Thursday, October 26, 2017

70 YEARS OF TOSHIRO MIFUNE! Celebrating the Toho Star's Landmark Career in Shibuya!

From October 19 until 31, the Tokyu Department Store in Shibuya is hosting a special exhibit on the life and career of Toho star Toshiro Mifune. Entitled "The Man Who Was Called 'MIFUNE of the World,'" the exhibit commemorates the 70th anniversary of his film debut.

That movie, of course, was Snow Trail (1947), directed by Senkichi Taniguchi (The Lost World of Sinbad, The Killing Bottle). Mifune quickly became a star in the years following the release of that film, and went on to enjoy international stardom that very few Japanese actors ever get to see.

There was some rather interesting memorabilia on display. Almost immediately after you enter the exhibit, you see a poster for E.T. (1982) signed by Steven Spielberg, complete with a personalized message from the director. Who knew Mifune had such an item in his collection!

Also on hand were such personal effects as Mifune's luggage (all with "T. Mifune" embossed on the suitcases), as well as his golf clubs. His cameras were on display, too, as were some of his pipes. I was quite interested to see a photo of Mifune's meeting then-Vice President George H. W. Bush in 1984.

There were many photos in the exhibit of Mifune with Western celebrities (Spielberg, Robert De Niro, Charlie Chaplin, Robert Mitchum, etc.), but there were just as many shots of Mifune's palling around with his fellow Toho actors, such as Kaoru Yachigusa, Setsuko Hara, Keiju Kobayashi, and many others.

All in all, it was a fascinating display, and it's not the type of thing that one sees in Shibuya very often. I highly recommend it!

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