1 April 1920, Qingdao, Shandong, China – 24 December 1997, Mitaka, Tokyo, Japan
Toshiro Mifune was a Japanese actor who appeared in almost 170 feature films. He is best known for his 16-film collaboration with filmmaker Akira Kurosawa, from 1948 to 1965, in works such as Rashomon, Seven Samurai, Throne of Blood, and Yojimbo. He also portrayed Musashi Miyamoto in Hiroshi Inagaki’s Samurai Trilogy and one earlier Inagaki film, Lord Toranaga in the NBC TV miniseries Shōgun, and Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto in 3 different films.
His imposing bearing, acting range, facility with foreign languages and lengthy partnership with acclaimed director Akira Kurosawa made him the most famous Japanese actor of his time, and easily the best known to Western audiences. He was also known for the effort he put into his performances. To prepare for Seven Samurai and Rashomon, Mifune reportedly studied footage of lions in the wild; for Ánimas Trujano, he studied tapes of Mexican actors speaking, so he could recite all his lines in Spanish.
Mifune won Volpi Cup for Best Actor twice, in 1961 and 1965. Mifune was awarded the Medal of Honor with Purple Ribbon in 1986 and the Order of the Sacred Treasure by the Japanese government in 1993. On November 14, 2016, Mifune received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his work in the motion pictures industry.
Toshiro Mifune: Actions speak louder than words – Clips from Rashomon, Yojimbo, Red Beard, The Hidden Fortress, Sanjuro, The Seven Samurai, The Bad Sleep Well, Throne of Blood, Samurai Rebellion, Hell in the Pacific, Animas Trujano, Drunken Angel, The Rickshaw Man