Education About Asia: Online Archives

Donald Richie: Throne of Blood and the Films of Akira Kurosawa

Download PDF

THRONE OF BLOOD

THE CRITERION COLLECTION

DVD/VHS, 109 MINUTES, 1957

Many Western educators would have a more difficult time deciphering much of twentieth-century Japanese film without the aid of author and critic Donald Richie. Author of more than forty books, including dozens on film, Richie’s rewarding relationship with Japan has lasted nearly sixty years. His writing is a Rosetta stone for those who may be mystified by elements of Japanese film and its most famous director, Akira Kurosawa.

Fortunately for college and high school instructors, Richie’s work on Kurosawa makes it easier to integrate Japanese film and literature into classrooms. In this essay I’ll discuss how to use Kurosawa’s film Throne of Blood, Shakespeare’s Macbeth, and a chapter from Richie’s Films of Akira Kurosawa. Using Throne of Blood in conjunction with Richie’s work will introduce students, among other things, to Noh drama, medieval Japan, and Western and Japanese notions of leadership and the human condition.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Richie, Donald. The Films of Akira Kurosawa, 3rd ed. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1998.

Dower, John W. Embracing Defeat. New York: W. W. Norton, 1999.

SELECTED WORKS OF DONALD RICHIE

Richie, Donald. The Films of Akira Kurosawa, 3rd ed. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1998.

Richie, Donald. The Donald Richie Reader: 50 Years of Writing on Japan. Arturo Silva, ed. Berkeley, CA: Stone Bridge Press, 2001.

Richie, Donald. The Inland Sea. Berkeley, CA: Stone Bridge Press, 2002 (First Published 1971).

Richie, Donald. Japanese Cinema: An Introduction. New York: Oxford University Press, 1989.

Richie, Donald, and Paul Schrader. A Hundred Years of Japanese Film: A Concise History, with a Selective Guide to Videos and DVDs. New York: Kodansha International, 2001.