Ken Takakura

Ken Takakura

Ken Takakura (高倉 健, Takakura Ken), born Gouichi Oda (February 16, 1931, in Kitakyūshū, Fukuoka, Japan), was 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.
    Known for
    Acting
    Place of birth
    Kitakyūshū, Fukuoka, Japan
    Birthday
    2/16/1931
The Longest Tunnel
The Longest Tunnel
0
Black Rain
Black Rain
6.6
The Yellow Handkerchief
The Yellow Handkerchief
6.6
47 Ronin
47 Ronin
7.4
Never Give Up
Never Give Up
5.2
The International Gang of Kobe
The International Gang of Kobe
5.7
The Yakuza
The Yakuza
7.1
Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles
Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles
7.2
The Kamikaze Guy
The Kamikaze Guy
5
The Bullet Train
The Bullet Train
6.7
Antarctica
Antarctica
7.2
Mr. Baseball
Mr. Baseball
5.9
Railroad Man
Railroad Man
7
Red Peony Gambler
Red Peony Gambler
7.2
An Outlaw
An Outlaw
4.8
Manhunt
Manhunt
6.4
A Distant Cry from Spring
A Distant Cry from Spring
7.3
Man of the World 2
0
Golgo 13
Golgo 13
4.2
Red Peony Gambler: Flower Cards Game
Red Peony Gambler: Flower Cards Game
7
Brave Red Flower of the North
Brave Red Flower of the North
6
Miyamoto Musashi V: Musashi vs Kojiro
Miyamoto Musashi V: Musashi vs Kojiro
7.3
Mount Hakkoda
Mount Hakkoda
6.8
Station
Station
6
Buddies
Buddies
6.8
A Fugitive from the Past
A Fugitive from the Past
7.4
Dearest
Dearest
6.6
Contemporary Tales of Chivalry 4
Contemporary Tales of Chivalry 4
6.2
Brutal Tales of Chivalry 5: Man With The Karajishi Tattoo
Brutal Tales of Chivalry 5: Man With The Karajishi Tattoo
7.4
Brutal Tales of Chivalry 7: Hell Is a Man's Destiny
6
Contemporary Tales of Chivalry 2
Contemporary Tales of Chivalry 2
7
Contemporary Tales of Chivalry: The Lone Wolf
Contemporary Tales of Chivalry: The Lone Wolf
6
Demon
Demon
7.7
Brutal Tales of Chivalry
Brutal Tales of Chivalry
7
The Bullet and the Horse
The Bullet and the Horse
0
Abashiri Prison
Abashiri Prison
6.5
Wolves, Pigs & Men
Wolves, Pigs & Men
8.3
All Rascals
All Rascals
0
The Kanto Scarlet Cherry Gang
The Kanto Scarlet Cherry Gang
6
Contemporary Tales of Chivalry: Forbidden Love
Contemporary Tales of Chivalry: Forbidden Love
7
Feisty Edo Girl Nakanori-san
Feisty Edo Girl Nakanori-san
0
No Advice Taken
No Advice Taken
0
The Firefly
The Firefly
7
Winter's Flower
Winter's Flower
6
The Domain
The Domain
5.8
The Homeless
The Homeless
7.5
Too Late the Hero
Too Late the Hero
6.4
Prison Boss
Prison Boss
7
Choji Snack Bar
Choji Snack Bar
7.5
The Day the Sun Rose
7
The Path of the King
The Path of the King
6
The Deep Blue Sea
The Deep Blue Sea
5
Classmates
6.5
The Last Kamikaze
The Last Kamikaze
6
The Prickly Mouthed Geisha Part 2
0
The Revolt
The Revolt
6
Romance Freestyle
0
Prison Walls of Abashiri 4
Prison Walls of Abashiri 4
0
New Prison Walls of Abashiri
New Prison Walls of Abashiri
6
Devil's Nursery Rhyme
Devil's Nursery Rhyme
0
Four Hours of Terror
Four Hours of Terror
5.7
Detective Duel
Detective Duel
6
Sister with Sister
Sister with Sister
0
The Sand City in Manchuria
The Sand City in Manchuria
6.5
Flower, Storm and Gangster
Flower, Storm and Gangster
6
With Songs in My Heart
