Born in Tokyo to the son of a famous kabuki actor, Kinnosuke became one of the biggest stars in post-war Japanese cinema. Beginning with his first film in the early 1950s, Kinnosuke worked almost exclusively for Toei Studios during the decade, completing over 80 films, an average of over 13 a year.
By the start of the 1960s, Kinnosuke was a certified movie star and one of the top contract actors at Toei. Some of his highlights of the decade include a monumental five-film series based on the life of Mushashi Miyamoto, directed by Uchida Tomu; Gosha Hideo’s cult classics, Secret of the Urn and Gyokin; Inagaki Hiroshi’s final film, the star-studded Incident at Blood Pass; and the Golden Bear winning Bushido zankoku monogatari (Bushido: The Cruel Code of the Samurai).
When Bushido premiered in 1963, he was only 30 years old and it was already his 109th film. After the film won the Golden Bear at Berlin, Kinnosuke only worked with Tadashi once more, on 1964’s Adauchi (Revenge… read more