Since World War II, films produced in the East have had an increasingly appreciative Western audience. Akira Kurosawa's films, including Rashomon, Seven Samurai, and Yojimbo, are enormously popular action stories, in effect Japanese "westerns." Kurosawa's many productions, Kenju Mizoguchi's Ugetsu, and such delicately wrought works as Tokyo Story and The Flavor of Green Tea over Rice by Yasujiro Ozu brought worldwide acclaim to their directors and to Toshiro Mifune, who starred in many of Kurosawa's films. Japanese film became somewhat less culturally hermetic in later years, with directors such as Shohei Imamura ( Vengeance Is Mine ) and Juzo Itami ( Tampopo ) introducing a mixture of Japanese and Western influences into their work.
See D. Richie, The Japanese Movie: An Illustrated History (1982) and Japanese Cinema: An Introduction (1990); S. Galbraith, The Japanese Filmography (1996).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.