Sinking of Japan (日本沈没, Nihon Chinbotsu ) is a 2006 Japanese disaster movie directed by Shinji Higuchi. It’s a remake of a 1973 film which itself was an adaptation of a novel by Sakyo Komatsu. Both movies and the novel have different English titles but it’s the same in Japanese.
The 2006 film starred Tsuyoshi Kusanagi, Kou Shibasaki, Etsushi Toyokawa, Mao Daichi and Mitsuhiro Oikawa etc. More details on cast and crew at end of the post.
The story is about Japan “sinking” into the sea because of tectonic plate motions. And time is running out for the Japanese people as volcanic eruptions, earthquakes and tsunamis begin to devour the country.
Scientists have discovered that Japan is sinking into the sea due to tectonic plate motions. And the country has less than a year to move out all its people.
Toshi (Tsuyoshi), a scientist behind the finding, bump into emergency rescue worker Reiko (Shibasaki) during the crisis, and romance blossom in between.
As the situation worsen, Toshi has a chance to leave the country as one of the selected “elites”, but Reiko decides to stay and help the victims instead.
When Toshi is pondering his options, scientists find out that Japan can still survive and Toshi is the only one who can save them from destruction…
Despite its box office success, Sinking of Japan received mixed reviews from film critics. A sarcastic award actually named it the worse movie of the year.
I think the movie is OK though. The story-line is rather weak, and the romance is boring; but the film is not that bad overall. The special effects are not Hollywood but have a distinctive Japanese flavour in it. And the actors did alright too given the limitation of the script.
Cast and crew
Director: Shinji Higuchi ~ Screenplay: Masato Kato ~ Music: Taro Iwashiro ~ Cinematography: Taro Kawazu ~ Cast: Tsuyoshi Kusanagi, Kou Shibasaki, Etsushi Toyokawa, Mao Daichi, Mitsuhiro Oikawa, Mayuko Fukuda, Hideko Yoshida, Akira Emoto, Jun Kunimura, Koji Ishizaka
The movie is also known as Doomsday: The Sinking of Japan in the United States.