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Shinobu Hashimoto, Writer of Kurosawa Films, Is Dead at 100

Shinobu Hashimoto, Writer of Kurosawa Films, Is Dead at 100


The finished script, running 88 minutes and credited to both men, elegantly fuses the plot of “In a Grove” with the setting and title of “Rashomon,” whose name denotes a historic Kyoto gate.

With his career as a screenwriter underway, Mr. Hashimoto quit his job at the munitions company.

The idea for his next collaboration with Kurosawa originated, tantalizingly, with Kurosawa. One day in the early 1950s, he handed Mr. Hashimoto a sheet of paper on which he had written a single, enigmatic phrase:

“A man with only 75 days left to live.”

Mr. Hashimoto’s critically acclaimed result, “Ikiru” (“To Live”), was released in 1952. It centered on a career civil servant (played by Takashi Shimura) who, on learning he has terminal cancer, defies protocol by arranging for a patch of municipal swampland to be transformed into a public park.

And so Mr. Hashimoto’s collaborations with Kurosawa went. They also included “I Live in Fear” (1955), about the nuclear threat, and “The Bad Sleep Well” (1960), a modern-day revenge drama.

As Mr. Hashimoto recalled in his memoir, translated by Lori Hitchcock Morimoto and published in English in 2015, Kurosawa, like the foreman of a sequestered jury, sometimes holed up with his screenwriters in an out-of-the-way inn until a script was complete.

Mr. Hashimoto started his own production company, Hashimoto Pro, in 1974. His other screenplays include “Harakiri” (1962) and “Samurai Rebellion” (1967), both directed by Masaki Kobayashi, and “The Castle of Sand” (1974) and “Village of Eight Gravestones” (1977), both directed by Yoshitaro Nomura.



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