Masumura Yasuzo (増村保造)

Yasuzo MASUMURA (August 25, 1924-November 23, 1986) was a Japanese film director.

Biography and Personal Profile
He was born in Kofu City, Yamanashi Prefecture. He studied at Yamanashi Prefectural Kofu Daiichi High School and Daiichi High School (old-education-system), and graduated from the Faculty of Law at Tokyo University. Yukio MISHIMA was one of his acquaintances at the Faculty of Law, University of Tokyo.

In 1947 he joined Daiei Motion Picture Company as an assistant director. However, he was enrolled again to study at the Department of Philosophy of the Faculty of Literature, Tokyo University. In 1952, He went to Italy to study under Federico FELLINI and Luchino VISCONTI among others. After he returned to Japan, he participated in filmmaking with Kenji MIZOGUCHI and Kon ICHIKAWA as an assistant director. In 1957 he made his debut as a film director with "Kisses." Since the second film directed by him "A Vivacious Girl," he had worked together with actress Ayako WAKAO, and made a series of notable and significant pieces such as "A Wife Confesses," "Seisaku's Wife," "The Husband Witnessed," and "Red Angel." He also contributed to the golden days of Daiei film, directing "The Hoodlum Soldier," "Nakano Spy School," as well as the fist film of the two blockbuster series starring Shintaro KATSU and by Raizo ICHIKAWA (VIII), respectively.

In 1958 he wrote a critical essay titled 'A vindication,' in "Eiga Hyoron" (Cinema Review), March Issue. And he argued that 'my cimematographic methodology is to establish a modern image of a man,' and he roundly criticized the renowned film directors of the time such as the master director Tadashi IMAMURA, and referring to Mikio NARUSE, he wrote "his films, which come to terms with the actual Japanese Society and depict the ephemeral 'sentiment' of petit bourgeois can be called naturalistic velocity movies."

After Daiei's bankruptcy, he directed "Lullaby of the Earth" and "Double Suicide of Sonezaki" at the Art Theatre Guild (ATG). He also collaborated with Katsu Production, lead by Shintaro KATSU, and filmed the pieces representing his later phase, such as "Shin heitai yakuza: Kasen" (The hoodlum soldier (new version): fuse).

Ishio SHIRASAKA, who was called a genius screenwriter, wrote scripts for 13 of Masumura's films, starting with "A Vivacious Girl" to "Double Suicide of Sonezaki," and was known as Masumura's good partner.

Since the 1970's he was involved in production and scriptwriting of TV dramas such as "The Gardman," 'The Red Series' including "Akai shogeki" (Red shock), and "Stewardess monogatari" (Tale of stewardess). In 1980 he directed a Japan-Italy co-production movie "Giardino dell'Eden" (Garden of Eden).

On November 23, 1986, he died of an intercerebral hemorrhage. He was 62 years old.

All the 57 films he directed in his life consistently demonstrate a sort of European perspective of humans, that conceives 'an individualism with a strong self that enables a man to sacrifice his life for love and hate.'
He created a new style in Japanese movies with his relevant and bold interpretations.