The Funniest Japanese Comedies


The laughDB database is dedicated to the funniest comedy movies, stand-up comedy and TV series.

This section is for comedies from Japan. By default they are presented starting with the ones ranking highest on the laugh-o-meter, but you can also sort them by year, title or IMDB rating.

Funniest Japanese Comedies sorted by Laugh-o-meter (descending)

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Tampopo DVDTampopo (タンポポ)
      1985 | Japan | Laughs: 2.5 (Light-Hearted) | imdb: 7.9
      wikipedia | who was involved?

Struggling with her noodle shop, a single mother enlists the help of a truck driver and an ever-expanding crew of food connoisseurs from all walks of life. Several stories (all food-related) interweave with this main strand to make a fine tapestry. I waited twenty years (five of which were spent in Japan) to watch this famous movie for the simple reason that I hate ramen noodles! That was my loss. Although not a laugh-out-loud movie, it's often funny, and it's the masterpiece of director Juzo Itami. I also love the main male actor, Tsutomu Yamazaki—whom you may have seen in The Funeral or Departures. This is another of his great roles. I still don't like ramen noodles, but I've joined the crowd of those who love Tampopo. (Last viewed: Nov 2008 October 2012)

More About Tampopo:
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      laughDB's full page for Tampopo

Kamone Diner posterKamome Diner (a.k.a Kamome Shokudo) (かもめ食堂)
      2006 | Japan | Laughs: 0.1 (Don't Bother) | imdb: 6.9
      wikipedia | who was involved?

When I ask for Japanese comedy recommendations, for some reason I hear about a lot of movies that turn out not to be comedies at all—as is the case here. This is a light-hearted movie about a Japanese woman starting up a diner in Finland. Part of it seems to speak to the Japanese fantasy that if only Westerners knew about their traditional cuisine, they would be crazy about it. I know this is a well-intentioned film, but I found it fairly flat, lacking in personality. On the other hand, I never really expected a Japanese movie set in Japan to have an amazing vibe. One antidote: Tampopo. (Last viewed: August 2014)

More About Kamome Diner:
=> Read what people say on Amazon
=> Add your own Review or Comments on
      laughDB's full page for Kamome Diner

YoshinoYoshino's Barber Shop
      2004 | Japan | Laughs: 0.1 (Light-Hearted) | imdb: 4.2
      who was involved?

A fascist barber wages a war to force high-school kids to wear the town's traditional bowl haircut. One boy (soon joined by others) refuses to conform. This can only be called a comedy under the very loosest sense of the term. I didn't even find it cute, but a drooling kid worshiper might disagree about that. (Last viewed: September 2012)

More About Yoshino's Barber Shop:
=> Read what people say on Amazon
=> Add your own Review or Comments on
      laughDB's full page for Yoshino's Barber Shop

The Funeral DVDThe Funeral (お葬式 / Osōshiki)
      1984 | Japan | Laughs: 0.1 (Light-Hearted) | imdb: 7.2
      wikipedia | who was involved?

This movie follows a funeral from start to end, a perfect excuse to take a relaxed look at the many rituals that punctuate Japanese life, and to hear some of the thoughts that cross people's minds in such situations. The head of the family is played by Tsutomu Yamazaki, a beautiful Japanese actor who has featured in classics ranging from the noodle comedy Tampopo by the same director (Juzo Itami) to Akira Kurosawa's hospital drama Red Beard. Perhaps by coincidence, he was a brilliant funeral director in Departures 24 years later. It's a good movie, and you may smile, but you won't laugh. (Last viewed: October 2012)

More About The Funeral:
=> Read what people say on Amazon
=> Add your own Review or Comments on
      laughDB's full page for The Funeral

Ohayoo DVDGood Morning (お早よう / Ohayō)
      1959 | Japan | Laughs: N/A (Light-Hearted) | imdb: 7.9
      wikipedia | who was involved?

This movie is more a tender-hearted social study than a comedy, but it might laugh once or twice. As usual, director Yasujiro Ozu opens the door into Japanese homes and tells a story that introduces issues that faced Japanese society in his time. In Ohayoo, two school boys make a vow not to speak until their parents buy them a TV set. You also hear about the plight of the "salary-man" after his company has used him up, and about how hard young adults find it to express romantic feelings. (On the other hand, it's amazingly easy for the youngest boy to say "I love you"—to any woman, and in English!) If you stop and watch it, this movie will earn a soft spot in your heart. (Last viewed: November 2011)

More About Good Morning:
=> Read what people say on Amazon
=> Add your own Review or Comments on
      laughDB's full page for Good Morning

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