The great filmmaker, Akira Kurosawa, was born 111 years ago today, in Tokyo. Kurosawa would go on to become one of the most influential directors of all time, making 30 films over a career that lasted 57 years. Though Kurosawa is often cited as an influence on westerns (Seven Samurai became The Magnificent Seven, Yojimbo inspired Serigo Leone to create The Man With No Name), Kurosawa’s influence goes for beyond just one genre. He directed action films. He directed gangster films. He directed social problem films. He directed historical epics. Kurosawa taught an entire generation of future film film directors the language of cinema.
In honor of the anniversary of Akira Kurosawa’s birth, here is a scene that we all love from his 1961 masterpiece, Yojimbo. Playing the lead role of the lone swordsman is, of course, Kurosawa’s frequent star, Toshiro Mifune.