The Akira Kurosawa movie fan quiz


By: Olivia Cantor

4 Min Quiz

Image: Youtube

About This Quiz

Explore Japanese cinema at its finest with this ultimate Akira Kurosawa movie quiz!

How many films did renowned filmmaker Akira Kurosawa make in his lifetime?

Kurosawa made his 30 films in a career that spanned 57 years.


In which country was Kurosawa born?

Thanks to Kurosawa’s films, western film markets became receptive to the products of the Japanese film industry.


What is the title of Kurosawa’s breakthrough film, the ticket to having Japanese cinema recognized worldwide?

Rashomon is now considered as one of the greatest films in the history of world cinema.


Kurosawa’s breakthrough film, Rashomon, told the whole story from four points of view of various characters: the bandit, the wife, the woodcutter, and this fourth character.

This Rashomon storytelling technique of using different characters tell one story has been emulated and copied in Hollywood and other national cinemas from the time Kurosawa made this film.


What specific award did Rashomon win at the 1951 Venice Film Festival, cementing Kurosawa’s place at the world cinema stage?

The Golden Lion is the highest prize awarded at the Venice Film Festival.


Many of Kurosawa’s "samurai films" are actually part of the jidaigeki genre, also known as this type of drama.

Jidaigeki films are set during Japan’s Edo Period and usually depict the lives of the samurai and other typical characters of the period.


Before Kurosawa became a renowned director, this was his first designation in the Japanese film industry.

Kurosawa made 24 films as an A.D.


Perhaps the best advice assistant director Kurosawa got from his mentor-boss, director Kajiro Yamamoto, was to master this aspect of filmmaking if one wants to be an excellent director.

Thanks to this precious advice, Kurosawa ended up writing or co-writing most of his directed films.


Akira Kurosawa’s directorial debut, released in 1943, was Sanshiro Sugata, a film about this important 1941 event in world history.

Sanshiro Sugata was based on a novel by Tsuneo Tomita.


If not for this other renowned Japanese filmmaker’s help, Kurosawa’s controversial directorial debut Sanshiro Sugata would not have been approved for showing.

Aside from Kurosawa, Ozu is also hailed as one of the most influential filmmakers in the history of world cinema.


Kurosawa’s sophomore film, The Most Beautiful, although fictional in story, was also shot following the conventions of this filmmaking format.

The Most Beautiful is about the lives of female factory workers during World War II.


It was during the shoot of this film when master filmmaker Kurosawa met his future wife.

Actress Yoko Yaguchi, who plays a part in this film, became Akira Kurosawa’s wife.


This Japanese actor, although having made 170 films, became more popular for appearing in 16 of Kurosawa’s films.

Mifune also debuted on the radars of western cinema because of his starring role in Kurosawa’s breakthrough film Rashomon.


Toshiro Mifune appeared in 16 of Kurosawa’s films, except for this title.

Mifune started collaborating with Kurosawa on the director’s 8th studio film.


Kurosawa’s wartime product, The Men Who Tread on the Tiger’s Tail, was based on this kind of stage play.

The film was based on the kabuki play entitled Kanjincho.


This postwar-made film was the first Kurosawa film to have a female protagonist.

During the 1940s, it was quite unheard of to have a female protagonist in Japanese cinema.


Drunken Angel, the first collaboration between director Kurosawa and actor Toshiro Mifune, is this kind of genre film.

If the Italian-Americans have the mafia, the Japanese have the yakuza.


This 1949 Kurosawa film is said to be the father of buddy cop films popular in world cinema today.

Stray Dogs follows the film noir style and is set in postwar Tokyo.


The 1951 film The Idiot is Kurosawa’s version of this author’s novel of the same title.

Dostoevsky is Kurosawa’s favorite author.


Kurosawa’s epic film version of Dostoevsky’s The Idiot originally had this total running time.

Producer Shochiku Studio found this original cut too long, and ordered the film to be cut down, against Kurosawa’s wishes.


One of Kurosawa’s award-winning and critically-acclaimed films, Ikiru, translates to this English meaning, which is the central theme of the film.

Ikiru won at the 4th Berlin International Film Festival.


Kurosawa’s 1952 film Ikiru is partly inspired by this Russian novelist’s 1886 novella called The Death of Ivan Ilyich.

Kurosawa admired Russian literature ever since he was young.


Kurosawa’s 1954 epic historical drama film Seven Samurai featured this group of people as protagonists.

The ronin character is common during Japan’s feudal period.


Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai was a big influence in Hollywood, as evident in this 1960 western remake.

The Magnificent Seven was directed by John Sturges.


Kurosawa’s 1957 film Throne of Blood is actually an adaptation of this Shakespearean tragedy.

Kurosawa transposes Shakespeare’s Scotland-set story into feudal Japan.


Yet another of Kurosawa’s epic masterpieces is said to be the heavy influence that inspired George Lucas’ Star Wars film series. Which film was this?

The Hidden Fortress was released in 1958.


The Hidden Fortress was also monumental since this was the first time Kurosawa used “Tohoscope," influencing the film’s quality very much. What exactly is that?

Kurosawa continued to shoot in this Tohoscope widescreen format after trying it in The Hidden Fortress.


This 1961 Kurosawa classic was remade into a spaghetti western entitled A Fistful of Dollars starring Clint Eastwood.

Kurosawa actually sued the spaghetti western producers because they failed to secure the proper rights to do the remake.


Yojimbo actually had a sequel. What was its title?

Sanjuro was released in 1962, a year after Yojimbo’s release.


This 1985 tragedy was Kurosawa’s last epic film.

Ran was a co-production by Japanese and French producers.


Ran was Kurosawa’s epic film partly based on yet another Shakespearean play. Which was it, this time?

Aside from King Lear, Ran also merged inspiration from legends of a famed Japanese feudal lord named Mori Motonari.


This 1990 Kurosawa film is a magical realist opus.

The film’s 8 episodic stories is actually based on dreams that Kurosawa had.


Dreams featured Hollywood director Martin Scorsese as one of its actors. But which famous Hollywood director helped realize this Kurosawa classic?

Aside from these notable filmmakers, Dreams was also funded by the Hollywood production company Warner Bros.


Kurosawa’s last film, Madadayo, is about a Japanese professor constantly teased by his former students if he is ready to die. This is its English title, which explains the professor’s refusal to accept the inevitable.

Madadayo was released in 1993, about 5 years before Kurosawa’s death.


This film is technically Kurosawa’s longest film ever.

Seven Samurai clocks in at three hours and 27 minutes.


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