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Donald Richie

Full Name: Donald Richie
Hometown: Lima, Ohio
Born: 1924-04-17
Number of Works: 76
Donald Richie is an American-born author who has written about the Japanese people and Japanese cinema. Although he considers himself only a writer, Richie has directed many experimental films, the first when he was 17. Although Richie speaks Japanese fluently, he can neither read nor write it.

During World War II, he served aboard Liberty ships as a purser and medical officer. By then he had already published his first work, "Tumblebugs" (1942), a short story.

In 1947, Richie first visited Japan with the American occupation force, a job he saw as an opportunity to escape from Lima, Ohio. He first worked as a typist, and then as a civilian staff writer for the Pacific Stars and Stripes. While in Tokyo, he became fascinated with Japanese culture, particularly Japanese cinema. He was soon writing movie reviews in the Stars and Stripes. In 1948 he met Kashiko Kawakita who introduced him to Yasujiro Ozu. During their long friendship, Richie and Kawakita collaborated closely in promoting Japanese film in the West.

After returning to the United States, he enrolled at Columbia University's School of General Studies in 1949, and received his Bachelor's Degree in English in 1953. Richie then returned to Japan as film critic for the The Japan Times and spent much of the second half of the twentieth century living there. In 1959, he published his first book, The Japanese Film: Art and Industry, coauthored with Joseph Anderson. In this work, the authors gave the first English language account of Japanese film. Richie served as Curator of Film at the New York Museum of Modern Art from 1969 to 1972. In 1988, he was invited to become the first guest director at the Telluride Film Festival.

Among his most noted works on Japan are The Inland Sea, a travel classic, and Public People, Private People, a look at some of Japan's most significant and most mundane people. He has compiled two collections of essays on Japan: A Lateral View and Partial Views. A collection of his writings has been published to commemorate fifty years of writing about Japan: The Donald Richie Reader. The Japan Journals: 1947-2004 consists of extended excerpts from his diaries.

In 1991, filmmakers Lucille Carra and Brian Cotnoir produced a film version of The Inland Sea, which Richie narrated. Produced by Travelfilm Company, the film won numerous awards, including Best Documentary at the Hawaii International Film Festival (1991) and the Earthwatch Film Award. It screened at the Sundance Film Festival in 1992.

Author Tom Wolfe describes Richie as: "the Lafcadio Hearn of our time, a subtle, stylish, and deceptively lucid medium between two cultures that confuse one another: the Japanese and the American."

Richie's most widely recognized accomplishment has been his analysis of Japanese cinema. From his first published book, Richie has revised not only the library of films he discusses, but the way he analyzes them. With each subsequent book, he has focused less on film theory and more on the conditions in which the films were made. One thing that has emerged in his works is an emphasis on the "presentational" nature of Japan's cinema, in contrast to the "representational" films of the West. His book, A Hundred Years Of Japanese Film includes a helpful guide to the availability of the films on home video and DVD mentioned in the main text. In the foreword to this book, Paul Schrader says: "Whatever we in the West know about Japanese film, and how we know it, we most likely owe to Donald Richie." Richie also has written analyses of two of Japan's best known filmmakers: Yasujiro Ozu and Akira Kurosawa.

Richie has written the English subtitles for Akira Kurosawa's films Kagemusha (1980) and Dreams (1990)[8].

In the 21st century, Richie has become noted for his erudite audio commentaries for The Criterion Collection on DVDs of various classic Japanese films, notably those of Ozu (A Story of Floating Weeds,Early Summer), Mikio Naruse (When a Woman Ascends

ISBN: 0520220374, 9780520220379
Keywords: kurosawa, akira, films
Pages: 280
Published: 1984
  • Rating: 80%

In an epilogue provided for his incomparable study of Akira Kurosawa (1910-1998), Donald Richie reflects on Kurosawa's life work of thirty feature films and describes his last, unfinished project, a film set in the Edo period to be called The Ocean Was Watching.Kurosawa remains unchallenged as one of the century's greatest film directors. Through his long and distinguished career he managed, like very few others in the teeth of a huge and relentless industry, to elevate each of his films to a distinctive level of art. His Rashomon—one of the best-remembered and most talked-of films in any
ISBN: 4770029950, 9784770029959
Keywords: concise, history, film, japanese, years, hundred
Pages: 319
Published: 2002
  • Rating: 80%

Thoroughly revised and updated, the latest edition of this authoritative volume by Donald Richie, the foremost Western expert on Japanese film, gives us an incisive, detailed, and fully illustrated history of the country's cinema. Called "the dean of Japan's arts critics" by Time magazine, Richie takes us from the inception of Japanese cinema at the end of the nineteenth century, through the achievements of Kurosawa, Mizoguchi, and Ozu, then on to the notable works of contemporary filmmakers. This revised edition includes analyses of the latest trends in Japanese cinema, such as t
ISBN: 1880656698, 9781880656693
Keywords: sea, inland
Pages: 260
Published: 1971
  • Rating: 80%
ISBN: 0520032772, 9780520032774
Keywords: films, life, ozu
Pages: 275
Published: 1974
  • Rating: 80%
ISBN: 1880656973, 9781880656976
Keywords: journals, japan
Pages: 510
Published: 2004
  • Rating: 80%

"The transformation of Japan from post-war devastation to twenty-first-century economic and cultural powerhouse has been a remarkable spectacle. Donald Richie arrived in Tokyo on New Year's Day 1947 and since then has been living there to witness and report on this change. For over fifty years Richie's work - comprising dozens of books and hundreds of essays - had helped define modern Japan and Japanese culture for Western readers." "Now, having reached his celebratory eightieth year, this long-time observer of others has decided to open his private journals to public view. Span
ISBN: 1880656612, 9781880656617
Keywords: writing, japan, years, reader, richie, donald
Pages: 288
Published: 2001
  • Rating: 80%

50 years of writing about Japan, from postwar to the age of Pokémon.
ISBN: 1861891539, 9781861891532
Keywords: japan, fashions, fads, factory, image
Pages: 192
Published: 2004
  • Rating: 80%

Just as a person contrives a style, the purpose of which is integration and the effect of which is presentation, so a nation collectively projects an appearance, a "national" style. Such styles are made of many layers. The deepest layer is composed of the immutable and the traditional. Nearer the surface floats fashion, changeable but sometimes more abiding. And frothing on the surface is fad.By definition a fad is novel and appears from outside. Fads must have instant appeal and do not have a long shelf life. In Japan, an assortment of islands, the outside is often the quality that