Kimura Isao, a.k.a. Kimura Ko, was a Japanese actor from Hiroshima who appeared in several of Kurosawa’s films. His first role was as Yusa the criminal in Stray Dog (1949). His most notable role is probably that of Katsushiro, the youngest of the samurai in Seven Samurai (1954). The 5’6" actor played a wide variety of characters throughout his life, including roles in such films as Ikiru (1952), Throne of Blood (1957), High and Low (1963), Bushido: The Cruel Code of the Samurai (1963), and Lone Wolf and Cub: White Heaven in Hell (1974).
Following his long film career, Isao founded and directed an acting company, which eventually went bankrupt. He worked for years to pay off its debts, and soon after doing so, became ill with esophageal cancer, dying at the age of 58. —AnimEigo