Akira Kurosawa was once considered Japan’s most famous film director.

Some of his signature films, such as Seven Samurai (1954) and Yojimbo (1961), were about the samurai – a Japanese warrior caste – and though their code and history were not known outside Japan, Kurosawa was able to make them as accessible to outsiders.

He did this in part by studying the Westerns of legendary film director John Ford, from their sweeping landscapes to their ensemble acting that masterfully mixed comedy and…


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