"On December 22, 1971, Kurosawa attempted suicide. That act might seem less shocking if it is understood to derive from the tradition of many great Japanese, such as the Nobel Prize-winning novelist Yasunari Kawabata, who perceived suicide as a logical culmination of a career that had drawn to its close. In Japanese culture death is viewed as part of the cycle of life and is valued in Buddhist philosophy as ultimate, comforting tranquility. Suicide, consequently, is considered as natural, logical, and permanently available response to experience and to the exhaustion of life’s possibilities. It implies neither shame, nor trauma, nor defeat. For the artist who has reached his sixty or more, self-inflicted death is regarded as a heroic act of homage to his art, an acknowledgement that with the diminution of his creative gifts, life should end as well since his art and his existence have been all but inseparable."