Akira Kuro-sawa, the internationally acclaimed director of epics such as "The Seven Samurai" and "Rashomon," died at his home Sunday, a spokesman for his film company said. He was 88.

The cause of death was not immediately known, said Toru Tanaka, an official of Kurosawa Film Production.Kurosawa, known as "The Emperor" for his perfectionism and extravagance, was one of the few Japanese directors to find fame on international screens. His work inspired a generation of directors both in Japan and in the United States.

Kurosawa's "Rashomon" received the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film in 1951, and his 1975 film, the bleakly lovely Siberian-set "Dersu Uzala," brought him his second Oscar. He was awarded a special Oscar in 1990 for his half-century career in filmmaking.

"Take `myself,' subtract `movies,' and the remainder is `zero,' " the director once wrote. His themes often asserted the value of the warrior spirit, humanist ideals and the urgency of self-sacrifice, even if futile.

"He had a god-like vision that translated well to American movies," said Naoko Kimura, an independent film critic in Tokyo.