|Directed by||Shiro Moritani|
|Screenplay by||Shinobu Hashimoto|
|Based on|| Japan Sinks |
by Sakyo Komatsu
|Edited by||Michiko Ikeda|
|Music by||Masaru Sato|
|Box office||$7 million (Japan) |
$3.5 million (U.S.)
Tidal Wave (日本沈没, Nihon Chinbotsu, lit. "Japan Sinks") is a 1973 film directed by Shiro Moritani. It is based on the 1973 novel Japan Sinks by Sakyo Komatsu. The film stars Keiju Kobayashi, Hiroshi Fujioka and Ayumi Ishida.
Two hundred million years ago, the Earth was a single continent. As the years progress, the single landmass splits off into smaller continents and islands. Thirty million years ago, the country of Japan was part of the continent of Asia, and has since split off into its own archipelago. Another landmass shift is about to occur.
In the present day, geophysicist Dr. Tadokoro and Onodera Toshio take the submarine Wadatsumi-1 to the Ogasawara Islands, in order to investigate tremors in the seafloor. They discover that the land mass of the Japanese islands is collapsing into the Japan trench.
Afterward, Onodera is introduced to Abe Reiko, and the two become lovers. Relaxing on the beach, they witness an eruption of Mt. Amagi. A meeting of government officials, including Prime Minister Yamamoto, focuses on assessing the disaster. Dr. Tadokoro warns that more eruptions and earthquakes are imminent, but his claims are rejected as alarmist. He later meets with a mysterious wealthy man named Mr. Watari, who agrees to fund the doctor’s research expeditions. With this funding, he develops a course of action to address a nationwide earthquake disaster. During a meeting to secure a research submarine from France, the volcano Kirishima erupts.
Onodera leaves his job as a submarine pilot to help Dr. Tadokoro full-time. Further research verifies that the Japanese archipelago will be pulled into the ocean. This is immediately followed by a massive earthquake in Tokyo causing immense damage and loss of life.
Three months later, Tokyo is slowly recovering. The Prime Minister, who lost his wife in the earthquake, works closely with Mr. Watari and Dr. Tadokoro’s team. Their assessment is that another even larger earthquake is on the horizon.
Dr. Tadokoro and his team meet with Mr. Watari at his secluded mountainside home. The doctor reveals his two-phase plan: D1-investigating seismic activity in the Japan Trench, and D2-an evacuation of the Japanese islands. The Prime Minister is negotiating with countries to accept refugees. Mr. Watari describes three options for Plan D2. One is the formation of a new country, a second is immigration and integration into other countries, and a third is a non-response that means passive acceptance of Japan’s fate. Onodera, drunk and agonizing over the public’s ignorance of the impending disaster, meets Abe Reiko for the first time since the Tokyo earthquake.
The Japanese Meteorological Agency reveals devastating news; the original 2-year timeline for Japan’s sinking is inaccurate, shrinking to just 10 months. Immigration negotiations are sped up, though countries such as South Korea, China and Taiwan are refusing to participate. Shipping and air transport production are increased, and a full announcement of Japan’s fate is released to the public nationwide. Onodera plans to marry Reiko and meet her in Geneva, but they are separated when a new earthquake triggers an eruption of Mt. Fuji.
A United Nations summit discusses possible locations for Japan’s population. In two months, 2.8 million Japanese have successfully evacuated; the low number frustrates Prime Minister Yamamoto. Japan’s sinking accelerates, with the Kii Peninsula and Shikoku submerged. The United States, China and the Soviet Union agree to accept large numbers of refugees, but evacuation estimates only increase to 8 million per month. The Sanriku coast, Tohoku district, Kyushu, Hokkaido and Okinawa are submerged. 63 million Japanese remain on the archipelago, 57% of the original population.
Eleven days before Japan is expected to completely sink, Onodera is shown engaged in rescue efforts, while hoping to reunite with Reiko. Prime Minister Yamamoto later announces a cessation of all JSDF rescue operations.
Mr. Watari, on his deathbed, has a final meeting with Dr. Tadokoro and the Prime Minister. The doctor states that he will remain in Japan until the end, and expresses his confidence in the Prime Minister’s leadership ability with the Japanese people’s uncertain future. A helicopter takes the Prime Minister to safety, as a view from space shows that all of Japan has sunk into the ocean.
Some time later, Reiko is shown looking out the window of a train, traveling through a snowy landscape. Meanwhile, Onodera rides in a boxcar through an American desert as the film ends.
Tidal Wave was released in Japan on 29 December 1973 where it was distributed by Toho.The film was the highest grossing film in Japan in 1973 and 1974. The film grossed more than twice of the second-highest grossing film of the year, Human Revolution .
Roger Corman bought the U.S. rights to the film for his New World Pictures. He cut out a great deal of footage, added new sequences directed by Andrew Meyer and starring Lorne Greene as an ambassador at the United Nations, and released it as Tidal Wave in May 1975.The film was a big success at the U.S. box office.
The American version of the film's new cast members also included Rhonda Leigh Hopkins, John Fukioka, Marvin Miller, Susan Sennett, Ralph James, Phil Roth, Cliff Pellow, and Joe Dante.New World additionally released an uncut subtitled format as Submersion of Japan.
The Nikkatsu Corporation is a Japanese entertainment company known for its film and television productions. It is Japan's oldest major movie studio, founded in 1912 during the silent film era. The name Nikkatsu amalgamates the words Nippon Katsudō Shashin, literally "Japan Motion Pictures".
