Toshirō Mifune

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Toshirō Mifune (三船 敏郎 Mifune Toshirō [miɸɯne toɕiɽoː]; April 1, 1920 – December 24, 1997) was a Japanese actor who appeared in almost 170 feature films. He is best known for his 16-film collaboration with filmmaker Akira Kurosawa, from 1948 to 1965, in works such as Rashomon, Seven Samurai, Throne of Blood, and Yojimbo. He is also popular for portraying Musashi Miyamoto in Hiroshi Inagaki's Samurai Trilogy.


Early life

Toshirō Mifune was born in Qingdao, Shandong, China, to Japanese Methodist[citation needed] parents, and grew up in the Chinese city of Dalian with his parents and two siblings. In his youth, Mifune worked in the photography shop of his father Tokuzo, a commercial photographer and importer who had emigrated from northern Japan. After spending the first 19 years of his life in China, as a Japanese citizen he was drafted into the Imperial Japanese Army Aviation, where he served in the Aerial Photography (Ko-type) unit during World War II. He repatriated to Japan in 1946.

Beginning to work

In 1947, one of Mifune's friends who worked for the Photography Department of Toho Productions suggested Mifune try out for the Photography Department. He was accepted for a position as an assistant cameraman. However, the union was affiliated with the Communist party, which made Mifune, a religiously conservative man, very uncomfortable.[1]

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