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.
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.
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.
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.
Kihachi the Buddha
“The Sword of Doom,” “The Age of Assassins,” “Battle of Okinawa”
Okamoto Kihachi was one of the representative Toho directors of the Golden Age of Japanese Film. But while his films cover a wide range of genres, they are a rarity in that whereas the rest of Japan’s cinema had always placed importance on emotion, the majority of his works instead draw influence from American westerns, following a lighthearted tempo.
Many of his films starred Nakadai in a leading role, and the two shared a special friendship.