Hashimoto Shinobu (橋本忍)

Shinobu HASHIMOTO (April 18, 1918 -) is a screenwriter and film director who was active during the Showa period. Male. He was born in Tsurui-mura, Kanzaki-gun, Hyogo Prefecture (currently Tsurui, Ichikawa-cho, Kanzaki-gun, Hyogo Prefecture).

The scriptwriters Shingo HASHIMOTO and Aya HASHIMOTO are his biological children.


After graduating from junior high school, he was drafted into the army in 1938 but developed military tuberculosis and spent time recuperating. He became interested in screenplays and sent his work to Mansaku ITAMI who instructed him. After Itami's death, Hashimoto went to Tokyo and was introduced to the director, Kiyoshi SAEKI by Itami's wife.

In 1949, he wrote a screenplay adaptation of Ryunosuke AKUTAGAWA's short novel, "Yabu no Naka" (In a Grove). After Itami's death, his widow gave the script that Hashimoto's had initially given to her husband to Saeki who in turn passed it on to Akira KUROSAWA. Kurosawa focused on the "Yabu no Naka" adaptation and, acting on his advice, Hashimoto completed an adaptation of another Akutagawa's short novel "Rashomon" (Rasho-mon Gate). Based on this adaption, Kurosawa's "Rashomon" (film) was released in the following year of 1950 and Shinobu HASHIMOTO made his screenwriting debut. This film was showered with accolades and received the Grand Prix at the Venice International Film Festival.

As a member of the Kurosawa-gumi (production team) screenwriting group, he co-wrote screenplays including those for "Ikiru" (To Live) and "Shichinin no Samurai" (Seven Samurai) with Hideo OGUNI. However, his participation in Kurosawa's films ended in 1960 with "Warui Yatsu Hodo Yoku Nemuru" (The Bad Sleep Well) returning only once 10 years later to work on "Dodesukaden."
The reason he gave for leaving the Kurosawa-gumi was that 'no matter how much he contributed to a Kurosawa film, it was only director Kurosawa who received credit.'
Although this was not sour grapes on his part, since Hashimoto went on to become famous as one of Japan's principal screenwriters. He successively worked on screenplays for major projects including "Mahiru no Ankoku" (Darkness at Noon), "Harikomi" (Stakeout), "Zero no Shoten" (Zero Focus), "Seppuku" (Harakiri), "Kiri no Hata" (Flag in the Mist), "Joi-Uchi" (Samurai Rebellion), "Shiroi Kyoto" (The White Tower), "Nihon no Ichiban Nagai Hi" (Japan's Longest Day), and "Nihon Chinbotsu" (Japan Sinks); and was highly praised for his ability to write logical and solid pieces.

In 1958, he wrote the script for the drama "Watashi wa Kai ni Naritai" (I'd Rather Be a Shellfish) which was included in the KRT (Kabushikigaisha Radio Tokyo, now the Tokyo Broadcasting Company) Arts Festival (Agency for Cultural Affairs). This tragedy portraying a private who failed to stab an American prisoner of war to death after being ordered to do so by his superior officer was executed as a war criminal became very popular and won the Arts Festival award. He directed the film adaptation in the following year of 1959. He debuted as a director as well.

However, the final will and testament that appeared in the film closely resembled that in Tetsutaro KATO's "Kurueru Senpan Shikeishu" (lit. "Mad War Criminal Condemned") and Kato demanded that he be included in the credits for writing the draft, but Hashimoto rejected this by maintaining that he had referenced it from Shukan Asahi magazine and added as follows.
I'll give you 100,000 yen if you stay quiet.'
But this would be out of my own pocket, not an original draft fee.'
Because he later re-broadcasted the film without contacting Kato, Kato submitted a criminal complaint to the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office but Hashimoto was not indicted.

In 1973, he established 'Hashimoto Productions' to tackle new possibilities for movie production outside the control of distributors. Figures including Yoshitaro NOMURA from Shochiku, Shiro MORITANI from Toho and Katsumi OYAMA from Tokyo Broadcasting joined the company and provided a breath of fresh air to the film industry.

In 1974, Hashimoto co-wrote the script for 'Hashimoto Productions' first film "Suna no Utsuwa" (Castle of Sand) with Yoji YAMADA
It was a masterpiece that was said to have surpassed the original work by Seicho MATSUMOTO, the original author, and was a major box office success that went on to sweep the film awards of the year.

In the following year of 1977, the company released "Hakkodasan" (Mt. Hakkoda), directed by Shiro MORITANI and starring Ken TAKAKURA which was a major hit that broke the distribution records of the time. This year showed Hashimoto to be a hit film maker of unprecedented greatness when "Yatsuhaka Mura" (Village of the Eight Tombs) (1977 film on which Hashimoto worked as screenwriter) was released by Shochiku only three months later and achieved numbers close to his previous film. However, compared Toho's Kindaichi series which were composed as logical puzzle-solving films, 'Yatsuhaka Mura' exhibited obvious occult tendencies which clearly demonstrated the characteristics of Hashimoto's work. Hashimoto continued to work actively in screenwriting and film production until the 1980s.

However in 1982, he worked on Toho's 50th anniversary film "Maboroshi no Mizuumi" (Lake of Illusions) as not only a screenwriter but also as producer, original author and director but had the bitter experience of seeing the film being pulled after only one week. He went on to write two more screenplays before entering into virtual retirement partially due to health reasons. However, with the recovery of his health, he released his autobiography "Fukugan no Eizo: Watashi to Kurosawa Akira" (lit. "Multifacet Images: Akira Kurosawa and I") in 2006 in which he wrote of his relationship with Akira KUROSAWA. In 2008, he rewrote his own screenplay for a theatrical version of "I'd Rather Be a Shellfish" starring Masahiro NAKAI.

In 2000 the 'Shinobu Hashimoto Memorial Museum' opened in his home town of Ichikawa Town in Hyogo Prefecture.

He is well known as a fan of keirin bicycle racing. Due to the many years that he spent working in dark rooms, he suffers from an occupational disease in which he becomes dizzy in the presence of strong light this is taken into account when he appears on television programs.

[Original Japanese]