Interesting news coming out of Japan today, as it appears that three early scripts from Akira Kurosawa’s library have recently been discovered. Yasuki Hamano, professor of media at Tokyo University who is currently working on a book from his research titled “Akira Kurosawa Archives” (published by Kodansha Ltd.), announced the discovery Thursday (October 28th).
The three scripts are from Kurosawa’s earlier career. The first of which was from a radio drama known as “Youki na Koujou.” and predates Kurosawa’s directorial debut. The original broadcast was by NHK and is dates as August 1942, just months before Kurosawa would helm Sanshiro Sugata (1942). The script has been in storage at Waseda University’s Tsubochi Memorial Theater Museum.
The second script was from a collaborative effort between various directors who were part of the Toho Studios’ labor union in 1946. The original title is “Asu wo Tsukuru Hitobito” and was not acknowledged by Kurosawa as wholly his own project.
The third script was based off of an idea of Kurosawa’s and penned by his frequent collaborator Shinobu Hashimoto. The story is said to focus on a group of sailors on a transport ship having to overcome a storm. The project, named Kanokemaru no Hitobito, came close to actually going into production with Toshiro Mifune in the lead.
We here at VCinema are very interested in this discovery and look forward to reading further about Yasuki Hamano’s findings.