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8

Toshirō Mifune → April 1, 1920 - December 24, 1997 

Toward the end, when Mifune was in the hospital, I called one day at Akira Kurosawa’s house. He came into the parlor in his wheelchair. I had gotten word of Mifune’s condition, and when I reported this, Kurosawa said in a tone of nostalgia: “If I ever see Mifune again, I want to tell him what a good job he did. I want to praise him”. How Mifune must have yearned to hear those words [having never heard praise from him face-to-face]. But without his ever having had that chance, on Christmas Eve, 1997, at the age of seventy-seven, the turbulent life of Toshirō Mifune came to an end.

— Teruyo Nogami, Kurosawa’s close assistant for nearly 35 years and close friend for nearly 50 years