1-50 of 1,052 names.

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1. Akira Kurosawa Akira Kurosawa Writer, Yojimbo After training as a painter (he storyboards his films as full-scale paintings), Kurosawa entered the film industry in 1936 as an assistant director, eventually making his directorial debut with Sanshiro Sugata. Within a few years, Kurosawa had achieved sufficient stature to allow him greater creative freedom...
2. Toshirô Mifune Toshirô Mifune Actor, Seven Samurai Toshiro Mifune achieved more worldwide fame than any other Japanese actor of his century. He was born in Tsingtao, China, to Japanese parents and grew up in Dalian. He did not set foot in Japan until he was 21. His father was an importer and a commercial photographer, and young Toshiro worked in his father's studio for a time after graduating from Dalian Middle School...
3. Sessue Hayakawa Sessue Hayakawa Actor, The Bridge on the River Kwai Sessue Hayakawa was born in Chiba, Japan. His father was the provincial governor and his mother a member of an aristocratic family of the "samurai" class. The young Hayakawa wanted to follow in his father's footsteps and become a career officer in the Japanese navy, but he was turned down due to problems with his hearing...
4. Louis Calhern Louis Calhern Actor, Notorious Tall, distinguished, aristocratic Louis Calhern seemed to be the poster boy for old-money, upper-crust urban society, but he was actually born Carl Vogt, to middle-class parents in New York City. His family moved to St. Louis when he was a child, and it was while playing football in high school there that he was spotted by a representative of a touring acting troupe and hired as an actor...
5. Donald Dunn Donald Dunn Soundtrack, Argo
6. Yasujirô Ozu Yasujirô Ozu Director, Tokyo Story Tokyo-born Yasujiro Ozu was a movie buff from childhood, often playing hooky from school in order to see Hollywood movies in his local theatre. In 1923 he landed a job as a camera assistant at Shochiku Studios in Tokyo. Three years later, he was made an assistant director and directed his first film the next year...
7. Satoshi Kon Satoshi Kon Writer, Tokyo Godfathers Satoshi Kon was born in 1963. He studied at the Musashino College of the Arts. He began his career as a Manga artist. He then moved to animation and worked as a background artist on many films (including Roujin Z by 'Katsuhiro Otomo'). Then, in 1995, he directed an episode of the anthology film Memories (this Episode was "Magnetic Rose")...
8. Takashi Shimura Takashi Shimura Actor, Seven Samurai Japanese character actor Takashi Shimura was one of the finest film actors of the 20th century and a leading member of the "stock company" of master director Akira Kurosawa. A native of southern Japan, Shimura was a descendant of the samurai warrior class. Following university training, he founded a theatre company...
9. Kenji Mizoguchi Kenji Mizoguchi Director, Ugetsu Coming from a lower class family Mizoguchi entered the production company Nikkatsu as an actor specialized in female roles. Later he became an assistant director and made his first film in 1922. Although he filmed almost 90 movies in the silent era, only his last 12 productions are really known outside of Japan because they were especially produced for Venice (e.g...
10. Masaki Kobayashi Masaki Kobayashi Director, Harakiri
11. Nagisa Ôshima Nagisa Ôshima Director, Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence Born in Kyoto, Japan. Studied law at Kyoto University. After graduation, joined the Shochiku Film Company in 1954 as an assistant director.
12. Kinji Fukasaku Kinji Fukasaku Director, Battle Royale
13. Shôhei Imamura Shôhei Imamura Director, The Eel Imamura's father was a doctor. During the war, his father could not be drafted but his two brothers were. As a result, his eldest brother got killed in action. Imamura spent his youth in the middle of small-time hoods and prostitutes at a time when black market was rampant. He later enrolled in a technical school in Tokyo which he left for the Waseda university where...
14. Ishirô Honda Ishirô Honda Director, Godzilla Influential Japanese film director born May 7th, 1911, often credited as being the father of Godzilla. His name is a combination of "I" (or Ino), meaning "boar" and "shirô," meaning fourth boy in the family. Originally, the young Honda had aspirations of becoming an artist. However, as he moved into his teens, it was cinema that became his number-one interest...
15. Tetsurô Tanba Tetsurô Tanba Actor, You Only Live Twice
16. Shintarô Katsu Shintarô Katsu Actor, The Tale of Zatoichi
17. Kon Ichikawa Kon Ichikawa Director, The Makioka Sisters Kon Ichikawa has been influenced by artists as diverse as Walt Disney and Jean Renoir, and his films cover a wide spectrum of moods, from the comic to the overwhelmingly ironic and even the perverse. Ichikawa began his career as a cartoonist, and this influence is apparent in his skillful use of the widescreen...
18. Eiko Ishioka Eiko Ishioka Costume Designer, Dracula
19. Yûsaku Matsuda Yûsaku Matsuda Actor, Black Rain Yusaku was born in Yamaguchi, Japan. In 1966 he visited his aunt in the USA, where he lived for 1 year. Coming back to Japan, he started acting at a theatrical company. Since making his debut as a film actor in 1973, he appeared on various TV series and movies until his death.
20. Kaneto Shindô Kaneto Shindô Writer, Hachi: A Dog's Tale
21. Kinuyo Tanaka Kinuyo Tanaka Actress, Sansho the Bailiff
22. Osamu Tezuka Osamu Tezuka Writer, Astro Boy Tezuka wrote/animated the Japanese TV Series "Jangaru Taitei" that was turned into a USA syndicated series in the 60s called "Kimba The White Lion". This story was then plagiarized by The Disney Company in 1994 and became "The Lion King", the most profitable film of all time, and Tezuka has never received due credit from Disney for his creation, much less any money.
