Toshiya Fujita was born on January 16, 1932 in Pyongyang, Korea. Following graduation from Tokyo University Fujita joined the Nikkatsu studio in 1955. Toshiya initially worked at Nikkatsu as a publicist, screenwriter, and assistant director prior to directing his first film in 1967. His debut feature won Fujita the 1967 New Directors Award from the Directors Guild of Japan. Toshiya's films for Nikkatsu alternated primarily between youth dramas and Japanese soft-core Roman porno pink movies, with the acclaimed drama The Days of No Return (1978) in particular rating as a notable success that won Toshiya a Kinema Jumpo Award for Best Director in 1979. However, Fujita achieved his greatest cult cinema popularity outside Japan with the classic action thriller Lady Snowblood (1973) and its sequel Lady Snowblood 2: Love Song of Vengeance (1974), which were two highly atypical departures for Fujita that were produced by an independent company while on hiatus from Nikkatsu. Toshiya continued directing films on a regular basis well into the late 1980's. In addition, Fujita also acted in a handful of movies. He died at age 65 from liver failure on August 30, 1997 in Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan.