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Hirokazu Kore-eda

Updated: Mar 15, 2023

Hirokazu Kore-eda is a Japanese film director and screenwriter. Kore-eda was born in Tokyo in 1962 to a Japanese mother and a Taiwan-born Japanese father. Throughout his childhood, Kore-eda was exposed to film thanks to his mother, and watching film and television together with her instilled in him a deep love for cinema. He later graduated from the Graduate School of Letters, Arts, and Sciences of Waseda University in 1987 and shortly thereafter began working on his own films, specifically documentaries.

In 1991, Kore-eda transitioned into a new role: directing a television documentary entitled Lessons from a Calf. In the following years, Kore-eda further pursued a career as a director. By 1995, his first fiction film, Maborosi, was featured at the Venice Film Festival and won the Golden Osella Award for Best Cinematography. He has won a number of other awards in his lifetime, such as the Best Director award at the Yokohama Film Festival and the Best Film and Best Director awards at the Japan Academy Prizes.

One of Kore-eda’s most popular films is Shoplifters, a film that portrays the life of an impoverished Japanese family who rely on shoplifting as their means of getting by and who later unofficially adopt a young girl, the daughter of an abusive couple next door. Released in 2018 at the Cannes Film Festival, the film made $72.6 million at the box office and won a number of awards, including the Palme d’Or Award at Cannes, and was also nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

Kore-eda’s works are often characterized by death, loss, a documentary style, and fictive narratives (IMDb). Behind the scenes, Kore-eda is known to promote a happy work environment due to his previous experience working under aggressive management, something he actively tries to avoid on his own sets.

If you would like to learn more about Kore-eda and his films, we recommend visiting his IMDb page at


Works Cited

Anderson, Ariston. “Venice Competition Includes Films from George Clooney, Guillermo Del Toro, Darren Aronofsky.” The Hollywood Reporter, The Hollywood Reporter, 30 Aug. 2017,

Coonan, Clifford. “Japan Shines at Asian Film Awards.” Variety, Variety, 23 Mar. 2009, https://var

“Hirokazu Kore-Eda: 'They Compare Me to Ozu. but I'm More like Ken Loach'.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 21 May 2015,

“Hirokazu Koreeda.” IMDb,,

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