With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013

With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013
With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013

Monday, April 01, 2013

ACF 1850: Remembering Toshiro Mifune on the anniversary of his birth

Mifune as Kikuchiyo in Akira Kurosawa's Seven Samurai (1954)

Japanese actor Toshiro Mifune was born on April 1, 1920 in Tsingtao (a.k.a. Qingdao), Shandong, China, where his father was a commercial photographer. He died at the age of 77 on December 24, 1997 in Tokyo. He is listed as an actor in 182 titles on his IMDb page. He also served as a producer on fifteen titles and actually directed one film in 1963.

He is, of course, most strongly associated with Akira Kurosawa; most of the films for which both are best known are ones directed by Kurosawa in which Mifune starred. Mifune also starred in the title role of Hiroshi Inagaki's trilogy about the famed swordsman Mushashi Miyamoto. Mifune became widely known to many Westerners who had never even seen a Japanese movie when he played Lord Yoshi Toranaga in the TV mini-series Shogun (1980).

Here are images from four other Kurosawa films in which Mifune starred.

As Kiichi Nakajima in I Live in Fear / Ikimono no kiroky (1955)
As Taketori Washizu in Throne of Blood / Kumonosu-jo (1957)
As Kingo Gondo in High and Low / Tengoky to jigoku (1963)
As Dr. Kyojo Niide in Red Beard / Akahige (1965)

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