by Chris MaGee
It was back in March when we reported a very nasty piece of news that left a black mark on the centenary celebrations of Akira Kurosawa's birth. In a nutshell Kurosawa's 65-year-old son Hisao had been accused of stealing ¥380 million (approximately $4.25 million USD) from the foundation set up in his father's name. These funds had been allocated for the construction of the Akira Kurosawa Memorial Museum in Imari, Saga Prefecture. Now Aaron Gerow is reporting on the sad end to this scandal.
The plan to build the Akira Kurosawa Memorial Museum, which would have also featured a block of condominiums above it, has been officially shelved. Apparently the foundation set up in Akira Kurosawa's name had been mismanaged from the start. Honorary members of its board such as filmmakers Steven Spielberg, George Lucas and Martin Scorsese were named as official sitting members of the board, and in fact the board had not met for five years and no proper audit of its accounts had taken place. Only after that was done was the huge shortfall of ¥380 million brought to light.
The foundation asked Imari city officials in May if they could revise their plan for the Museum and build a much smaller "satellite studio" in another region, but after all the dirty dealings that had gone on the Imari officials refused. And thus the dream of having a museum dedicated to one of the greatest filmmakers fizzled out. So very sad that during such an important year this had to happen. Thanks to Sankei.jp for the above image.