How tall is Akira Kurosawa

Akira Kurosawa's Height

5ft 11 ½ (181.6 cm)

Japanese film director best remembered for helming movies such as Seven Samurai, Ran, Yojimbo, Rashomon, The Hidden Fortress, Throne of Blood, Ikiru, The Idiot, High and Low, Red Beard and Kagemusha. In his book 'Something Like an Autobiography' he mentioned his height and weight, saying "She looked up at this person who had nearly reached six feet and more than 150 pounds."

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

Add a Comment17 comments

Average Guess (7 Votes)
5ft 11.57in (181.8cm)
AndrewV said on 1/Jan/19
Exceptionally tall for a Japanese man of his generation.
Ian C said on 19/May/17
Yet another page for a director. There's no reason why we can't have directors' pages, of course, it's just that height seems an irrelevant datum for anyone (like an actor or politician) who does not actually use his or her body to appeal to an audience.

It does seem like most of the directors are rather short. Quentin Tarantino is the only one I can think of offhand who is over six feet.
Giorgi said on 6/Dec/16
Must be like 6'6" in Japan.
mande2013 said on 18/Mar/16
How tall would you say Andrei Tarkovsky was then: Click Here

I see a 5'7 guy there personally.
Sam said on 1/Dec/15
A cool picture with the cast of Seven Samurai.
Click Here
Sam said on 13/Nov/15
I agree on Dersu Uzala being in his top 10, I regret not suggesting it. Another one that might be worthy of top 10 was Dodes'ka-den which was savaged by critics upon released but is simultaneously one of the most beautiful and most harrowing films I've seen. I personally took to those two more so than to Kagemusha or The Hidden Fortress, both of which I admired but didn't feel engaged by. I'd still rank those latter two films above his very first few or very last few films and love his whole filmography.
Gonzalo said on 22/Oct/15
How come Dersu Uzala not be mentioned among his films? An absolute masterpiece; above Kagemusha, for instance.
Sam said on 28/Jul/15
Kurosawa's family were a generation or two back samurais from the Akita Prefecture and from North Japan. Expectional height was common in his family and at least 1 biography I've read on him speculated that he might have had some Indigenous Siberian heritage that might have led to his unusual stature.
Sam said on 5/Jan/15
It's possible Mifune wasn't a full 5'8" guy, Kurosawa can come close to towering over him in photos, can seem a solid 4 inches taller maybe.
Sam said on 22/Dec/14
I think The Idiot's kind of underrated...I guess it falls short of Dostoyevsky and there's a bit of awkwardness jamming a very Russian tale into a Japanese context but I found it very affecting. Kurosawa's actual venture into Soviet filmmaking in Dersu Uzala wss also fantastic, it would be my 11th listing LOL. Another lesser discussed effort not listed is Dodes'kan which Kurosawa considered such a failure (on top of abortive attempts to make Tora! Tora! Tora! & Runaway Train w/ American & European producers) that it lead to his suicide attempt but it really is quite an amazing film, devastating in parts.
Sam said on 22/Dec/14
I believe the average height for a Japanese man today is 5'7.25" or in that range. Don't know about Kurosawa's generation but I'd bet it was more 5'5" range. Anyway, his is one of the easier filmographies to complete at around 30 films, all very watchable, some Hollywood directors had 2 to 3 times as many films as he.
Arch Stanton said on 20/Dec/14
Those are a good mixture now I think. So many great films and still getting through them!
Sam said on 19/Dec/14
Rob, could you add the films Throne of Blood, Ikiru, The Idiot, High and Low and Red Beard to his credits?
Sam said on 19/Dec/14
Yes, thanks for adding! My favorite director of all time...he never made a bad film, even his weakest efforts (Sanshiro Sugata 2 or No Regrets for Our Youth) have their pluses.
He was a towering figure in photos when younger...I don't know the average height for a Japanese man in his generation, but he could seem at least 7 inches taller than others, like a 6'5"-6'6" looks today walking around America. Probably was a strong 5'10" in later years, i.e. around the time of Kagemusha or Ran.
Arch Stanton said on 18/Dec/14
In the 1960s though the average height in Japanese cities might have crept up to 5 ft 6 or 7 though. In some Japanese films I've seen from that period it's not as if the guys are all tiny little Asian men. Some of them at least look a reasonable height! Either way I think he'd have to have been taller than most in Japan at the time though.
Arch Stanton said on 18/Dec/14
You've got to remember too that Kurosawa's generation in Japan were born at a time when the country was pretty undeveloped, it was really after World War II that it underwent massive modernization with American investment and influence. It was a typical Asian country in many respects so for early 20th century in his prime in Japan a guy around 6 ft would have been perceived as very tall. The average in rural Japan at the time might have been only 5 ft 3 or 4, similar to Vietnam today. Ray in India though at 6 ft 4 range for his generation was literally a giant! He'd be like 6 ft 10 today in the west I think.
Arch Stanton said on 18/Dec/14
Awesome new addition!! Spot on I think, at least peak anyway. Can you squeeze in Ikiru too, I think it has to be in the top 5 greatest films ever made personally. Ebert and number of other critics rate it as his best film, although Seven Samurai or Rashomon tend to usually be given the most glory by them.

Perhaps Ray then was pushing 6'5" peak then, he looked massive in the comparison between these too.

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