Toshiro Mifune was and is Japan's most famous actor in the last century, and possibly the last actual man to have come from glorious Nippon. All male internet denizens will admit they have a huge mancrush on him, while all females won't be able to answer, as their ovaries will have just imploded from the mere sight of him. He's also famous for having helped bring Japanese film to the international stage, being a huge influence on Western culture (such as spaghetti westerns), and being an all-around mushroom-cloud-laying muthafucka.
The Start of Something Beautiful
When Mifune was a young man just back from getting his ass handed to him in WW2, he went to Toho Productions to work in the film industry. Then Toho decided to be gay and started affiliating itself with Commies. Mifune said "Peace out, bitches", and went to work with his new, less-weird pals at Shin Toho Studios. He was accidentally picked to do a screen test, but decided to go with it anyway. When the interviewers asked him to pretend to laugh, he said, "Laugh? What is this? I came for a job."
By this point, Mifune was getting pissed off. Those fuckers wouldn't let up, though. They asked him to pretend to be drunk, so he summoned up all the rage and hate generated from his wartime experiences. The performance he gave was so fucking amazing, the interviewers shat bricks and promptly hired him. His BFF, Akira Kurosawa, was also present at the screen test, recalling that he saw "a young man reeling around the room in a violent frenzy... it was as frightening as watching a wounded beast trying to break loose. I was transfixed."
Glorious Acting Career
Hold on to your panties, ladies, 'cause here's where things get fucking awesome. In 1954, Seven Samurai was released, telling the tale of seven samurai who defend a village from marauding bandits, losing a few of their own along the way. Before this film, most Japanese folks thought samurai were supposed to be tame, genteel kind of guys. But that's fucking bullshit, or at least Kurosawa thought so. In the film, Mifune played a samurai-wannabe who gets drunk, loots corpses, and trolls the entire village by scaring the shit out of them. To help him get in-character, Mifune watched footage of lions in the wild. The film became so popular that Mifune's name became synonymous with samurai, while Kurosawa got to laugh in the faces of his haters when they saw that it became one of the greatest and most influential films of all time. Of all time.
Yōjimbō's a film about a ronin who wanders into a town torn apart by two warring crimelords. He trolls them both by making them hire him as their bodyguard. Sound familiar? That's because Sergio Leone decided to copy Kurosawa's idea because OMG Kurosawa-kun is such a kawaii artistu and Japanesu, ne~!!1 =^.^= (though you probably haven't seen A Fistful of Dollars, because you're an uncultured fuck living in your mom's basement). Yōjimbō is considered to be one of Mifune's iconic roles, so much so that it spawned a fucking awesome sequel, a few spin-offs, and a furry fancomic. It also had some top-notch writing, too.
— Yojimbo, talking to you.
Why He's Better Than You
- He's coarse, gruff, tuff, and none of that gay fairy shit you see in Japan today.
- But that doesn't mean he won't fuck you, either.
- He won't hesitate to gut you like a trout. With a real sword.
- He helped give birth to stars like Clint Eastwood, and created the original yakuza role.
- He's so addicted to disemboweling guys, it's theorized that he may have died from overworking.
- Hello, he's a fucking Samurai.
- Mifune was originally going to be Obi-wan Kenobi (not surprising since George Lucas practically ripped off Kurosawa on everything else).
- According to Kurosawa, "Mifune had a kind of talent I had never encountered before in the Japanese film world. It was, above all, the speed with which he expressed himself that was astounding."
- When filming for Sanjurō and Yōjimbō, Mifune used an actual sword during the action sequences:
— Oh shi-
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