Obituary: Kozaburo Yoshimura

Film director Kozaburo Yoshimura, known for famous works such as “Anjoke no Butokai” (“A Ball at the Anjo House”), died of heart failure Tuesday morning at his home in Yokohama, his family said. He was 89.

A native of Shiga Prefecture, Yoshimura began his career in 1929 with Shochiku Co., a renowned film production company, at what was then its Kamata studio in Tokyo.

His 1939 film, “Danryu” (“Warm Current”), first brought his directing ability to light.

In 1947, he won the prestigious Kinema Junpo Award for “A Ball at the Anjo House,” the story of an aristocratic family’s fall after World War II.

The movie served as the takeoff point for Yoshimura’s partnership with scriptwriter Kaneto Shindo. In 1950, the pair left Shochiku to establish an independent outfit, Kindai Eiga Kyokai Co.

Yoshimura produced many films including “Itsuwareru seiso” (“Clothes of Deception”), “Yoake mae” (“Before the Dawn”), and “Yoru no kawa” (“Undercurrent”). He was versatile and worked in many genres, including comedies.

Yoshimura was also responsible for promoting the careers of such stars as Fujiko Yamamoto, Machiko Kyo and Ayako Wakao.

In 1976, he received Japan’s Purple Ribbon Medal, awarded to individuals who have made important contributions in academics and the arts.