Masahiro Shinoda

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Masahiro Shinoda (March 9, 1931–) is a retired Japanese film director.


  • I was already fourteen when Japan lost the war, so it was a very tragic event for me that the U.S. forces occupied Japan. The scenario for that film was written by a poet who was six years younger than I am and for people in that age group, seeing the American occupying forces -- jeeps, tasting delicious Hershey's chocolate bars melting in their mouths -- that was all indications that there would be a wonderful bright future ahead for them. But I was thinking at that time that we were going to face some dark times in the future. So there is a mixture of that kind of optimism as well as despair and sadness that were the reactions to the end of the war.
  • I think that the shock I received when my elder sister died when I was ten years old was the first personal knowledge I had that people die. And since the conditions were very bad in wartime I lost two other older sisters in the wartime and right after the war to tuberculosis as well. This really brought home to me the ephemeral nature of life, the vanity of life, the lack of meaning that might be seen in life. Those were very close to me, personal events that happened in my own life. But during the war I lived in the spirit that I would die for the emperor because the emperor was a god. When after the war, when it was announced the emperor was no longer a god, he was just a human being, it was a great shock to me and I felt that all the gods who had lived in Japan had all become mortal rather than being gods. Of course, this threw me into great despair. But then it led me to have a curiosity about dealing with this type of theme afterwards -- that perhaps people become gods, gods may crash down and become people. So that kind of fluidity is something that became of interest to me as a fifteen-year-old boy.
  • In actual life, of course, we live and have experiences, have certain emotions. But I think movies have shown depths of emotions and kinds of emotion that we might not normally come across in our own lives. So we are emotionally educated by seeing films. And some of our emotions might be much more heightened than they are in real life. I wonder sometimes and I worry that I might have become a person that is capable of a murder, for example, because of that deep emotion that we are able to feel through movies.

Quotes about Masahiro Shinoda[edit]

  • I think I have an advantage because I know what my husband is trying to create in a film from the preparation stage. I don't have to ask him anything once it is in production, so that is a great advantage. But in another way, it is a disadvantage that I know in terms of his private life whether he has a cold, whether he is not feeling well, whether he has a stomach ache. Sometimes I worry about those physical conditions of my husband on the set and that might reflect into my acting.

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