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Akemi Negishi posters


March 26, 1934

Birth Sign




Akemi Negishi might never have become an actress but for Josef von Sternberg. The legendary director was in Japan looking for a woman to play the seductress who leads a bunch of soldiers astray in his upcoming (and as it turned out, last) movie _Anatahan (1954)_. But Sternberg spotted Negishi one night, dancing on the cabaret stage, and chose her at once. This was the first in a long string of exotic roles, most unusual for the average Japanese actress, but which became her trademark, in films as various as _Kingukongu tai Gojira (1962)_ and Dodes'ka-den (1970). She was a favorite actress of both Akira Kurosawa and IshirĂ´ Honda, both directors seeing beyond the kind of role in which she was usually typecast, and thereby encouraging her to some of the best work any Japanese actress did in the 1950s and 1960s. Her most memorable roles are probably for Kurosawa, in The Lower Depths (1957) and Dodes'ka-den (1970); but she is probably best known outside Japan for playing the woman who leads the dance of tribute to Kong in _Kingukongu tai Gojira (1962)_. read more

Negishi was an unusual presence in Japanese film at that time, since her presence was so aggressively, obviously sensual. This militated against her becoming a major star in the conservative Japanese atmosphere of the time, but she was fortunate to be able to do excellent character work throughout the 1950s and 1960s. Following her arresting cameo as the beautiful lone housewife in Dodes'ka-den (1970), it appears that Negishi retired.

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