production, while it didn't set the box office on fire, the film pulled in a long list of nominations and awards, winning seven nominations from the Awards of the Japanese Academy, including Best Film and Best Director.

The film begins towards the end of WWII, with defeat in the Pacific War clearly a certainty for Japan. With a monumental decision required to decide the fate of the country, Emperor Hirohito (Motoki Masahiro, Departures) assembles the leaders of the nation to debate what to do, including Prime Minister Suzuki Kantaro (Yamazaki Tsutomu, also in Departures), army head Anami Korechika (Yakusho Koji, Chronicle of My Mother) and chief secretary Hisatsune Sakomizu (Tsutsumi Shinichi, Always: Sunset on Third Street). Not everyone feels that surrender is the best option, and military officer Hatanaka Kenji (Matsuzaka Tori, Gatchaman) plans a desperate coup to try and prevent the announcement.

There have been quite a number of big-budget Japanese studio films reflecting on WWII of late, including the likes of Admiral Yamamoto, The Eternal Zero and others. While these have generally mixed melancholic ponderings with spectacular battle scenes, The Emperor in August is a far more stoic production, consisting predominantly of meetings and debates. For anyone without an interest in the subject matter this will likely make it feel more like a history lesson than an attempt to entertain, which, to be fair, does seem to have been Harada Masato's aim. Although dry, overlong and slowly-paced, the film provides a solid retelling of the facts, and manages to cover some new and interesting ground as to what might have happened back in August 1945 if the military coup had been successful. There's an obvious attention to period detail throughout, giving the film an air of authenticity and gravity, and viewers invested in the subject matter and content with its unfussy and detached storytelling should appreciate its educational ambitions.

While Harada avoids anything flashy, the film is a very handsome affair, with top notch production values and a wholly convincing recreation of its time period. The costumes and sets all impress, as does the subdued cinematography, which lends weight to its many heated discussions and introduces an increasingly funerary atmosphere. The performances similarly impress, with Motoki Masahiro doing well as Emperor Hirohito, though the emphasis is very much on the factual drama that unfolds rather than character exploration. This does make the film cold and unemotional viewing, which again underlines it as chiefly being one for those with a desire to know more about the historical events it covers.

As with many such films dealing with Japan and WWII, there's a fine line to be walked between sympathising with and humanising the country’s leaders and decision makers during the period, and with acknowledging their role in the war. To be fair, Harada doesn't do too bad a job in this respect, if for the most part by avoiding the issue, though the film does generally treat the emperor and the rest of its cast as essentially decent men trying only to do the best for their nation – something which understandably won't sit too well with some audiences. At the same time though, Harada's exploration of the Japanese psyche does have a challenging modern reflection in discussions relating to Japan's pacifist constitution, and there's certainly value in its efforts to quietly raise questions.

This probably isn't enough to make The Emperor in August a film for general viewers, however, its purposeful denseness and unerring focus on heavy dialogue and historical detail likely to prove a bit dry and daunting. Still, the film largely succeeds in what it sets out to do, Harada Masato offering up a worthy and dedicated look at a key time in modern Japanese history.

by James Mudge -

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