Ken Takakura

Ken Takakura (高倉 健, Takakura Ken), born Goichi Oda (小田 剛一, Oda Gōichi, February 16, 1931 – November 10, 2014), was a Japanese actor and singer who appeared in over 200 films. Affectionately referred to as "Ken-san" by audiences, he was best known for his brooding style and the stoic presence he brought to his roles.[1] He won the Japan Academy Prize for Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role four times, more than any other actor.[2] Takakura additionally received the Japanese Medal of Honor with purple ribbon in 1998, the Person of Cultural Merit award in 2006, and the Order of Culture in 2013.

Ken Takakura
高倉 健
TakakuraKen.jpg
Born
Goichi Oda

(1931-02-16)February 16, 1931
DiedNovember 10, 2014(2014-11-10) (aged 83)
Tokyo, Japan
Alma materMeiji University
OccupationActor
Years active1956–2014
Height1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)
Spouse(s)
(m. 1959; div. 1971)

Life and careerEdit

Takakura was born in Nakama, Fukuoka in 1931.[3] He attended Tochiku High School in nearby Yahata City where he was a member of the boxing team and English society. It was around this time that he gained his streetwise swagger and tough-guy persona watching yakuza movies.[4] This subject was covered in one of his most famous movies, Showa Zankyo-den (Remnants of Chivalry in the Showa Era), in which he played an honorable old-school yakuza among the violent post-war gangs.[3] After graduating from Meiji University in Tokyo, Takakura attended an audition on impulse in 1955 at the Toei Film Company while applying for a managerial position.[3]

Toei found a natural in Takakura as he debuted with Denko Karate Uchi (Lightning Karate Blow) in 1956.[5] In 1959 he married singer Chiemi Eri, but divorced in 1971. His breakout role would be in the 1965 film Abashiri Prison, and its sequel Abashiri Bangaichi: Bokyohen (Abashiri Prison: Longing for Home, also 1965), in which he played an ex-con antihero.[3] By the time Takakura left Toei in 1976, he had appeared in over 180 films.[4]

He gained international recognition after starring in the 1970 war film Too Late the Hero as the cunning Imperial Japanese Major Yamaguchi, the 1974 Sydney Pollack sleeper hit The Yakuza with Robert Mitchum, and is probably best known in the West for his role in Ridley Scott's Black Rain (1989) where he surprises American cops played by Michael Douglas and Andy García with the line, "I do speak fucking English".[1][3] He again appeared to Western audiences with the 1992 Fred Schepisi comedy Mr. Baseball starring Tom Selleck.[5]

Takakura was one of the few Japanese actors who experienced popularity in China, due to his appearance in Junya Satō's 1976 crime drama Kimi yo Fundo no Kawa o Watare (known in some territories as Manhunt), the first foreign film shown after the Cultural Revolution.[6]

He appeared in three films since 2000: Hotaru (ホタル, The Firefly) in May 2001, Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles, by Chinese director Zhang Yimou, in late December 2005, and Yasuo Furuhata's Anata e (Dearest) in late August 2012, after a six-year hiatus.[7] He died of lymphoma on November 10, 2014.[8][2] Shintaro Ishihara described him as "the last big star (in Japan)."[9] A huge number of Chinese internet users expressed their sympathies and condolences, including many celebrities in the Chinese movie industry.[10] The spokesman of China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs Hong Lei said that Takakura made significant contributions to the cultural exchange between China and Japan.[11]

A documentary based on Takakura's life entitled Ken San premiered at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival and was released in Japanese theaters on August 20, 2016.[12] It was directed by photographer Yuichi Hibi and features interviews with filmmakers and actors such as Martin Scorsese, Paul Schrader, Michael Douglas, John Woo, and Yoji Yamada.[13]

