Film director Kaneto Shindo of ‘Children of Hiroshima’ fame dies at 100

Kyodo, AFP-JIJI

Renowned film director and screenwriter Kaneto Shindo, known for such works as “Children of Hiroshima” (“Gembaku no Ko”) and “A Last Note” (“Gogo no Yuigonjo”), died of old age at his home in Tokyo on Tuesday, his office said Wednesday. He was 100.

After learning screenwriting while working as an art assistant for the renowned film director Kenji Mizoguchi, Shindo, a native of the city of Hiroshima, debuted as a director with “The Story of a Beloved Wife” (“Aisai Monogatari”) in 1951.

He won the Grand Prix at the Moscow International Film Festival for his 1960 film “The Naked Island” (“Hadaka no Shima”) and received prizes at the festival for his 1970 film “Live Today, Die Tomorrow” (“Hadaka no Jukyusai”) and 1998 film “Will to Live” (“Ikitai”).

After making his directorial debut in 1951, he came to international attention with “Children of Hiroshima” when it was premiered at the 1953 Cannes Film Festival.

The 1952 film portrayed a young schoolteacher who returns to Hiroshima, hoping to find survivors among her students, after the city was devastated by the 1945 U.S. atomic bombing.

Shindo’s wife, actress Nobuko Otowa, featured in his 1995 film “A Last Note.”

He was awarded the Order of Culture by the government in 2002.

Shindo’s 2011 film “Postcard” (“Ichimai no Hagaki”), which proved to be his last, won the Special Jury Prize at the Tokyo International Film Festival.