Japan Celebrates Hamaguchi Ryusuke’s Four ‘Drive My Car’ Oscar Nominations

The three-hour drama “Drive My Car,” directed by Ryusuke Hamaguchi, is about a man coping with the death of his wife, and the director’s native Japan is overjoyed by the film’s Oscar nominations.

All major Japanese media outlets covered the announcement of the four Academy Award nominees.

Japan Celebrates Hamaguchi Ryusuke’s Four ‘Drive My Car’ Oscar Nominations

From the respected Nikkei business daily to sports tabloids that typically provide little coverage to local art films.

“Being nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards is a huge honour. One Twitter user, YasioE, expressed the opinion.

That the combination of Haruki Murakami and Anton Chekhov had produced a work that was accessible to readers everywhere.

Hamaguchi delivered a statement on Tuesday (Japanese time) after arriving in Germany for the upcoming Berlin Film Festival in which he directly attributed the film’s success to Murakami.

This Film is Based on Love, Loss and Acceptance 

The film, which features Hidetoshi Nishijima and Toko Miura, is an exploration of human connection as a means of processing love, sorrow, and acceptance.

Two years after the sudden loss of his wife, renowned stage actor and director Yusuke Kafuku (Nishijima) receives an opportunity to direct a production of Chekhov’s “Uncle Vanya” at a theatre festival in Hiroshima.

Misaki Watari (Miura), a reserved young woman, is the festival chauffeur for his trusty red Saab 900.

Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Adapted Screenplay nominations are also in the running for Hamaguchi’s film.

So far, it has earned more nominations than any other Japanese film except Akira Kurosawa’s “Ran” (1985).

The introspective drama, which represented Japan at the 94th Academy Awards, was already a frontrunner in the Oscars competition, having won both the Golden Globe and the BAFTA.

The global debut of “Drive My Car” took place in competition at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival, where it also took home the award for best script.


It’s no easy undertaking to adapt the works of the most popular Japanese author of his generation. Drive My Car, however, demonstrates that Ryusuke Hamaguchi was up to the task.

The three-hour drama, adapted from a short tale by Haruki, has received four Academy Award nominations, including best picture and best director nods for Hamaguchi.

Making it one of the biggest surprises of this year’s Oscar season. The Japanese director, who has been a fixture on the international arthouse scene for years, has finally found mainstream success with this film.