Author Spotlight

Donald Richie

Donald Richie has written widely on Japanese film and is the author of the seminal book The Films of Akira Kurosawa (University of California, 1965; revised 1998).

11 Results

Remembering Kurosawa
Remembering Kurosawa

Not that he himself wanted to be remembered. Rather, he wanted his work to be remembered. He once wrote: “Take ‘myself,’ subtract ‘movies,’ and the result is ‘zero.’” It was as though he thought he did not exist except through his mov…

By Donald Richie

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In the Realm of the Senses:
Some Notes on Oshima and Pornography

The concept of “obscenity” is tested when we dare to look at something that we desire to see but have forbidden ourselves to look at. When we feel that everything has been revealed, “obscenity” disappears and there is a certain liberation. Wh…

By Donald Richie


IN THE REALM OF THE SENSES: TWO WOMEN

These profiles of the real-life Sada Abé and the actress who portrayed her in Nagisa Oshima’s In the Realm of the Senses first appeared in Donald Richie’s 1987 book Different People: Pictures of Some Japanese, and can also be found in the 2006 J…

By Donald Richie


Tokyo Journal: Remembering Toshiro Mifune

9 August 2008: I go to the neighborhood theater to see Snow Trail (a.k.a. To the End of the Silver Mountains, a.k.a. Ginrei no haté), a 1946 Senkichi Taniguchi film now revived because it was Toshiro Mifune’s second film. Revived now because in t…

By Donald Richie


An Autumn Afternoon: Ozu’s Diaries

An Autumn Afternoon: Ozu’s Diaries

After Ozu died on his sixtieth birthday, December 12, 1963, some thirty-two diaries were discovered. They were from 1933 to 1963, and though a few years were missing, they offer a commentary on the life of the director and reveal something of his per…

By Donald Richie

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Samurai Rebellion:
Kobayashi's Rebellion

When Samurai Rebellion premiered, on May 27, 1967, the original Japanese title was Joiuchi—hairyo tsuma shimatsu, which means something like Rebellion—Receive the Wife. This title indicates the two concerns of the film: the social impact of an un…

By Donald Richie


Stories of Floating Weeds

“Floating weeds, drifting down the leisurely river of our lives,” has long been a favored metaphor in Japanese prose and poetry. This plant, the ukigusa (duckweed in English), floating aimlessly, carried by stronger currents, is seen as emblemati…

By Donald Richie


Ikiru

“Sometimes I think of my death,” Kurosawa has written: “I think of ceasing to be . . . and it is from these thoughts that Ikiru came.” The story of a man who knows he is going to die, the film is a search for affirmation. The affirmation is f…

By Donald Richie


Dersu Uzala

Kurosawa made the acquaintance of Desu Uzala thirty years earlier, when he read Vladimir Arseniev’s account of charting the Russian-Manchurian border in the earlier part of this century. There, the Russian soldier and explorer had met Dersu, the …

By Donald Richie


Throne of Blood

Director Akira Kurosawa had wanted to make Throne of Blood for some time. “After finishing Rashomon [in 1950] I wanted to do something with Shakespeare’s Macbeth, but just about that time Orson Welles’s version was announced, so I postponed min…

By Donald Richie


Red Beard

After finishing High and Low (1963), director Akira Kurosawa recalls, “I started looking around for something else to do and quite by accident picked up [the novel] Red Beard by Shugoro Yamamoto. At first I thought it would make a good script for […

By Donald Richie