You are now in the WORLD OF SAMURAI SPIRIT which also includes:
Akira Kurosawa Movie Corner
Friends and Fans (From Elena in Russia)
Fujiwara Fan Page includes a boxing match with Robert
Toshiro Mifune Memorial Page
Toshiro Mifune's acting school
Shiro Mifune / Mifune Productions

Here are some other worlds that you might like to visit.  Click on one for the menu.
               WORLD OF ENTERTAINMENT-- Popular Royalty free plays, list of award winning videos, etc.
               WORLD OF WRITTEN WORDS-- Robert's publications, the secrets of vending hot-dogs and getting rid of flies, etc.
               WORLD OF CAMPUS-- Robert and his students at Edogawa Women's Junior college in Japan.

This is in THE WORLD OF SAMURAI SPIRIT.  Click here or roll up for more menu
FAQ about anything to Robert
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Questions to Shiro Mifune

click here for more about Robert's 2nd trip to Mifune Productions

Click here for Ame Agaru (After the Rain), where Shiro Mifune has a leading role.

I met with Shiro-san on April 28, 2000.  I had many questions from fans and asked Shiro most of them.  If there is anyone that sent me a question that wasn't asked, it may have been accidentally omitted or purposely omitted.  If concerned, please feel free to send an inquiry to me.  This page is divided by the people that asked the questions in alphabetical order of the first names.  The actual wording of some of the questions may have been changed for uniformity.  Last names will not be used.  If requested, I will put in full names or whatever the person would like.  For those new to this site, there is more information about Mifune/Kurosawa in "FAQ about anything to Robert", "Comments / Requests to Robert" and on the complete menu at the top of the page.


Questions from Anonymous #1


Questions from Anonymous #2

Question from David D.


Questions from David S.


Question from Derik


Questions from Georgie San

Question from John
Here are your answers from Shiro
click here for more about Robert's 2nd trip to Mifune Productions
Q:  I found a quote from Shiro on the Tokyo International Film Festival news page where he was asked to act in a movie after 28 years.  He said he acted with his feelings for his father and mother.  I wonder what he meant by that and whether he might be willing to elaborate. [Anonymous #1]
 
A:  I asked Shiro this question and somehow our conversation drifted into something else-- but I do believe the quote is correct.



Q:   If I'm not being to intrusive, What was Toshiro Mifune's wife's name?  And also what was his other (younger) son's name? [Anonymous #1]
 
A:  For some reason I didn't feel comfortable asking Shiro his mother's name-- I can find out from other sources.  Shiro's younger brother's name is Takeshi.

Q:  Are there any plans to re-release his father's other classic films like Samurai Assassin, Rebellion, Rickshaw Man, Band of Assassins, Red Lion, Chushingura? (in "art" theatres in the States)?  [Anonymous #2]
 
A:  Shiro doesn't know, but he suggested contacting the Japan Film Center in the Japan Society of New York City at 333 East 47th Street, NY 10017.  From your letter, it seems you are already in touch with them.

  • Q:  Has he considered working with Takeshi"Beat" Kitano on producing a biographical film of Mifune Sr.?  (Kitano is a big fan)  [Anonymous #2]
  •  
    A:  Shiro said Beat Takeshi and his father had never met.  As far as I could make out, Shiro hasn't thought about this.

    Q:  Has his father's long time friend Mr. Sagisu finished his book on Mifune?  Who is publishing it?  Does he have an English-language publisher?  [Anonymous #2]
     
    A: Shiro doesn't know when or even if the book by Mr. Sagisu will be finished.  Shiro said that a Stuart Galbraith IV had contacted him about a book he was writing.  And I remembered that I had gotten an e-mail from this gentleman a while back.  This letter to me should give you some insight into what is happening.

           Dear Mr. Baer:

     
    I am the author of three books on Japanese cinema, including The Japanese Filmography (McFarland, 1995). I am presently working on a joint biography of Akira Kurosawa and Toshiro Mifune, which is being published by Faber & Faber. This book is scheduled to be published in mid-2000.

    This is the first complete biography of either Mr. Kurosawa or Mr. Mifune ever published in English. Mostly, it will discuss the production of the films they made together and separately, how they were produced and subsequently received in Japan and abroad, and will analyze the films, their cast and crews beyond the mainly literary approach utilized by Mr. Richie in his excellent The Films of Akira Kurosawa. I am especially excited that this book will cover in detail?  Mr. Kurosawafs career as an assistant director, the screenplays he wrote for other directors, his unrealized films (such as Runaway Train and Tora! Tora! Tora!) as well as his non-movie related projects.

