Itami Mansaku (伊丹万作)
Mansaku ITAMI (real name Yoshitoyo IKEUCHI; January 2, 1900 - September 21, 1946) was a Japanese film director active during the early Showa era. He is one of the individuals responsible for laying the groundwork of the Japanese film industry. His son was the actor and director Juzo ITAMI. The author Kenzaburo OE is his son-in-law.
Biography and personal profile
Mansaku ITAMI was born in Minato-cho, Matsuyama City, Ehime Prefecture. In 1912, he entered Matsuyama Junior High School (now Ehime Prefectural Matsuyamahigashi High School). He displayed great literary talent, publishing an amateur literary magazine with individuals including Kusatao NAKAMURA and Daisuke ITO (film director). After graduating, he moved to Kyoto under the influence of his uncle. He soon moved in with Daisuke ITO and worked illustrating magazines aimed at teenage boys. He briefly returned home to see his sick father but took up screenwriting as a result of his friendship with the director Daisuke ITO.
In 1927, he joined Tanizaki Juro Productions as an actor. In 1928, he joined Kataoka Chiezo Productions as an assistant director/screenwriter. He made his directorial debut in the same year with Adauchi ruten (Continual change of revenge). He went on to create films displaying his unique sense of satire such as "Kokushi Muso" and "Kakita AKANISHI" to become considered one of the greatest intellectual directors in the industry.
Mansaku ITAMI retired from directing after his 1938 film "Kyojinden" (A story of giant) and returned to Kyoto in 1940 where he wrote the screenplays for "Muhomatsu no Issho" (Lie of Muhomatsu) and "Te wo tsunagu kora" (Children holding hands) for Nikkatsu. These productions were directed by his close friend Hiroshi INAGAKI. Mansaku ITAMI passed away on September 21, 1946. He was aged 46.