Saturday, January 23, 2010

Happy Birthday Sonny Chiba!

Today, January 23rd, we here at The Faces of Fu celebrate the 71st birthday of Sonny Chiba, Japanese martial arts superstar!

Chiba started his acting career around 1960. His first starring role was in 1961 in the film "Invasion of the Neptune Men." Throughout the 60's Chiba continued to act, mostly in sci-fi and crime/thriller movies. Around 1970, he started the Japan Action Club, a training school for young martial arts actors. In 1974, not long after the Bruce Lee craze and popularity-explosion of martial arts movies, Chiba got his international breakthrough role. The film was The Street Fighter. This movie was notorious for it's graphic extreme violence. In fact, due to a scene where Chiba's character Terry Tsurugi "neuters" a rapist with his bare hands, the film garnered an X-rating. It's said this was the first movie to receive an X-rating due to violence alone. In order to receive an R-rating, nearly 16 minutes of violence had to be edited from the film! The film's popularity sparked several related sequels: Return of the Street Fighter, Sister Street Fighter, and Street Fighter's Last Revenge, all also released in 1974! Chiba continued to act through the 70's, 80's, 90's and beyond, doing a lot sci-fi, action, thriller, and martial arts movies, as well as taking many television roles. He can most recently be seen in Kill Bill: Vol 1 (2003) and The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006).

So... Thank you Sonny Chiba for many great martial arts movies, and much much more! We wish you many more years of health and happiness. Happy birthday!

not all martial arts...

The Street Fighter (1974)
Bullet Train (1975)
G.I. Samurai (1978)
Message From Space (1978)
Shogun's Ninja (1980)
Ninja Wars (1982)

"The Street Fighter" trailer...

"If you've got to fight... fight dirty!"


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