Susumu Fujita

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Susumu Fujita (藤田 進|Fujita Susumu) (8 January 1912 – 23 March 1991) was a Japanese film and television actor. He played the lead role in Akira Kurosawa's first feature, Sanshiro Sugata, and appeared in other Kurosawa films including The Men Who Tread On the Tiger's Tail (as Togashi, commander of the border guards) and The Hidden Fortress (as General Tadokoro). Later, he was a supporting actor in Ishirō Honda's Mothra vs. Godzilla, among many other films.

Before and during World War II Fujita was considered one of the great stars of Japanese cinema. In the post-war period he became known for supporting roles, often playing a soldier in war films. During the sixties and seventies he played minor roles in "special effects pictures" such as Ultraman and Frankenstein Conquers the World.

Life and career[edit]

Fujita was born in Kurume, Fukuoka in Japan. After graduating from high school in 1929 he moved to Tokyo, where he took entrance examinations for several universities, but failed to gain admission. Before returning to Fukuoka he stayed in Kyoto with Takuji Furumi, a film director from his home town. With assistance from Furumi, he secured employment with producer Utaemon Ishikawa as an extra. He was hired as an actor by Toa Cinema in 1931, but did not appear in any films that year. In 1932 he was drafted into military service and enlisted in the 12th Artillery Division. After being discharged from the army in 1934, Fujita went to work for Masahiro Makino's Kyoto Film Recording as an audio engineer. He returned to acting in 1939, when he moved to Toho studios.

At first, Fujita was a contract player appearing in minor roles, but in 1940 he co-starred in Tsuma no baai (妻の場合) with Takako Irie and Minoru Takada; he was praised as a sincere and genuine actor. Beginning in 1941 he played a succession of leading roles, including Shido monogatari (指導物語). In 1943 he appeared in Sanshiro Sugata, the directorial debut of Akira Kurosawa, which brought him to wide popularity. Fujita's popularity as a manly action hero was further cemented with his performance in Kato Hayabusa Sentoutai (加藤隼戦闘隊). He was in the midst of filming The Men Who Tread On the Tiger's Tail when World War II ended.

After the war, Fujita condemned his own portrayal of war heroes and considered leaving acting. However, unable to see himself in any other profession, he returned to the screen. In 1946 he appeared in Kurosawa's first post-war film, No Regrets for Our Youth, about a war-time liberal who was executed for treason.

During a strike at Toho in 1948 Fujita, along with Denjiro Ōkochi, Kazuo Hasegawa and other members of the so-called "Flag ten" secession union broke away to form a new studio, Shintoho (New Toho). This reorganization ended Fujita's collaboration with Kurosawa. At Shintoho, he appeared in several melodramas and action films.

After his contract with Shintoho ended in 1957, Fujita returned to Toho, where he appeared primarily in supporting roles. Fujita and Kurosawa worked together again on The Hidden Fortress in 1958. Although Fujita appeared in a supporting role, it was essential to the film. He appeared in three more Kurosawa films, including Yojimbo, but only in minor roles.

Selected filmography[edit]

