- Kurosawa was born on 23 March 1910 in Ōimachi in the Ōmori district of Tokyo to Isamu, his father, was a member of a former samurai family from Akita Prefecture and worked as the director of the Army's Physical Education Institute's lower secondary school, while his mother Shima came from a merchant's family living in Osaka.
- Akira was the eighth and youngest child of the moderately wealthy family, with two of his siblings already grown up at the time of his birth and one deceased, leaving Kurosawa to grow up with three sisters and a brother.
- He had a son Hisao (b. 20-Dec-1945), and a daughter, award-winning film costume designer Kazuko (b. 29-Apr-1954).
- Many of the characters in his period films were loosely based on historical figures.
- Like his fellow World Cinema masters, Ingmar Bergman (who started in live theater) and Federico Fellini (who started in journalism) he came to cinema via circumvention after working as a painter.
- His mentor was 'Kajiro Yamamoto'.
- He was awarded the French Legion of Honor, 1984.
- He was Awarded the Kyoto Prize, 1994.
- He was a fan of the work of Sergei M. Eisenstein, who, like Kurosawa, edited his own films.
- He was voted the 6th greatest director of all time by Entertainment Weekly, making him one among only two Asians along with Satyajit Ray (who is ranked in 25th position) on a list of 50 directors and the highest ranking non-American.
- On 6 September 1998, Kurosawa died of a stroke in Setagaya, Tokyo, at the age of 88.
- Kurosawa directed 30 films in a career spanning 57 years.