Takashi Shimura

Chameleon of Japanese Cinema


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About the Book

Considered one of the finest performers in world cinema, Japanese actor Takashi Shimura (1905–1982) appeared in more than 300 stage, film and television roles during his five-decade career. He is best known for his frequent collaborations with Akira Kurosawa, including major roles in the landmark classics Rashômon (1950), Ikiru (1952) and Seven Samurai (1954), and for his memorable characterizations in Ishirô Honda’s Godzilla (1954) and several Kaijû sequels. This is the first complete English-language account of Shimura’s work. In addition to historical and critical coverage of Shimura’s life and career, it includes an extensive filmography.

About the Author(s)

Scott Allen Nollen was educated in film and history at the University of Iowa. He has written and edited more than 40 books on the history of film, literature and music.

Bibliographic Details

Scott Allen Nollen

Foreword by Paul M. Jensen

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 293
Bibliographic Info: 41 photos, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2019
pISBN: 978-1-4766-7013-3
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3569-9
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Foreword by Paul M. Jensen 1
Preface 3
1. 島崎捷爾, 1905 9
2. Toro no o fumu ­otoko-tachi (1945) 23
3. Yoidore tenshi (1948) 31
4. Nora inu (1949) 41
5. Rashômon (1950) 50
6. Ikiru (1952) 63
7. Shichinin no Samurai (1954) 72
8. Gojira (1954) 82
9. Ikimono no Kiroku (1955) 89
10. More Kaijû Tokusatsu and Jidai-Geki for ­Shimura-san 101
11. Akira, Toshirô and ­Oji-chan 115
12. Tengoku to jigoku (1963) 131
13. Tôjôjinbutsu Senmonka Supreme 144
Conclusion 162
Appendix A: Takashi Shimura Filmography 165
Appendix B: Takashi Shimura Television Episodes 261
Chapter Notes 265
Bibliography 269
Index 273

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “[This] is the long overdue bio of the brilliant actor. The author is to be commended not only for his research but his erudite discourse on Japanese cinema and Shimura’s role in it…this book is likely to stand as the definitive study of this versatile character actor. The meticulously compiled filmography is the most complete ever published in print or online and puts sources like IMDb to shame.”—So Cal Arts and Entertainment.