Japanese director Tomu Uchida is best remembered for his moving and extremely realistic docudrama The Earth (1939). Born in Okayama, Japan, he started out as an actor in silent films in 1920. Three years later, Uchida became a director's apprentice to such filmmakers as Mizoguchi. In 1927, he made his own directorial bow. For a few years afterward, Uchida focused on directing frothy comedies, but by the late '30s had become renowned for his realism. Uchida's work met with disapproval with militaristic government during WWII and he exiled himself to Manchuria, China, where he became a communist and supporter of the local people. In the 1950s, Uchida returned to Japan to resurrect his career. In that period, he became known for his costume dramas. His final film, Swords of Death (1972), was released after his death.