The great Japanese screenwriter Shinobu Hashimoto is 96 years old today. He is especially associate with Akira Kurosawa, having co-written a number of his greatest films. He started his career writing the multi-perspective classic Rashomon, based upon Ryunosuke Akutagawa’s short story. This led directly to his second film, Ikiru, and then Seven Samurai. Both of those films were co-written with Kurosawa and the great older screenwriter Hideo Oguni. They also wrote Throne of Blood and The Hidden Fortress. But during that time, Hashimoto increasingly worked with other directors. In fact, The Hidden Fortress was his large film with Kurosawa.
Hashimoto went on to write well over 50 files. And I have only seen a handful of them. Those that I’ve seen are great, but that’s hardly surprising because weak films are unlikely to be released here. Two films particularly stand out to me, because they are samurai films, but not sword fighting films. The first is Harakiri, the story of a ronin who wants to kill himself after his children and grandchild die. The second is Samurai Rebellion (which I reviewed a year and a half ago), the story samurai who rebels against his lord to honor the love of his son and daughter in law. Both films are well worth checking out.
Here is Shinobu Hashimoto talking about the making of Harakiri:
Happy birthday Shinobu Hashimoto!