    As for Mr. Mifune, the book will provide extensive coverage of his films for other directors, addressing in detail many features which have never been shown in the United States, how he came to form and operate his own production company, his television appearances, and the films he abroad, beginning with an in-depth analysis of the Mexican-made Animas Trujano: El Hombre Importante (1961).

    I am writing because, obviously, I would very much like to interview you about your association with Mr. Mifune and his acting school. This interview can be done by telephone or mail at your convenience.

    Thank you for your consideration, and I look forward to hearing from you.

    Sincerely,

    Stuart Galbraith IV


    Q:  Would you show Shiro the interview with Soren-Johnson the director of the film Mifune that talks about it as a tribute to Mifune?  (The film was nominated for an Academy Award, but didn't win.  We saw it, and it had a delightful scene where one of the brothers imitates Mifune as Kikuchiyo - Seven Samurai.  Very good likeness!  The voice that is!) [Anonymous #2]
     
    A:  I don't know this movie or the interview, but Shiro had seen the movie.  He told me it was a Danish movie and showed me some pamphlets about it.  Everything was in a language I couldn't read (Danish?), but there were pictures from the movie and Shiro gave me some idea of what it was about.  When I asked him what he thought about the movie, he said it was "maa maa." Which would mean it wasn't a bad movie, but it didn't really impress him.

    Q:  By the way, you were asked about the causes of Mifune's death.  We'd read articles that mentioned cardiac problems and liver disease.  We also read a reference to Alzheimers. [Anonymous #2]

    Q:  Could you ask Mr. Mifune if he knows where I can obtain a copy of the 1964-65 version of Judo Saga in which his father portrayed Jigaro Kano.  I think the movie is also called Sanjuro Sugata.  It is the 64-65 version and not the 1941 version which we already have.  We have tried many avenues of trying to find this movie but have not been able to locate it. [David D. ( http://www.shuyokan.com )]
     
    A:  According to Shiro, there is no video of this movie.

    Q:  Mr. Red-Baer I would also love to receive via e-mail a close up picture of Toshiro Mifune as a Lion Dancer with a red wig. I also will like to see pictures of you with Mr. Shiro Mifune. [David S.]
     
    A:  I asked Shiro this and he brought out a video called Red Lion.  The picture you want was on the video case and I took a picture of the video case-- not the best picture there is, but it is the picture you want.  You can find this and the picture of Shiro and myself by clicking here for more about Robert's 2nd trip to Mifune Productions.  If you don't know how to download the pictures to your computer, e-mail me and I will tell you how to do it.

    Q:  I've been told that actor Tatsuya Nakadai also teaches acting in Japan.  I would like to send him a letter, and was wondering if you happen to know the address for the school he teaches at? [Derik]
     
    A:  I put this question and answer on the Questions to Robert Red-Baer page. The last question on this page from John is very similar-- you might want to look at it.

    Q:  Does Mifune Productions still own the Japanese rights to ANIMAS TRUJANO? [Georgie San]
     
    A:  Shiro wasn't sure.

    Q:  The military friend that Mifune San stayed with in Tokyo when he was repatriated, was it possibly Sagisu San? [Georgie San]
     
    A:  It was Nenji Oyama, a TOHO cameraman.

    Q:  Does your brother, Mifune Takeshi San still own and operate the restaurant your Father built in Munich in the early 1970's? [Georgie San]
     
    A:  Shiro's brother, Takeshi has had nothing to do with the restaurant.  Takeshi owns a Marina (I think he said it was in Japan).  Shiro's half sister Mika's elder brother owned the restaurant up until about two years ago (1998?) when he sold it.

    Q:  In a 14, July, 1986 UPI INTERNATIONAL article, the interviewer, who is not identified, states there was an Oscar for RASHOMON on the mantelpiece in your Father's penthouse.  Was it actually for RASHOMON or was it for SAMURAI, THE LEGEND OF MUSASHI which won in the same category in 1955?  If it is permitted, how did he come to receive it? [Georgie San]
     
    A:  This was difficult for me as I didn't have much background information.  When I asked, or actually showed Shiro your question.  He brought the trophy for the Grand Prize from the Venice Film Festival (Rashomon) out of the trophy case and I held it.  But he said it wasn't the real trophy-- the real trophy was given to the now defunct Daiei movie company.  He doesn't know where the real trophy is now.  I saw (but didn't ask about) two oscars in the showcase.  I would assume one was for RASHOMON and the other for SAMURAI, THE LEGEND OF MUSASHI.  Whether either of them or both of them are the actual Oscar given at the awards ceremony, I don't know.  And I don't really know what was on the mantlepiece.  I think I need a course in Journalism.  From the list of his father's movies that Shiro gave me, (I will later put in my site), both movies received (I only have it in Japanese, Honor Prize- someone help me on this).  Shiro said that probably Hiroshi Inagaki, the director of SAMURAI, THE LEGEND OF MUSASHI has the actual Oscar-- or maybe TOHO movie company.

