1994Arts and PhilosophyTheater, Cinema
Akira Kurosawa photo

Akira Kurosawa

  • Japan / 1910-1998
  • Film Director

A Film Director Who Has Pursued the Humanity with an Acute Insight and Highly Original Images

A film director who has created many outstanding works including Rashomon in his long career. The penetrating insights into humanity, profoundly humanitarian themes, and powerful original expressiveness of his films have deeply impressed audiences the world over.
*This category then was Category of Creative Arts and Moral Sciences.

Profile

Brief Biography

1910
Born in Tokyo
1928
Graduated from Keika Middle School
1936
Joined PCL Film Studio
1939
Worked with director Kajiro Yamamoto as B group director for Uma
1943
Directed his first film Sanshiro Sugata
1959
Established Kurosawa Production
1985
Ran invited for the opening of the first Tokyo International Film Festival
1990
Yume invited for the opening of the Cannes International Film Festival

Selected Awards and Honors

1951
Rashomon awards the Golden Lion Prize at the Venice International Film Festival
1952
Ikiru awarded the Silver Berlin Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival
1954
Seven Samurai awarded the Silver Lion Prize at the Venice International Film Festival
1974
Dersu Uzala awarded the Gold Prize at the Moscow Film Festival
1980
Kagemusha awarded Grand Prix at Cannes International Film Festival
1984
Legion d'Honneur
1985
The Order of Culture
1990
Honorary Academy Award, U.S.A.

Selected Works

1946

Waga Seishun ni Kuinashi

1951

Hakuchi

1958

Kakushi-toride no San-akunin

1965

Akahige

1985

Ran

1993

Maadadayo

Citation

A Film Director Who Has Pursued the Humanity with an Acute Insight and Highly Original Images

Mr. Akira Kurosawa is a world-famous film director in Japan. Over this half century, he has continuously presented masterpieces which deeply affect audiences through his insights into human nature; unshaken humanism; and powerful, and drastic expressions through all his works.

Mr. Kurosawa began his career as a painter, showing extraordinary talents. But, later he chose to become a film director. Since his first film in 1943, Mr. Kurosawa has perfected topics that portray human characters who courageously fight adversities in life. His representative works, “Ikiru”(To Live), and “Seven Samurais” both are salient in their portrayal of the noble and strong-willed characters who face severe challenges but choose to live bravely with their strong sense of righteousness, mission, and death-defying courage. His “Rashomon” became the first memorable Japanese film to attract worldwide attention. Mr. Kurosawa sought his material throughout the world, including Shakespeare, Dostoyevski, and even today’s American television dramas. But in each case, he transplanted them to a Japanese cultural environment and created dramas that pursued the essence of human nature.

Another characteristic of Mr. Kurosawa’s works is their original expressions. The scorching heat in the bush as shown in “Rashomon,” the pouring rain in the fighting scene of “Seven Samurai” are examples of often violent expressions which are related intimately with the theme. His abundant artistic talent as a painter allowed him to make effective uses of montages, and created a new aesthetic form with each new work, keeping the “Kurosawa” style at the vanguard of his art.

The fact that Mr. Kurosawa’s works have won many awards at international film festivals is evidence of his works worldwide esteem. Moreover, we should recognize that the powerful handing of themes and rich expressions in Mr. Kurosawa’s works have stimulated many other filmmakers in the world and greatly influenced the development of cinematography.

While his works contain such high artistic values, the primary charm of Mr. Kurosawa’s film is that never fail to fulfill the audience’s enjoyment of movies.

At 84, Mr. Kurosawa is still at the forefront, burning with his zeal to create films that open new territory. Mr. Kurosawa is at the pinnacle of 20th Century cinematography and is the most befitting recipient of the 1994 Kyoto Prize in Creative Arts and Moral Sciences.

Lecture

Abstract of the Lecture

MY VIEW OF MOVIES

In the lecture, I think I will mainly talk about my idea of films, what I think films are all about. I think I well also talk about how I make films, and how I want the viewer to see my films.

But when I talk, my words must come somewhat naturally. So I don’t think I can give an interesting talk if I decide what to say and how to say it in advance.

This is what I intend to do in the lecture. I hope that my selfishness in not giving a proper outline of my lecture will be forgiven, and that this will serve as a kind of outline instead.

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Workshop

Workshop

Talk about Cinema with Maestro Akira Kurosawa

date
Saturday, November 12, 1994
palce
Kyoto International Conference Hall
Chairman
Naoki Togawa (Chairman, the Kyoto Prize Screening Committee in Creative Arts and Moral Sciences; Film Critic)

Program

13:20
Opening
Greetings Toyomi Inamori; Managing Director, The Inamori Foundation
Greetings Ryuichiro Sengen; Chairman, the Kyoto Prize Committee in Creative Arts and Moral Sciences;
Professor, Faculty of Law, Doshisha University
13:35
Introduction of Achievement Yuhkichi Shinada; Member, the Kyoto Prize Screening Committee in Creative Arts and Moral Sciences;
Dean, School of Art, 2nd Division, Tama Art University
13:45
Film "Dreams"
Directed by Akira Kurosawa
15:45
Intermission
16:00
CommemorativeLecture-Dialog "Talk about Cinema with Maestro Akira Kurosawa"
Akira Kurosawa; Laureate in Creative Arts and Moral Sciences
Toshimitsu Shima; Cinema Journalist
17:20
Closing Address Naoki Togawa
17:25
Closing
PAGETOP