Biography (Dictionary of World Biography: Twentieth Century)
Article abstract: Throughout his long career as one of the greatest directors in the history of the cinema, Kurosawa explored a humane and profound vision of existence with a brilliantly inventive use of the art of film.
Akira Kurosawa was the youngest of seven children born to a family that recognized its rural roots but prided itself on being Edokko, or third-generation dwellers in Tokyo. In Kurosawa’s youth, Japanese country life was slow and peaceful and the culture of the city was just beginning to absorb ideas from the outside world. Kurosawa’s father was a graduate of a school for training army officers and was a severe disciplinarian who valued the varieties of experience that a man might encounter; his devotion to the ancient code of the samurai, Bushido, was an important influence on his son, both as a model and as a rigid pattern against which to react. Kurosawa was also deeply impressed with his mother’s quiet strength and iron will and by his darkly sardonic and brilliantly perceptive elder brother Heigo, whose suicide in 1933 led him to become “impatient with my own aimlessness.”
As a student in primary and secondary school, Kurosawa concentrated on the art and literature courses that he liked and ignored his required studies in math and science. He treasured teachers who taught with imagination and creativity, despised those who operated by rote, substituted...
(The entire section is 2937 words.)
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