Japanese Director Juzo Itami Commits Suicide

The Associated Press reported Dec. 22 that Japanese film director Juzo Itami died after jumping from the top of an eight-storey building that housed his office. Itami was director of the international hit film Tampopo.

He was upset at the scheduled publication of a magazine story claiming he had had an affair with a 26-year-old woman. Itami was married to actress Nobuko Miyamoto, who appeared in most of his films. He left notes to her and their sons on his desk.

Itami Productions president Yashushi Tamaoki read part of one note at a press conference: "Only through my death can I prove my innocence," it said.

Born in Kyoto in 1933, Juzo Itami was the son of film director Mansaku Itami, and was an actor before he began directing. Akira Kurosawa is the only Japanese director to have won more international recognition than Itami.