Just did an interview with the very cool people @ Madman Entertainment in my hometown Melbourne—with their opinions on all things Japanese including anime and Akira Kurosawa. It's up at Forces Of Geek.
Here's a sample or two:
"Australia has had a long history with Japanese cinema, TV and anime
even if we didn’t always realise it at the time.
"For many years TV has
been a window on Japanese culture through shows like Monkey Magic, Shintaro, Star Blazers, G-Force and Astroboy; and also culturally adjacent shows like Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers.
I think this has made Australia more receptive to seeing media from
"Also, for cinema, the growth of the Japanese Film Festival over
the years demonstrates the popularity of the cinema here."
"The most ubiquitous name is certainly that of [Akira] Kurosawa. His breakthrough film Rashomon
 was so well-regarded that the first Foreign Film Oscar was
created just for it. He gave us samurai films and helped inspired
countless spaghetti westerns.
"The Hidden Fortress and Sanshiro Sugata even helped shape Star Wars."
Read the entire piece here.