With Songs in My Heart
0
Jet Air Base 101
0
A Fishwife's Tale
A Fishwife's Tale
0
Glorious Fights
Glorious Fights
7
365 Nights
365 Nights
0
Hishakaku and Kiratsune: A Tale of Two Yakuza
Hishakaku and Kiratsune: A Tale of Two Yakuza
6
Ken San
Ken San
6
The Prickly Mouthed Geisha and the Girl of Osaka
0
Tales of President Mito
Tales of President Mito
0
Outlaw Under a Blue Canopy
Outlaw Under a Blue Canopy
0
Patience Has An End
Patience Has An End
5.7
House of Gamblers
House of Gamblers
7
The Pledge
The Pledge
5
The Prickly Mouthed Geisha, Part 3
The Prickly Mouthed Geisha, Part 3
0
The Prickly Mouthed Geisha, Part 4
The Prickly Mouthed Geisha, Part 4
0
Black Rain: Making The Film
Black Rain: Making The Film
6
Eleven Gangsters
Eleven Gangsters
0
The Second Bullet is Marked
The Second Bullet is Marked
6
Contemporary Tales of Chivalry: The Traitor Shall Die
Contemporary Tales of Chivalry: The Traitor Shall Die
0
Brutal Tales of Chivalry 6
Brutal Tales of Chivalry 6
0
The Chivalrous Life
The Chivalrous Life
7
New Prison Walls of Abashiri 2
New Prison Walls of Abashiri 2
6
Prison Walls of Abashiri 3
Prison Walls of Abashiri 3
0
Jakoman and Tetsu
Jakoman and Tetsu
6
Samurai Geisha
Samurai Geisha
6
Miyamoto Musashi: The Duel at Ichijo Temple
Miyamoto Musashi: The Duel at Ichijo Temple
7
Miyamoto Musashi: Birth of Two Sword Style
Miyamoto Musashi: Birth of Two Sword Style
7
A Story from Abashiri Prison—Duel in Snow Storm
A Story from Abashiri Prison—Duel in Snow Storm
0
Song of Kagoshima
Song of Kagoshima
0
The Domain: Flower and Dragon
The Domain: Flower and Dragon
0
New Prison Walls of Abashiri: Snowbound Deserter
New Prison Walls of Abashiri: Snowbound Deserter
0
Life of Hishakaku
Life of Hishakaku
8
The Drifting Avenger
The Drifting Avenger
6.7
Beyond the Seasonal Wind
Beyond the Seasonal Wind
0
Memoir of Japanese Assassinations
Memoir of Japanese Assassinations
7
New Prison Walls of Abashiri: Stormy Cape
New Prison Walls of Abashiri: Stormy Cape
5
Yakuza of the Present
Yakuza of the Present
0
Third Generation Boss
Third Generation Boss
0
Prison Walls of Abashiri, Part 2
Prison Walls of Abashiri, Part 2
6
Brothers Serving Time
Brothers Serving Time
8
Gambler's Legacy
Gambler's Legacy
6.5
Bloodiest Flower
Bloodiest Flower
5.2
Red Peony Gambler: Second Generation Ceremony
Red Peony Gambler: Second Generation Ceremony
6.2
Man of Thirteen Eyes
Man of Thirteen Eyes
0
Mother Peacock
Mother Peacock
0
The Biggest Gamble
The Biggest Gamble
7
The Prickly-Mouthed Geisha Goes to Sado
The Prickly-Mouthed Geisha Goes to Sado
0
The Escape
The Escape
8
Man of the World
Man of the World
0
The Happy Family
The Happy Family
0
The Domain: Kanto Legends of Chivalry
The Domain: Kanto Legends of Chivalry
0
Gang Loyalty and Vengeance
Gang Loyalty and Vengeance
5
Great Jailbreak
Great Jailbreak
7
The Big Boss
The Big Boss
0
The Japan Derby Race
The Japan Derby Race
0
Lullaby for a Tough Guy
Lullaby for a Tough Guy
0
Storm Party
Storm Party
0
Men in a Rough Town
Men in a Rough Town
0
Employee Full of Fight
4
New Prison Walls of Abashiri: The Vagrant Comes to a Port Town
New Prison Walls of Abashiri: The Vagrant Comes to a Port Town
