At When Falls the Coliseum, David Alfreds makes the case that Akira Kurosawa is the greatest film director of all time. I won't argue. Although I have been remiss in not seeing most of Kurosawa's non-Samurai films. I've always wanted to see Ikiru and High and Low. One of these days I'll get to them.
In January, when the TV crew from Japan was filming in my study for their documentary on Edgar Allan Poe, they gave me several gifts, including a few Kurosawa items: a book of his beautiful storyboard paintings (he was a painter before a moviemaker), a decorated fan with one of Kurosawa's painted images on it and a box of Seven Samurai collectible figures that includes all the samurais from the movie plus a little Kurosawa directing the action and a camera crew. Each of the boxes has a piece of candy in it, too, but they told me not to eat it as it was expired. Here they are: