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Yasujirō Shimazu

Yasujirō Shimazu
Yasujirō Shimazu in 1939
Born(1897-06-03)June 3, 1897
Tokyo, Japan
DiedSeptember 18, 1945(1945-09-18) (aged 48)
Tokyo, Japan
Occupation(s)Film director, screenwriter
Years active1920–1944

Yasujirō Shimazu (島津 保次郎, Shimazu Yasujirō, 3 June 1897 – 18 September 1945) was a Japanese film director and screenwriter, and a pioneer of the shōshimin-eiga (common people drama) genre at the Shōchiku studios in pre-World War II Japan.[1]


Shimazu was born in Tokyo,[a] the second son of merchant Otojirō Shimazu. His father owned a long-established seaweed business named Kōshū-ya directly in front of the main Mitsukoshi department store in Nihonbashi.[4]

Shimazu entered Shōchiku in 1920 after answering an advertisement and began training under Kaoru Osanai.[3] He gave his debut as director in 1921 at Shōchiku's recently established Kamata studio,[3] directing both comedy and melodrama films, often depicting the everyday life of the lower middle classes.[1] Our Neighbor, Miss Yae (1934) and A Brother and His Younger Sister (1939) are regarded as his most exemplary and best films.[1][5] By the end of the 1930s, he moved to Tōhō studios, where he made some films in cooperation with the Manchuria Film Association.[6] He died of cancer just after the war ended.[2] Many famous directors, such as Heinosuke Gosho, Shirō Toyoda, Kōzaburō Yoshimura, and Keisuke Kinoshita, started their careers as his assistant.[1]

Selected filmography

  • 1930: The Belle (麗人, Reijin)
  • 1931: Lifeline ABC (生活線ABC, Seikatsusen ABC)
  • 1932: First Steps Ashore (上陸第一歩, Jōriku dai ippo)
  • 1934: Our Neighbor, Miss Yae (隣の八重ちゃん, Tonari no Yae-chan)
  • 1935: Okoto and Sasuke (春琴抄 お琴と佐助, Shunkinsho: Okoto to Sasuke)
  • 1936: Family Meeting (家族会議, Kazoku kaigi)
  • 1937: Three Crows' Engagement (婚約三羽烏, Kon'yaku sanbagarasu)
  • 1937: The Lights of Asakusa (浅草の灯, Asakusa no hi)
  • 1939: A Brother and His Younger Sister (兄とその妹, Ani to soto imōto)
  • 1940: Totsugu hi made (嫁ぐ日まで)


  1. ^ Depending on the source, either in Kanda[2] or in Nihonbashi[3] district.


  1. ^ a b c d Jacoby, Alexander (2008). Critical Handbook of Japanese Film Directors: From the Silent Era to the Present Day. Berkeley: Stone Bridge Press. pp. 264–268. ISBN 978-1-933330-53-2.
  2. ^ a b "島津 保次郎 (Shimazu Yasujiro)". Kinenote (in Japanese). Retrieved 23 February 2021.
  3. ^ a b c "島津 保次郎 (Shimazu Yasujirō)". Kotobank (in Japanese). Retrieved 23 February 2021.
  4. ^ Otake, Toru (1979). 個人別領域別談話集錄による映画史体系. Nihon University, Faculty of Art, Department of Cinema (日本大学芸術学部映画学科). p. 6.
  5. ^ Anderson, Joseph L.; Richie, Donald (1959). The Japanese Film – Art & Industry. Rutland, Vermont and Tokyo: Charles E. Tuttle Company.
  6. ^ Yamane, Sadao (1997). "Shimazu Yasujirō". Nihon eiga jinmei jiten: Kantoku hen (in Japanese). Kinema Junpō. pp. 404–406. ISBN 4-87376-208-1.


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Yasujirō Shimazu
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