to Shiro Mifune
here for more about Robert's 2nd trip to Mifune Productions
for Ame Agaru (After the Rain), where Shiro Mifune has a leading role.
I met with
April 28, 2000.
I had many questions from fans and asked Shiro most of them.
is anyone that sent me a question that wasn't asked, it may have been
omitted or purposely omitted. If concerned, please feel free
an inquiry to me. This page is divided by the people that
questions in alphabetical order of the first names. The
of some of the questions may have been changed for
names will not be used. If requested, I will put in full
whatever the person would like. For those new to this site,
is more information about Mifune/Kurosawa in "FAQ
about anything to Robert",
/ Requests to Robert"
and on the
menu at the top of the page.
from Anonymous #1
from David D.
from David S.
from Georgie San
I found a quote from Shiro on the
Tokyo International Film Festival news page where he was asked to act
a movie after 28 years. He said he acted with his feelings
father and mother. I wonder what he meant by that and whether
might be willing to elaborate. [Anonymous #1]
Shiro this question and somehow our conversation drifted into something
else-- but I do believe the quote is correct.
I'm not being to
What was Toshiro Mifune's wife's name? And also what was his
(younger) son's name? [Anonymous #1]
For some reason I didn't feel
asking Shiro his mother's name-- I can find out from other
Shiro's younger brother's name is Takeshi.
Are there any plans to
father's other classic films like Samurai Assassin, Rebellion, Rickshaw
Man, Band of Assassins, Red Lion, Chushingura? (in "art" theatres in
States)? [Anonymous #2]
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
From your letter, it seems you are already in touch with them.
Has he considered working
Takeshi"Beat" Kitano on producing a biographical film of Mifune
(Kitano is a big fan) [Anonymous #2]
Shiro said Beat Takeshi and his
had never met. As far as I could make out, Shiro hasn't
father's long time
Mr. Sagisu finished his book on Mifune? Who is publishing
Does he have an English-language publisher? [Anonymous #2]
Shiro doesn't know when or even if the
book by Mr. Sagisu will be finished. Shiro said that a Stuart
IV had contacted him about a book he was writing. And I
that I had gotten an e-mail from this gentleman a while back.
letter to me should give you some insight into what is happening.
the author of three books on
cinema, including The Japanese Filmography (McFarland, 1995). I am
working on a joint biography of Akira Kurosawa and Toshiro Mifune,
is being published by Faber & Faber. This book is scheduled to
This is the
first complete biography
Mr. Kurosawa or Mr. Mifune ever published in English. Mostly, it will
the production of the films they made together and separately, how they
were produced and subsequently received in Japan and abroad, and will
the films, their cast and crews beyond the mainly literary approach
by Mr. Richie in his excellent The Films of Akira Kurosawa. I am
excited that this book will cover in detail? Mr. Kurosawafs
as an assistant director, the screenplays he wrote for other directors,
his unrealized films (such as Runaway Train and Tora! Tora! Tora!) as
as his non-movie related projects.
As for Mr.
Mifune, the book will
coverage of his films for other directors, addressing in detail many
which have never been shown in the United States, how he came to form
operate his own production company, his television appearances, and the
films he abroad, beginning with an in-depth analysis of the
Animas Trujano: El Hombre Importante (1961).
I am writing
because, obviously, I
much like to interview you about your association with Mr. Mifune and
acting school. This interview can be done by telephone or mail at your
for your consideration, and
forward to hearing from you.
you show Shiro the
with Soren-Johnson the director of the film Mifune that talks about it
as a tribute to Mifune? (The film was nominated for an
but didn't win. We saw it, and it had a delightful scene
of the brothers imitates Mifune as Kikuchiyo - Seven Samurai.
good likeness! The voice that is!) [Anonymous #2]
don't know this movie or the
but Shiro had seen the movie. He told me it was a Danish
showed me some pamphlets about it. Everything was in a
couldn't read (Danish?), but there were pictures from the movie and
gave me some idea of what it was about. When I asked him what
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.
By the way, you were asked
the causes of Mifune's death. We'd read articles that
problems and liver disease. We also read a reference to
I wouldn't have felt
talking with him about this. I would go with what you have
unless it is pure hearsay. It sounds about pretty much what I
heard from other sources.
Could you ask Mr. Mifune if
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
Sanjuro Sugata. It is the 64-65 version and not the 1941
which we already have. We
have tried many
of trying to find this movie but have not been able to locate it. [David
D. ( http://www.shuyokan.com )]
to Shiro, there is no
of this movie.
Red-Baer I would also
to receive via e-mail a close up picture of Toshiro Mifune as a Lion
with a red wig. I also will like to see pictures of you with Mr. Shiro
Mifune. [David S.]
asked Shiro this and he
out a video called Red Lion. The picture you want was on the
case and I took a picture of the video case-- not the best picture
is, but it is the picture you want. You can find this and the
of Shiro and myself by clicking
for more about Robert's 2nd trip to Mifune Productions.
don't know how to download the pictures to your computer, e-mail me and
I will tell you how to do it.
