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Kiyoshi Kurosawa
Kiyoshi Kurosawa.jpg
Born (1955-07-19) July 19, 1955 (age 60)
Kobe, Japan
Alma mater Rikkyo University
Occupation Film director, screenwriter, film critic
Years active 1973–present

Kiyoshi Kurosawa (黒沢 清 Kurosawa Kiyoshi?, born July 19, 1955) is a Japanese film director, screenwriter, film critic and a professor at Tokyo University of the Arts. He is best known for his many contributions to the Japanese horror genre.


Born in Kobe on July 19, 1955, Kiyoshi Kurosawa is not related to director Akira Kurosawa.[1] After studying at Rikkyo University in Tokyo under the guidance of prominent film critic Shigehiko Hasumi,[2] where he began making 8mm films,[3] Kurosawa began directing commercially in the 1980s, working on pink films[4] and low-budget V-Cinema (direct-to-video) productions such as formula yakuza films.[5]

In the early 1990s, Kurosawa won a scholarship to the Sundance Institute and was able to study filmmaking in the United States, although he had been directing for nearly ten years professionally.[6]

Kurosawa first achieved international acclaim with his 1997 crime thriller film Cure.[7] Also that year, he experimented by filming two thrillers back-to-back, Serpent's Path and Eyes of the Spider, both of which shared the same premise (a father taking revenge for his child's murder) and lead actor (Show Aikawa) but spun entirely different stories.[8]

Kurosawa followed up Cure with a semi-sequel in 1999 with Charisma, a detective film starring Koji Yakusho.[6] In 2000, Seance, Kurosawa's adaptation of the novel Seance on a Wet Afternoon by Mark McShane, premiered on Kansai TV. It also starred Yakusho, as well as Jun Fubuki (the two had appeared together in Charisma as well). In 2001, he directed the horror film Pulse.[9] Kurosawa released Bright Future, starring Tadanobu Asano, Joe Odagiri and Tatsuya Fuji, in 2003.[10] He followed this with another digital feature, Doppelganger, later the same year.[11]

In 2005, Kurosawa returned with Loft, his first love story since Seance.[12] Another horror film, Retribution, followed in the next year.[13] With his 2008 film, Tokyo Sonata, Kurosawa was considered to step "out of his usual horror genre and into family drama."[14]

He has written a novelization of his own film Pulse, as well as a history of horror cinema with Makoto Shinozaki.[15]

In September 2012, it was announced that he will direct 1905, a film starring Tony Leung Chiu-Wai, Shota Matsuda and Atsuko Maeda.[16] In February 2013, it was announced that production of the film had been cancelled before filming could start.[17]

Kurosawa directed a 2012 five-part television drama Penance.[18] Beautiful 2013, an anthology film featuring Kurosawa's Beautiful New Bay Area Project, screened at the Hong Kong International Film Festival in 2013.[19]

Kurosawa's next feature film Real, which stars Takeru Sato and Haruka Ayase, was released in 2013.[20] He won the Best Director award at the 8th Rome Film Festival for Seventh Code later that year.[21]

His 2015 film Journey to the Shore was screened in the Un Certain Regard section at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival where he won the prize for Best Director.[22][23]

Style and influences[edit]

Kurosawa's directing style has been compared to that of Stanley Kubrick and Andrei Tarkovsky, though he has never expressly listed those directors as influences.[24] Nevertheless, he admitted in an interview that Alfred Hitchcock and Yasujiro Ozu features analyzed and discussed under the guidance of Shigehiko Hasumi contributed to shape his personal vision of the medium.[25] He also expressed admiration for American film directors such as Don Siegel, Sam Peckinpah, Robert Aldrich, Richard Fleischer,[26] and Tobe Hooper.[27]

In a 2009 interview with IFC, Kurosawa talked about the reason why he has cast the actor Koji Yakusho in many of his films: "He has similar values and sensitivities. We’re from the same generation. That’s a big reason why I enjoy working with him on the set."[28]

According to Tim Palmer, Kurosawa's films occupy a peculiar position between the materials of mass genre, on the one hand, and esoteric or intellectual abstraction, on the other. They also clearly engage with issues of environmental critique, given Kurosawa's preference for shooting in decaying open spaces, abandoned (and often condemned) buildings, and in places rife with toxins, pestilence and entropy.[29]


Feature films[edit]

