Born on March 12, 1905, in Ikuno, Japan, Takashi Shimura was one of Japan’s greatest actors of the 20th century, and a descendent of the samurai warrior class. Following University training, Shimura founded a theatre company, Shichigatsu-za, and in 1930, he joined a professional company, Kindai-za. Four years later he signed with the Kinema Shinko film studio and found a niche playing various samurai roles before signing a long-term contract with Toho Studios in 1943. For the next four decades, he appeared in an average of six Toho films a year, and by the time of his death, had starred in over 200 feature films.
Second only to Toshiro Mifune, the versatile Takashi Shimura was the actor most closely associated with Akira KUROSAWA in the public mind, appearing in numerous lead roles including Kambei, the lead samurai of Seven Samurai, the woodcutter in Rashomon, the sick bureaucrat Watanabe in Ikiru, the detective in Stray Dog, and the doctor of Drunken Angel. Also, Shimura appeared… read more