I've been told that actor
Nakadai also teaches acting in Japan. I would like to send
letter, and was wondering if you happen to know the address for the
he teaches at? [Derik]
put this question and answer
the Questions to Robert
Red-Baer page. The
last question on this page from John is very similar-- you
to look at it.
the Japanese rights to ANIMAS TRUJANO? [Georgie San]
San stayed with in Tokyo when he was repatriated, was it possibly
San? [Georgie San]
was Nenji Oyama, a TOHO
San still own and operate the restaurant your Father built in Munich in
the early 1970's? [Georgie San]
brother, Takeshi has had
nothing to do with the restaurant. Takeshi owns a Marina (I
he said it was in Japan). Shiro's half sister Mika's elder
owned the restaurant up until about two years ago (1998?) when he sold
In a 14,
July, 1986 UPI
article, the interviewer, who is not identified, states there was an
for RASHOMON on the mantelpiece in your Father's penthouse.
actually for RASHOMON or was it for SAMURAI, THE LEGEND OF MUSASHI
won in the same category in 1955? If it is permitted, how did
come to receive it? [Georgie San]
was difficult for me as I
have much background information. When I asked, or actually
Shiro your question. He brought the trophy for the Grand
the Venice Film Festival (Rashomon) out of the trophy case and I held
But he said it wasn't the real trophy-- the real trophy was given to
now defunct Daiei movie company. He doesn't know where the
is now. I saw (but didn't ask about) two oscars in the
I would assume one was for RASHOMON and the other for SAMURAI, THE
OF MUSASHI. Whether either of them or both of them are the
Oscar given at the awards ceremony, I don't know. And I don't
know what was on the mantlepiece. I think I need a course in
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,
Prize- someone help me on this). Shiro said that probably
Inagaki, the director of SAMURAI, THE LEGEND OF MUSASHI has the actual
Oscar-- or maybe TOHO movie company.
TO SHIRO: Do you
the penthouse & the home not far from the condo building that
author mentioned? [Georgie San]
said they never had a
I am curious as to the place the author had visited.
TO SHIRO: While you
growing up, what principles your Father conveyed impacted you the most
and continue to influence the way you live your life? [Georgie San]
seemed a difficult question
for Shiro to answer and difficult for me to remember if there was an
answer as our conversation drifted off into other places. As
in Japan, questions can be answered without ever knowing the
I know that Shiro didn't want to be known as "the son of Toshiro
he wanted to advance on his own merits. Even now, in modern
it is the oldest son's responsibility to take charge of the family
and/or misfortunes when the parents get old. Since his father
ill, Shiro has had his share of both-- unfortunately mostly misfortunes.
In public your Father
the reserved, sophisticated businessman. What was he like at
out of the public eye? [Georgie San]
said his father was a
parent. I didn't want to push this question very much,
am not sure of what was happening in his family while his father had a
your father ever work in any mediums as an artist? [Georgie San]
he (Toshiro Mifune) was
he did some oil paintings. He was very talented and the
were very good. Unfortunately, they have all gone to places
musical instruments? [Georgie San]
said that before he was
his father used to sometimes play a guitar at parties. Shiro
never saw his father play a musical instrument.
TO SHIRO: Your
appeared to be short sighted in his left eye. Is this
correct? [Georgie San]
said he didn't know.
His father became nearsighted with age as many people do.
TO SHIRO: In HELL IN THE
your father was very slim, but retained flawless muscular
What system did he use to reduce his physique for this role? [Georgie
said that he probably
SHIRO: Terrance Young
he remembers your father's cooking. What were his favourite
only remembers his father
a barbecue, but his father loved Chinese food and they ate a lot of it.
TO SHIRO: In RED
your father gave the stallion he rode directions with sounds and
from the right. The saddle & bridle were obviously
Were this horse & equipment his own? [Georgie San]
said that RED SUN was
in Spain (I think that is what he said) and neither the horse or the
equipment belonged to his father.
I'd really like a
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
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
how much I enjoyed his recent film to him directly. [John]
turned out to be a very
question. Shiro told me that when his father and Nakadai were
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
Then in one movie the roles were reversed and in the middle of the
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
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
someone out there knows if it was or not. Shiro seemed to
father's thing about Nakadai. He told me the name of
(Mumei Juku), but didn't go out of his way to give me an address or
number or anything-- on most other things Shiro really did go out of
way for these type of questions.
You might also
want to check a similar
I have from Derik
where I will also put
telephone number and address for Nakadai's school as soon as I find out.
time is appropriate, there is
chance for me to introduce you (or other fans) to Shiro Mifune if you
to be in the Tokyo area. I am sure he wouldn't mind if he is