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Movie Titles in Japanese (2)
Part 1: Classic Titles
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World Film - Japan

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In the old days the translated titles seemed to be more poetic in some ways. It is probably because there were not many English words used at that time. Here are some classic translated titles.

Japanese Title English Title
Bojou
慕情
(Love)
Love is a Many Splendored Thing
(1955)
Ryojou
旅情
(The Weary Heart
of a Traveler)
Summertime
(1955)
Aishuu
哀愁
(Sadness)
Waterloo Bridge
(1940)
Tsuioku
追憶
(Memories)
The Way We Were
(1973)

I think they are great translations. I didn't want to put English meanings for them, because they ruin the nuance. They are literary words (not conversational words) that sound very poetic and beautiful. If "Waterloo Bridge" is released today, it probably would be translated as "Uootaaruu Burijji (ウォータールーブリッジ)" using English words. It definitely loses its elegance.

There are quite a few movies in which the name of a person is the title itself. They are often changed when translated to Japanese titles. Do foreign names not appeal to the Japanese audience?

Imouto no koibito
妹の恋人
(My Sister's Lover)
Benny & Joon
Oretachi ni asu wa nai
俺達に明日はない
(There is no tomorrow for us)
Bonnie and Clyde
Feiku
フェイク
(The Fake)
Donnie Brasco
Ichigo-ichie
一期一会
Forrest Gump
Eijento
エイジェント
(The Agent)
Jerry Maguire

Ichigo-ichie (一期一会) is one of the yoji-jukugo (four character kanji compounds). It means "a once in a lifetime meeting". It was the original concept for the tea ceremony (sadou). Every single encounter never repeats in a life time, therefore one should try to make the encounter important by hosting people with deep sincerity. What do you think about this title? More movie titles and quizzes on the next page!

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