23. Mikio Naruse Mikio Naruse Director, Floating Clouds
24. Keisuke Kinoshita Keisuke Kinoshita Director, Twenty-Four Eyes
25. Machiko Soga Machiko Soga Actress, Kamen Rider Stronger
26. Hiroshi Teshigahara Hiroshi Teshigahara Director, Woman in the Dunes Hiroshi Teshigahara was born as the son of Sofu Teshigahara who was the founder of the Sogetsu School of Ikebana (Flower arrengement). In 1950, he was graduated from Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music in oil painting. In 1958, he became the director of Sogetsu Art Center and took a leading role in avant-garde activities in all fields of art...
27. Jûzô Itami Jûzô Itami Director, Tampopo A tragic end belies a life led with purpose. The son of a successful filmmaker, Juzo Itami made his name acting in television and films before making a late career shift into screenwriting and directing at age 50. Known to choose the subjects of his films through everyday observations, he often followed...
28. Tomisaburô Wakayama Tomisaburô Wakayama Actor, Shogun Assassin
29. Eiji Okada Eiji Okada Actor, Woman in the Dunes
30. Yoshio Harada Yoshio Harada Actor, Tsigoineruwaizen
31. Chishû Ryû Chishû Ryû Actor, Tokyo Story What an amazing career! Few can boast a longer one (64 years of activity). Few have been able to have to relate to three generations. And it is pretty sure that no one can compare with him in terms of faithfulness to a director: Chishu Ryu indeed appeared in no fewer than fifty-two out of fifty-four of his master Yasujirô Ozu...
32. Kôji Wakamatsu Kôji Wakamatsu Director, United Red Army
33. Akihiko Hirata Akihiko Hirata Actor, Godzilla He had an unusual background for an actor: his formal education began in a kindergarten founded by the wartime-era Japanese Imperial Army, and continued in a military academy which was Tokyo's answer to West Point. Upon graduating from Tokyo University (Japan's most prestigious), Hirata confounded many family expectations of him by pursuing a career in acting...
34. Shûji Terayama Shûji Terayama Director, Farewell to the Ark Terayama Shuji was born the only son of Terayama Hachiro and Terayama Hatsu in Hirosaki City, Aomori on December 10th, 1935; but his birth and name were officially registered on January 10th, 1936. His father, an officer in the "thought police", leaves for the Pacific War in early 1941. He dies in September of 1945 of dysentary on the Indonesian island of Celebes...
35. Sô Yamamura Sô Yamamura Actor, Tora! Tora! Tora!
36. Momoko Kôchi Momoko Kôchi Actress, Godzilla Discovered, along with actors Akira Takarada and Yu Fujiki, in Toho's sixth annual New Face Contest in 1953, Momoko Kochi was immediately cast in her first film, A WOMAN'S HEART RELEASED. Two pictures with Toho's veteran director Kajiro Yamamoto followed the next year. It was probably in his mentor...
37. Yoshifumi Kondô Yoshifumi Kondô Animation Department, Grave of the Fireflies
38. Hiroshi Inagaki Hiroshi Inagaki Director, Miyamoto Musashi Inagaki's career in film began as an actor--a child actor, in fact, appearing in numerous silent films beginning at the very dawn of Japanese cinema. This is probably why he was promoted to director at the unusually (for Japan) young age of 22. Along with producer Mansaku Itami (later the father of another acclaimed director...
39. Kihachi Okamoto Kihachi Okamoto Director, Kill! Okamoto belonged to what one colleague called "the generation where most of them got killed": the leagues of university graduates who were drafted into and sacrificed to the last years of Japan's war in the South Pacific. Okamoto was drafted during the very worst of it, in 1943, but almost alone among his colleagues managed to survive...
40. Masako Natsume Masako Natsume Actress, Onimasa
41. Yukio Mishima Yukio Mishima Writer, The School of Flesh Yukio Mishima was born in Tokyo in 1925. He attended the University of Tokyo. His first work of fiction, a short story, was published when he was a first-year student. For the rest of his life he wrote - to enormous popular and critical acclaim - plays, poetry, essays, and novels. His first full-length novel...
42. Shûsaku Endô Shûsaku Endô Writer, Silence
43. Shirley Yamaguchi Shirley Yamaguchi Actress, Shûbun Shirley Yamaguchi was born to Japanese parents in Manchuria in 1920. She used the Chinese name Li Xianglan (Ri Koran in Japanese) and made pro-Japanese films in Japanese-occupied areas in China. She also was a popular singer and some of her hits, including "fragrance of the night" (Ye Lai Xiang), remain popular even today...
44. Ken Ogata Ken Ogata Actor, Vengeance is Mine
45. Teruo Ishii Teruo Ishii Director, Horror of a Deformed Man
46. Fujio F. Fujiko Fujio F. Fujiko Writer, Doraemon: Nobita no uchuu shô-sensô Fujiko F Fujio is one half of one of the most prolific comic writing team of Fujiko Fujio whose volume of works are probably only rivaled by the famous American comic writing team of (Stan) Lee, and (Jack) Kirby. Birth name Fujimoto Hiroshi, he met his future comic drawing partner Abiko Motoo when he was in fifth grade at an elementary school in his native Toyama...
47. Kyôko Kishida Kyôko Kishida Actress, Woman in the Dunes
48. Isao Natsuyagi Isao Natsuyagi Actor, Day of Resurrection
49. Keiko Tsushima Keiko Tsushima Actress, Seven Samurai
50. Eiichi Kudô Eiichi Kudô Director, Yaju-deka
1-50 of 1,052 names.