What kind of influence does the Noh play have in Throne of Blood?
Akira Kurosawa: Drama in the West takes its character from the psychology of men or circumstances; the Noh is different. First of all, the Noh has the mask, and while staring at it, the actor becomes the man whom the mask represents. The performance also has a defined style, and in devoting himself to it faithfully, the actor becomes possessed. Therefore, I showed each of the players a photograph of the mask of the Noh which came closest to the respective role; I told him that the mask was his own part. To Toshiro Mifune, who played the part of Taketoki Washizu (Macbeth), I showed the mask named Heida. This was the mask of a warrior. In the scene in which Mifune is persuaded by his wife to kill his lord, he created for me just the same life-like expression as the mask did. To Isuzu Yamada, who acted the role of Asaji (Lady Macbeth), I showed the mask named Shakumi. This was the mask of a beauty no longer young, and represented the image of a woman about to go mad. The actress who wears this mask, when she gets angry, changes her mask for one the eyes of which are golden-colored. This mask represents the state of an unearthly feeling of tension and Lady Macbeth assumes the same state. For the warrior who was murdered by Macbeth and later reappears as an apparition, I considered the mask of the apparition of a nobleman of the name of Chujo. The witch in the wood was represented by the mask named Yamanba.
[ Interview with Akira Kurosawa | Joan Mellen, 1975 ]