"There is so much writing in English on Japanese cinema that can't be accepted at face value — not because the writers are careless, but because the differences in culture and language are just too intricate. When I see August Ragone's name on a piece of writing, it gives me permission to place my faith in it completely. Among Japanese fantasy film historians, he's the best working in English." —Tim Lucas, Video Watchdog

Friday, February 8, 2008

It's Not Nice to Mess with Sonny Chiba...

Do you have the guts to bother this man? © Joy E. Scheller/LFI.

Some action stars fade away. Not Shinichi "Sonny" Chiba, one of my screen heroes, and the dynamic star of such films as Shigehiro Ozawa's THE STREET FIGHTER (Gekitotsu! Satsujin-ken, 1974) and Quentin Tarantino's KILL BILL VOL. 1 (2003). Even at 69 years young, Chiba, who recently retired from acting to step behind the director's chair, still proves that he's not going to take crap from anyone.

Former action star, Shinichi Chiba, was involved in a brawl around 6:20 pm on Wednesday night, February 8th (Japan time), with an unnamed male acquaintance. Tokyo Metropolitan Police have taken statements from both men and are investigating the incident.

The 49 year-old man, was at the NTV Tower plaza in Higashi-Shinbashi that evening. Mr. Chiba was at a nearby restaurant, when a friend told him that the man was spreading rumors about Chiba having financial problems. The former action star took offense, and confronted the man in the plaza. Chiba struck him once in the face, and also hit him on the back of the head, after knocking him to the ground. Both men reportedly suffered minor injuries.

Police are determining who initiated the violence, and whether either of the men were drinking. Most likely, the matter will be settled out of court.

After suffering an incredible financial collapse in the late 1980s, and losing most of his considerable business interests, including the Japan Action Club (now Japan Action Enterprises), which ended his rock-solid marriage to actress Yoko Nogiwa, I can understand why he would be so upset at such slander. The real question here is, was such violence justifiable? That's for all of you to decide for yourselves.

But, I've got to hand it to him, he's still one real mean bastard.

Reported by Tokyo Graph from a story appearing on Sanpo Sports online.

Jonathan Ross interviews Sonny Chiba for the BBC's "Japanorama."

1 comment:

Raida|23 said...

August, is Sonny Chiba, you were really expectin something dfifferent? :-)