DOB: April 1, 1920
Where: Qingdao, China
DOD: Dec. 24, 1997
Where: Mitaka, Tokyo, Japan
Years Active: 1947-1995
-Japanese actor who starred in almost 170 movies
-Best known for his collaboration with director Akira Kurosawa from 1948-1965
-Best known films: Seven Samurai, Rashomon
-Born in Qingdao, China to Japanese Methodist parents
-Grew up in the city of Dalian with parents and 2 siblings.
-When he was younger, he worked in a photography shop of his father Tokuzo
-While being a Japanese citizen, he was drafted into the Imperial Japanese Army Aviation, where he served in the Aerial Photography unit during WWII.
-In films like Seven Samurai, Yojimbo, he played characters who were lacking manners, but have complete wisdom, and experience, nobility, and unmatched fighting skills
-His best known English language film was playing Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto in Midway
-He may also be given the credit of creating the Yakuza archetype, with his role as a mobster in Kurosawa's Drunken Angel(1948), the first ever movie about the Japanese Yakuza(Japanese Mafia)
-Most of the films he appeared in were Samurai themed and war films
-In the early 1980s, he founded an acting school. It failed only after 3 years, due to finances
-In 1992, he began suffering from an unknown health condition. It was suggested that he destroyed his health by overworking, suffering a heart attack, or went through a stroke. He was taken care of by his wife Sachiko. But when she died of pancreatic cancer in 1995, his physical health and mental health had begun a downward spiral.
-In 1997, he died in Mitaka, Tokyo, Japan. His cause of death was multiple organ failiure at age 77
-In 1986, he was awarded the Medal of Honor with Purple Ribbon and in 1993 was awarded thr Order of the Sacred Treasure by the Japanese Government.