Nishikawa Katsumi (西河克己)

Katsumi NISHIKAWA (July 1, 1918 -) was a movie director. He was from Chizu Town, Tottori Prefecture.

His father was a government worker for the City Council of Tokyo Prefecture.

Brief Personal History

1918
He was born in Haji Village, Yazu County, Tottori Prefecture.
1922
He came to Tokyo (Omori, Tokyo Prefecture (Ota Ward))
1936
He graduated from Takanawa Junior High School, Takanawa High School.
1939
He graduated from Nihon University, College of Art.
39/12/01
He entered Shochiku Obune studio.
40/09/01
He fought on the front-lines (Southeast Asia, China)
46/07/01
After he was demobilized and sent home from the War, he worked for Shochiku again.
1952
He directed his first movie, "Izu no Enkashi" (street performer of pop songs in Izu).
1954
He moved to Nikkatsu.
56/03/01
He married his wife (he had one daughter).
1969
He resigned from Nikkatsu.
1979
He became a lecturer at Nihon University, College of Art
1988
He became a lecturer in graduate course at Nihon University, College of Art.
1991
He received the Order of the Sacred Treasure, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon.

Nishikawa was born in Haji Ward, Chizu Town in the eastern part of Tottori Prefecture. He spent about four years there before his father got a job and the family moved to Tokyo. Although he wanted to become a novelist, he also wished to become movie director as his second choice, so he entered Shochiku Obune studio as an assistant director. We can say that it was the first golden age of Japanese movies at that time.

Since he graduated from the University while it was the middle of the Sino-Japanese War, he was called up (after all he was conscripted twice) to Manchuria and Burma after less than one year after he started working for Shochiku, he also spent time in a prisoner camp. He was demobilized and started to work for Shochiku again in 1946. He studied under famous people such as Kenkichi HARA, Minoru SHIBUYA, Noboru NAKAMURA, and he directed the movie, "Izu no Enkashi" (street performer of pop songs in Izu) (main actor was Keiji SADA) for the first time while his position was still assistant director in 1952. It was one part of a double feature movie, a so called sister movie.

After he directed a few typical 'Obune movies,' he signed a contract with Nikkatsu as a director after Nikkatsu started producing movies again in 1954. His first movie was a social soap opera, " Ikitoshi ikeru mono (All living things)" (main actor was So YAMAMURA), whose original author was Yuzo YAMAMOTO, he also directed "Tokyo no hito" (a person from Tokyo) (main actress was Yumeji TSUKIOKA) and "Utsukushii Ionushi-san" (The beautiful master of a hermitage) (main actor was Akira KOBAYASHI) as his first movie with Nikkatsu, it was needless to say that those movies had a strong 'Obune' flavor, movies such as "Ore no Kokyo wa Daiseibu" (my hometown is big old western America) (main actor was Koji WADA) in 1960 which had a 'Nikkatsu flavor' was a different movie than Nishikawa's movie.

In 1960's, he showed his talent freely in movies such as "Wakai hito" (The young people) (main actor was Yujiro ISHIZAKA), "Aoi sanmyaku" (The Green Mountains) (main actress was Sayuri YOSHINAGA), "Dancing Girls of Izu" (main actress was Sayuri YOSHINAGA), "Eden no umi" (The Sea of Eden) (main actor was Hideki TAKAHASHI), "Kikyo" (going home) (main actress was Sayuri YOSHINAGA), and he played an active role in the golden age of Japanese movies. Movies such as "Dancing Girls of Izu" or "Zessho" (main actor was Kazuo FUNAKI) from above which were remade, became even more popular than the original ones and established Nishikawa's solid position as a movie director, thus these movies can represent Nishikawa's movies.

Before Nikkatu changed their style of movie to romantic porno, he changed his career into TV activities after he directed "Yoru no mesu Toshiue no onna" (a night mare Older woman) (main actress was Yumiko NOGAWA) in 1969 as his last movie, however he returned to direct movies again when "Dancing Girls of Izu" (movie made in 1974) (main actress was Momoe YAMAGUCHI), then he directed movies such as "Shiosai" (movie made in 1975) (1975), acted together with Momoe YAMAGUCHI and Tomokazu MIURA, "Zessho" (movie made in 1975) (1975), the remake of "Eden no umi" (movie made in 1976) (1976) or "Dongurikko" (main actress was Masako MORI), and "Shunkin Sho" (movie made in 1976) (main actress was Masako MORI).

However just before "Suparuta no umi" (main actor was Shiro ITO) was about to open to the public, which was made in 1983, someone died in an accident in Totsuka Yacht School in which the story was made, after the movie was made, it was put on the shelf without ever being shown. After that, the support group for the Totsuka Yacht School bought the copyrights and the movie was made into video tape and DVD for sale in September 2005. There was not enough audiences for the original comics with a realistic narrative made in 1984, the movie "Seitoshokun" (main actress was Kyoko KOIZUMI), "Virgin road" (main actress was Reiko MATSUNAGA) made in 1985 was not shown to the public due to the various reasons.

He directed many program pictures between 1950s and 1960s after he moved from Shochiku to Nikkatsu, he also played an active role in a great variety of genres such as arts, action, seishun drama, Kayo Movies (Hit Song Movies), and soap operas. After that, he played an active role in TV in the early 70's and again started producing movies, since he had experience directing Sayuri YOSHINAGA's movie at Horipro, Inc. (former chairman was Takao HORI), he had an opportunity to remake "Dancing Girls of Izu" having a famous actress and actor, Momoe YAMAGUCHI and Tomokazu MIURA, they were called the golden combination, and also directed remakes of "Shiosai," "Zessho," "Eden no umi," and he is well known for remaking movies and has a fresh and original technique for directing so his movies remain in the history of Japanese movies.

He also produced movies acted by Masako MORI, Kumiko AKIYOSHI, Kyoko KOIZUMI, Reiko MATSUNAGA, Yasuko TOMITA after he turned 60 years old, there were two separate generations who fancy 'idols' on the screen of Nishikawa's movie.

There are some Nishikawa's movies related to Tottori Prefecture where he spent his childhood, he has strong memory in his hometown. The original place where "Zessho" was made was in Matsue City, however in this movie there were some scenes of the Tottori Sand Dune, Karo Port, Chizu Town added to the story. He also wrote the script for "Kanashiki wakare no uta" (1965), "Yubue" (1967), "Zansetsu" (1968), "Spiders no Barito Chindochu" (Funny Tour) (1968) under the name of Yoshio CHITO.