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Akira Kurosawa
Akira Kurosawa on the set of Seven Samurai in 1953
Born (1910-03-23)March 23, 1910
Shinagawa, Tokyo, Japan
Died September 6, 1998(1998-09-06) (aged 88)
Setagaya, Tokyo, Japan
Resting place An'yō-in, Kamakura, Kanagawa, Japan
  • Film director
  • screenwriter
  • producer
  • editor
Years active 1936–1993
Yōko Yaguchi
(m. 1945; her death 1985)
Children Hisao (b. 1945–) and Kazuko (b. 1954–)

Akira Kurosawa (March 23, 1910 – September 6, 1998) was a Japanese film director and screenwriter, who directed 30 films in a career spanning 57 years. He is regarded as one of the most important and influential filmmakers in the history of cinema.

Kurosawa entered the Japanese film industry in 1936, following a brief stint as a painter. After years of working on numerous films as an assistant director and scriptwriter, he made his debut as a director during World War II with the popular action film Sanshiro Sugata (a.k.a. Judo Saga).

After the war, the critically acclaimed Drunken Angel (1948), in which Kurosawa cast then-unknown actor Toshiro Mifune in a starring role, cemented the director's reputation as one of the most important young filmmakers in Japan. The two men would go on to collaborate on another 15 films.

Rashomon, which premiered in Tokyo, became the surprise winner of the Golden Lion at the 1951 Venice Film Festival. The commercial and critical success of that film opened up Western film markets for the first time to the products of the Japanese film industry, which in turn led to international recognition for other Japanese filmmakers.

Kurosawa directed approximately one film per year throughout the 1950s and early 1960s, including a number of highly regarded (and often adapted) films, such as Ikiru (1952), Seven Samurai (1954) and Yojimbo (1961).

In 1990, he accepted the Academy Award for Lifetime Achievement.

On September 6, 1998, Kurosawa died of a stroke in Setagaya, Tokyo, at the age of 88.

After death, he was named "Asian of the Century" in the "Arts, Literature, and Culture" category by AsianWeek magazine and CNN, cited there as being among the five people who most prominently contributed to the improvement of Asia in the 20th century.

His career has been honored in many ways through critical studies and biographies in both print and video, and by releases in many consumer media formats.

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