3 scripts by Akira Kurosawa discovered

3 scripts by Akira Kurosawa discovered

Among early works from the legendary director is a 1951 script for a movie to have starred Toshiro Mifune
akira kurosawa scripts foundStephen Shugerman/Getty Images
Director Akira Kurosawa during the making of "Kagemusya" in 1980.

Japan's most famous director had more work up his sleeve than thought.

According to Sankei Sports, three works from the early career of Akira Kurosawa have been discovered in various locations. 

The discoveries were announced Thursday by Yasuki Hamano, professor of media at Tokyo University. Hamano found the scripts while conducting research for his series of books titled "Akira Kurosawa Archives," published by Kodansha Ltd.

akira kurosawa scripts foundThe calligraphy of Akira Kurosawa is shown on display at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in Beverly Hills.

Important finds

Shortly before his own directorial debut, "Sanshiro Sugata," which began filming in Yokohama in December 1942, Kurosawa wrote a script for a radio drama called "Youki na Koujou."

Broadcast by NHK in August 1942, the script has since been stored in Waseda University's Tsubochi Memorial Theatre Museum.

The second newly discovered script was part of a collaborative effort by various directors working for Toho Studios' labor union in 1946. The work is titled "Asu wo Tsukuru Hitobito," though Kurosawa himself has acknowledged that it shouldn't be credited as purely his own work.

Most significant of the three finds could be a 1951 work called "Kanokemaru no Hitobito." It was written by screenwriter Shinobu Hashimoto, but is based on a Kurosawa idea about sailors on a transport ship overcoming stormy weather.

Hashimoto worked with Kurosawa on "Rashomon" and eight other films.

The production of "Kanokemaru no Hitobito" was apparently halted, but was due to star Toshiro Mifune, who appeared in 16 of Kurosawa's films. The script was discovered at the Shinobu Hashimoto Memorial Hall in Ichikawa, Hyogo.

Kurosawa would go to direct some of the most influential and highly regarded films of all time, including "Rashomon" (1950), "Seven Samurai" (1954) and "Kagemusha" (1980).




Robert Michael Poole is a specialist on the Japanese music and entertainment scene.

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