FilmographyEdit

Year Title Role Director Notes Ref(s)
1956 Denkô ryûsei karate uchi Yusaku shinobu Fujio Tsuda
Denkô karate uchi Fujio Tsuda
Choppu sensei Eiichi Koishi
Nippon G-men Eiichi Koishi
Yûhi to kenjû Shintarô Kiyoshi Saeki
Haha kikaku Masamitsu Igayama
Kenjû o suterû Eiichi Koishi
1957 Daigaku no Ishimatsu Eiichi Koishi
Tajobushin Shigehiro Ozawa
Nisshin senso fuun hiwa: Kiri no machi Yasushi Sasaki
Aoi unabara Kenji Hamada Tsuneo Kobayashi
Jetto-ki shutsudo: Daihyakuichi kokukichi Jirô Nakata Tsuneo Kobayashi
1958 Musume jûhachi goikenmuyô Kiyoshi Saeki
Tarao Bannai: Jusan no mao Sadatsugu Matsuda
Ren'ai jiyûgata Kiyoshi Saeki
Kisetsufu no kanatani Hideo Sekigawa
Hibari no hanagata tantei kassen Yasushi Sasaki
Kibô no otome Yasushi Sasaki
Mori to mizuumi no matsuri Ichitaro Kazamori Tomu Uchida
Musume no naka no musume Kiyoshi Saeki
Do no hâjiki wa jigokû dazê Sadatsugu Matsuda
1959 Senpukazuku Eiichi Koishi
Muhô gai no yarô domo Shigehiro Ozawa
Kuroi yubi no otoko Masuichi Iizuka
Kôdo nanasen metoru: kyôfu no yojikan Tsuneo Kobayashi
Kêdamonô no torû michi Hideo Sekigawa
Jigokû no sokô made tsuki auzê Shigehiro Ozawa
Hyoryû shitaî Hideo Sekigawa
1960 Zoku beran me-e geisha Eiichi Koishi
Ôinaru tabiji Kozo's second son Hideo Sekigawa
Zubekô tenshi Shigehiro Ozawa
Tenka no Kaidanji Tosshin Tarô Tarô Tosshin Tsuneo Kobayashi
Zoku zoku beran me-e geisha Eiichi Koishi
Otoko nara yattemiro Kiyoshi Saeki
Sabaku o wataru taiyo Kiyoshi Saeki
Ôzora no muhômono Shoichi Shimazu
Nippatsume wa jigoku-iki daze Shigehiro Ozawa
1961 Tenka no Kaidanji Senpû Tarô Tarô Senpû Eijirô Wakabayashi
Hana to arashi to gyangu Teruo Ishii
Hibari minyo no tabi beran me e geisha Sado heiku Kunio Watanabe
Mannen Tarô to anego shain Tarô Mannen Tsuneo Kobayashi
Beranme Chunori-san Masamitsu Igayama
Akuma no temari-uta Kindaichi Kôsuke Kunio Watanabe
Saigo no kaoyaku Yasushi Sasaki
Kashi no onna Ishimatsu Eiichi Kudô
Boku wa jigoku no tehinshi da Shigehiro Ozawa
Beran me-e geisha makari tôru Eiichi Koishi
1962 Minami taiheiyô nami takashi Kunio Watanabe
Beran me-e geisha to Osaka musume Kunio Watanabe
Ni-nirokushiken Daisshutsu Tsuneo Kobayashi
Koi to Taiyo to Gang Teruo Ishii
Komon shacho manyuki Eiichi Koishi
Minyo no tabi: Sakurajima Otemoyan Kunio Watanabe
Sanbyakurokujugoya Kunio Watanabe
Ankoku-gai saigo no hi Umetsugu Inoue
Tôkyô antatchaburu Yoshio Harada Shinji Murayama
Yumin-gai no Judan Masuichi Iizuka
Uragiri mono wa jigoku daze Shigehiro Ozawa
Sen-hime to Hideyori Naomori Masahiro Makino
1963 Ankokugai no kaoyaku: juichinin no gyangu Sawagami Teruo Ishii
Tokyo aantachibiru: dasso Yoshio Harada Hideo Sekigawa
Ankokugai saidai no kettô Shimpei Matsuoka Umetsugu Inoue
Miyamoto Musashi: Nitôryû kaigen Sasaki Kojiro Tomu Uchida
Gyangu Chûshingura Shigehiro Ozawa
Kyôkatsu Yûsuke Watanabe
