Eiichi Kudo, 71, director of a string of samurai films, including the 1963 classic “The Thirteen Assassins,” died Saturday of a brain stem hemorrhage at a Kyoto hospital, his family said Monday.

Hailing from Tomakomai, Hokkaido, and graduating from Keio University in Tokyo, Kudo entered Toei Co. in 1952 and became a director at Toei’s Kyoto studio in 1959.

His hits include “The Flute Playing Warrior” in 1956, “The Foreign Shark” in 1961 and “The Fort of Death” in 1969.

He became active in directing TV dramas in the late 1960s, directing some 50 samurai dramas of the “Hissatsu” (“Certain Death”) series.

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