The Akira Kurosawa Foundation, headed by Kurosawa's son Hisao, plans to build a museum in Imari, Saga Prefecture to honour Kurosawa, with Steven Spielberg, George Lucas and Martin Scorsese agreeing to serve as honorary directors.

The directorial trio are lending their names to help the foundation raise $12.5 m (Y1.5b) in construction costs. Local businesses have already contributed $2.5m (Y3b), but the foundation intends to recruit the rest from both Japanese and foreign contributors. Construction is scheduled to start in the summer of 2002, with the opening set for 2003.

A city on the island of Kyushu that is a famous centre for pottery, Imari impressed Kurosawa with the beauty of its sunsets when he came there in 1985 to film Ran, Hisao told a recent press conference for the foreign media. The museum is expected attract 150,000 visitors a year.

In addition to serving as foundation head, Hisao is currently producing Umi Wa Miteita (I Saw The Sea), a film based on one of Kurosawa's last scripts. Directed by Kei Kumai and starring Misa Shimizu, Nagiko Tono, Masatoshi Nagase and Hidetaka Yoshioka, this film about the lives and loves of Tokyo prostitutes in the pre-modern era is being readied for a 2002 release.