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Japanese Screenwriter Shinobu Hashimoto Dies At 100

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Shinobu Hashimoto, the Japanese screenwriter-director best known for his work with Akira Kurosawa, passed away on Thursday. He was 100. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Hashimoto died on Thursday at his home in Tokyo due to the complications caused by pneumonia.

Born in Hyogo Prefecture in April 1918, Hashimoto had written a script based on a short story, In a Grove by Ryunosuke Akutagawa, which Kurosawa adapted for the 1950 iconic film Rashomon – a film that played a major part in shaping Japanese cinema. After the film won the Golden Lion at the 1951 Venice Film Festival, Hashimoto quit his job as a company employee and devoted his time to writing.

He went on to work on Throne of Blood, Kurosawa’s take on Macbeth, in 1957.  He also wrote the script for The Seven Samurai and has written and co-written more than 70 screenplays, including The Hidden Fortress (1958) and many of Kurosawa’s classics. He has also worked with noted Japanese directors like Tadashi Imai, Mikio Naruse, Kihachi Okamoto and Masaki Kobayashi.

The writer has won nearly 16 awards for his writing, including the Blue Ribbon Awards in the 1960.  He has also directed three films:  I Want to Be a Shellfish (1959), Minami no kaze to nami (1961) and Lake of Illusions (1982). He continued screenwriting until suffered a stroke in his 90s. Apart from directing and screenwriting, Hashimoto also launched is production company in 1973.

Classic Bollywood film Sholay, written by Salim Khan and Javed Akhtar, was also loosely based on Shichinin no Samurai or Seven Samurai. The film, based on a 16th Century epic, was a technical marvel.

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It is the story of seven ronin (samurai rendered jobless after they lose their master) who are hired by farmers to fight off crop-stealing bandits in a village. It became the highest-grossing film in Japan following its release.

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