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Film Director Tadashi Imai Dead at 79

November 22, 1991

TOKYO (AP) _ Tadashi Imai, a prominent Japanese film director known for works dealing with social issues, died Friday of a brain hemorrhage at a hospital outside Tokyo. He was 79.

Imai suffered a stroke Wednesday while on his way to Soka, just north of Tokyo, to make a speech at the opening ceremony for his latest film, ″The War and the Youth,″ which depicts the 1945 U.S. air attack on Tokyo, officials at his production company said.

He was rushed to a hospital but never regained consciousness, they said.

Imai, the son of a Buddhist priest, studied literature at Tokyo University. He joined Japan’s Communist Party after World War II and was blacklisted by Toho Co., a major Japanese film company, after a strike in 1948.

He remained active in leftist politics during the 1950s and ’60s and directed movies as an independent filmmaker dealing with social issues, mainly from a woman’s point of view.

Imai’s 1953 film, ″The Tower of Lilies,″ depicted the deaths of young student nurses during the ground war on Okinawa in the closing days of World War II. Other acclaimed works include ″The Blue Mountain Range,″ ″The River Without Bridges,″ and ″Brother and Sister.″

Imai is survived by his wife, Tsuya, three sons and four daughters.

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