Akira Kurosawa

Director, Screenwriter, Cartoonist
Akira Kurosawa is unquestionably the best known Japanese filmmaker in the West. This can perhaps be best explained by the fact that he is not so much a Japanese or a Western filmmaker, but that he is a "modern" ... Read more »
Born: 03/23/1910 in Japan

Filmography

Writer (42)

The Last Princess 2008 (Movie)

(original characters) (Source Material)

Tsubaki Sanjuro 2007 (Movie)

(from screenplay: "Tsubaki Sanjuro") (Source Material)

The Sea is Watching 2003 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Dora-Heita 2000 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Kurosawa 2000 (Movie)

excerpts from book("Something Like an Autobiography") (Book as Source Material)

After the Rain 1999 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Sugata Sanshiro 1999 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Madadayo 1998 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Last Man Standing 1996 (Movie)

(From Story)

Rhapsody in August 1991 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Akira Kurosawa's Dreams 1990 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Ran 1985 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Runaway Train 1985 (Movie)

from screenplay (From Story)

Kagemusha 1980 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Battle Beyond the Stars 1979 (Movie)

from screenplay (From Story)

Dersu Uzala 1975 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Dodeskaden 1970 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

The Savage Seven 1968 (Movie)

from screenplay (From Story)

Record of a Living Being 1966 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Record of a Living Being 1966 (Movie)

(From Story)

Red Beard 1965 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

A Fistful of Dollars 1964 (Movie)

from screenplay (From Story)

High and Low 1963 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

The Outrage 1963 (Movie)

from screenplay (From Story)

Warui yatsu hodo yoku nemuru 1963 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Warui yatsu hodo yoku nemuru 1963 (Movie)

(From Story)

Sanjuro 1962 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Yojimbo 1961 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Yojimbo 1961 (Movie)

(From Story)

The Magnificent Seven 1960 (Movie)

from screenplay (From Story)

Sengoku gunto den 1959 (Movie)

adaptation (Writer (adaptation))

The Hidden Fortress 1958 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

The Hidden Fortress 1958 (Movie)

(From Story)

The Lower Depths 1957 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Throne of Blood 1957 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Ikiru 1956 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Ikiru 1956 (Movie)

(Story By)

Seven Samurai 1955 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Seven Samurai 1955 (Movie)

(From Story)

Hakuchi 1951 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Rashomon 1950 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Drunken Angel 1948 (Movie)

(Screenplay)
Director (21)

Madadayo 1998 (Movie)

(Director)

Rhapsody in August 1991 (Movie)

(Director)

Akira Kurosawa's Dreams 1990 (Movie)

(Director)

Ran 1985 (Movie)

(Director)

Kagemusha 1980 (Movie)

(Director)

Dersu Uzala 1975 (Movie)

(Director)

Dodeskaden 1970 (Movie)

(Director)

Record of a Living Being 1966 (Movie)

(Director)

Red Beard 1965 (Movie)

(Director)

High and Low 1963 (Movie)

(Director)

Warui yatsu hodo yoku nemuru 1963 (Movie)

(Director)

Sanjuro 1962 (Movie)

(Director)

Yojimbo 1961 (Movie)

(Director)

The Hidden Fortress 1958 (Movie)

(Director)

The Lower Depths 1957 (Movie)

(Director)

Throne of Blood 1957 (Movie)

(Director)

Ikiru 1956 (Movie)

(Director)

Seven Samurai 1955 (Movie)

(Director)

Hakuchi 1951 (Movie)

(Director)

Rashomon 1950 (Movie)

(Director)

Drunken Angel 1948 (Movie)

(Director)
Producer (7)

Sugata Sanshiro 1999 (Movie)

(Producer)

Kagemusha 1980 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

Dodeskaden 1970 (Movie)

(Producer)

Warui yatsu hodo yoku nemuru 1963 (Movie)

(Producer)

The Hidden Fortress 1958 (Movie)

(Producer)

The Lower Depths 1957 (Movie)

(Producer)

Throne of Blood 1957 (Movie)

(Producer)
Actor (5)

Kurosawa 2000 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

The Pacific Century 1992 - 1993 (TV Show)

Actor

The 62nd Annual Academy Awards 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Performer

The 58th Annual Academy Awards Presentation 1985 - 1986 (TV Show)

Presenter

75 Years of Cinema Museum 1971 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)
Editor (1)

Ran 1985 (Movie)

(Editor)

Biography

Akira Kurosawa is unquestionably the best known Japanese filmmaker in the West. This can perhaps be best explained by the fact that he is not so much a Japanese or a Western filmmaker, but that he is a "modern" filmmaker. Like postwar Japan itself, he combines the ancient traditions with a distinctly modern, Western twist.

