Filmmaker whose best known films include Brother, Fireworks, Kikujiro and The Blind Swordsman: Zatoichi.
He briefly worked as an elevator operator after dropping out of college.
He has made cameos as gangsters and other crude characters in his films.
He married Mikiko Kitano in 1978. The couple had two children together, including a daughter who appeared in some of his movies.
He has received comparisons to iconic filmmaker Akira Kurosawa.