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Ken Takakura

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Ken Takakura  , born Gouichi Oda (  February 16, 1931, in Kitakyūshū, Fukuoka, Japan), is a Japanese actor best known for his brooding style and the stoic presence he brings to his roles. Takakura gained his streetwise swagger and tough-guy persona watching yakuza turf battles over the lucrative black market and racketeering in postwar Fukuoka. 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 gurentai. A graduate of Meiji University in Tokyo Takakura happened by an audition in 1955 at the Toei Film Company, and decided to look in. Toei found a natural in Takakura as he debuted with Denko Karate Uchi (Lightning Karate Blow) in 1956. Japan experienced a boom in gangster films in the 1960s as the Japanese people struggled with the generational differences between those raised in pre-war and post-war Japan and these were Takakura's stock and trade. 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. By the time Takakura would leave Toei in 1976, he had appeared in over 180 films. Takakura gained international recognition after starring in the 1970 war film Too Late the Hero as the cunning Imperial Japanese Major Yamaguchi, the 1975 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". He again proved himself bankable to Western audiences with the 1992 Fred Schepisi comedy Mr. Baseball starring Tom Selleck. While he has slowed down a bit in his older years, he is still active. His most recent film was the 2005 Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles by Chinese director Zhang Yimou. Description above from the Wikipedia article Ken Takakura, licensed under CC-BY-SA,full list of contributors on Wikipedia.

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Feb 16, 1931 In Kitakyūshū, Fukuoka, Japan
Movie/TV Credits:
First Appeared:
In the movie The Deep Blue Sea 1957-07-30
Latest Project:
Movie Ken San 2016-08-20
Known For
Movie Ken San Himself 2016-08-20
Movie Dearest Eiji Shimakura 2012-08-25
Movie Black Rain: Making The Film Himself (archive footage) 2006-10-10
Movie The Firefly 2001-05-01
Movie 47 Ronin Kuranosuke Oishi 1994-10-22
Movie Mr. Baseball Uchiyama 1992-10-01
Movie Robert Mitchum: The Reluctant Star actor 'The Yakuza' (archive footage) (uncredited) 1991-03-10
Movie Black Rain Masahiro 1989-09-22
Movie Buddies Kadokura 1989-11-03
Movie Yasha Shuji 1985-08-31
Movie Antarctica Ushioda 1983-07-23
Movie Choji Snack Bar Eiji 1983-11-12
Movie The Longest Tunnel Go Akutsu 1982-10-16
Movie Station Eiji Mikami 1981-11-07
Movie The Revolt Keisuke Miyagi 1980-01-15
Movie A Distant Cry from Spring Kosaku Tajima 1980-03-15
Movie Winter's Flower Hidetsugu Kano 1978-06-17
Movie The Yellow Handkerchief Yusaku Shima 1977-09-30
Movie Mount Hakkoda Captain Tokushima 1977-06-04
Movie Manhunt Morioka 1976-02-11
Movie The Bullet Train Tetsuo Okita 1975-07-05
Movie The International Gang of Kobe Masato Dan 1975-10-14
Movie The Yakuza Tanaka Ken 1974-12-21
Movie The Homeless Jokichi Anabuki 1974-10-09
Movie Yakuza of the Present Ryoichi Shimaya 1973-10-27
Movie The Kanto Scarlet Cherry Gang Kuramoto 1972-03-04
Movie Contemporary Tales of Chivalry: The Traitor Shall Die 1972-12-30
Movie The Pledge 1972-03-23
Movie New Prison Walls of Abashiri: Stormy Cape 1971-08-13
Movie The Path of the King Ryutaro Fudo 1971-03-06
Movie Patience Has An End Isamu Tekada 1971-06-25
Movie New Prison Walls of Abashiri: Snowbound Deserter 1971-12-29
Movie Contemporary Tales of Chivalry: Forbidden Love Hidejiro Hanada 1971-10-27
Movie The Last Kamikaze 1970-10-29
Movie Samurai Geisha Shimada 1969-07-31
Movie Red Peony Gambler: Second Generation Ceremony 1969-04-10
Movie Red Peony Gambler: Flower Cards Match Shogo Hanaoka 1969-02-01
Movie New Prison Walls of Abashiri 2 1969-08-13
Movie Brutal Tales of Chivalry 6 1969-11-07
Movie Gambler's Legacy Tsukuda Ginjiro 1969-12-27
Movie Hishakaku and Kiratsune: A Tale of Two Yakuza 1968-07-12
Movie Prison Boss 1968-04-18
Movie The Day the Sun Rose 1968-11-23
Movie Red Peony Gambler Shogo Hanaoka 1968-09-14
Movie New Prison Walls of Abashiri Katsuji Suehiro 1968-12-28
Movie Classmates First Lieutenant Kenmochi 1967-06-03
Movie The Chivalrous Life Ryuma Ibuki 1967-05-30
Movie A Story from Abashiri Prison—Duel in Snow Storm Shin-ichi Tachibana 1967-12-23
Movie Contemporary Tales of Chivalry 4 1967-07-08
Movie The Kamikaze Guy 1966-06-04
Movie Glorious Fights Ichiro Takita 1966-10-29
Movie Abashiri Prison 1965-04-18
Movie Prison Walls of Abashiri, Part 2 Shinichi Tachibana 1965-07-10
Movie A Fugitive from the Past Ajimura 1965-01-15
Movie Prison Walls of Abashiri 4 Shin'ichi Tachibana 1965-12-31
Movie Bushido Sasaki Kojiro 1965-09-04
Movie Prison Walls of Abashiri 3 Shinichi Tachibana 1965-10-31
Movie Brutal Tales of Chivalry Seiji Terajima 1965-10-01
Movie Jakoman and Tetsu Tetsu 1964-02-08
Movie An Outlaw Minami 1964-04-05
Movie Miyamoto Musashi: The Duel at Ichijo Temple Sasaki Kojiro 1964-01-01
Movie The Domain 1964-08-13
Movie Wolves, Pigs & Men Jiro, the second brother 1964-08-26
Movie Eleven Gangsters Sawagami 1963-01-15
Movie Miyamoto Musashi: Birth of Two Sword Style Sasaki Kojiro 1963-09-14
Movie Life of Hishakaku 1963-03-16
Movie All Rascals 1962-03-21
Movie Devil's Nursery Rhyme Kosuke Kindaichi 1961-11-15
Movie The Prickly Mouthed Geisha, Part 4 Kenichi Hanamura 1961-01-09
Movie Flower, Storm and Gangster 'Smiley' Ken 1961-06-23
Movie The Prickly Mouthed Geisha Part 2 1960-03-01
Movie The Second Bullet is Marked 1960-01-27
Movie Outlaw Under a Blue Canopy 1960-05-10
Movie Man of the World 2 1960-07-13
Movie Four Hours of Terror Captain Yamamoto 1959-09-30
Movie Romance Freestyle 1958-04-30
Movie No Advice Taken 1958-01-03
Movie Beyond the Seasonal Wind 1958-06-10
Movie With Songs in My Heart 1958-09-10
Movie Sister with Sister 1958-12-09
Movie The Outsiders Ichitaro Kazamori 1958-11-26
Movie Detective Duel 1958-08-06
Movie The Deep Blue Sea 1957-07-30
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