Later on, when I was in high school, I saw old black and white movies by the late, famed director, Kurosawa Akira. Kurosawa made such classics as Shichi-nin no Samurai (The Seven Samurai), Yojimbo (The Bodyguard) and Sanjuro (the name of the main character), all of which were then re-made as westerns. The Magnificent Seven was a Hollywood hit, and Yojimbo and Sanjuro became the Italian westerns, A Fistful of Dollars and For a Few Dollars More, starring Clint Eastwood. But it was those Samurai films from the 50s and 60s that really developed my interest in Japan.
Another of Kurosawa’s films, Hidden Fortress, was one of the influences on George Lucas when he set out to make Star Wars. Kurosawa, and Japan, had well and truly caught Hollywood’s attention. Encouraged by George Lucas, and in conjunction with 20th Century Fox, Kurosawa Akira made the film Kagemusha (Shadow Warrior), and later he filmed Ran (based on King Lear), with both films winning numerous awards.