Kei Kumai

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Kei Kumai
Born (1930-06-01)June 1, 1930
Azumino, Nagano Prefecture, Japan
Died May 23, 2007(2007-05-23) (aged 76)
Occupation Film director

Kei Kumai (熊井 啓?, Kumai Kei, June 1, 1930 – May 23, 2007) was a Japanese film director from Azumino, Nagano prefecture. After his studies in literature at Shinshu University, he worked as director's assistant.

He won the Directors Guild of Japan New Directors Award for his first film, Nihon rettō, in 1965.[1] His 1972 film Shinobu Kawa was entered into the 8th Moscow International Film Festival.[2] His 1974 film Rise, Fair Sun was entered into the 24th Berlin International Film Festival.[3]

Perhaps his best-known film is Sandakan No. 8, which received widespread acclaim for tackling the issue of a woman forced into prostitution in Borneo before the outbreak of World War II. Kinuyo Tanaka won the Best Actress Award at the 25th Berlin International Film Festival for her performance.[4] The film was nominated for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 48th Academy Awards.[5]

Kumai's follow-up film was 1976's Cape of North, starring French actress Claude Jade as a Swiss nun who falls in love with a Japanese engineer on a trip from Marseilles to Yokohama. His 1986 film The Sea and Poison won the Silver Bear - Special Jury Prize at the 37th Berlin International Film Festival.[6] In 1992, his film Luminous Moss was entered into the 42nd Berlin International Film Festival.[7]

Other works include Ocean to Cross, Death of a Tea Master starring Toshirō Mifune as Sen no Rikyū (Silver Lion at the 1989 Venice Film Festival)[8] and the 2002 film The Sea Is Watching, based on Akira Kurosawa's last script.



  1. ^ "Nihon Eiga Kantoku Kyōkai Shinjinshō" (in Japanese). Directors Guild of Japan. Retrieved 11 December 2010. 
  2. ^ "8th Moscow International Film Festival (1973)". MIFF. Archived from the original on 2013-01-16. Retrieved 2013-01-03. 
  3. ^ " Awards for Rise, Fair Sun". Retrieved 2010-07-02. 
  4. ^ "Berlinale 1975: Prize Winners". Retrieved 2010-07-11. 
  5. ^ "The 48th Academy Awards (1976) Nominees and Winners". Retrieved 2012-03-18. 
  6. ^ "Berlinale: 1987 Prize Winners". Retrieved 2011-03-03. 
  7. ^ "Berlinale: 1992 Programme". Retrieved 2011-05-27. 
  8. ^ Ken Kumai Dies

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