Nakadai Tatsuya on the Golden Age of Japanese Film: Chapter Eight

Kurosawa Akira and Katsu Shintaro
“Kagemusha” & “Ran”

Released in 1980, director Kurosawa Akira’s film Kagemusha won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival. Previously considered to have been suffering from a slump, the film marked a definite return for the “Master.” By the same token, however, the movie also became known for the surrounding scandal of Katsu Shintaro stepping down from the leading role he was originally supposed to be playing. Nakadai — having close relationships with both Kurosawa and Katsu — found himself in a difficult position having to suddenly “stand in” for Katsu.

In this chapter, Nakadai talks about his friendship with Katsu, and his relationship with Kurosawa since Kagemusha.

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Nakadai Tatsuya on the Golden Age of Japanese Film: Chapter Seven

Gosha Hideo and the Passion of Great Actors
“Goyokin,” “Hitokiri,” “Hunter in the Dark,” “Onimasa”

While today there are numerous film directors who got their start in TV, when television had first just emerged (TV broadcasts began in 1953), people thought little of it in the 50’s and 60’s — the Golden Age of Japanese Film. Film directors like that used to be rare, but the man who first paved the way through those uncharted roads was Fuji TV’s Gosha Hideo. He would later go on to use Nakadai in many of his films in leading roles. For Nakadai and Gosha both, they each hold an essential position in their respective filmographies.

In this chapter, we asked Nakadai about his memories with Gosha Hideo.

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Nakadai Tatsuya on the Golden Age of Japanese Film: Chapter Six

Expanding Overseas, Avant-Garde, The Left, Haiyuza Training School

The 1960’s saw an uptick in student movements as counterculture became prevalent worldwide. Even in the Japanese film industry, anti-establishment-minded directors were producing one movie after the other, and for major companies at that. Nakadai himself appeared in many such works.

In this chapter, we asked Nakadai about the connections between those people and Haiyuza, of which Nakadai was himself a member.

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Minamino Yoko – Harugeshiki

春景色
Scenes of Spring

Waiting for you on the platform, I can see the distant ocean
I’m enticed by a tranquil spring breeze on the Kobe Line
In your navy blue collared jacket, you look a little shy
It’s making me nervous — you’re usually so brazen

Sounds of the train; hurried confusion
Guess we got a bit carried away,” you say
Me not answering, you worriedly glance at me

After the graduation ceremony, once spring break ends
From April, I’ll be a year above you
It’s not that I’m angry, me falling silent like this
I was only thinking about the passing of the seasons

Going up the hill and looking down, see the reflections of those ships?
This town, always enveloping me in its kind embrace
Even as we eat our gelatos you still seem down
You’re thinking, “she just doesn’t like me”
Being the fool that you are

“Island Cafe”
That starry highway
The party we had together
It’s not like the memories are just going to disappear

Saying goodbye to my school uniform, I’ll get off at a different train station
From April, I’ll be a year above you
One of these days it might not be like this anymore
But for now I just want to be spoiled by this gentle sunlight

It’s not that I’m angry, me falling silent like this
I was only thinking about the passing of the seasons

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Nakadai Tatsuya on the Golden Age of Japanese Film: Chapter Five

Naruse Mikio, Kinoshita Keisuke,
and the Actresses

No matter whether it’s contemporary or historical drama, people often tend to associate Nakadai Tatsuya with roles that are somehow eccentric or extreme in personality. One director who always utilized Nakadai in portraying very ordinary people, however, was Naruse Mikio. Best known for his art films such as Floating Clouds and Repast, he is one of Toho’s representative directors.

Focusing especially on his works with Naruse, in this chapter we asked Nakadai to tell us his stories of some of the actresses he has co-starred with.

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