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Itami, Juzo

Born: 1933 AD
Died: 1997 AD
Nationality: Japanese
Categories: Actors, Director

1933 – He was born Yoshihiro Ikeuchi on the 15th day of May this year in Kyoto, Japan. The name Itami was passed on from his father, Mansaku Itami who had himself been a renowned satirist and film director before World War II.


1947 – He was chosen as an infant prodigy and educated at Tokubetsu Kagaku Gakkyu. Among his fellow students, there were the sons of Hideki Yukawa and Shinichiro Tomonaga. This class was abolished in March of this year.


1960 – He first acted in this year Ginza no Dora-Neko and appeared in various films and television series; including the big-budget Western film Lord Jim. He also married Kazuko Kawakita this year and separated in 1966.


1969 – He tied knot with Nobuko Miyamoto from this year until the time of his death.


1983 – The most notable movie in which Itami acted may be Yoshimitsu Morita’s movie Kazoku G mu (The Family Game).


1984 – He first directed a movie, Ososhiki (The Funeral), in this year, at the age of 50. This film proved popular in Japan and won many awards, including Japanese Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Screenplay.


1985 – However, it was his second movie, his "noodle western" Tampopo, which earned him international exposure and acclaim.


1990 – He started this year with his movie “A-ge-man” (Tales of a Golden Geisha).


1992 – He was attacked, beaten, and slashed by five members of the Goto-gumi, a Tokyo yakuza gang, who were angry at his portrayal of yakuza as bullies and thugs in his film Minbo no Onna.


1993 – This attack led to a government crackdown on the yakuza. His subsequent stay in a hospital inspired his subsequent film Daibyonin (The Last Dance) in this year, a severe satire on the Japanese health system.


1997 – He passed away on the 20th day of December this year in Tokyo, Japan. He apparently committed suicide by leaping the roof of the building where his office was located, after the press picked up a sex scandal he was allegedly involved in.