Yoji Yamada (September 13, 1931 in Osaka, Japan) is a Japanese director best known for his Tora-san series of films. He has won many awards throughout his lengthy career and is well-respected in Japan and by critics throughout the world. His wrote his first screenplay in 1958, and directed his first movie in 1961. Yamada continues to make movies to this day.
Tora-san SeriesKnown in Japan under the title It's Tough Being a Man (Otoko wa Tsurai yo), his Tora-san series features traveling merchant Torajiro, who without education or ambition has no stable employment. The usual plot is as follows: Tora-san decides to settle down and returns to his hometown, falls in love with an attractive but unattainable girl, realizing he has no chance with her he hits the road; too late to find out that the girl actually had strong feelings for Tora-san. Since the lead role in every Tora-san movie was played by Atsumi Kiyoshi, his death in 1996 put an end to the series and Yamada moved on to other movies. Although Yamada is known for his long-running series of movies--4 films in the A Class to Remember (Gakko) series, 13 in the Free and Easy (Tsuribaka Nisshi) series--none have reached the prolific numbers of the Tora-san series. Over a period of about 25 years 48 Tora-san films were made, all of them starring Atsumi, and the majority written and directed by Yamada.
Note: This profile was written in or before 2004.
Yoji Yamada Facts
|September 13, 1931 (92)
|Love and Honor
|Tora-San: Collector's Set 1
|The Hidden Blade
|Kabei: Our Mother
|What A Wonderful Family!
|A Century of Japanese Cinema: Tora-San's Runway