Akira Kurosawa

Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.
Akira Kurosawa 黒澤 明
BirthplaceShinagawa, Tokyo, Japan
Director, screenwriter, producer, editor

Kurosawa, Akira

(äkē`rä ko͞orō`säwä), 1910–98, Japanese film director, scriptwriter, and producer, b. Tokyo. He is regarded as one of the world's greatest directors. In Rashomon (1950), he introduced Western audiences to Japanese film. Its bleakly humanistic stance toward the slippery nature of truth and its highly charged visual style marked Kurosawa's approach. His 29 other films range freely through history, often adapting classics of Western literature, including several of Shakespeare's plays, to Japanese settings and attitudes. His films include Ikiru (1952), a moving study of an elderly bureaucrat facing death from cancer; Seven Samurai (1954), an epic adventure; Throne of Blood (1957), an adaption of Macbeth; Yojimbo (1961), a rousing Japanese-style Western; Ran (1985), a sweeping version of King Lear; Akira Kurosawa's Dreams (1990), surreal vignettes that present an apocalyptic vision of human civilization; Rhapsody in August (1991), a grandmother's painful recollection of the Nagasaki bombing; and his last work, Madadayo (1993), a small, serene, and touching account of an elderly and beloved professor. In 1989 he received an Academy Award for the body of his work.


See his autobiography (1982); studies by D. Richie (1965, 1970); S. Galbraith 4th, The Emperor and the Wolf: The Lives and Films of Akira Kurosawa and Toshiro Mifune (2002); P. Anderer, Kurosawa's Rashomon (2016).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved. www.cc.columbia.edu/cu/cup/
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Kurosawa, Akira


Born Mar. 23,1910, in Tokyo. Japanese motion-picture director.

Kurosawa studied at the Academy of Arts in Tokyo from 1928 to 1935. In 1936 he went to work as a screenwriter and director’s assistant. He began making his own films in 1943.

Kurosawa’s film Rashomon (1950, based on a story by R. Akutagawa) has become world famous. His other films include The Idiot (1951, based upon F. M. Dostoevsky’s novel), Ikiru (1952), Seven Samurai (1954), The Throne of Blood (1957, based on Shakespeare’s Macbeth), The Lower Depths (1957, based on Gorky’s play), Yojimbo (1961), and Red Beard (1965) and Dodesukaden (1970; both screen versions of works by S. Yamamoto).

Kurosawa’s formally perfect and profoundly psychological films affirm lofty humanist ideals and condemn social injustice and war. His creative work, which enriches cinema and makes innovative use of its expressive means, brought Japanese film to a new level of development.


Iwasaki, A. Sovremennoe iaponskoe kino. Moscow, 1962. (Translated from Japanese.)
Fil’my Akiry Kurosavy. Moscow, 1972.
Richie, D. The Films of Akira Kurosawa. Berkeley-Los Angeles, Calif., 1965.
Helman, A. Akira Kurosawa. Warsaw, 1970.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Others in the top 10 include: Indian director Satyajit Ray's "The Apu Trilogy"; "A City of Sadness" by Hou Hsiao-hsien; "Seven Samurai" by Akira Kurosawa; "A Brighter Summer Day" by Edward Yang; "Spring in a Small Town" by Fei Mu; "Still Life" by Jia Zhang Ke; "The Housemaid" by Kim Ki-young; and "Close up" by Abbas Kiarostami.
The ground-breaking masterpieces of filmmaker, film producer and screenwriter Akira Kurosawa (March 23, 1910 - Sept 6, 1998), have inspired such movie makers as George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, Oliver Stone and Francis Ford Coppola and Kurosawa's influence can be seen in classic movies such as Star Wars, The Magnificent Seven and A Fistful of Dollars.
[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (Complete Collection of Akira Kurosawa's Works).
They also discuss TV shows such as The Sopranos; genre issues (e.g., Chinese martial arts and horror); and classic filmmakers such as Jean Cocteau, Akira Kurosawa, and Jean-Luc Godard.
The major highlights of the festival is the participation of films directed by the master filmmakers like, Antonioni, Akira Kurosawa, Henri Clouzot and also the contemporary celebrities like Aki Kaurismaki, Michael Henneke, Abbas Kiarastomi, Lars Von Trier, Kim Ki Duk, Volker Schlondorff and other eminent filmmakers around the world.
(8) Akira Kurosawa, Japan's best-known film director, produced several films that explored the psychological effect of the nuclear attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
The aesthete in question is, of course, Akutagawa himself, best known now, perhaps, as the author of "Rashomon," the story upon which Akira Kurosawa based his film of the same name.
Like recent thriller Vantage Point and Akira Kurosawa's classic Rashomon, the idea of one event seen from several different perspectives is nothing new, but this domestic saga, like the eponymous assault, packs quite a punch.
What we're seeing is a real-world reenactment of Japanese filmmaker Akira Kurosawa's masterpiece, Seven Samurai, perhaps more familiar to American audiences when remade as our own classic, The Magnificent Seven.