1-50 of 571 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. 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...
4. 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...
5. 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...
6. 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")...
7. 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...
8. Donald Dunn Donald Dunn Soundtrack, Argo
9. 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...
10. Kinji Fukasaku Kinji Fukasaku Director, Battle Royale
11. Masaki Kobayashi Masaki Kobayashi Director, Harakiri
12. 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...
13. Tetsurô Tanba Tetsurô Tanba Actor, You Only Live Twice
14. 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.
15. Eiko Ishioka Eiko Ishioka Costume Designer, Dracula
16. 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...
17. Keisuke Kinoshita Keisuke Kinoshita Director, Twenty-Four Eyes
18. 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...
19. Hideko Takamine Hideko Takamine Actress, Floating Clouds
20. 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...
21. Sô Yamamura Sô Yamamura Actor, Tora! Tora! Tora!
22. Osamu Tezuka Osamu Tezuka Writer, Astro Boy Remembered by many in Japan as the "god" of manga, no one has ever influenced the realm of anime and manga as has Osamu Tezuka, the man who pioneered the famous anime "puppy dog eyes". Born on November 3, 1928, in Toyonaka, Osaka, he initially set out to become a medical doctor. He received his M.D...
23. 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...
24. Machiko Soga Machiko Soga Actress, Kamen Rider Stronger
25. Yoshio Harada Yoshio Harada Actor, Tsigoineruwaizen
26. Kôji Wakamatsu Kôji Wakamatsu Director, United Red Army
27. Teruo Ishii Teruo Ishii Director, Horror of a Deformed Man
28. Minoru Chiaki Minoru Chiaki Actor, Seven Samurai Japanese character actor equally adept at comic or seriously unsavory roles. Chiaki graduated from the University of Chuo with degrees in economics and commerce, but almost immediately found that his interest lay more with the theatre. In 1937, he began to study with the Shin-Tsukiji Gekidan ("The New Tsukiji Theatre Troupe")...
29. 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...
30. Yoshitarô Nomura Yoshitarô Nomura Director, Suspicion
31. Hiroshi Inagaki Hiroshi Inagaki Director, Samurai I: Musashi Miyamoto 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...
32. Masako Natsume Masako Natsume Actress, Onimasa
33. Keiko Tsushima Keiko Tsushima Actress, Seven Samurai
34. Yoshifumi Kondô Yoshifumi Kondô Animation Department, Grave of the Fireflies
35. Keizô Kanie Keizô Kanie Actor, Fall Guy
36. 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...
37. Isuzu Yamada Isuzu Yamada Actress, Yojimbo
38. Isao Kimura Isao Kimura Actor, Seven Samurai Isao Kimura had featured roles in several of Akira Kurosawa's masterworks. The handsome young actor portrayed a wide range of characters under the master's guidance. He first played the war-damaged hoodlum Yusa in Stray Dog with antagonism and palpable pain; then, at the opposite end of the spectrum but with equal veracity...
39. Kazuo Hasegawa Kazuo Hasegawa Actor, Gate of Hell Born in Kyoto in 1908. His birthplace was a sake brewery in Fushimi called Nagoya. In 1913, at the age of five, he was pushed into playing the role of Kan Shusai in the play Sugawara Denju Tenarai Kagami. This set him on the path to becoming a kabuki actor. Although he worked assiduously on his kabuki acting...
40. Kyôko Kishida Kyôko Kishida Actress, Woman in the Dunes
41. Tomoyuki Tanaka Tomoyuki Tanaka Producer, Yojimbo Tomoyuki Tanaka was born on April 26, 1910 in Kashiwara, Osaka, Japan. He graduated from Kansai University in 1940 and joined Toho Studios the same year. After four years with the company, he became a producer, with his first film production being Three Women of the North. He was set to begin work on a Japanese-Indonesian film called "Eiko no Kanatani" (Behind the Glory); however...
42. 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...
43. Shûsaku Endô Shûsaku Endô Writer, Silence
44. Kamatari Fujiwara Kamatari Fujiwara Actor, Seven Samurai
45. Sayoko Yamaguchi Sayoko Yamaguchi Actress, Pistol Opera
46. Aya Makinoda Aya Makinoda Actress, Tennen shôjo Man next: Yokohama hyaku-ya hen
47. Tatsuya Mihashi Tatsuya Mihashi Actor, Tora! Tora! Tora!
48. Keiko Awaji Keiko Awaji Actress, Stray Dog
49. Yoshio Inaba Yoshio Inaba Actor, Seven Samurai Japanese character actor who achieved his greatest acclaim in the role of "Gorobei" in Akira Kurosawa's Seven Samurai. Inaba began in the theatre after the Second World War, joining the Haiyu-Za company and appearing in plays such as The Cherry Orchard and The Threepenny Opera. His film debut came in 1954...
50. Akira Ifukube Akira Ifukube Composer, Godzilla Akira Ifukube was born on May 31, 1914 in Hokkaido, Japan. He was the third son of a chief constable (his grandfather was a priest of Shin-to) and spent a majority of his childhood in areas with a mixed Japanese and Ainu population. Therefore, Ifukube was strongly influenced by their musical traditions and styles...
1-50 of 571 names.