Relationships

Brother
second son died before Akira was born

Isamu Kurosawa

Father
born in Akita Prefecture, Japan of samurai descent died on February 8, 1948 graduated from Toyama Imperial Military Academy

Shima Kurosawa

Mother
from family of merchants had eight children - four sons and four daughters (Akira was the youngest) died November 4, 1952

Kazuko Kurosawa

Daughter
born on April 29, 1954 worked on several of her father's films

Hisao Kurosawa

Son
born on December 20, 1945 produced several of his father's films

Heigo Kurosawa

Brother
older committed suicide (second attempt) in 1933 at age 27 of his brother Kurosawa said: "It was because of the existence of my brother as the negative that I was born the positive"

Masayasu Kurosawa

Brother
eldest brother

Momoyo Kurosawa

Sister
youngest sister died in 1920 at age 16

Yoko Yaguchi

Wife
married in 1945 at Meiji shrine (Tokyo) shrine was bombed by US fighters the following morning died February 1, 1985 at age 63, during production on "Ran" (1985) appeared in his film "The Most Beautiful" (1944)

EDUCATION

Kuroda

primary school; class president; introduced to fine arts by school principal, Seiji Tachikawa

Doshusha School of Western Painting

Morimura Gakuen

primary school

Keika Middle School

1922 - 1927
graduated; failed course in compulsory military training

Milestones

1993

Final film, "Madadayo"; released in USA in 2000

1991

Helmed "Rhapsody in August", featuring Richard Gere; also scripted

1990

Wrote and directed "Akira Kurosawa's Dreams"

1989

Awarded honorary Oscar for lifetime achievement

1986

Made Fellow of British Film institute

1985

Subject of Chris Marker's documentary "AK: Portrait of Akira Kurosawa"

1985

Helmed "Ran", inspired by Shakespeare's "Macbeth"; nominated for four Oscars including Best Director

1985

Scripted "Runaway Train", directed by Andrei Konchalovsky

1978

Traveled to USA; foreign rights to "Kagemusha" bought by 2Oth-Century Fox

1975

Directed "Dersu Uzala"; received Best Foreign-Language Film Academy Award

1970

Hospitalized in ill health, attempted suicide on December 22

1969

Shot first color picture as director, "Dodes'ka-den", in 28 days

1966

Joseph E. Levine of Embassy Pictures announced the upcoming production of Kurosawa's screenplay "Runaway Train"; differences between Levine and Kurosawa Productions' producer Tetsuro Aoyagi brought project to halt; film was finally made by director Andrei

1959

Gave first press conference; formed, Kurosawa Productions, first independent company run by working director

1950

Directed a film, "Rashomon", which received widespread international acclaim not only for his own films but for much of Japanese cinema as a whole

1948

Made first film starring Toshiro Mifune, "Yoidore Tenshi/Drunken Angel"

1942

Film directing debut with "Sugata Sanshiro/Sanshiro Sugata"

1940

First screenplay published, "A German at the Daruma Temple"

1936

Worked way up with Yamamoto's crew from third assistant to chief assistant and B-group second unit director at PCL; also learned editing and dubbing techniques

1936

Answered newspaper ad and was hired by Photo Chemical Laboratory (later Toho Motion Picture Company) as assistant director, worked with mentor Kajiro Yamamoto

1932

Left Artists' League

1929

Joined Japan's Proletarian Artists' League in order to study new art movements

1928

Painting accepted by Nitten exhibition

Wrote seven scripts that won awards but were not filmed and were often censored

Co-founded independent production company, "Yonki no Kai/The Four Musketeers" in the late 1960s

Co-founded Film Art Association/Eiga Geijutsu Kyokai

Bonus Trivia

.

Kurosawa has seen several of his films remade in the West. His epic "Seven Samurai" (1954) was converted into John Sturges's popular Western, "The Magnificent Seven" (1960); "Rashomon" (1950) was "westernized" as "The Outrage" (1964) by director Martin Ritt; Italian director Sergio Leone unofficially borrowed the plot of "Yojimbo" (1961) for his "spaghetti Western" "A Fistful of Dollars" (1964) and George Lucas has acknowledged the influence of Kurosawa's "The Hidden Fortress" (1958) on his "Star Wars" trilogy.

.

Honored at the first London Film Festival together with John Ford, Rene Clair and Vittorio De Sica as the movie directors most contributiong to film and art in 1957.

.

Received the National Medal with Laurel (together with Charles Chaplin and John Ford) presented by President Tito of Yugoslavia (1973).

.

Decorated with the French Legion of Honor (c. 1982)

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