Masaki Kobayashi (小林 正樹 Kobayashi Masaki, February 14, 1916 – October 4, 1996) was a Japanese film director.
Kobayashi embarked on a career in film in 1941 when he entered Shochiku Studios as an apprentice director, but his career was almost immediately interrupted when he was drafted into the army and sent to Manchuria. Kobayashi regarded himself as a pacifist. His way of resisting was to refuse promotion to a rank higher than private. He spent time as a prisoner of war. After his release, in 1946, he returned to Shochiku as assistant to the director Keisuke Kinoshita. His own directorial debut was in 1952 when he made Musuko no Seishuri (My Son's Youth).
From 1959 to 1961, Kobayashi directed The Human Condition (1959-1961), a trilogy on the effects of World War II on a Japanese pacifist and socialist. The total length of the films is over nine hours.
In 1962 he directed Harakiri, which won the Jury Prize at the 1963 Cannes Film Festival.
In 1965, Kobayashi made Kwaidan (1965), a collection of four ghost stories drawn from books by Lafcadio Hearn. Kwaidan won the Special Jury Prize at the 1965 Cannes Film Festival, and received an Academy Award nomination for Best Foreign Language Film.
In 1969, he was a member of the jury at the 19th Berlin International Film Festival.
He was also a candidate for directing the Japanese sequences for Tora! Tora! Tora!, once Akira Kurosawa left the film. But instead Kinji Fukasaku and Toshio Masuda were chosen.
- 1952: My Sons' Youth (Musuko no seishun)
- 1953: The Thick-Walled Room (Kabe atsuki heya)
- 1953: Sincerity (Magokoro)
- 1954: Three Loves (Mittsu no ai)
- 1954: Somewhere Under the Broad Sky (Kono hiroi sora no dokoka ni)
- 1955: Beautiful Days (Uruwashiki saigetsu)
- 1956: The Spring (Izumi)
- 1956 I'll Buy You (Anata kaimasu)
- 1957: Black River (Kuroi kawa)
- 1959–1961: The Human Condition trilogy (Ningen no jōken)
- 1962: The Inheritance (Karami-ai)
- 1962: Harakiri (Seppuku)
- 1964: Kwaidan
- 1967: Samurai Rebellion (Jōi-uchi: Hairyō-tsuma shimatsu)
- 1968: Hymn to a Tired Man (Nihon no seishun)
- 1971: Inn Of Evil (Inochi bō ni furō)
- 1975: The Fossil (Kaseki)
- 1979: Glowing Autumn (Moeru aki)
- 1983: Tokyo Trial (Tōkyō saiban)
- 1985: Family Without a Dinner Table (Shokutaku no nai ie)
External links