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Masayuki Suo
Born October 29, 1956 (1956-10-29)
Tokyo, Japan
Occupation Film director and screenwriter
Years active 1983 – present

Masayuki Suo (周防正行 Suo Masayuki ?, born October 29, 1956 in Tokyo) is a Japanese film director. He is perhaps best known for his two Japan Academy Prize-winning films, 1992's Sumo Do, Sumo Don't and 1996's Shall We Dance?.

According to Suo:

"The most important thing for me in movie making is to love the characters of the movie, so even though you only have a few seconds with a character, that person has to have his own life. Therefore, I want to respect it, I want to make movies where each character has his own individuality."[1]


Life and career

In 1982, along with filmmakers Yoshiho Fukuoka, Itsumichi Isomura, Toshiyuki Mizutani and Akira Yoneda, Suo founded a production company called Unit 5.[2] Suo worked as assistant director and appeared in the cast of Kiyoshi Kurosawa's directorial debut, the pinku eiga Kanda River Pervert War (1983).[3] At this early stage in his career, Suo also wrote scripts for the pink genre, such as Scanty Panty Doll: Pungent Aroma (1983).[4] Suo first film as director was also in the pinku eiga genre: Abnormal Family (1984), a film designed as a tribute and satire of Yasujiro Ozu's Tokyo Story.[5] In his book on the pinku eiga, Behind the Pink Curtain (2008), Jasper Sharp calls Abnormal Family an early masterpiece, and one of the wittiest films ever made in the genre. Suo not only pokes gentle fun at Ozu's story, but also mimics many of his stylistic techniques, such as shooting his actors from a low, tatami-mat angle, stiff and static characters speaking to each other with mis-matched eye-angles, and a simple, sentimental melody which accompanies the film.[6] In the years since its release, the film has amused film students with the activity of locating and identifying Suo's many nods to Ozu and his oeuvre.[4]

Abnormal Family was Suo's only directorial work in the pink genre. He next worked for Juzo Itami, to film "making of" pieces for that director's A Taxing Woman (1987) and A Taxing Woman 2 (1988).[6] As of 2007, his most recent film is the 2006 drama I Just Didn't Do It.[7]

Personal life

Suo is married to Tamiyo Kusakari, a ballet dancer, who starred in Shall We Dance?. They met each other during the production of the movie.


  1. Abnormal Family (変態家族兄貴の嫁さん, also known as Spring Bride, Daughter-in-Law[1], or My Brother's Wife) (1984)[5][8]
  2. Making of 'A Taxing Woman (1987) (documentary)
  3. Making of 'A Taxing Woman 2 (1988) (documentary)
  4. Fancy Dance[9] (ファンシイダンス, also known as Manic Zen[1]) (1989)
  5. Sumo Do, Sumo Don't (シコふんじゃった) (1992)
  6. Shall We Dance? (Shall We ダンス?) (1996)
  7. I Just Didn't Do It[9] (それでもボクはやってない, also known as Even So, I Didn't Do It) (2006) 



  1. ^ a b c Eight Questions for Masayuki Suo, The Director of "Shall We Dance?"
  2. ^ Weisser, Thomas; Yuko Mihara Weisser (1998). Japanese Cinema Encyclopedia: The Sex Films. Miami: Vital Books : Asian Cult Cinema Publications. p. 117. ISBN 1-889288-52-7.  
  3. ^ Weisser, p.217.
  4. ^ a b Weisser, p. 308-309.
  5. ^ a b Midnight Eye review: Abnormal Family (Hentai Kazoku: Aniki No Yomesan, 1983, director: Masayuki SUO)
  6. ^ a b Sharp, Jasper (2008). Behind the Pink Curtain: The Complete History of Japanese Sex Cinema. Guildford: FAB Press. p. 239. ISBN 978-1-903254-54-7.  
  7. ^ Suo pic hits dance card - Entertainment News, Film News, Media - Variety
  8. ^ "変態家族兄貴の嫁さん" (in Japanese). Japanese Movie Database. Retrieved 2009-06-22.  
  9. ^ a b I Just Didn'T Do It - Altamira Pictures Presents Movie Official Web

External links

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