  • Hataraku ikka (1939) - Genji's fellow worker (uncredited)
  • Shanhai rikusentai (1939) - Marine N.C.O. (uncredited)
  • Ribbon o musubu fujin (1939)
  • Byakuran no uta: zenpen: kôhen (1939)
  • Moyuru ôzora (1940)
  • Tsuma no baai (1940)
  • Kaigun bakugekitai (1940)
  • Okumura Ioko (1940)
  • Nessa no chikai (1940) - Chen Suyan
  • Shidō monogatari (1941) - Shintaro Sagawa
  • Seishun no kiryû (1942) - Murakami
  • Midori no daichi (1942)
  • Haha wa shinazu (1942)
  • Hawaii Mare okikaisen (1942) - Yamashita
  • Sanshiro Sugata (aka Judo Saga) (1943) - Sanshiro Sugata
  • Wakaki hi no yorokobi (1943) - Naotaro Fujita
  • Neppû (1943)
  • Himetaru kakugo (1943) - Navy officer
  • Kato hayabusa sento-tai (1944)
  • Raigekitai Shutsudô (1944)
  • Raigekitai shutsudo (1944)
  • Nichijô no tatakai (1944)
  • Kanjôkai no bara (1945)
  • Sanshiro Sugata Part II (1945) - Sanshiro Sugata
  • Nihon kengô den (1945) - Yagyu Tajima-no-kami
  • Kita no san-nin (1945) - Kakuta
  • Koi no fuunjî (1945)
  • The Men Who Tread On the Tiger's Tail (1945) - Togashi
  • Urashima Tarô no kôei (1946) - Goro Urashima
  • Minshū no Teki (1946)
  • Those Who Make Tomorrow (1946) - Fujita
  • Reijin (1946) - Shinichi Tazawa
  • No Regrets for Our Youth (1946) - Ruykichi Noge
  • Aru yo no tonosama (1946)
  • A Thousand and One Nights with Toho (1947)
  • Kâkedashî jidaî (1947)
  • Hana hiraku - Machiko yori (1948) - Teruhiko Kuwai
  • Issun-boshi (1948)
  • Ikiteiru gazô (1948) - Yutaka Nambara
  • Shirozukin arawaru (1949) - Senta
  • Kirare no Senta (1949)
  • Mori no Ishimatsu (1949) - Ishimatsu
  • Umi no G-men (1950)
  • Kai Jo G-Men (1950)
  • Sasameyuki (1950) - Minoru Mimaki
  • Hi no tori (1950)
  • Netsudeichi (1950)
  • Ginza Sanshiro (1950)
  • Jiyuu gakko (1951) - Hei-san
  • Bungawan soro (1951)
  • Avalanche (1952) - Kōsuke Kijima
  • Himeyuri no tō (1953) - Dr. Oka
  • Kenbei (1953)
  • Senkan Yamato (1953) - Jiro Nomura
  • Waga koi no lila no kokage ni (1953)
  • Hana to ryû - Dai-ichi-bu: Dôkai-wan no rantô (1954) - Kingorô Tamai
  • Hana to ryû - Dai-ni-bu: Aijô ruten (1954) - Kingorô Tamai
  • Horafuki tanji (1954) - Farmer Tanji
  • Sensuikan Rogô imada fujôsezu (1954)
  • Nihon yaburezu (1954)
  • Hana to ryu (1954)
  • Non-chan kumo ni noru (1955) - Nobuko's father
  • Ai no rekishi (1955) - Ichirô Kaibara
  • Hokkai no hanran (1956) - Atsuo Kuroda
  • Silver Snake Iwashiya (1956)
  • Revenge of the Pearl Queen (1956) - Kenji Asamura
  • Rônin-gai (1957) - Gonbei Horo
  • Awa odori naruto no kaizoku (1957)
  • Escapade in Japan (1957) - Kei Tanaka
  • Jirochô gaiden: Ôabare jirochô ikka (1957)
  • The Mysterians (1957) - Gen. Morita
  • Meiji tennō to Nichiro daisensō (1958)
  • Satsujinki: Kumo-otoko (1958) - Kogorô Akechi
  • The Hidden Fortress (1958) - General Hyoe Tadokoro
  • Kumo-otoko no gyakushû (1958) - Kogorô Akechi
  • Songokû (1959)
  • Submarine I-57 Will Not Surrender (1959)
  • The Human Condition (1959) - Naruto Nitôhei
  • Watashi wa kai ni naritai (1959)
  • Kunisada Chûji (1960) - Magistrate Jubei Matsui
  • Storm Over the Pacific (1960)
  • The Bad Sleep Well (1960) - Detective
  • Yatarô gasa (1960) - Boss Daihachi
  • Shî no tsûisekishâ (1960)
  • The Story of Osaka Castle (1961) - Katsuyasu Sakakibara[1]
  • Yojimbo (1961) - Homma - Instructor Who Skips Town
  • Ai to honoho to (1961) - Niimura
  • Dobunezumi sakusen (1962)
  • Chushingura: 47 Samurai (1962) - Yosobei Kajikawa
  • Attack Squadron! (1963) - Yamato Commander Ito
  • High and Low (aka The Ransom) (1963) - Chief of First Investigating Section
  • Chintao yosai bakugeki meirei (aka Siege of Fort Bismarck) (1963)
  • Hiken (1963)
  • Atragon (1963) - Defense Commander
  • Kokusai himitsu keisatsu (1964) - Meishi's Boss
  • Kyo mo ware ozora ni ari (1964)
  • Mothra vs. Godzilla (1964) - JSDF General
  • Dagora the Space Monster (1964) - General Iwasa[2]
  • Horafuki taikoki (1964) - Yoshimoto Imagawa
  • Samurai Assassin (1965) - Tatewaki Todo
  • Kiga Kaikyo (1965) - Police Chief
  • Zoku shachô ninpôchô (1965)
  • Fûrai ninpôchô (1965)
  • Taiheiyo kiseki no sakusen Kisuka (1965) - Akitani
  • Frankenstein Conquers the World (1965) - Osaka Police Chief
  • Zero faita dai kûsen (1966)
  • Nippon ankokugai (1966)
  • Nihon ânkokugai (1966)
  • Hokkai no Abare-Ryu (1966)
  • Bosû wa ore no kenjû de (1966)
  • Japan's Longest Day (1967) - Colonel Toyojiro Haga - CO Imperial Guards 2nd Infantry Regiment
  • Ultraman (1967)
  • Rengo kantai shirei chōkan Yamamoto Isoroku (1968) - Kurita
  • Furesshuman wakadaishô (1969)
  • Nihonkai daikaisen (1969) - Uemura
  • Hiko shonen: Wakamono no toride (1970) - Jiro Iwami - Boy
  • Nora-neko rokku: Onna banchô (1970)
  • The Militarists (1970) - Nagano (uncredited)
  • Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970) - Rear Admiral Tamon Yamaguchi
  • Shiosai (1971)
  • Shin Abashiri Bangaichi: Fubuki no Dai-Dassou (1971)
  • Shin abashiri bangaichi: Arashi yobu shiretoko-misaki (1971)
  • Bokyo Komori-uta (1972)
  • Seishun no mon (1975) - Yabe Tora
  • Nihon no jingi (1977)
  • Fuyu no hana (1978) - Ryokichi Sakata
  • Ultraman: Great Monster Decisive Battle (1979)
  • Shikake-nin Baian (1981) - Hanuemon Otowaya
  • The Imperial Navy (1981) - Koshirō Oikawa
  • Kaikyô (1982)
  • Namidabashi (1983)
  • Detective Story (1983) - Gozo Kunizaki
  • Mori no mukougawa (1988)
  • Roppongi banana boys (1989) - Tayama (final film role)

References[edit]

  1. ^ Stuart Galbraith IV (16 May 2008). The Toho Studios Story: A History and Complete Filmography. Scarecrow Press. p. 177. ISBN 978-1-4616-7374-3.
  2. ^ Stuart Galbraith IV (16 May 2008). The Toho Studios Story: A History and Complete Filmography. Scarecrow Press. pp. 212–213. ISBN 978-1-4616-7374-3.

External links[edit]