Theater of Life: Hishakaku Tadashi Sawashima
Bôsu o tosê Teruo Ishii
Bôryoku gai Tsuneo Kobayashi
1964 Tôkyô gyangu tai Honkon gyangu Teruo Ishii
Miyamoto Musashi: Ichijôji no kettô Sasaki Kojiro Tomu Uchida
Jakoman and Tetsu Tetsu Kinji Fukasaku
Narazumono Minami Teruo Ishii
Irezumi totsugekitai Teruo Ishii
Ankokugai Main Street Tetsuya Shinobu Umetsugu Inoue
Nihon kyôkaku-den Chokichi Masahiro Makino
Wolves, Pigs and Men Jirō Kinji Fukasaku
1965 Kaoyaku Kyôichi Hayami Teruo Ishii
A Fugitive from the Past Detective Ajimura Tomu Uchida [14]
Nihon Kyokaku-den: naniwa-hen Masahiro Makino
Abashiri Prison Shinichi Tsukibana Teruo Ishii
Nihon Kyokaku-den: kanto-hen Masahiro Makino
Miyamoto Musashi: Ganryû-jima no kettô Sasaki Kojiro Tomu Uchida
Shôwa zankyô-den Seiji Terajima Kiyoshi Saeki
Abashiri bangaichi: Bôkyô hen Teruo Ishii
Abashiri bangaichi: Hokkai hen Shin'ichi Tachibana Teruo Ishii
1966 Shôwa zankyô-den: Karajishi botan Kiyoshi Saeki
Nihon Kyokaku-den: Ketto Kanda-matsuri Shinsan Masahiro Makino
Kamikaze yarô Kinji Fukasaku
Otoko no shôbu Sadao Nakajima
Nihon Kyokaku-den: Kaminari-mon no Ketto Masahiro Makino
Jigoku no okite ni asu wa nai Ichiro Takita Yasuo Furuhata
Showa zankyo-den: Ippiki okami Kiyoshi Saeki
Abashiri Bangaichi: Nangoku no Taiketsu Teruo Ishii
Abashiri Bangaichi: Koya no taiketsu Teruo Ishii
Abashiri bangaichi: Dai setsugen no taiktsu Teruo Ishii
1967 Abashiri bangaichi: Kettô reika 30 do Shin-ichi Tachibana Teruo Ishii
Shôwa zankyô-den: Chizome no karajishi Hidejirô Hanada Masahiro Makino
Abashiri bangaichi: Fubuki no tôsô Shin-ichiTachibana Teruo Ishii
Nihon Kyokaku-den: Shira-ha no Sakazuki Masahiro Makino
Nihon kyokaku-den: kirikomi Masahiro Makino
Kyokotsu ichidai Masahiro Makino
Kyokakû no okitê Motohiro Torii
Abashiri Bangaichi: Aku eno Chôsen Shin-ichi Tachibana Teruo Ishii
Âa dôki no sakura First Lieutenant Kenmochi Sadao Nakajima
1968 Nihon Kyokaku-den: Zetsuenjô Masahiro Makino
Koya no toseinin Ken Kato Junya Sato
Hibotan bakuto Shogo Hanaoka Kôsaku Yamashita
Gorotsuki Masahiro Makino
Jinsei-gekijô: Hishakaku to kiratsune Tomu Uchida
Gion matsuri Daisuke Itô and Tetsuya Yamanouchi
Bakuto retsuden Shigehiro Ozawa
Shin Abashiri Bangaichi Katsuji Suematsu Yasuo Furuhata
Kyokaku Retsuden Masahiro Makino
Gokuchu no kaoyaku Yasuo Furuhata
1969 Hibotan bakuto: Hanafuda shôbu Shogo Hanaoka Tai Katô
Shôwa zankyô-den: Karajishi jingi Masahiro Makino
Hibotan bakuto: Nidaime shûmei Shigehiro Ozawa
Nihon kyokaku-den: hana to ryu Tamai Kingoro Masahiro Makino
Nihon ansatsu hiroku Sadao Nakajima
Tosei-nin Retsuden Shigehiro Ozawa
Showa zankyo-den: Hito-kiri karajishi Kôsaku Yamashita
Shin Abashiri Bangaichi: Saihate no Nagare-mono Kiyoshi Saeki
Shin Abashiri Bangaichi: Runin-masaki no ketto Yasuo Furuhata
Sengo Saidai no Toba Kôsaku Yamashita
Nihon jokyo-den: kyokaku geisha Kôsaku Yamashita
