Another approach would be to discover Kurosawa the way the world at large did: start with Rashomon. This is one of his finest and most unique films, and the one that put him on the map so to speak, winning the Grand Prix at the Venice International Film Festival and the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 1951. The film is so influential, it's entered the language; the Rashomon effect refers to conflicting eyewitness reports of a crime. This is because the story concerns a rape and murder and the wildly diverging accounts of several people (including the perp, the raped woman and the spirit of the murdered man!).
Or you could start with my personal favorite, High and Low. It's really two films in one; the first half is a tense psychological thriller, the second an exciting police procedural. The mise en scene is particularly stunning in the first half.
[Shameless plug] You can learn more about the samurai films of Akira Kurosawa in my books Stray Dogs & Lone Wolves and Warring Clans, Flashing Blades.
Answered by Patrick Galloway