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Famous Like Me > Actor > I > Juzo Itami

Profile of Juzo Itami on Famous Like Me

Name: Juzo Itami  
Also Know As:
Date of Birth: 15th May 1933
Place of Birth: Kyoto, Japan
Profession: Actor
From Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia

Juzo Itami (伊丹十三 Itami Jūzō) (15 May 1933 - 20 December 1997) was an actor and a popular modern Japanese film director. Many critics came to regard him as Japan's greatest director since Akira Kurosawa. His movies, all of which he wrote himself, are comic satires on elements of Japanese culture.

Itami was born Yoshihiro Ikeuchi 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. Itami worked at various times as a commercial designer, a television reporter, a magazine editor, and an essayist. He first acted in 1960's Ginza no Dora-Neko and appeared in various films and television series, including the big-budget Western film version of Lord Jim in the 1960s. The most notable movie in which Itami acted may be Yoshimitsu Morita's 1983 movie Kazoku Gēmu (The Family Game).

Itami first directed a movie, Ososhiki (The Funeral), in 1984, 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. However, it was his second movie, his "noodle western" Tampopo, that earned him international exposure and acclaim. All of his films were profitable; most were also critical successes.

Itami's wife, Nobuko Miyamoto, is often the star of his movies. Her role tends to be that of an Everywoman figure.

In 1992 Itami was attacked by yakuza crime syndicate members who were angry at his portrayal of yakuza as bullies and thugs in his film Minbo no Onna. This attack led to a government crackdown on the yakuza. His subsequent stay in a hospital inspired his subsequent film Daibyonin, a grim satire on the Japanese health system.

He apparently committed suicide on 20 December 1997 in Tokyo, after a sex scandal he was allegedly involved in was picked up by the press. (His suicide letter denied any involvement.) Many consider his death suspicious; some believe it had something to do with a cult religion he was dealing with. At the time, the police treated it as a possible homicide.


  1. Marutai no Onna (Woman of the Police Protection Program) (1997)
  2. Sūpā no Onna (Supermarket Woman) (1996)
  3. Shizuka na Seikatsu (A Quiet Life) (1995)
  4. Daibyonin (The Last Dance) (1993)
  5. Minbo no Onna (Minbo — or the Gentle Art of Japanese Extortion) (1992)
  6. A-ge-mon (Tales of a Golden Geisha) (1990)
  7. Marusa no Onna II (A Taxing Woman's Return) (1988)
  8. Marusa no Onna (A Taxing Woman) (1987)
  9. Tampopo (1985)
  10. Ososhiki (The Funeral) (1984)

This content from Wikipedia is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Juzo Itami