Akira Kurosawa, the famous Japanese film director, wrote this "autobiography" that takes us through only Rashomon. If only it had been longer! It's sort of like an autobiography, sort of like a mini-history of Japanese film, sort of like several vignettes of his life. He lived through the Great Kanto Earthquake and, of course, through WWII. Since he was only 3 years older than my dad, I found his description of his childhood especially interesting since my dad spent a good part of his childhood in Japan. A must for lovers of Japanese film.
Though cinephiles will certainly appreciate this book, it is so evocative, subtle, and bittersweet that any reader can easily get into it. Kurosawa details his childhood, his struggles in school, his personal losses (the deaths of several siblings), and his early film career in a way that is both lyrical and direct. Regrettably, the book is all too brief (less than 200 pages), ending with Rashomon (1950), the film that brought him and Japanese cinema international recognition. It's a beautifully written book and a fine antidote to so many showboating memoirs and autobiographies that clog up the book lists.
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