Nobuo Nakagawa (中川信夫 Nakagawa Nobuo, Kyoto, April 18, 1905 - June 17, 1984)[1][2] was a Japanese director and screenwriter.

Life and careerEdit

Nobuo Nakagawa started his film career in silent film with Makino Studios in 1929. Working first as an assistant director, Nakagawa made his directorial debut with Bow and Arrow Yumiya Sword (弓矢八幡剣 Yumiya hachimanken) (released October 1934).[2][3]

He moved to Tōhō in 1938, directing for that studio beginning with 日本一の岡っ引 (February 1938). While at Tōhō he directed several entries in the Enoken (エノケン) series starring comedian Ken'ichi Enomoto. 虞美人草 (June 1941) was Nakagawa's last film for Tōhō. He served in the military, and was stationed in Shanghai at the end of the war.[2]

Nakagawa moved to Shintōhō at the time the new studio had lofty goals and included such directors as Akira Kurosawa and Kenji Mizoguchi.[2] Nakagawa's first film for Shintōhō was 馬車物語 (January 1948).[3] With the arrival of exploitation mogul, Mitsugu Ōkura in 1956, Shintōhō moved into more titillating fare such as crime, action, patriotic war films, horror and erotic thrillers. Nakagawa proved adept at the horror genre, and, even under budgetary restraints placed by Ōkura, directed two acknowledged classics of Japanese horror: The Ghost of Yotsuya (1959) and Jigoku (1960). With these and other horror films Nakagawa shaped the future of the genre in Japan by moving it from the staid, traditional ghost story to more shocking and graphic depiction of the supernatural.[2]

After Shintōhō's bankruptcy in 1961, Nakagawa moved to Toei where he worked until 1969. At Toei he worked in various genres, occasionally making a horror film such as Snake Woman's Curse (1968). During the 1970s, Nakagawa worked in television, filming episodes for such series as Ultraman and the Charlie's Angels-like Playgirl.[2] Nakagawa's last film was the ATG-produced Ghost Story: Koheiji Lives Again (怪異談 生きてゐる小平次 Kaidan: Ikiteiru Koheiji) (September 1982).[2][3]

Partial filmographyEdit



  1. "中川信夫 なかがわ・のぶお" (in Japanese). Retrieved 2010-09-30.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 Macias, p. 87.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 中川信夫 at the Japanese Movie Database
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