    Q:  TO SHIRO:  Do you still own the penthouse & the home not far from the condo building that this author mentioned? [Georgie San]

    Q:  TO SHIRO:  While you were growing up, what principles your Father conveyed impacted you the most and continue to influence the way you live your life? [Georgie San]
     
    A:  This seemed a difficult question for Shiro to answer and difficult for me to remember if there was an exact answer as our conversation drifted off into other places.  As is common in Japan, questions can be answered without ever knowing the answer.  I know that Shiro didn't want to be known as "the son of Toshiro Mifune," he wanted to advance on his own merits.  Even now, in modern Japan it is the oldest son's responsibility to take charge of the family fortunes and/or misfortunes when the parents get old.  Since his father became ill, Shiro has had his share of both-- unfortunately mostly misfortunes.

    Q:  In public your Father exemplified the reserved, sophisticated businessman.  What was he like at home out of the public eye? [Georgie San]

    Q:  TO SHIRO:  Calligraphy apart, did your father ever work in any mediums as an artist? [Georgie San]

    Q:  Did your father play any musical instruments? [Georgie San]
     
    A:  Shiro said that before he was born his father used to sometimes play a guitar at parties.  Shiro himself never saw his father play a musical instrument.

    Q:  TO SHIRO:  Your father appeared to be short sighted in his left eye.  Is this observation correct? [Georgie San]
     
    A:  Shiro said he didn't know.  His father became nearsighted with age as many people do.

    Q:  TO SHIRO:  In HELL IN THE PACIFIC, your father was very slim, but retained flawless muscular definition.  What system did he use to reduce his physique for this role? [Georgie San]
     
    A:  Shiro said that he probably dieted.

    Q:  TO SHIRO:  Terrance Young has stated he remembers your father's cooking.  What were his favourite specialties? [Georgie San]
     
    A:  Shiro only remembers his father doing a barbecue, but his father loved Chinese food and they ate a lot of it.

    Q:   TO SHIRO:  In RED SUN, your father gave the stallion he rode directions with sounds and mounted/dismounted from the right.  The saddle & bridle were obviously custom tooled.  Were this horse & equipment his own? [Georgie San]
     
    A:  Shiro said that RED SUN was filmed in Spain (I think that is what he said) and neither the horse or the other equipment belonged to his father.

    Q:   I'd really like a chance to meet to meet Mr. Nakadai, if possible, so if by chance Mr. Mifune knows anything about Mr. Nakadai's academy and doesn't feel Mr. Nakadai would mind a fan letter and possibly a handshake someday, I'd appreciate hearing.  The same goes for Mr. Mifune himself...I assume he'd rather avoid lots of fan contact, but if it were ever convenient for him I'd sure enjoy saying how much I enjoyed his recent film to him directly. [John]
     
    A:  This turned out to be a very interesting question.  Shiro told me that when his father and Nakadai were in movies together, his father always played the kind of hero and Nakadai always played kind of the bad guy-- and it seemed to be a comfortable relationship.  Then in one movie the roles were reversed and in the middle of the shooting Toshiro Mifune and Nakadai had some kind of arguement and the movie was never completed.  I asked Shiro if that was the last movie the two ever acted in together and it seemed he wasen't sure-- but I am pretty sure it was at least their last (planned) major movie together.  Maybe someone out there knows if it was or not.  Shiro seemed to feel his father's thing about Nakadai.  He told me the name of Nakadai's school (Mumei Juku), but didn't go out of his way to give me an address or telephone number or anything-- on most other things Shiro really did go out of his way for these type of questions.

    You might also want to check a similar question I have from Derik where I will also put the telephone number and address for Nakadai's school as soon as I find out.

    If the time is appropriate, there is also a chance for me to introduce you (or other fans) to Shiro Mifune if you happen to be in the Tokyo area.  I am sure he wouldn't mind if he is free.

    55975
    redbaer@gmail.com
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