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Isuzu Yamada




Isuzu Yamada (山田五十鈴 Yamada Isuzu?) (born 5 February 1917) is a Japanese actress on stage and screen whose career has spanned eight decades.

Yamada was born in Osaka with the name Mitsu Yamada. Her father, Kusuo Yamada, was a shinpa stage actor specializing in onnagata roles and her mother, Ritsu, was a geisha. Her family was poor, but under her mother’s influence, she began learning nagauta and Japanese traditional dance from the age of six. She debuted as a film actress in 1930 at age twelve, appearing in a Nikkatsu film, Ken o koete, opposite Denjirō Ōkōchi. She soon became one of Nikkatsu’s top actresses, but it was her strong portrayals of two rebellious modern girls in Kenji Mizoguchi’s Osaka Elegy and Sisters of the Gion in 1936 at the new Daiichi Eiga studio that earned her popularity and critical acclaim. Moving to Shinkō Kinema and then to Toho, she starred in a series of films with Kazuo Hasegawa, such as Mikio Naruse’s Tsuruhachi Tsurujirō (1938) and Masahiro Makino… read more


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Howard Fritzson


I have never seen a Lady Macbeth to match her.

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Trolley Freak


Just a few weeks after the death of Kaneto Shindo, another great of Japanese cinema has passed away at the grand old age of 95. In a career spanning several decades, Isuzu Yamada appeared in films directed by Mizoguchi (Oyuki The Virgin, The Downfall Of Osen, Osaka Elegy, Sisters Of The Gion, The Famous Sword), Ozu (Tokyo Twilight) and Kurosawa (Throne Of Blood, The Lower Depths, Yojimbo) amongst others. The highlights for me are her brilliant performance as the 'Lady Macbeth' character in Throne Of Blood where she creepily prompts Toshiro Mifune to murder his way to the throne and a smaller role in Kobayashi's Black River where her character is extremely 'dentally challenged' (I wish I could find a picture to illustrate this!)...

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Robert Regan


ISUZU YAMADA (1917-2012) Appeared in at least 122 films between 1930 and 1987, including works by Ozu, Mizoguchi, Naruse, Kinugasa, and Kurosawa.


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Isuzu Yamada has died

6 posts by 6 people over 1 year ago