YojiYamada (山田 洋次 Yamada Yōji, born September 13, 1931 in Toyonaka City, {{Osaka}}, Japan) is a Japanese director best known for his Tora-san series of films.

He was born in {{Osaka}}. But because of the work of his father, who was an engineer for the South Manchuria Railway, from the age of 2 he was brought up in {{Manchuria}}. Following the end of WorldWarII, he came back to Japan and subsequently he lived in YamagataPrefecture.

After receiving his degree from TokyoUniversity in 1954, he entered {{Shochiku}} and worked under YoshitaroNomura as a scriptwriter or as an assistant director.

He has won many awards throughout his lengthy career and is well-respected in Japan and by critics throughout the world. He wrote his first screenplay in 1958, and directed his first movie in 1961. Yamada continues to make movies to this day.

Tora-san Series

Known in Japan under the title OtokoWaTsuraiYo (男はつらいよ, "It's tough being a man"), his Tora-san series features traveling merchant Torajirō, who is always unlucky in love. Since the lead role in every Tora-san movie was played by KiyoshiAtsumi, 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 (学校 Gakkō) series, 13 in the Free and Easy (釣りバカ日誌 TsuribakaNisshi) 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.

Notable Awards

His movies have won the Best Picture award at the Japanese Academy Awards four times: in 1977 for TheYellowHandkerchief (幸福の黄色いハンカチ Shiawase no Kiiroi Hankachi), in 1991 for My Sons (息子 {{Musuko}}), in 1993 for AClassToRemember (学校 Gakkō), and in 2002 for TheTwilightSamurai (たそがれ清兵衛 [[TheTwilightSamurai Tasogare Seibei]]). In 2003 TheTwilightSamurai was nominated for the 76th {{Academy Award}}s' BestForeignLanguageFilm.

His 2004 film, TheHiddenBlade (KakushiKenOniNoTsume), was nominated for sixteen awards and won three.

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