Akira Kurosawa and Toshiro Mifune on the set of Sanjuro (1962).
Akira Kurosawa with cast members Keiko Tsushima, Toshirō Mifune, Isao Kimura, and Minoru Chiaki on the set of Seven Samurai.
The Bad Sleep Well (Akira Kurosawa, 1960)
Toshirō Mifune in Conduct Report on Professor Ishinaka (Mikio Naruse, 1950)
Toshiro Mifune with his wife and children
Toshirō Mifune in Rickshaw Man (Hiroshi Inagaki - 1958)
“The speed of his movements was such that he said in a single action what took ordinary actors three separate movements to express. He put forth everything directly and boldly, and his sense of timing was the keenest I had ever seen in a Japanese actor. And yet with all of his quickness he also had surprisingly fine sensibilities. […] I’m a person who is rarely impressed by actors, but in the case of Mifune I was completely overwhelmed.” — Akira Kurosawa
“He is an artist, and he is demanding; a man more full, more whole, both more self-willed and more compassionate than most men are. It is from this understanding, this tact with life, that he draws his films, just as he draws from us, his actors, our best. I know. I have never as an actor done anything that I am proud of other than with him.” — Toshiro Mifune
“Toward the end, when Mifune was in the hospital, I called one day at Kurosawa’s house. Kurosawa came into the parlor in his wheelchair. I had gotten word of Mifune’s condition, and when I reported this, Kurosawa said in a tone of nostalgia: ‘If I ever see Mifune again, I want to tell him what a good job he did. I want to praise him.’ How Mifune must have yearned to hear those words. But without his ever having had that chance, on Christmas Eve, 1997, at the age of seventy-seven, the turbulent life of Toshiro Mifune came to an end. Nine months later, on September 6, 1998, the death of the great filmmaker Akira Kurosawa was reported around the world, marking the end of an era. He was eighty-eight years old.” — Teruyo Nogami