Japanese movie stars died in 1997

Here are 9 famous actors from Japan died in 1997:

Toshiro Mifune

Toshiro Mifune (April 1, 1920 Qingdao-December 24, 1997 Mitaka) also known as Sanchuan Minlang, The Wolf, Minlang Sanchuan, Toshirô Mifune, Mifune Toshirō or The Shogun was a Japanese actor, film producer, soldier, businessperson and film director. He had three children, Mika Mifune, Shirô Mifune and Takeshi Mifune.

Toshiro Mifune is regarded as one of the greatest actors in the history of Japanese cinema. He appeared in over 150 films in his career, including many classics made by director Akira Kurosawa. Mifune's roles were often characterized by his intensity, physicality and ability to convey a wide range of emotions. His performances in films like Seven Samurai, Yojimbo, and Rashomon are considered iconic and have influenced countless actors and filmmakers around the world. Mifune was also known for his work outside of Japan, appearing in films like Hell in the Pacific and Grand Prix. He was awarded many honors throughout his career, including the Order of the Rising Sun, medal with the Gold and Silver Rays. Mifune passed away in 1997 at the age of 77, but his legacy as one of the most talented and influential actors in cinema history lives on.

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Juzo Itami

Juzo Itami (May 15, 1933 Ukyō-ku, Kyoto-December 20, 1997 Azabudai, Minato, Tokyo) a.k.a. Itami Juzo, Ikeuchi Yoshihiro, Ichizô Itami, Itami Ichizô, Yoshihiro Ikeuchi, Jûzô Itami, Ichizo Atami, Ichizo Itami or Itami Jūzō was a Japanese film director, actor, screenwriter and film producer. He had two children, Mansaku Ikeuchi and Ikeuchi Mampei.

Juzo Itami began his career as an actor in the 1960s, appearing in numerous films and television dramas. He later transitioned to directing, and his first film as a director, "The Funeral" (1984), quickly gained critical acclaim both in Japan and internationally. He went on to direct several other successful films, including "Tampopo" (1985), a "ramen western" that has become a cult classic, and "A Taxing Woman" (1987), which won the Best Screenplay award at the Cannes Film Festival.

Itami was known for his satirical and often comical films that tackled social issues in Japan, particularly corruption and bureaucracy. His work earned him numerous awards and recognition, including the Order of the Rising Sun, one of Japan's highest honors, in 1995.

Tragically, in 1997, Itami committed suicide by jumping from the roof of his office building in Tokyo. His death shocked the Japanese film industry and fans around the world. Despite his untimely death, his legacy as a groundbreaking director and social commentator continues to live on through his films.

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Toshiya Fujita

Toshiya Fujita (January 16, 1932 Pyongyang-August 29, 1997 Shinjuku) also known as Fujita Toshiya, Shigeya Fujita, Shigaya Fujita or Shigeo Fujita was a Japanese screenwriter, film director, actor and pornographic film actor.

Fujita began his career in the film industry as a screenwriter, and eventually moved on to become a director. He is best known for his contributions to the yakuza film genre, directing notable films such as "Massacre Gun" and "Street Mobster". These films were known for their depictions of violence and gritty realism, and helped popularize the genre.

In addition to his work as a director and screenwriter, Fujita also occasionally acted in films, including some of his own productions. He even dabbled in pornography, appearing in a handful of adult films under various pseudonyms.

Despite his controversial filmography, Fujita was highly regarded by many in the film industry for his creativity and boldness as a filmmaker. His influence can still be seen in the work of modern directors who continue to push the boundaries of Japanese cinema.

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Toshiro Mayuzumi

Toshiro Mayuzumi (February 20, 1929 Yokohama-April 10, 1997 Kawasaki) also known as Toshirô Mayuzumi or Mayuzumi Toshiro was a Japanese film score composer, composer and actor. He had one child, Rintaro Mayuzumi.

Mayuzumi studied composition at the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music before starting his career as a composer for films in the 1950s. He is best known for his scores for films such as Akira Kurosawa's "Throne of Blood" and "The Bad Sleep Well", as well as for the music he wrote for the opening ceremony of the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. Mayuzumi's style incorporated a wide range of influences, including jazz, traditional Japanese music, and serialism. In addition to film music, he also composed orchestral and chamber works, including several pieces for shakuhachi (a traditional Japanese flute). Mayuzumi was also a member of the Japanese parliament for several years, representing the Japan Socialist Party.

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Yorozuya Kinnosuke

Yorozuya Kinnosuke (November 20, 1932 Tokyo-March 10, 1997 Kashiwa) also known as Yorozuya Kinnosuke, Kin'nosuke Nakamura, Kinnosuke Yorozuya Nakamura, よろずや きんのすけ, なかむら きんのすけ, 小川 錦一, 萬屋 錦之介, おがわ きんいち, 中村 錦之助, Nakamura Kin'nosuke, Ogawa Kin'ichi, 初代 中村錦之助, Nakamura Kinnosuke, Nakamura Yorozuya, Kinnosuke Nakamura or Kinnosuke Yorozuya was a Japanese actor. He had two children, Kichinosuke Yorozuya and Akihiro Ogawa.

