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Legendary Japanese filmmakers to be honored by Hollywood

Japan's most famed movie director Akira Kurosawa, seen in a file photo, died on September 6 at the age of 88. TA/CC/SB
Japan's most famed movie director Akira Kurosawa, seen in a file photo, died on September 6 at the age of 88. TA/CC/SB

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Legendary Japanese filmmaker Akira Kurosawa and three of his compatriots will be honored by the Writers Guild of America (WGA) next month for their lifetime of work on movies that organizers said have "given us all a taste of the sublime."

The WGA's West branch, which represents the U.S. West Coast writers of TV, films, radio and Internet programming, said that the late Kurosawa and his collaborators Ryuzo Kikushima, Hideo Oguni and Shinobu Hashimoto, will receive the Guild's 2013 Jean Renoir Award for Screenwriting Achievement on February 17 in Los Angeles.

The 94-year-old Hashimoto is the lone surviving member of the group. He is not expected to attend the ceremony.

The annual award honors "those non-U.S. writers whose work has raised the bar for all of us," said Writers Guild of America West Vice President Howard Rodman.

"These four men, working in loose collaboration, are responsible for writing many, many masterpieces - films that reflect the Japanese culture, and have given all of us a taste of the sublime," Rodman added in a statement.

Kurosawa, who received an honorary Oscar in 1990 and died in 1998, found success in many films by collaborating with Kikushima, Hashimoto and Oguni on screenplays.

With Kikushima, the duo co-wrote such classics as "Stray Dog" (1949) and "Yojimbo" (1961). Hashimoto worked with Kurosawa on the seminal 1950 film "Rashomon." Oguni, Hashimoto and Kurosawa came together on 1952's "Ikiru" and 1954's "Seven Samurai." The entire quartet wrote such films as 1957's "Throne of Blood" and 1958's "The Hidden Fortress."

Kikushima died in 1989. Oguni died in 1996.

Previous recipients of the award include the late Italian screenwriters Suso D'Amico in 2009 and Tonino Guerra in 2011.

(Reporting By Zorianna Kit; Editing by Jill Serjeant and Will Dunham)

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