Japanese actor Yoshio Tsuchiya, known for his supporting roles in director Akira Kurosawa's films, has died, a source close to him said Wednesday. He was 89.

Tsuchiya died of lung cancer on Feb. 8, the source said.

Tsuchiya, a native of Yamanashi Prefecture west of Tokyo, came into the spotlight for his role as a young farmer in Kurosawa's "Shichinin no Samurai," also known as "Seven Samurai," and thrived as an essential auxiliary actor in other Kurosawa masterpieces such as "Kumonosu-jo," also known as "Throne of Blood," and "Yojimbo."

He also authored a book titled "Kurosawa Saan," depicting his days with the legendary director and episodes of making "Seven Samurai."

Other films in which he appeared included "Kotan no Kuchibue" directed by Mikio Naruse, and "Nihon no ichiban nagai hi," also known as "Japan's Longest Day," directed by Kihachi Okamoto.