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TOKYO – Director Kaneto Shindo, whose last film Postcard (Ichi Mai no Hagaki) was Japan’s foreign language Oscar entry this year, passed away at his home in Tokyo Wednesday morning at the age of 100. His career spanned nine decades, during which he directed 48 films and wrote 238 scripts.
Postcard was based partly on the director’s own experience in World War II when he was one of only six survivors of a unit of 100 middle-aged men called up toward the end of the conflict. He shot Postcard at the age of 98, despite being wheelchair-bound and suffering from failing eyesight.
“The crew had worked with him many times before, so they understood what his vision was. It was very emotional when they finished shooting as he knew it would be the last time they worked together,” Jiro Shindo, the director’s son who acted as producer for Postcard, told The Hollywood Reporter late last year.
Born in Hiroshima, Shindo entered the film business when he was 22, later working under legendary director Kenji Mizoguchi.
Shindo first gained international recognition with 1964’s Onibaba, a horror film set in ancient Japan and based on a Buddhist parable. His films through the years have dealt with topics from war and the atomic bomb to sexuality and morality.
A funeral service will be held in Tokyo for Shindo on June 3.
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