March 23, 1910, Ōimachi – September 6, 1998
Akira Kurosawa was a Japanese film director, screenwriter, producer, and editor. Regarded as one of the most important and influential filmmakers in the history of cinema, Kurosawa directed 30 films in a career spanning 57 years.
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 in 1943 with the popular action film Sanshiro Sugata. 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 in August 1950, and which also starred Mifune, became, on September 1951, the surprise winner of the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival and was subsequently released in Europe and North America. In 1990, he accepted the Academy Award for Lifetime Achievement. Posthumously, he was named „Asian of the Century” in the „Arts, Literature, and Culture” category by AsianWeek magazine and CNN, cited as one of the five people who contributed most to the betterment of Asia in the past 100 years.