Kōki Mitani

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Kōki Mitani
Koki Mitani 20141017 2.jpg
participated in the Opening Event of the Tokyo International Film Festival (October 17, 2014)
Born (1961-07-08) July 8, 1961 (age 53)
Setagaya, Tokyo
Nationality Japanese
Occupation Playwright, screenwriter, actor, film director

Kōki Mitani (三谷 幸喜 Mitani Kōki?, born July 8, 1961) is a Japanese playwright, screenwriter, actor and film director and was previously married to Japanese actress Satomi Kobayashi. He was named after Taihō Kōki, a sumo wrestler who became yokozuna a few months after his birth. He studied dramatics at Nihon University.

In an attempt to add his own character to his movies, as a director he takes most of his scenes with a one-scene=one-shot system, moving the camera around as opposed to cutting. He claims this comes from his experience in theatre, where there are of course, no cuts. Mitani does not use a computer.[1]

Early life[edit]

Mitani liked watching TV dramas and puppetries of NHK in his childhood. Especially he was interested in the puppetries "Shin Hakkenden"(新八犬伝) and "Sangokushi"(三国志), jidaigekis as "Tenka Gomen" (天下御免) and "Tenka Dōdō" (天下堂々) and Taiga Dramas "Ōgon no hibi"(黄金の日々).

He also liked and still likes the works featuring famous detectives includes the Series of Sherlock Holmes[2] and adored Holmes as detective.[3] He has whole volume of novels including pastiches, DVDs related to Sherlock Holmes and read all the novels again before adapting it to a puppetry whose setting is laid in a boarding school. And in his high school days, he planned to produce a film featuring a detective, loosely based on "And Then There Were None" and went on location to Enoshima, Kanagawa with his friends though it's unfinished.[2]

Besides he watched many foreign films such as the ones directed by Billy Wilder, "12 Angry Men" and "The Wages of Fear" on TV. He says that he was influenced by them but recent Hollywood comedy films are not as funny as those in the golden age and Japanese comedy becomes better.[1] He is a big fan of "Columbo" also.


His works are basically comedies full of wit and humour and with parody. He usually writes a script visualising the actors and actresses close to the characters.

He writes a weekly column for the Asahi Shimbun daily newspaper,[1] in which he often discusses his favorite films, his writing process, and the actors and actresses that he has worked with.

Feature films and TV dramas[edit]

(Note: Many of Mitani's films began as successful plays.)

Theatre works[edit]



  1. ^ a b c Tanaka, Nobuko, "Japan's Mr. Comedy", Japan Times, June 2, 2012, p. 7
  2. ^ a b 『ユリイカ』、青土社、2014年8月増刊、148–154頁
    Eureka August 2014 Extra Edition", Tokyo: Seidosha, 2014, pp.148–154.
  3. ^ 岡崎信治郎・藤田健一編『シャーロックホームズ冒険ファンブック』、小学館、2014年、21頁。
    Shinjirō Okazaki and Kenichi Fujita (ed.) Sharokku Hōmuzu bōken fan bukku(Guidebook of "Sherlock Holmes"), Tokyo, Shogakukan, 2014, p.21.

External links[edit]