Short films[edit]

  • Vertigo College (1980)
  • Ghost Cop (2003)
  • House of Bugs (2005)
  • Beautiful New Bay Area Project (2013)


  • Yakuza Taxi (1994)
  • Men of Rage (1994)
  • Suit Yourself or Shoot Yourself: The Heist (1995)
  • Suit Yourself or Shoot Yourself: The Escape (1995)
  • Door 3 (1996)
  • Suit Yourself or Shoot Yourself: The Loot (1996)
  • Suit Yourself or Shoot Yourself: The Reversal (1996)
  • Suit Yourself or Shoot Yourself: The Nouveau Riche (1996)
  • Suit Yourself or Shoot Yourself: The Hero (1996)
  • The Revenge: A Visit from Fate (1996)
  • The Revenge: A Scar That Never Fades (1996)
  • Serpent's Path (1997)
  • Eyes of the Spider (1997)


  • Soul Dancing (2004)


  • Wordholic Prisoner (1990)
  • Whirlpool of Joy (1992)
  • Seance (2000)
  • Matasaburo, the Wind Imp (2003)
  • Penance (2012)


  • Eizou no Karisuma (1992)
  • Eiga wa Osoroshii (2001)
  • Kurosawa Kiyoshi no Eigajutsu (2006)
  • 21 Seiki no Eiga o Kataru (2011)


  1. ^ Richie, Donald (2001). A Hundred Years of Japanese Film: A Concise History. Tokyo: Kodansha International. p. 214. ISBN 4-7700-2682-X. 
  2. ^ Nozaki, Kan (2011). Andrew, Dudley, ed. Opening Bazin. Oxford University Press. p. 327. 
  3. ^ D., Spencer (August 23, 2001). "Interview with Director Kiyoshi Kurosawa". IGN. 
  4. ^ Rucka, Nicholas (March 9, 2009). "Midnight Eye book review: The Films of Kiyoshi Kurosawa: Master of Fear". Midnight Eye. 
  5. ^ Mes, Tom (November 14, 2001). "Midnight Eye review: Serpent's Path". Midnight Eye. 
  6. ^ a b Mes, Tom (March 20, 2001). "Midnight Eye review: Charisma". Midnight Eye. 
  7. ^ Mes, Tom (March 20, 2001). "Midnight Eye review: Cure". Midnight Eye. 
  8. ^ Rosenbaum, Jonathan (August 17, 2001). "Three films by Kiyoshi Kurosawa". JonathanRosenbaum.net. 
  9. ^ Mes, Tom (June 21, 2001). "Midnight Eye review: Pulse". Midnight Eye. 
  10. ^ Arnold, Michael (August 20, 2003). "Midnight Eye review: Bright Future". Midnight Eye. 
  11. ^ Brown, Todd (January 23, 2005). "Kiyoshi Kurosawa's Doppelganger Review". Twitch Film. 
  12. ^ Tesse, Jean-Philippe (January 2007). "Critique. Loft by Kiyoshi Kurosawa". Cahiers du Cinema. 
  13. ^ Hoover, Travis Mackenzie (December 6, 2006). "J-horror Mash-Up: Kiyoshi Kurosawa's Retribution". Slant Magazine. 
  14. ^ King, Susan (March 22, 2009). "Kiyoshi Kurosawa provides domestic chills in 'Tokyo Sonata'". Los Angeles Times. 
  15. ^ Mes, Tom (March 9, 2009). "Midnight Eye book review: Mon effroyable histoire du cinéma". Midnight Eye. 
  16. ^ Gray, Jason (September 11, 2012). "Kurosawa to direct Japan-China co-production starring Leung". Screen International. 
  17. ^ Blair, Gavin J. (February 26, 2013). "Production Company Bankrupted by China-Japan Island Dispute Fallout". The Hollywood Reporter. 
  18. ^ Fainaru, Dan (August 29, 2012). "Penance - Review - Screen". Screen International. 
  19. ^ Kerr, Elizabeth (March 27, 2013). "Beautiful 2013: Hong Kong Review - The Hollywood Reporter". The Hollywood Reporter. 
  20. ^ Lee, Maggie (August 9, 2013). "Locarno Film Review: 'Real'". Variety. 
  21. ^ Blair, Gavin J. (November 18, 2013). "Japanese Director Kiyoshi Kurosawa 'Very Surprised' About Two Wins at Rome Film Fest". The Hollywood Reporter. 
  22. ^ "2015 Official Selection". Cannes. Retrieved 16 April 2015. 
  23. ^ Rebeccas Ford (23 May 2015). "Cannes: 'Rams' Wins Un Certain Regard Prize". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 23 May 2015. 
  24. ^ Cure DVD. “Interview with Kiyoshi Kurosawa." New York: Home Vision Entertainment/Janus Films, 2001.
  25. ^ Sedia, Giuseppe (October 2006). "Interview with Kiyoshi Kurosawa" (in Italian). Asia Express. 
  26. ^ Guillen, Michael (August 13, 2008). "KIYOSHI KUROSAWA BLOGATHON—CURE: Confusion and Sophistication". Twitch Film. 
  27. ^ Mes, Tom (October 31, 2001). "Midnight Eye review: Sweet Home". Midnight Eye. 
  28. ^ Erickson, Steve (March 12, 2009). "Kiyoshi Kurosawa Composes "Tokyo Sonata"". IFC. 
  29. ^ Palmer, Tim (2010). "The Rules of the World: Japanese Ecocinema and Kiyoshi Kurosawa". In Willoquet-Maricondi, Paula. Framing the World: Explorations in Ecocriticism and Film. University of Virginia Press. ISBN 978-0-8139-3006-0. 
  30. ^ Kevin Ma (20 June 2014). "Kurosawa Kiyoshi takes Journey to the Shore". Film Business Asia. Retrieved 21 June 2014. 

