Battle of Okinawa

Japan Release: 1971
Running Time:
149 minutes

Battle of Okinawa

Japanese Title

激動の昭和史 沖縄決戦
[Gekido no Showashi: Okinawa Kessen]

Distributor: Production:


In the midst of World War II, the American forces were making a final push to mainland Japan. Standing in their way was the island nation of Okinawa. Seeing the island as a key strategic point, Japan setup the 32nd Army to defend it. Despite the odds stacked against them, though, several divisions were redeployed. This was due to activities in both Taiwan and the Philippines, which reduced the amount of Japanese soldiers that could be devoted to Okinawa. Realizing their diminishing odds for success, Colonel Hiromichi Yahara devised a plan. He intended to utilize the terrain of Okinawa to help even the odds against the American forces. Villagers were also enlisted to help fill ranks and increase combatant numbers. However, lacking air support, the Japanese forces faced a tough battle to maintain control of the island...

Live Action

Box Office - Stock Footage - DVDs - CDs - Pictures - Background - Concept Art - Cut Scenes - Reviews


International Title

Battle of Okinawa

Initial US Title

Battle of Okinawa
US Distributor: Min-On (1973) / Time: - Minutes

Alternate Titles

Turning Point in Showa History: Battle of Okinawa
[Literal translation]

Marines Attack Okinawa

Kamikaze (Okinawa Zero)




Directed by Kihachi Okamoto
Writing credits Ryozo Kasahara, Kaneto Shindo
Produced by Sanezumi Fujimoto, Hiroshi Haryu
Music by Masaru Sato
Cinematography by Hiroshi Murai
Film Editing by Yoshitami Kuroiwa
Production Design by Yoshiro Muraki
Assistant Director Yoshihiro Kawasaki, Kensho Yamashita
Director of Special Effects Teruyoshi Nakano
Hiromichi Yahara, Colonel Tatsuya Nakadai
Ushijima, General Keiju Kobayashi
Isamu Cho, Lieutenant General Tetsuro Tamba
Miyake, Communication Staff Katsuhiko Sasaki
Ota, Rear Admiral Ryo Ikebe
Ueno, Chief of Staff Ichiro Nakaya
Omori, Sergeant Ren Yamamoto
- Yuzo Kayama
- Mayumi Ozora
- Kenji Sahara
- Hideyo Amamoto
- Goro Mutsumi
- Kamatari Fujiwara
- Takamaru Sasaki
- Akira Yamauchi
- Eijiro Tono
- Sachio Sakai
- Seishiro Kuno
- Chotaro Togin
- Wataru Omae
- Shoichi Hirose
- Yutaka Sada
- Kazuo Suzuki
- Yutaka Nakayama
- Akira Nishikawa
- Naoya Kusakawa
- Zan Fujita
- Kazuya Honda
- Masao Imafuku
- Hiroyuki Kawase
- Machiko Naka
- Masanobu Oki
- Toshiko Nakano
- Kotaro Tomita
- Hiroshi Hasegawa
- Hironobu Wakamoto
- Haruya Kato


DVDs and Blu-rays

United States Region 1 Battle of Okinawa AnimEigo (2007) Order
Japan Region 2 Turning Point in Showa History: Battle of Okinawa Toho (2015)  

CD Soundtracks


Background and Trivia

  • Toho submitted the film to the US copyright office on March 21st, 1988 with the registration number of PA0000365777. The movie was submitted under its international title, Battle of Okinawa, and a shortened version of its Romaji title, Okinawa Kessen.
  • The movie features a stock music cue from Battle of the Japan Sea (1969), which is altered to sound intentionally dated.
  • Is considered part of the "Toho 8-15 Series" (東宝8-15シリーズ), a franchise of war films released annually around the anniversary of the Japanese surrender during World War II. Battle of Okinawa is the 5th entry in the series, and was followed by the last entry Eternal Cause (1972). This information is found in the 1997 book the Japanese Special Effects Film Complete Works (4766927060).
  • Conflicting information is tied to the actual release of the movie. Sources like the 2008 The Toho Studios Story: A History and Complete Filmography (ISBN: 1461673747) list a July 3rd, 1971 release date. However, when Toho went to submit the movie for a copyright claim in the US they listed the release date as August 14th, 1971. It's possible that the movie received a limited release in July before being given a wider release in August. The August date, however, does line up more nicely with the movie's inclusion in the "Toho 8-15 Series". Otherwise, it would be the only movie in that series released outside of August.


Alexander Smith Star Rating
July 11, 2012