Yorozuya Kinnosuke was born as Kin'ichi Ogawa in Tokyo, Japan. He began his career as a kabuki actor, taking the stage name Nakamura Kinnosuke, and was considered a rising star in the art. However, he decided to transition to film acting and changed his name to Yorozuya Kinnosuke, as there was already another actor with a similar name.

He quickly became a popular leading man in samurai movies, with his good looks, charisma, and swordsmanship skills. He starred in over 160 films, including the popular "Nemuri Kyoshiro" series. He was also known for his work in television dramas, including the long-running "Mito Komon" series.

Yorozuya Kinnosuke was a passionate golfer and often played with fellow actors and celebrities. He also had an interest in traditional Japanese culture, and was a collector of antique swords and armor. He passed away in 1997 at the age of 64 from lung cancer.

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Ken Mitsuda

Ken Mitsuda (April 29, 1902 Tokyo-November 28, 1997) a.k.a. Kenji Mitsuda was a Japanese actor.

Ken Mitsuda began his career as a stage actor in Japan and acted in over 200 films throughout his career. His career spanned several decades, starting in the 1920s and lasting until the 1980s. He is best known for his roles in classic Japanese films such as "The Life of Oharu" (1952), "Tokyo Twilight" (1957), and "Sanjuro" (1962). Mitsuda also appeared in several American films, including "The Yakuza" (1974) and "Shogun" (1980), where he played the role of a daimyo. In addition to his acting career, Mitsuda was also a prolific voice actor, dubbing foreign films into Japanese. He was awarded the Japanese Academy Prize for Best Supporting Actor in 1981 for his performance in the film "The Gate of Youth." Mitsuda continued to act in films until his death in 1997 at the age of 95.

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Shintaro Katsu

Shintaro Katsu (November 29, 1931 Chiba Prefecture-June 21, 1997 Kashiwa) also known as Katsu, Shintarou, Katsu-shin, Toshio Okumura, Katsu Shintarō, Katsutoshi Gatsu, Okumura Toshio, Shintarô Katsu or Katsumaru Kineya was a Japanese film producer, actor, singer, television director, screenwriter, film director and musician. His children are called Ryu Gan and Masami Okumura.

Katsu is best known for his role as the blind swordsman Zatoichi in a film series of the same name, which he also produced. He appeared in 26 Zatoichi films from 1962 to 1989, and the character became a cultural icon in Japan. Katsu also worked on other film series, including the Hanzo the Razor trilogy and the Hoodlum Soldier series. In addition to acting and producing, Katsu was a prolific musician, recording over 100 albums. He also directed several films and TV shows later in his career. Katsu was awarded the Medal with Purple Ribbon in 1988 for his contributions to Japanese culture. He passed away in 1997 from throat cancer at the age of 65.

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Kō Nishimura

Kō Nishimura (January 25, 1923 Sapporo-April 15, 1997 Tokyo) a.k.a. Ko Nishimura, Akira Nishimura, Nishimura Kō or 西村 晃 was a Japanese actor.

He started his acting career in 1952 with a small role in the film "Life of a Horse Trader". During his career, he appeared in over 200 films and TV dramas, often playing roles of authority figures such as politicians or police officers.

One of his most famous roles was in the classic Japanese film "Seven Samurai" directed by Akira Kurosawa, where he played the role of the samurai warrior Kyuzo. He also appeared in other Kurosawa films such as "Yojimbo" and "Sanjuro".

In addition to his acting career, Nishimura was also a talented calligrapher, creating works that were exhibited in galleries in Japan and internationally. He was also a co-founder of the Japan Calligraphy Education Foundation.

Nishimura passed away in 1997 due to liver cancer at the age of 74.

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David Toguri

David Toguri (October 25, 1933 Vancouver-November 15, 1997 Toronto) was a Japanese actor, theatre director and choreographer.

He grew up in Vancouver and attended the University of British Columbia before beginning his career in the arts. Toguri appeared in numerous plays and films throughout his career, including the 1980s television series "Night Heat" and the film "Cameron's Closet."

In addition to his work as an actor, Toguri was a renowned theatre director and choreographer. He founded an arts company called Theatre Passe Muraille in Toronto and worked with numerous other theatre companies throughout his career. He received critical acclaim for his direction and choreography of various plays and musicals, including "The Threepenny Opera" and "A Streetcar Named Desire."

Toguri also worked to promote and support Asian Canadian artists throughout his career. He was a co-founder of the Vancouver Asian Heritage Month Society, which organizes events and activities to celebrate Asian heritage and culture in Canada.

After a long battle with liver disease, Toguri passed away in 1997 at the age of 64. His contributions to the arts and his advocacy for marginalized communities continue to inspire and impact generations of artists and activists.

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