Masaki Kobayashi

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Masaki Kobayashi (小林 正樹 Kobayashi Masaaki?, February 14, 1916–October 4, 1996) was a Japanese director.

Among his films is Kwaidan (1965), a collection of four ghost stories drawn from the book by Lafcadio Hearn, each of which has a surprise ending.

Kobayashi also directed The Human Condition, a trilogy on the effects of World War II on a Japanese pacifist and socialist. The total length of the films is over 9 hours. Other notable films include Harakiri (1962) and Samurai Rebellion (1967). Harakiri won him an award at the 1963 Cannes Film Festival, solidifying his place in the history of cinema.

In 1969, he was a member of the jury at the 19th Berlin International Film Festival.[1]

He was also a candidate for directing the Japanese sequences for Tora! Tora! Tora!, once Akira Kurosawa left the film. But instead Kinji Fukasaku and Toshio Masuda were chosen.

Kobayashi, himself a pacifist, was drafted into the Imperial Japanese Army during World War II, but refused to fight and refused promotion to a rank higher than private.[2]



  • 1952: My Sons' Youth (Musuko no seishun)
  • 1953: The Thick-Walled Room (Kabe atsuki heya)
  • 1953: Sincerity (Magokoro)
  • 1954: Three Loves (Mittsu no ai)
  • 1954: Somewhere Under the Broad Sky (Kono hiroi sora no dokoka ni)
  • 1955: Beautiful Days (Uruwashiki saigetsu)
  • 1956: The Spring (Izumi)
  • 1956 I'll Buy You (Anata kaimasu)
  • 1957: Black River (Kuroi kawa)
  • 1959–1961: The Human Condition trilogy
  • 1962: The Inheritance (Karami-ai)
  • 1962: Seppuku (Harakiri)
  • 1964: Kaidan (a.k.a Ghost Stories or Kwaidan)
  • 1967: Samurai Rebellion (Jōi-uchi: Hairyō-tsuma shimatsu)
  • 1968: Hymn to a Tired Man (Nihon no seishun)
  • 1971: Inn Of Evil (Inochi bô ni furô)
  • 1975: The Fossil (Kaseki)
  • 1979: Glowing Autumn (Moeru aki)
  • 1983: Tokyo Trial (Tokyo saiban)
  • 1985: Family Without a Dinner Table (Shokutaku no nai ie)

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