Denjirō Ōkōchi

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Denjirō Ōkōchi
Denjirō Ōkōchi.jpg
Denjirō Ōkōchi
Native name 大河内 傳次郎
Born (1898-02-05)February 5, 1898
Buzen, Fukuoka
Died July 18, 1962(1962-07-18) (aged 64)
Nationality Japanese
Other names Masuo Ōbe
Occupation Film actor
Years active 1925 – 1961

Denjirō Ōkōchi (大河内 傳次郎?, Ōkōchi Denjirō, 5 February 1898 – 18 July 1962) was a Japanese film actor most famous for starring roles in jidaigeki directed by leading Japanese filmmakers.

Early life[edit]

Born in 1898, his real name was Masuo Ōbe.[1]


Ōkōchi entered Shinkokugeki (Eng: New National Theatre), traiining under Shōjirō Sawada (aka Sawasho). Sawada founded this new school of popular theatre in 1917 which had strong cultural impact by the early 1920s.[2] Shinkokugeki was known for jidaigeki the period drama genre, particularly for its realistic sword fights (tate) or swordplay (kengeki).[2]

With this background, Ōkōchi entered the Nikkatsu studio in 1925 and soon came to fame in chanbara (sword-fighting) Samurai films – a subgenre of jidaigeki emphasizing tate[2] – playing characters such as Chūji Kunisada and Sazen Tange.[1]

At his peak, he was one of the top jidaigeki stars alongside Tsumasaburō Bandō and Chiezō Kataoka. During World War II, he also appeared in a number of war films.

He was directed by such masters as Akira Kurosawa, Daisuke Itō, Sadao Yamanaka, Teinosuke Kinugasa, Hiroshi Inagaki and Masahiro Makino.


Ōkōchi had ceased acting by 1961, dying a year later on July 18, 1962.


His house and garden in Arashiyama, Kyoto, called Ōkōchi Sansō,[3] are still preserved and open to the public.

Selected filmography[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Ōkōchi Denjirō". Nihon jinmei daijiten (in Japanese). Kōdansha. Retrieved 14 November 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c Mitsuhiro Yoshimoto, Kurosawa: Film Studies and Japanese Cinema, Duke University Press, 2000; Ch "Seven Samurai" p213
  3. ^ "Okochi Sanso Villa". Japan Visitor. Retrieved 8 January 2010. 

External links[edit]