Now, this may go somewhat beyond our usual coverage, but yesterday I found this rather interesting blog entry on Rose’s Crafty McGee blog, which is mainly about arts, crafts and home-making. In it, Rose shows a lovely stuffed crow that she made as an homage to Kurosawa. She writes:
I made my Akira a crow – since crows are sharp-eyed, curious, intelligent and mysterious. All words I would use to describe Kurosawa himself.
For some reason, I couldn’t get this out of my mind. Was Kurosawa really a crow?
Stuart Galbraith IV, in his book The Emperor and the Wolf associates Toshiro Mifune with a wolf, which I think is quite fitting (and makes me also think about the 1992 film Shadow of the Wolf, one of Mifune’s last). But was Kurosawa himself a crow, or some other animal?
Of course, by now all of you are probably thinking of Van Gogh’s painting “Wheat Field with Crows” (a detail of which is picture above), which Kurosawa made use in Dreams. Maybe he felt some association with crows? Or just with the painting?
I also started to think about animals in general in Kurosawa’s movies. I think one of the most powerful images in his whole oeuvre is the opening shot to Stray Dog — that panting dog in the hot summer sun. Can you think of any other animals in Kurosawa’s films that are there not only for historical or scene setting reasons?