Ikiru

One of the greatest achievements by Akira Kurosawa, Ikiru shows the director at his most compassionate—affirming life through an explora­tion of death. Takashi Shimura beautifully portrays Kanji Watanabe, an aging bureaucrat with stomach cancer who is impelled to find meaning in his final days. Presented in a radically conceived two­part structure and shot with a perceptive, humanistic clarity of vision, Ikiru is a multifaceted look at what it means to be alive.

Film Info

  • Akira Kurosawa
  • Japan
  • 1952
  • 143 minutes
  • Black & White
  • 1.37:1
  • Japanese
  • Spine #221

Special Features

  • New, restored 4K digital transfer, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Audio commentary from 2003 by Stephen Prince, author of The Warrior’s Camera: The Cinema of Akira Kurosawa
  • A Message from Akira Kurosawa: For Beautiful Movies (2000), a ninety­-minute documentary produced by Kurosawa Productions and featuring interviews with the director
  • Documentary on Ikiru from 2003, created as part of the Toho Masterworks series Akira Kurosawa: It Is Wonderful to Create, and featuring interviews with Kurosawa, script supervisor Teruyo Nogami, writer Hideo Oguni, actor Takashi Shimura, and others
  • Trailer
  • New English subtitle translation
  • PLUS: An essay by critic and travel writer Pico Iyer and a reprint from critic Donald Richie’s 1965 book The Films of Akira Kurosawa

New cover by Eric Skillman

Purchase Options

Collector's Sets

Collector's Set

Essential Art House: 50 Years of Janus Films

Essential Art House: 50 Years of Janus Films

DVD Box Set

50 Discs

Ships Dec 10, 2019

$650.00

Collector's Set

AK 100: 25 Films by Akira Kurosawa

AK 100: 25 Films by Kurosawa

DVD Box Set

25 Discs

$319.00

Out Of Print

Special Features

  • New, restored 4K digital transfer, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Audio commentary from 2003 by Stephen Prince, author of The Warrior’s Camera: The Cinema of Akira Kurosawa
  • A Message from Akira Kurosawa: For Beautiful Movies (2000), a ninety­-minute documentary produced by Kurosawa Productions and featuring interviews with the director
  • Documentary on Ikiru from 2003, created as part of the Toho Masterworks series Akira Kurosawa: It Is Wonderful to Create, and featuring interviews with Kurosawa, script supervisor Teruyo Nogami, writer Hideo Oguni, actor Takashi Shimura, and others
  • Trailer
  • New English subtitle translation
  • PLUS: An essay by critic and travel writer Pico Iyer and a reprint from critic Donald Richie’s 1965 book The Films of Akira Kurosawa

New cover by Eric Skillman

Ikiru
Cast
Takashi Shimura
Kanji Watanabe
Nobuo Kaneko
Mitsuo Watanabe
Kyoko Seki
Kazue Watanabe
Makoto Kobori
Kiichi Watanabe
Kumeko Urabe
Tatsu Watanabe
Yoshie Minami
The maid
Miki Odagiri
Toyo Odagiri
Kamatari Fujiwara
Ono
Minosuke Yamada
Saito
Haruo Tanaka
Sakai
Bokuzen Hidari
Obara
Shinichi Himori
Kimura
Nobuo Nakamura
Deputy mayor
Kusuo Abe
City assemblyman
Masao Shimizu
Doctor
Isao Kimura
Intern
Atsushi Watanabe
Patient
Yunosuke Ito
Novelist
Yatsuko Tanami
Hostess
Fuyuki Murakami
Newspaperman
Seiji Miyaguchi
Gang boss
Daisuke Kato
Gang member
Ichiro Chiba
Policeman
Kin Sugai
Housewives
Eiko Miyoshi
Housewives
Noriko Homma
Housewives
Credits
Director
Akira Kurosawa
Writers
Akira Kurosawa
Writers
Shinobu Hashimoto
Writers
Hideo Oguni
Producer
Sojiro Motoki
Cinematography
Asakazu Nakai
Art director
So Matsuyama
Lighting
Shigeru Mori
Sound
Fumio Yanoguchi
Music
Fumio Hayasaka

From The Current

Ikiru Many Autumns Later
Ikiru Many Autumns Later

Akira Kurosawa's 1952 film about one man’s mortality offers a study in postwar Japan, Kurosawa vs. Ozu, and the realization that knowing how to die requires learning how to be alive.

By Pico Iyer

That One Time Five Comics Raided Our Closet
That One Time Five Comics Raided Our Closet

Things got a little hectic (and hilarious) when New York comedians Jaboukie Young-White, Lorelei Ramirez, Fumi Abe, Nore Davis, and Tomas Delgado visited the Criterion offices.

From the Kurosawa Archives
From the Kurosawa Archives
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 released Seven Samurai as our second Criterion edition in …

Explore

Akira Kurosawa

Writer, Director

Akira Kurosawa
Akira Kurosawa

Arguably the most celebrated Japanese filmmaker of all time, Akira Kurosawa had a career that spanned from the Second World War to the early nineties and that stands as a monument of artistic, entertainment, and personal achievement. His best-known films remain his samurai epics Seven Samurai and Yojimbo, but his intimate dramas, such as Ikiru and High and Low, are just as searing. The first serious phase of Kurosawa’s career came during the postwar era, with Drunken Angel and Stray Dog, gritty dramas about people on the margins of society that featured the first notable appearances by Toshiro Mifune, the director’s longtime leading man. Kurosawa would subsequently gain international fame with Rashomon, a breakthrough in nonlinear narrative and sumptuous visuals. Following a personal breakdown in the late sixties, Kurosawa rebounded by expanding his dark brand of humanism into new stylistic territory, with films such as Kagemusha and Ran, visionary, color, epic ruminations on modern man and nature.