Akira Kurosawa’s Dreams Akira Kurosawa’s Dreams

Akira Kurosawa’s Dreams

Akira Kurosawa

Akira Kurosawa’s Dreams (Criterion Blu-Ray)


1 Disc

SRP: $39.95

Criterion Store price:$31.96

  • Japan
  • 1990
  • 120 minutes
  • Color
  • 1.85:1
  • Japanese
  • Spine #842

Unfolding in a series of eight mythic vignettes, this late work by Akira Kurosawa was inspired by the beloved director’s own nighttime visions, along with stories from Japanese folklore. In a visually sumptuous journey through the master’s imagination, tales of childlike wonder give way to apocalyptic apparitions: a young boy stumbles on a fox wedding in a forest; a soldier confronts the ghosts of the war dead; a power plant meltdown smothers a seaside landscape in radioactive fumes. Interspersed with reflections on the redemptive power of creation, including a richly textured tribute to Vincent van Gogh (who is played by Martin Scorsese), Akira Kurosawa’s Dreams is both a showcase for its maker’s artistry at its most unbridled and a deeply personal lament for a world at the mercy of human ignorance.


“I”Akira Terao
MotherMitsuko Baisho
Snow WomanMieko Harada
Woman carrying a child (“Mount Fuji in Red”)Toshie Negishi
“I” as an adolescent (“The Peach Orchard”)Mitsunori Isaki
“I” as a young boy (“Sunshine Through the Rain”)Toshihiko Nakano
Private Noguchi (“The Tunnel”)Yoshitaka Zushi
Power plant worker (“Mount Fuji in Red”)Hisashi Igawa
Weeping demonChosuke Ikariya
Old man (“The Village of the Water Mills”)Chishu Ryu
Vincent van GoghMartin Scorsese
Fox wedding dancersKiku-no Kai Dancers
Peach FairyMisato Tate
Sister (“The Peach Orchard”)Mieko Suzuki
Member of the climbing team (“The Blizzard”)Masayuki Yui
Member of the climbing team (“The Blizzard”)Shu Nakajima
Member of the climbing team (“The Blizzard”)Sakae Kimura
Second lieutenantTessho Yamashita
Third platoonMembers of the 20-ki No Kai


DirectorAkira Kurosawa
Written byAkira Kurosawa
Produced byHisao Kurosawa and Mike Y. Inoue
Executive producerSteven Spielberg
Creative consultantIshiro Honda
Production managerTeruyo Nogami
Cinematography byTakao Saito and Shoji Ueda
Art direction byYoshiro Muraki and Akira Sakuragi
Production design byYoshiro Muraki and Akira Sakuragi
Costume design byEmi Wada
Music byShinichiro Ikebe
Film editing byTome Minami
Visual effects byIndustrial Light and Magic
“Sun Shining Through the Rain” fox parade choreographed byMichiyo Hata

Disc Features

  • New, restored 4K digital transfer, supervised by cinematographer Shoji Ueda, with 2.0 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • New audio commentary featuring film scholar Stephen Prince
  • Making of “Dreams” (1990), a 150-minute documentary shot on set and directed by Nobuhiko Obayashi
  • New interview with production manager Teruyo Nogami
  • New interview with assistant director Takashi Koizumi
  • Kurosawa’s Way (2011), a fifty-minute documentary by Kurosawa’s longtime translator Catherine Cadou, featuring interviews with filmmakers Bernardo Bertolucci, Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Martin Scorsese, Hayao Miyazaki, and others
  • Trailer
  • New English subtitle translation
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by film critic Bilge Ebiri and Kurosawa’s script for a never-filmed ninth dream, introduced by Nogami

    Cover painting by Akira Kurosawa

Film Essays


Akira Kurosawa’s Dreams: Quiet Devastation

By Bilge Ebiri November 15, 2016

Akira Kurosawa lays bare his deepest fears in this visually astonishing interpretation of folklore, myth, and the director’s own dreams and memories. Read more »



Abbas Kiarostami’s Final Film, Now in Theaters

February 02, 2018

Opening today at the Film Society of Lincoln Center, Iranian master Abbas Kiarostami’s final film, 24 Frames, is a subtle meditation on time and perception. Read more »



From the Kurosawa Archives

March 23, 2017

With a monumental body of work spanning nearly six decades, thirty feature films, and a staggering array of styles and genres, Akira Kurosawa has been a cornerstone of our collection since we . . . Read more »



New UK Releases for November 2016

November 22, 2016

This month, we’ve brought two new Criterion editions to the United Kingdom: Akira Kurosawa’s Dreams, a visually sumptuous showcase of the Japanese master at the height of his imaginative powers, . . . Read more »



The Art of the Dream Sequence

November 19, 2016

Artists across all mediums have long been obsessed with the challenge of evoking dream states, but film—with its oneiric combinations of light and shadow, and its ability to manipulate time and . . . Read more »


Film Essays


Akira Kurosawa’s Dreams: Quiet Devastation

By Bilge Ebiri November 15, 2016

Akira Kurosawa lays bare his deepest fears in this visually astonishing interpretation of folklore, myth, and the director’s own dreams and memories. Read more »


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Updated 04/17/2018


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by Jamal Williams

Updated 04/17/2018


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by Jeremiah Ogle

Updated 04/13/2018


Honorary Oscars

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Updated 03/17/2018


Jack Peyton

Updated 04/09/2018


Jonathan Dearborn

Updated 04/03/2018

Joe Sherman

Updated 04/01/2018


Alan H.

Updated 04/07/2018


Masha C.

Updated 03/31/2018



Updated 03/27/2018



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Oscar Lau

Updated 04/17/2018


Nicholas M.

Updated 04/24/2018

Other Editions

Akira Kurosawa’s Dreams (Criterion DVD)


2 Discs

SRP: $29.95

Criterion Store price:$23.96


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