Further reading[edit]

  • White, Jerry (2007). The Films of Kiyoshi Kurosawa: Master of Fear. Stone Bridge Press. ISBN 9781933330211. 

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kiyoshi_Kurosawa — Please support Wikipedia.
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2159 news items


Tue, 03 Nov 2015 23:48:43 -0800

Alors que le dernier film réalisé par Kiyoshi Kurosawa, la romance fantastique Vers l'autre rive, est actuellement en salles, le cinéaste japonais a deux projets en préparation. Kurosawa a tourné un film en France et en français, intitulé La Femme de ...

The Japan Times

The Japan Times
Wed, 27 May 2015 02:33:45 -0700

Kiyoshi Kurosawa won the best director prize in the Cannes Film Festival's Un Certain Regard section on Sunday, but he also deserves a prize from the Japanese film industry for single-handedly turning its presence at the world's most prestigious film ...


Tue, 24 Nov 2015 16:20:33 -0800

... marks Music Box Films' latest entry in the company's growing international television catalog, which includes such recent releases as Sweden's Wallander, Germany's Generation War France's The Returned and Japan's Penance by Kiyoshi Kurosawa.

Chicago Reader

Chicago Reader
Thu, 30 Apr 2015 13:07:54 -0700

One reason I'm glad to have caught up with Kiyoshi Kurosawa's horror miniseries Penance (2012)—which Music Box Films released on DVD several months ago through their genre-movie subsidiary Doppelganger Releasing—is that it helped me realize just ...


Tue, 24 Nov 2015 14:07:30 -0800

... marks Music Box Films' latest entry in the company's growing international television catalog, which includes such recent releases as Sweden's Wallander, Germany's Generation War, France's The Returned and Japan's Penance by Kiyoshi Kurosawa.

Today's Zaman

Today's Zaman
Tue, 17 Nov 2015 04:18:28 -0800

The third edition will also see the Turkish premieres of 11 films, including Japanese director Kiyoshi Kurosawa's 2015 romantic drama “Journey to the Shore,” and female director Ines Tanovic's drama “Our Everyday Life,” which is Bosnia's entry for the ...

The Japan Times

The Japan Times
Sat, 23 May 2015 20:27:37 -0700

CANNES, FRANCE – Director Kiyoshi Kurosawa was awarded the Best Director Prize in the Un Certain Regard section of the annual Cannes Film Festival on Saturday. Kurosawa's “Kishibe no Tabi” (“Journey to the Shore”) was among 19 films from 21 ...


Sun, 17 May 2015 22:45:02 -0700

A piano teacher goes on a second honeymoon of sorts with her missing husband when he returns as a ghost in “Journey to the Shore,” Kiyoshi Kurosawa's competent return to human drama in the vein of “Tokyo Sonata,” albeit with a spiritual dimension.

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