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Last Updated: Saturday, 9 April, 2005, 13:10 GMT 14:10 UK
Japanese film noir director dies
Yoshitaro Nomura
Nomura was an inspiration to other Japanese directors
Japanese film director Yoshitaro Nomura, best known for the 1974 thriller Castle Of Sand, has died of pneumonia in a Tokyo hospital.

Nomura, who was 85, began working in the Japanese film industry aged 22.

He made his directorial debut in 1953 with Hato (Pigeon), and continued to make films over the next three decades.

Castle Of Sand, in which two detectives investigate the murder of a police officer, is regarded by critics as one of the best Japanese films ever made.

Yomura was renowned as a director of suspense thrillers and a pioneer of film noir in Japan, although he made samurai dramas and musicals as well during his career.

He also adapted novels by a number of authors, including Agatha Christie, for the screen.

He directed his last film in 1985, but continued to work as a producer for TV and film, as well as acting as a mentor to other Japanese directors.

In 1995, he was awarded a prestigious Order of the Rising Sun by the Japanese government.

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