0
Japan's Top Gangster
Japan's Top Gangster
0
Abashiri Prison: Duel in the South
Abashiri Prison: Duel in the South
0
Abashiri Prison: Duel in Hokkaido
Abashiri Prison: Duel in Hokkaido
0
The Boss
The Boss
0
Abashiri Prison: Duel in the Snow Country
Abashiri Prison: Duel in the Snow Country
0
Abashiri Prison: Challenge to the Evil
Abashiri Prison: Challenge to the Evil
0
New Prison Walls of Abashiri: Stray Wolf in Snow
New Prison Walls of Abashiri: Stray Wolf in Snow
0
New Abashiri Prison Story: Honor and Humanity, Ammunition That Attracts the Storm
New Abashiri Prison Story: Honor and Humanity, Ammunition That Attracts the Storm
0
New Prison Walls of Abashiri: High Stakes at Abashiri
New Prison Walls of Abashiri: High Stakes at Abashiri
0
Lady Sen and Hideyori
Lady Sen and Hideyori
8
Showdown of Men
Showdown of Men
0
The Domain: The Naniwa Story
The Domain: The Naniwa Story
3.2
The Domain: Rising Dragon
The Domain: Rising Dragon
0
Dagger
Dagger
0
The Domain: White Blade
The Domain: White Blade
0
The Domain: Kanda Festival Showdown
The Domain: Kanda Festival Showdown
0
The Domain: Duel at Thunder Gate
The Domain: Duel at Thunder Gate
0
The Domain: Severed Relations
The Domain: Severed Relations
0
The Domain: Where The Blade Enters
The Domain: Where The Blade Enters
0
Path of Japanese Chivalry: Story of All-Out Attack
Path of Japanese Chivalry: Story of All-Out Attack
0
See You
See You
0
A Hoodlum At The Risk Of His Life
A Hoodlum At The Risk Of His Life
0
The Great Road
The Great Road
0
Duel of the Underworld
Duel of the Underworld
0
Hell's Kitchen
Hell's Kitchen
0
Hell's Juggler
Hell's Juggler
0
Histories of the Chivalrous
Histories of the Chivalrous
0
The Chop Professor
The Chop Professor
0
Yukyo-retsuden
Yukyo-retsuden
5
Gambler Biography
Gambler Biography
5
The detective whose path was crossed by a snake
The detective whose path was crossed by a snake
0
Operation Diamond
Operation Diamond
0
Tokyo Gang Vs. Hong Kong Gang
Tokyo Gang Vs. Hong Kong Gang
0
A Dead Drifter
A Dead Drifter
0
Rogue
Rogue
0
Men Fighting Whales
Men Fighting Whales
0
Tokyo Untouchable
Tokyo Untouchable
0
Bad Angel
Bad Angel
0
Main Street in the Underworld
Main Street in the Underworld
5.5
Hell's Companion
Hell's Companion
0
The Outsiders
The Outsiders
0
Tokyo's  Business District
Tokyo's Business District
0
Showdown in Blood
Showdown in Blood
0
Karate Cop
Karate Cop
0
Tokyo Untouchable: Escape
Tokyo Untouchable: Escape
0
Denko karate uchi
Denko karate uchi
0
South Pacific Waves Are High
South Pacific Waves Are High
0
Tenka no Kaidanji Senpû Tarô
Tenka no Kaidanji Senpû Tarô
0
Mannen Taro and His Feminine Colleagues
Mannen Taro and His Feminine Colleagues
0
Kyôkatsu
Kyôkatsu
0
Manchurian Sunset
Manchurian Sunset
0
If You're Man Enough
If You're Man Enough
0
The Man
The Man
0
Uragirimono wa jigoku daze
Uragirimono wa jigoku daze
0
G-men of Japan 4: Special Armed Unit Mobilization
G-men of Japan 4: Special Armed Unit Mobilization
0
Robert Mitchum: The Reluctant Star
Robert Mitchum: The Reluctant Star
7
A Portrait of the Author
A Portrait of the Author
0
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