Director: Akira Kurosawa Cast: Takashi Shimura
Takashi Shimura
, Nobuo Kaneko
Nobuo Kaneko
, Kyoko Seki
Kyoko Seki
, Miki Odagiri
Miki Odagiri
Akira Kurosawa


Director: Akira Kurosawa Cast: Takashi Shimura
Takashi Shimura
, Nobuo Kaneko
Nobuo Kaneko
, Kyoko Seki
Kyoko Seki
, Miki Odagiri
Miki Odagiri
Akira Kurosawa

Blu-ray (Black & White)

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Akira Kurosawa's Ikiru details the existential struggle of one ordinary man in his desperate search for purpose. Upon learning he has terminal stomach cancer, a low-level government bureaucrat (Takashi Shimura) leaves his job of thirty years without a word to find meaning in the year he has left to live. He is completely alone in the world -- his wife is dead, his son is practically estranged, and his co-workers (the people with whom he has more contact than any others) are little more than strangers. Rather than face a death alone in pathos, Shimura opts to make up for lost time by going to the bar (for the first time in his life), spending every last yen in his wallet and drinking himself to death. There he meets a black-clad artist (a Mephistopheles to his Faust) who leads him on a hellish (and darkly humorous) tour of the city after dark as the two crawl through every booze-soaked juke-joint in town (Kurosawa's classical training as a painter surfaces in this sequence; many critics have noted the striking similarity of the crowded dance hall scenes to the paintings of Hieronymous Bosch, (particularly Walpurgis Night). Realizing he has missed nothing, Shimura then sets his sight on a pretty young girl from the office to divert his attention from his looming mortality. Although the girl fails to serve as a lifebuoy, she does give him the inspiration to do something meaningful -- to leave a legacy, however small, that makes the world a better place. A synopsis of Ikiru cannot serve the film justice; it simply must be seen.

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Product Details

Release Date: 11/24/2015
UPC: 0715515161213
Original Release: 1952
Source: Criterion Collection
Region Code: A
Presentation: [B&W]
Sound: [Dolby Digital Mono]
Time: 2:23:00
Sales rank: 2,537

Special Features

Audio commentary from 2003 by Stephen Prince, author of The Warrior's Camera: The Cinema Of Akira Kurosawa; A Message from Akira Kurosawa: For Beautiful Movies (2000), a ninety-minute documentary produced by Kurosawa Productions and featuring interviews with the director; Documentary on Ikiru from 2003, created as part of the Toho Masterworks series Akira Kurosawa: It Is Wonderful to Create and featuring interviews with Kurosawa, script supervisor Teruyo Nogami, writer Hideo Oguni, actor Takashi Shimura, and others; Trailer

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Takashi Shimura Kanji Watanabe
Nobuo Kaneko Mitsuo Watanabe
Kyoko Seki Kazue Watanabe
Miki Odagiri Toyo Odagiri
Makoto Kobori Kiighi Watanabe
Yunosuke Ito Novelist
Kasuo Abe City Assemblyman
Saito Subordinate Clerk
Sakai Assistant
Minosuke Yamada Saito
Toranosuke Ogawa Park Section Chief
Kumeko Urabe Tatsu Watanabe
Yoshie Minami Hayoshi, the Maid
Kamatari Fujiwara Ono, Office under-chief
Haruo Tanaka Sakai
Bokuzen Hidari Ohara
Minoru Chiaki Noguchi
Nobuo Nakamura Deputy Mayor
Masao Shimizu Doctor
Ko (Isao) Kimura Intern
Atsushi Watanabe Patient
Fuyuki Murakami Newspaperman
Seiji Miyaguchi Gang Boss
Daisuke Kato Gang Member
Kin Sugai Housewife
Eiko Miyoshi Housewife
Fumiko Homma Housewife
Ichiro Chiba Policeman

Technical Credits
Akira Kurosawa Director,Screenwriter
Shinobu Hashimoto Screenwriter
Fumio Hayasaka Score Composer
So Matsuyama Art Director
Shojiro Motoki Producer
Shinobu Muraki Production Designer
Yoshiro Muraki Production Designer
Asakazu Nakai Cinematographer
Hideo Oguni Screenwriter

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