Battle of the Japan Sea

Japan Release: 1969
Running Time:
128 minutes

Battle of the Japan Sea

Japanese Title

[Nihonkai Daikaisen]

Distributor: Production:


At the end of the 19th century, several developed European countries invaded China. Intense rioting, though, eventually sends the troops defending these embassies to withdraw. Russia, however, stays behind at the chief port guarding Manchu. Japan, fearing for its safety if Russia were to take Manchu and Korea, pleas with the Soviets to leave. The request falls on deaf ears. Japan then considers more drastic measures as Heihachiro Togo is given command. Despite knowing that Russia's combined forces are twice as large as Japan's, battle plans are made. Seeing Russia's "Asian fleet" as the greatest threat, the plan is to wipe them out first. Striking on the day of the Santa Maria Celebration, ships previously docked at Port Jensen are attacked. This expands to an assault that sinks four Russian battleships. The strike comes at a cost, as Russian artillery counterattack. The bombardment deals considerable damage to the Japanese forces, setting more battles in motion...

Live Action

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


International Title

Battle of the Japan Sea

Initial US Title

Battle of the Japan Sea
US Distributor: Toho (1970) / Time: 128 Minutes

Alternate Titles

Great Battle of the Japan Sea
[Literal translation]

Battle of Port Arthur

Battle of the Red Sea




Directed by Seiji Maruyama
Writing credits Toshio Yasumi
Produced by Tomoyuki Tanaka
Music by Masaru Sato
Cinematography by Hiroshi Murai
Production Design by Takeo Kita, Noriyoshi Inoue
Director of Special Effects Eiji Tsuburaya
Assitant Director of Special Effects Teruyoshi Nakano
Heihachiro Togo, Admiral Toshiro Mifune
Genjiro Akashi, Major Tatsuya Nakadai
Hirose, Commander Yuzo Kayama
Maresuke Nogi, General Chishu Ryu
Kamimura, Vice-Admiral Susumu Fujita
Mrs. Togo Mitsuko Kusabue
Gorobei Yamamoto, General Ryutaro Tatsumi
Emperor Koshiro Matsumoto
Maeyama, Private First Class Toshio Kurosawa
Matsui Akira Kubo
Gunnery Chief of Security Makoto Sato
Tsunoda, Staff Officer Akihiko Hirata
Submarine Chief Kenji Sahara
Akiyama, Staff Officer Yoshio Tsuchiya
Ijichi Yoshifumi Tajima
Kurino Hiroshi Koizumi
Shimaji Hashiguchi Jun Tazaki
Kato, Chief of Staff Officer Takeshi Kato
Sugino Atsushi Higashiyama
Fujimoto, Doctor Keiji Higashiyama
Matsu Shoji Matsuyama
Yamaoka, Staff Officer Jun Funato
Hirofumi Ito Eijiro Yanagi
Tozuka Masao Shimizu
Suchi Toru Yasube
Narikawa Gen Shimizu
Kataoka Ryuji Kita
Ijichi, Chief of Staff Officer Mikita Mori
Nagata Toshiyuki Takahashi
Kaoru Inoue Shin Takioka
Kuki, Consultant Takamaru Sasaki
Shimamura, Chief of Staff Officer Yoshio Inaba
Ariaki Yamagata Ken Mitsuda
John Campbell, British Captain Harold Conway
Rozhestvensky, Admiral Andrew Hughes
- Yoko Tsukasa


Box Office

Release Date: August 1st, 1969 (Japan)
Budget: ¥350,000,000 (Rough Figure)
Distribution Earning: ¥346,000,000 (Japan, Rough Figure)

DVDs and Blu-rays

Japan Region 2 Great Battle of the Japan Sea Toho (2001)
Japan Region 2 Great Battle of the Japan Sea Toho (2007)

CD Soundtracks


Background and Trivia

  • Toho submitted the film to the US copyright office on August 9th, 1989 with the registration number of PA0000435873. The movie was submitted under its Romaji title, Nihonkai Daikaisen, and its international title, Battle of the Japan Sea. Interestingly, the movie lists Nipponkai Daikaisen as an alternate title in Romaji. This comes down to preference of prouncing Japan (日本) as either Nihon or Nippon.
  • Is considered part of the "Toho 8-15 Series" (東宝8-15シリーズ), a franchise of war films whose release intentionally conicidies with the anniversary of Japan's surrender. The day used is the surrender date observed by the UK rather than the US one, which is September 2nd. Battle of the Japan Sea is the third move in the series. The previous entry in this 8-15 series is Admiral Yamamoto (1968) while the first was Japan's Longest Day (1967). The Militarists (1970), Battle of Okinawa (1971) and Eternal Cause (1972) are the later entries, making a total of six movies. Battle of the Japan Sea stands out in this series for being the only entry not based on World War II, but rather the Russo-Japanese War. This information is found in the 1997 publication the Japanese Special Effects Film Complete Works (4766927060).


Alexander Smith Star Rating
June 24, 2012