I am sorry to hear that Kit, there is a whole cinema in Japan to explore, from the fun Fukasaku’s ‘Makai Tensho’, the high art of Mizoguchi Kenji, Kobayashi Masaki, Ozu, and the greatness of films like the Samurai trilogy and 'Lone Wolf and Cub.
Yeah, I like Zatoichi films a lot and Kurosawa is good, but Kurosawa isn’t the only good director from Japan and many would not say he is the overall best, I mean Ozu has a lot of international fans, and many others only have small international fans in the fields of film criticism and should be discovered by the mass public.
I like films from many Asian countries but I do not count ‘‘Asian cinema’’ valid as most Asian countries are less connected and related than Europe and America. I mean India is not the same as Japan, and Japan is inspired by but not culturally related to China, nor Vietnam, Burma etc. ‘‘Asian Cinema’’ is a grouping created by Americans who see the world in continents, despite the fact that Europe and Asia have always been connected and are considered one continent in some countries.