Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Director Umetsugu Inoue, 1923-2010

by Chris MaGee

Sad news for fans of classic Japanese films hit the net over the weekend. Umetsugu Inoue, director of the 1957 Nikkatsu youth drama "Arashi o yobu otoko (A Storming Drummer)" (above) died in Tokyo on February 11th of a brain hemorrhage. He was 86-years-old.

Inoue studied economics at Keio University, but shifted to a career as a screenwriter in 1947 with the then newly formed Shintoho Studio. In 1955 he moved to Nikkatsu after they gave him the opportunity to begin directing films. He helmed a number of genre defining youth films starring 50's heartthrob Yujiro Ishihara before leaving Nikkatsu in 1958 after which he established himself as a versatile and prolific independent filmmaker both in Japan and Hong Kong. All told Inoue directed an impressive 115 films throughout his nearly four decade career.

We extend our condolences to Inoue's family and colleagues. Thanks to Japan Zone for the details on this.

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