Tetsurō Tamba was a Japanese actor with a career spanning five decades. He is best known in the West for his role in the 1967 James Bond film You Only Live Twice as Tiger Tanaka.
Gamera vs. Barugon is a 1966 Japanese kaiju film directed by Shigeo Tanaka, with special effects by Noriaki Yuasa and Kazufumi Fujii. Produced by Daiei Film, it is the second entry in the Gamera film series, and stars Kōjirō Hongō, Kyōko Enami, and Yūzō Hayakawa, with Teruo Aragaki as Gamera. In the film, Gamera returns to Earth to battle a reptilian monster born out of an opal brought to Japan by greedy entrepreneurs.
Gamera vs. Gyaos is a 1967 Japanese kaiju film directed by Noriaki Yuasa, with special effects by Yuasa. Produced by Daiei Film, it is the third entry in the Gamera film series and stars Kojiro Hongo, Kichijiro Ueda, Tatsuemon Kanamura, Reiko Kasahara, and Naoyuki Abe, with Teruo Aragaki as Gamera. In the film, Gamera and authorities must deal with the sudden appearance of a carnivorous winged creature awakened by volcanic eruptions.
Gamera vs. Zigra is a 1971 Japanese kaiju film directed by Noriaki Yuasa, written by Niisan Takahashi, and produced by Yoshihiko Manabe and Hidemasa Nagata. It is the seventh entry in the Gamera film series, after Gamera vs. Jiger, which was released the previous year. Gamera vs. Zigra stars Eiko Yanami, Reiko Kasahara, Mikiko Tsubouchi, and Kōji Fujiyama, and features the fictional giant monsters Gamera and Zigra.
Pitfall, a.k.a. The Pitfall and Kashi To Kodomo, is a 1962 Japanese film directed by Hiroshi Teshigahara, written by Kōbō Abe. It was Teshigahara's first feature, and the first of his four film collaborations with Abe, the others being Woman in the Dunes, The Face of Another and The Ruined Map. Unlike the others, which are based on novels by Abe, Pitfall was originally a television play called Purgatory (Rengoku). The film has been included in The Criterion Collection.
Events in the year 1946 in Japan.
Sinking of Japan is a 2006 tokusatsu film directed by Shinji Higuchi. It is an adaptation of the novel Japan Sinks and a remake of its earlier film adaptation Tidal Wave, both released in the year 1973. It stars Tsuyoshi Kusanagi, Kou Shibasaki, Etsushi Toyokawa and Mao Daichi.
Sakyo Komatsu was a Japanese science fiction writer and screenwriter. He was one of the most well known and highly regarded science fiction writers in Japan.
Nihon Igai Zenbu Chinbotsu is a 2006 Japanese black comedy film directed by Minoru Kawasaki, as a parody of the 2006 film Sinking of Japan.
ESPY is a 1974 film based on a story by Sakyo Komatsu. The film was directed by Jun Fukuda from a screenplay by Ei Ogawa. It stars Hiroshi Fujioka, Masao Kusakari, Kaoru Yumi, Tomisaburo Wakayama and Eiji Okada.
The X from Outer Space is a 1967 Japanese science fiction kaiju film that was directed by Kazui Nihonmatsu and stars Eiji Okada and Toshiya Wazaki.
Chūshingura: Hana no Maki, Yuki no Maki is a 1962 Japanese period drama film (jidaigeki) directed by Hiroshi Inagaki, produced by Tomoyuki Tanaka, Sanezumi Fujimoto, and Inagaki. Produced and distributed by Toho Studios, it is based on the story of the forty-seven rōnin. The film stars Toshiro Mifune as Genba Tawaraboshi, along with Matsumoto Hakuō I, Yūzō Kayama, Tatsuya Mihashi, Akira Takarada, Yosuke Natsuki, Makoto Satō, and Tadao Takashima.
Something Like an Autobiography is the memoir of Japanese film director Akira Kurosawa. It was published as a book in 1981 and the English translation by Audie E. Bock appeared the following year.
Japan's Longest Day (日本のいちばん長い日) is a 1967 Japanese war film directed by Kihachi Okamoto. The subject of the majority of the movie is the period between noon on August 14, 1945, when Emperor Hirohito made the decision to surrender to the Allies in World War II and noon on August 15, 1945, when the emperor's recorded message announcing the surrender was broadcast to the Japanese people. Joseph L. Anderson describes the film as "a meticulous reconstruction of the day Japan surrendered and thus ended the Pacific War.
Imperial Navy is a 1981 Japanese film directed by Shue Matsubayashi. The film is a retelling of the downfall of Japan's Imperial Navy.
Pressure of Guilt is a 1963 drama film directed by Hiromichi Horikawa.
The Elegant Life of Mr. Everyman is a 1963 Japanese satirical comedy film directed by Kihachi Okamoto and based on the Naoki Prize winning novel by Hitomi Yamaguchi.
Katsu Kaishū (勝海舟) is a 1974 Japanese television series. It is the 12th NHK taiga drama. Tetsuya Watari was forced to step down from the role of Katsu Kaishū because of his illness so he appeared only first 9 episodes.
Japan Sinks: People of Hope is an upcoming Japanese drama series set to be released in October, 2021. Based on the novel Japan Sinks by Sakyo Komatsu. The series is set to be broadcast on TBS.