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Kurosawa scripts discovered

Titles include 'Kanokemaru,' 'Tomorrow'

Three long-lost scripts by helmer Akira Kurosawa have been discovered, Japanese news sources have reported.

The scripts are for two features — “Kanokemaru no hitobito” (The People of Kanokemaru) and “Ashita o tsukuru hitobito” (The People Who Make Tomorrow) — and radio drama “Yoki na kojo” (The Cheerful Factory).

“Kanokemaru,” about the crew of an old freighter trying to survive a storm at sea, was finished by scripter Hiroshi Hashimoto, based on Kurosawa’s ideas.

It was penciled in for release in 1951 with Toshiro Mifune starring, but was canceled before going into production.

“Ashita” was written in 1946 as a project initiated by the Toho studio labor union and was to be a collaborative work with other helmers.

The radio drama was written when Kurosawa was still an assistant director and broadcast in August 1942 on public broadcasters NHK.

Kurosawa, who died in 1998 at age 88, was renowned for such pics as the 1950 “Rashomon,” which brought Japanese cinema to world attention when it won a Golden Lion at Venice, and the 1954 “Seven Samurai,” the men-on-a-mission pic that has been remade and reworked around the world.

But Kurosawa was also a talented scripter, whose scripts, especially in his early years, were turned into hits by other helmers.

There are no immediate plans to film the recently rediscovered scripts.

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