Kurosawa (July 19, 1955, Kobe, Hyōgo,
Kiyoshi Kurosawa (born July 19, 1955) is a Japanese film director,
screenwriter, film critic and a professor at Tokyo University of the Arts.
Although he has worked in a variety of genres, Kurosawa is best known for his
many contributions to the Japanese horror genre.
Born in Kobe on July 19, 1955, Kiyoshi Kurosawa is not related to director
After studying at Rikkyo University in Tokyo under the guidance of prominent
film critic Shigehiko Hasumi, where he began making 8mm films, Kurosawa began
directing commercially in the 1980s, working on pink films and low-budget
V-Cinema (direct-to-video) productions such as formula yakuza films.
In the early 1990s, Kurosawa won a scholarship to the Sundance Institute and
was able to study filmmaking in the United States, although he had been
directing for nearly ten years professionally.
Kurosawa first achieved international acclaim with his 1997 crime thriller
Also that year, he experimented by filming two thrillers back-to-back,
Serpent's Path and Eyes of the Spider, both of which shared the same premise (a
father taking revenge for his child's murder) and lead actor (Show Aikawa) but
spun entirely different stories.
Kurosawa followed up Cure with a semi-sequel in 1999 with Charisma, a
detective film starring Kōji Yakusho.
In 2000, Seance, Kurosawa's adaptation of the novel Seance on a Wet Afternoon
by Mark McShane, premiered on Kansai TV. It also starred Yakusho, as well as Jun
Fubuki (the two had appeared together in Charisma as well). In 2001, he directed
the horror film Pulse.
Kurosawa released Bright Future, starring Tadanobu Asano, Joe Odagiri and
Tatsuya Fuji, in 2003. He followed this with another digital feature,
Doppelganger, later the same year.
In 2005, Kurosawa returned with Loft, his first love story since Seance.
Another horror film, Retribution, followed in the next year. With his 2008 film,
Tokyo Sonata, Kurosawa was considered to step "out of his usual horror genre and
into family drama."
He has written a novelization of his own film Pulse, as well as a history of
horror cinema with Makoto Shinozaki.
In September 2012, it was announced that he will direct 1905, a film starring
Tony Leung Chiu-Wai, Shota Matsuda and Atsuko Maeda.
In February 2013, it was announced that production of the film had been
cancelled before filming could start.
Kurosawa directed a 2012 five-part television drama Penance.
Beautiful 2013, an anthology film featuring Kurosawa's Beautiful New Bay Area
Project, screened at the Hong Kong International Film Festival in 2013.
Kurosawa's next feature film Real, which stars Takeru Sato and Haruka Ayase,
was released in 2013.
He won the Best Director award at the 8th Rome Film Festival for Seventh Code
later that year.
His 2015 film Journey to the Shore was screened in the Un Certain Regard
section at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival where he won the prize for Best
In 2016, his thriller Creepy premiered at the 66th Berlin International Film
Festival. The film marked Kurosawa's first cinematic return to the horror genre
His 2017 film Before We Vanish was screened in the Un Certain Regard category
at the Cannes Film Festival.
Kurosawa's directing style has been compared to that of Stanley Kubrick and
Andrei Tarkovsky, though he has never expressly listed those directors as
Nevertheless, he admitted in an interview that Alfred Hitchcock and Yasujirō
Ozu features analyzed and discussed under the guidance of Shigehiko Hasumi
contributed to shape his personal vision of the medium.
He also expressed admiration for American film directors such as Don Siegel,
Sam Peckinpah, Robert Aldrich, Richard Fleischer, and Tobe Hooper.
In a 2009 interview with IFC, Kurosawa talked about the reason why he has
cast the actor Kōji Yakusho in many of his films: "He has similar values and
sensitivities. We’re from the same generation. That’s a big reason why I enjoy
working with him on the set."
According to Tim Palmer, Kurosawa's films occupy a peculiar position between
the materials of mass genre, on the one hand, and esoteric or intellectual
abstraction, on the other. They also clearly engage with issues of environmental
critique, given Kurosawa's preference for shooting in decaying open spaces,
abandoned (and often condemned) buildings, and in places rife with toxins,
pestilence and entropy.
Kandagawa Pervert Wars (1983)
Excitement of the Do-Re-Mi-Fa Girl (1985)
The Guard from Underground
License to Live
Barren Illusions (1999)
to the Shore (2015)
no Owari, Sekai no Hajimari (2019)
Vertigo College (1980)
House of Bugs (2005)
Beautiful New Bay Area Project (2013)