Toshio Masuda

Age: 86
Birthplace: Kobe, Hyōgo, Japan

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Toshio Masuda (born October 5, 1927 in Kobe, Hyōgo, Japan) is a Japanese film director. He developed a reputation as a consistent box office hit-maker. Over the course of five decades, 16 of his films made the yearly top ten lists at the Japanese box office—a second place record in the industry. Between 1958 and 1968 he directed 52 films for the Nikkatsu Company. He was their top director of action films and worked with the company's top stars, including Yujiro Ishihara with whom he made 25 films. After the breakdown of the studio system, he moved on to a succession of big-budget movies including the American-Japanese co-production Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970) and the science fiction epic Catastrophe 1999: The Prophecies of Nostradamus (1974). He worked on such anime productions as the Space Battleship Yamato series. His corporate drama Company Funeral (1989) earned him a Japanese Academy Award nomination and wins at the Blue Ribbon Awards and Mainichi Film Awards. In Japan, his films are well remembered by fans and called genre landmarks by critics. He remains little known abroad save for rare exceptions of his post-Nikkatsu work such as Tora! Tora! Tora!. However, a number of his films were screened in a 2005 Nikkatsu Action Cinema retrospective in Italy and a few have since made their way to the United States. At the age of 81, he is currently prepping to helm Uchū Senkan Yamato: Fukkatsu hen (2009).

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