Kurosawa’s old production designer, art director and sometime costume designer Yoshiro Muraki has died of heart failure, Tokyograph and Kyodo News report. The 85 year old Muraki passed away on Monday night at his home in Setagaya, Tokyo.
Those familiar with the Akira Kurosawa: It Is Wonderful to Create series, episodes of which most of Criterion’s Kurosawa releases include, will remember Muraki as the man often dressed in a sweater and scarf (except for the screenshot above, which is from the Seven Samurai extras), and who often had all the most interesting anecdotes and memories to share, illustrating them with grand hand gestures.
The four-time Academy Award nominated Muraki in fact worked on altogether 19 of Kurosawa’s 30 films. He also collaborated with Kurosawa on the director’s failed Tora! Tora! Tora! attempt, as well as on the 1999 Kurosawa homage After the Rain. Muraki and Kurosawa also shared a credit on the Toshiro Mifune directed and Kurosawa edited Legacy of the Five Hundred Thousand.