MIFUNE, the real last samurai actor influenced the Holleywood and beyond.
Just see the following 2 minutes trailer of a new Japanese movie " ;
Toshiro Mifune (1920-1997)
"The Last Samurai, a new film by Academy Award-winning filmmaker Steven Okazaki, explores the accidental movie career of Toshiro Mifune, one of the true giants of world cinema.
Mifune made 16 remarkable films with director Akira Kurosawa during the Golden Age of Japanese Cinema, including
Seven Samurai （七人の侍）and
Together they thrilled audiences and influenced filmmaking around the world, providing direct inspiration for not only The Magnificent Seven and Sergio Leone and Clint Eastwood’s breakthrough, A Fistful of Dollars, but also George Lucas’ Star Wars."
(Source: Strand Releasing)
🌟You can find some of his actions from Youtube videos:
Mifune became famous as a Japanese samurai actor, however, I think his soul is very international and that is why his acting has been internationally praised as authentic and had strong impact on the audience, international filmmakers. He did have many non-typical Japanese features.
According to Wikipedia about Mifune,
"Toshiro Mifune was born on 1 April 1920 in Qingdao, Shandong, China, to Japanese parents who had emigrated from northern Japan as Methodist missionaries working there. Mifune grew up with his parents and two younger siblings in Dalian, Liaoning, China, and, from 4 to 19 years of age, in Manchuria(満州).
In his youth, Mifune worked in the photography shop of his father Tokuzo, a commercial photographer and importer.
After spending the first 19 years of his life in China, as a Japanese citizen, he was drafted into the Imperial Japanese Army Aviation division, where he served in the Aerial Photography unit during World War II. "
During the time of war, he had a role to train young soulders and had seen them leave the military base and never came back alive.
Mifune first encountered director Akira Kurosawa when Toho Studios, the largest film production company in Japan that was conducting a massive talent search. They met during which hundreds of aspiring actors auditioned before a team of judges including Kurosawa. Kurosawa later said, "I am a person rarely impressed by actors, but in the case of Mifune I was completely overwhelmed."
He fell in love with an beautiful actress Sachiko Yoshimine originally from a prominent Tokyo family. Mifune was a Christian and Sachiko was a Buddhist. Thanks to the help by Kurosawa and other filmmakers, Sachiko's family was persuaded on their marriage and they got married at a Christian church in Tokyo.
”Mifune has been credited as originating the "roving warrior" archetype, which he perfected during his collaboration with Kurosawa, inverting the popular stereotype of the genteel, clean-cut samurai. His martial arts instructor was Yoshio Sugino of the Tenshin Shōden Katori Shintō-ryū ( 天真正伝香取神道流) . Sugino created the fight choreography for films such as Seven Samurai and Yojimbo, and Kurosawa instructed his actors to emulate his movements and bearing. Clint Eastwood was among the first of many actors to adopt this wandering ronin with no name persona for foreign films, which he used to great effect in his Western roles"
To my great surprise, he acted as the main role in one Mexican movie, too.
He managed to master all the lines in Spanish by great effort.. though they were all dubbed later.
(Mifune in Mexican film Animas Trujano)
Mifune won Volpi Cup for Best Actor twice, in 1961 and 1965.
Mifune was awarded the Medal of Honor with Purple Ribbon in 1986 and the Order of the Sacred Treasure by the Japanese government in 1993.
In 1973 he was a member of the jury at the 8th Moscow International Film Festival.
In 1977 he was again a member of the jury at the 10th Moscow International Film Festival.
On November 14, 2016,
Mifune received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his work in the motion pictures industry, located at 6912 Hollywood Boulevard.
In the middle is Shiro Mifune, a son of Toshiro Mifune.
On his left is a grandson, Rikiya Mifune, who is a film producer.
As one of funny episodes, according to Mifune's daughter, Mifune turned down an offer from George Lucas to play either Darth Vader or Obi-Wan Kenobi in his Star Wars films.