Chôeki san kyôdai Kiyoshi Saeki
Bakuto mujô Buichi Saitô
1970 Bakuto ikka Shigehiro Ozawa
Nippon dabi katsukyu Jun'ya Satô
Too Late the Hero Major Yamaguchi Robert Aldrich Anglo-American film
Shôwa zankyô-den: Shinde moraimasu Masahiro Makino
Saigo no tokkôtai Jun'ya Satô
Nihon kyokaku-den: Nobori Ryu Kôsaku Yamashita
Yukyo-retsuden
Sutemi no Narazu-mono Yasuo Furuhata
Shin Abashiri Bangaichi: Fubuki no Hagure Okami Yasuo Furuhata
Shin Abashiri Bangaichi: Dai Shinrin no Ketto Yasuo Furuhata
Nihon jokyo-den: makka na dokyo-bana Yasuo Furuhata
1971 Nihon yakuza-den: Sôchiyô e no michi Ryutaro Fudo Masahiro Makino
Gorotsuki mushuku Isamu Tekada Yasuo Furuhata
Ninkyo-retsuden: Otoko
Shin Abashiri Bangaichi: Fubuki no Dai-Dassou Yasuo Furuhata
Showa zankyo-den: hoero karajishi Kiyoshi Saeki
Shin abashiri bangaichi: Arashi yobu shiretoko-misaki Yasuo Furuhata
Nihon kyokaku-den: Dosu Shigehiro Ozawa
Nihon jokyo-den: ketto midare-bana Kôsaku Yamashita
1972 Junko intai kinen eiga: Kantô hizakura ikka Kuramoto Masahiro Makino
Shin abashiri bangaichi: arashi yobu danpu jingi Yasuo Furuhata
Showa zankyo-den: Yabure-gasa Kiyoshi Saeki
Bokyo Komori-uta Shigehiro Ozawa
Bakuchi-uchi Gaiden Kôsaku Yamashita
1973 Gendai ninkyô-shi Ryoichi Shimaya Teruo Ishii
Golgo 13 Golgo 13 Junya Sato
Yamaguchi-gumi Sandaime Kazuo Taoka Kōichi Saitō
1974 San-daime Shumei Shigehiro Ozawa
The Homeless Joukichi Kōichi Saitō
The Yakuza Tanaka Ken Sydney Pollack American film
1975 Nihon ninkyo-do: gekitotsu-hen Ichizo Ryuzaki Kôsaku Yamashita
Dai dâtsu gokû Teruo Ishii
Daidatsugoku Ichiro Kozue Teruo Ishii
The Bullet Train Tetsuo Okita Junya Sato
Kobe Kokusai Gang Masato Dan Noboru Tanaka
1976 Yasagure Keiji Yûsuke Watanabe
Kimi yo Fundo no Kawa o Watare Junya Sato
1977 Mount Hakkoda Captain Tokushima Shirō Moritani [15]
The Yellow Handkerchief Yusaku Shima Yoji Yamada [16]
1978 Fuyu no hana Hidetsugu Kano Yasuo Furuhata
Never Give Up Takeshi Ajisawa Junya Sato
1980 Dōran Keisuke Miyagi Shirō Moritani [17]
A Distant Cry from Spring Kōsaku Tajima Yoji Yamada [18]
1981 Station Eiji Mikami Yasuo Furuhata
1982 Keiji monogatari Detective Mikami Yûsuke Watanabe
Kaikyô Go Akutsu Shirô Moritani
1983 Antarctica Akira Ushioda Koreyoshi Kurahara [19]
Izakaya Chōji Chōji Yasuo Furuhata
1985 Yasha Shūji Yasuo Furuhata
1988 Umi e Koreyoshi Kurahara
1989 Black Rain Masahiro Matsumoto Ridley Scott American film
Aun Shūzō Kadokura Yasuo Furuhata
1992 Mr. Baseball Uchiyama Fred Schepisi American film
1994 47 Ronin Ōishi Kuranosuke Kon Ichikawa
1998 See You Honma Koreyoshi Kurahara
1999 Railroad Man Otomatsu Satō Yasuo Furuhata
2001 The Firefly Yamaoka Shûji Yasuo Furuhata
2005 Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles Gou-ichi Takata Zhang Yimou Chinese film
2012 Dearest Eiji Kurashima Yasuo Furuhata His final film role

