"Isoroku" is a 2011 Japanese war drama film about Isoroku Yamamoto. Kōji Yakusho, an awared Japanese actor, portrays Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, who prepared the attack on Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941. Opposed to the plan, Yamamoto must nevertheless carry out his orders and commit one of the biggest military mistakes in history.
The film presents Yamamoto's family life, his attempts to prevent the impending conflict with the United States amid World War II and his run-ins with Japanese war hawks. The production staff declared it intended to present an image of "what a Japanese leader should be"
The plot is as follow. In the late 1930's, two sides in Japan are conflicted between joining Germany and Italy in a military alliance. At this time, Isoroku Yamamoto, who strongly opposed the alliance, is appointed commander-in-chief. The following year, Japan, Germany and Italy form the Axis alliance. By April 18, 1942, formations of U.S. bombers, flown from an U.S. aircraft carrier, attacked the Japanese mainland for the first time. The Japanese military responded by carrying out their Midway operation, but that strategy failed. After the completion of the withdrawal from Guadalcanal, Yamamoto flew an airplane to make moral boosting visits to soldiers on the front line. His plane would be intercepted by the U.S. military.
The making of the film lasted four years. Kōji Yakusho was reportedly the only actor considered for the role of Yamamoto and the film would have been canceled if he turned it down. Yakusho was offered the role in the summer of 2009, and accepted the role in the winter of 2010.