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Masaki Kobayashi

Masaki Kobayashi Born February 14, 1916(1916-02-14)
Otaru, Hokkaidō, JapanDied October 4, 1996(aged 80)
Tokyo, JapanOccupation Film director

Masaki Kobayashi (小林 正樹, Kobayashi Masaki?, February 14, 1916October 4, 1996) was a Japanese director.

Among his films is Kwaidan (1965), a collection of four ghost stories drawn from the book by Lafcadio Hearn, each of which has a surprise ending.

Kobayashi also directed The Human Condition, a trilogy on the effects of World War II on a Japanese pacifist and socialist. The total length of the films is over 9 hours. Other notable films include Harakiri (1962) and Samurai Rebellion (1967). Harakiri won him an award at the 1963 Cannes Film Festival, solidifying his place in the history of cinema.

He was also a candidate for directing the Japanese sequences for Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970) but instead Kinji Fukasaku and Toshio Masuda were chosen.

Kobayashi, himself a pacifist, was drafted into the Imperial Japanese Army during World War II, but refused to fight or be promoted to rank higher than private.

Partial filmography

Film availability

  • Seppuku, a.k.a. Harakiri (1962)
    • DVD: Region 0 NTSC: The Criterion Collection (USA)
  • Kaidan (Ghost Stories), a.k.a. Kwaidan (1964)
    • DVD: Region 2 NTSC: The Masters of Cinema Series (UK) (Complete Version)
    • DVD: Region 0 NTSC: The Criterion Collection (USA) (Incomplete Version)
  • Jôi-uchi: Hairyô-tsuma shimatsu (An Order to Kill: Over a Wife Bestowed, as It Were), a.k.a. Samurai Rebellion (1964)
    • DVD: Region 0 NTSC: The Criterion Collection (USA)

External links

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Categories: 1916 births | 1996 deaths | People from Hokkaidō Prefecture | Japanese film directors | Japanese pacifists | Japanese film director stubs

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