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
DiedJuly 18, 1962(1962-07-18) (aged 64)
Other namesMasuo Ōbe
OccupationFilm actor
Years active1925 – 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), training 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 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]