The Japanese director and play writer Kaneto Shindo, known for directing films such as "Children of Hiroshima" and writing the screenplay for the movie “Hachiko, a dog’s story”, died yesterday at his home in Tokyo, at the age of 100.
Kaneto Shindo was born in 1912 in Hiroshima; he died of natural causes at his residence in Tokyo's central district of Akasaka. Shindo became interested in photography and movies after working in a photography shop in Kyoto.
In the 1930s he moved to Tokyo where he began working as an assistant for acclaimed director Kenji Mizoguchi. While working with Mizoguchi, he learned the technique of writing scripts for movies. In 1951 he directed his first film "Aisai monogatari" ("History of a beloved wife").
In total, Shindo wrote 231 movie scripts and directed 49 films. One of his most celebrated films was "Gembaku no ko" ("Children of Hiroshima"), the touching story about a teacher who returns to Hiroshima several years after the atomic bombing. It was screened in 1953 at the Cannes Film Festival. Another one of his most successful movies was "Hadaka no shima" (1960), a film that portrays the life of a family of fishermen in the Sea of Japan.
In recent years, his name become famous again when Swedish director Lasse Hallström adapted Shindo’s original screenplay of his movie “Hachiko monogatari” (1987), for his movie "Hachiko: A Dog's Story" starring Richard Gere, about the true story of Hachikō, an Akita dog who was loyal to his master even after his master’s death.
At the age of 100, the filmmaker was still working on movie projects. His latest film "Ichimai hagaki not" ("Postcard"), was shot in 2010 and received the Special Prize of the Jury at the Tokyo Film Festival.
In 2002 Shindo was awarded the Imperial Order of Culture of Japan and in 2003 the Japan Academy gave him a Lifetime Achievement Award.