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When Ikiru was first released to the USA (1956), its title was changed to "Doomed" (source).

To me, this is kind of like calling The Lord of the Rings, "The Letdown of Mankind" ... although technically true, it misses the entire point of the film, and ultimately, inappropriately contextualizes the actions of the protagonist.

So, what's up with the name change? Why not just leave it as is?

FYI, Ikiru translates to "to live" in Japanese, which pretty much has an opposite connotation to it, IMO.

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    Good question. Of course things were different 60 years ago but "Doomed" isn't necessarily a negative thing. I can read into this that even though the character is "doomed"...he didn't waste his remaining time and actually inspired others. – Paulie_D Jan 2 '18 at 17:22
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    Also, in 1956, you couldn't Google what the translation really meant, so they could get away with anything really, unless you actually had Japanese friends. In 56, Doomed was a good, popular culture type of title. Big, splashy, one word. 'To Live' really doesn't have anything like the 'punch'. – disassociated Jan 2 '18 at 17:38
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    @Tetsujin Taking a quick glance in a bilingual dictionary from the local library also does the job.. you may have a point though, in that foreign films may have been somewhat undervalued/overlooked at that time in cinema history. – Charles Jan 2 '18 at 17:44
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    As you'd need to be able to read kana to even get as far as the library shelf, I think it could be considered 'beyond the average man's reach', though point taken. – disassociated Jan 2 '18 at 17:51
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    @Charles - agreed it's possible, though I'm sure it's well beyond the average man's need, want, inclination or tenacity to actually do it ;) Some days, by the time I get to my computer, I've forgotten what it was I meant to look up whilst I was watching TV an hour ago... to extend that thought to waiting for the library to be open, walking there, finding the right book, remembering to have brought a drawing of the characters... To this day I still call the Beineix film Betty Blue, though I've known what its actual title is since the 80s ;) – disassociated Jan 2 '18 at 18:25

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