Cutting Edge Issue 2 - Page 15

TOSHIRO MIFUNE The sword style Kurosawa had already made a number of films including Drunken Angel, Rashomon, and To Live that were already regarded as masterpieces. His next project was to be a samurai drama in which the stiff martial arts choreography typically used in such films would be replaced by something closer to the real thing. He had contacted the Ministry of Education for an introduction to a suitable instructor. The Ministry relayed the request to the Society for the Promotion of Classical Japanese Martial Arts who suggested Yoshio Sugino Sensei of the Katori Shinto-ryu and Junzo Sasamori Sensei of the Ono-ha Itto-ryu. The title of the film was to be the Seven Samurai. Sugino and Sasamori met Kurosawa in May 1953, at a gathering held at an upscale restaurant in Shibuya, Tokyo, and they were joined by many of the actors who were to play the samurai in the film. CUTTING EDGE | 13