MUBI brings you a great new film every day.  Start your 7-day free trial today!

Kei Kumai




Kei Kumai (June 1, 1930 – May 23, 2007) was a Japanese film director from Azumino, Nagano prefecture. After his studies in literature at Shinshu University, he worked as director’s assistant.

Often overshadowed by the achievements of his better-known contemporaries within the Japanese film industry, such as Akira Kurosawa and Yasujiro Ozu, filmmaker Kei Kumai nonetheless reigned supreme in terms of raw cinematic craftsmanship. Over the course of nearly six decades, Kumai acquired and honed a reputation for creating unapologetically adult-oriented dramas that consistently explored social themes relevant to Japan. In the process, Kumai swept up a veritable pantheon of awards from the world’s top festivals, including Berlin, Montreal, Venice, and San Sebastian.

The Nagano-born Kumai joined the Nikkatsu Film Studios in the early ’50s and, over the course of six years, worked his way up through the ranks to the level of screenwriter and director. He debuted as a helmer with… read more


Displaying 3 wall posts.
Picture of Rüdiger Tomczak

Rüdiger Tomczak


Miss my favorite film by Kumai-san FUKAI KAWA (DEEP RIVER).

Picture of John Calvin Story

John Calvin Story


I haven't seen so many impactful films one right after the other since Victor Erice. Kumai deserves much more respect.

Rüdiger Tomczak likes this

Picture of Lucky Vita

Lucky Vita


Please add "Luminous Moss" AKA "光苔" (Shiny Moss on IMdB) to Kumai's filmography. It is a masterwork of suspense about cannibalism, and it's based on a real incident!

John Calvin Story likes this