|Died||April 8, 1972(aged 84)|
|Other names||Kuraichi Kotani|
|Occupation||film director, cinematographer|
Born Kuraichi Kotani in Hiroshima Prefecture, Kotani emigrated to the United States with his parents when he was still a boy. Graduating from high school, he began working as an actor and cinematographer under the name Henry Kotani in Hollywood, particularly at Famous Players Lasky. He frequently worked on Donald Crisp's films. In 1920, on the recommendation of Cecil B. DeMille, the newly formed Shōchiku film company hired Kotani and brought him back to Japan. There he directed and photographed Shōchiku's first film, Shima no onna in 1920, and in 1921 wrote, directed and photographed Gubijinsō, the first film of the star actress Sumiko Kurishima. His career at Shōchiku did not last long, but he helped establish the modern visual style of Shōchiku's output and raise cinematographers such as Michio Midorikawa. He later became head of the East Asian bureau of Paramount News. In recognition of his contributions, he was given a lifetime achievement award at the Mainichi Film Awards in 1960.