Friday, February 3, 2017

Born Today February 3: Tsuzuya Moroguchi


Japanese silent actor Moroguchi was born on this date in the prefecture of Fukui.  Not a great deal of biographical material is available about his life or how he got into acting; what is known is that almost all the films appeared in were silent or partial silents.  Right up through the 1930's most Japanese films meant for popular consumption were silents with just sound effects.  Part of the reason for this was the culture of the Benshi performers.  It is well remembered here in the U.S. and elsewhere, that most silent films were accompanied by a live organist employed by individual theaters.  In Japan, a practice of have a live actor to the side of the screen to introduce the film and provide narration when needed sprung up instead of musical accompaniment.  This held true whether the film was Japanese or western.  For his part, the first film that Moroguchi is listed to have appeared in was Shinsei in 1920, produced by Shochiku Kamata company; Moroguchi appears to have been the star.  Between 1920 and 1924 he appeared in dozens of films, but appears to have slowed his film career in 1925.  Between 1925 and 1938, he appeared in just 10 films.  In 1938 he apparently retired from film acting, perhaps acting altogether.  He passed away on 17 April 1960 at the age of 69.  

His IMDb Page

Japanese Silents Listed On Wikipedia

Learn More About Benshi

No comments:

Post a Comment