HonoursEdit

 
Takakura (far right) received the Order of Culture on November 5, 2013.
  • 2013

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b Thomas, Kevin (13 October 1989). "Takakura: 'Black Rain' Star Finds His Place in the Sun : Movies: The veteran of nearly 200 Japanese films is likely to gain greater international fame from this one, atypical performance". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 19 November 2014.
  2. ^ a b c "Cinema Star Takakura Ken Passes Away at 83". Nippon.com. 18 November 2014. Retrieved 19 November 2014.
  3. ^ a b c d e Macy, Roger (18 November 2014). "Ken Takakura obituary". The Guardian. Retrieved 19 November 2014.
  4. ^ a b Hoover, William D. (2011). Historical dictionary of postwar Japan. Lanham, Md.: Scarecrow Press. p. 301. ISBN 978-0810854604.
  5. ^ a b Mayer, Geoff (2012). Historical dictionary of crime films. Lanham, Md.: Scarecrow Press. pp. 359–360. ISBN 978-0810867697.
  6. ^ "China mourns death of Japanese actor Takakura". Yahoo! News. Yahoo! News. Retrieved 12 May 2016.
  7. ^ Sharp, Jasper (2011). Historical dictionary of Japanese cinema. Lanham, Md.: Scarecrow Press. pp. 232–234. ISBN 978-0810875418.
  8. ^ "Veteran Japanese actor Ken Takakura dies at 83". BBC News. 18 November 2014. Retrieved 19 November 2014.
  9. ^ "Ken Takakura, Japanese star and Black Rain actor, dead at 83". CBC. 18 November 2014. Retrieved 19 November 2014.
  10. ^ "日本男星高仓健去世引众星悼念 姚晨:别了杜秋". ent.ifeng.com. Retrieved 1 October 2018.
  11. ^ "2014年11月18日外交部发言人洪磊主持例行记者会". www.fmprc.gov.cn. Retrieved 1 October 2018.
  12. ^ Brasor, Philip. "Why Japanese media still kowtow to Ken Takakura". The Japan Times. The Japan Times. Retrieved 15 August 2016.
  13. ^ Deleon, Alex. "KEN SAN, A towering documentary from Japan was thinly Attended at Cannes". FilmFestivals. M21 Entertainment. Retrieved 15 August 2016.
  14. ^ "飢餓海峡". Movie Walker. Retrieved March 23, 2020.
  15. ^ "八甲田山". Movie Walker. Retrieved March 23, 2020.
  16. ^ "幸福の黄色いハンカチ". Movie Walker. Retrieved March 23, 2020.
  17. ^ "動乱". eiga.com. Retrieved March 23, 2020.
  18. ^ "遙かなる山の呼び声". eiga.com. Retrieved March 23, 2020.
  19. ^ "南極物語(1983)". eiga.com. Retrieved March 23, 2020.
  20. ^ "Nippon Akademī-shō kōshiki saito" 日本アカデミー賞公式サイト (in Japanese). Japan Academy Prize Association. Retrieved 19 November 2014.
  21. ^ "Dai 37 kai Nippon Akademī-shō kōshiki saito" 第37回日本アカデミー賞協会栄誉賞 [37th Japan Academy Prize List] (in Japanese). Japan Academy Prize Association. Retrieved 17 April 2017.
  22. ^ "Burū Ribon-shō rekidai jushō ichiran" ブルーリボン賞歴代受賞一覧 [Blue Ribbon Awards Previous Winners List]. Cinema Hochi (in Japanese). Yomiuri Shimbun. Archived from the original on 3 February 2013. Retrieved 20 November 2014.
  23. ^ Nakada, Ayako; Shima, Yasuhiko (4 November 2013). "Actor Ken Takakura among 5 presented with top culture award". Asahi Shimbun. Archived from the original on 29 November 2014. Retrieved 19 November 2014.

External linksEdit