Akira Kurosawa has been an inspiration for so many famous directors. Speilberg and Lucas have both cited him as an insipration and that is only the tip of the iceberg. Seven Samurai, Yojimbo, and The Hidden Fortress are must see films for any cinefile.
Other directors have copied his style. American movie makers have remade his movies. These things don't happen to anybody but the best. Cons: A lot of Americans won't be able to get past the subtitles and black & white picture.