Who was Toshiro Mifune

Toshirô Mifune

Life & Work

Mifune's vital mixture of energy to the brink of wildness and humor from bear-biting pranks to raw irony made the charismatic Japanese actor one of the most popular mimes in the country and internationally. Mifune (1920-1997) grew up in Japanese-occupied China, took aerial photographs during the World War and, although he actually wanted to be a cameraman, was hired by the Toho Studios as a supporting actor, where he caught the attention of director Akira Kurosawa, for whom he subsequently Has starred in 15 films. Best known was his bandit, who assaulted a samurai and his wife in the forest, in "Rashomon" and his exciting samurai in "The Seven Samurai" (his role was played in the Western version "The Glorious Seven" by Horst Buchholz). His loner samurai in "Yojimbo" (1961) was the model for Clint Eastwood in Sergio Leone's "For a Fistful of Dollars" (1964). Internationally, Mifune fell as a reserved Formula 1 racing driver in John Frankenheimer's “Grand Prix”, as a samurai in the Wild West who was shot by Alain Delon, in “Rivals under the Red Sun” and as a martial opponent of Lee Marvin in John Boorman's “Die Hell we are ”on. Mifune ran his own studios, an acting school and several restaurants in Germany.