10,000 Bullets   Exploring the world of Cinema from the Arthouse to the Grindhouse™




Sonny Chiba 
Written by: on April 1st, 2004
Sadao Maeda AKA Sonny Chiba (He earned the nickname “Sonny” while working on an ad campaign for Toyota) was born on January 23rd, 1939 in Fukuoka, Kyushu, Japan. In 1960 Sonny would enter and win Toei studio’s new faces contest. There was a big push on the part of Toei to exploit Chiba as a star to the fullest by placing Chiba in roles that would showcase Chiba’s fourth-degree black belt in karate.

In 1967 with the T.V. series Key Hunter (Toei’s fuel injected variation on Mission Impossible) would give Chiba the boost his career needed and make him a bankable action star. Key Hunter would remain on the air for 5 years resulting in over 250 hour long episodes. In 1969 Chiba would form the Japan action club which was created to provide able-bodied stuntman and martial artists for any studio who was able to hire them.

The 1970’s would see Chiba at his peek in popularity with the Street Fighter films. The Street Fighter would become the first film the MPAA ever gave an X rating based on Violence. In 1979 Chiba would return to T.V. with the series Hanzo Hattori AKA Shadow Warriors. Over the next twenty years Chiba would make films in Hollywood and Hong Kong as well as continue to make films in Japan.

Part of Chiba’s resurgence in America must also be credited to writer/director Quentin Tarantino’s screenplay which features Christian Slater going to a Sonny Chiba festival. With the advent of DVD North America Has been flooded with widely uneven print quality, edited, and cropped versions of many of Chiba’s films. Sonny Chiba has enjoyed a successful film career that has spanned over 40 years. With his recent role in the blockbuster Kill Bill volume 1. He is now more popular then ever.

Through all of his ups and downs Chiba will always be remembered for his signature role Takuma “Terry” Tsurugi a vicious assassin in the series of Street Fighter Films which has earned him his cult following around the world.

Filmography:

The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006)
Explosive City (2004)
Survive Style 5+ (2004)

Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003)

Battle Royale II (2003)
Deadly Outlaw: Rekka (2002)
Akumyô (2001)
“Shotgun Wedding” (2001) TV Series
Siu lee fei diy ji fei diy ngoi chuen (2000)
Hakata Movie: Chinchiromai (2000)
Born to Be King (2000)
The Storm Riders (1998)
“Terayoka yume shinan” (1997) TV Series
“Seiryû densetsu” (1996) TV Series
Body Count (1995)
Immortal Combat (1994)
Fighting Fist (1992)
“History of Women Torture” (1992) TV Series
Triple Cross (1992)
Aces: Iron Eagle III (1992)
Mine Field (1991)
Gokudô sensô: Butôha (1991)
Jushichinin no ninja (1990) (TV)
Shogun’s Shadow(1989)
Tanba Tetsuro no daireikai shindara dounaru (1989)
Sensei (1989)
“The Traveling Girl ” (1987) TV Series
Tomorrow’s Snow (1987) (TV)
Sure-Fire Death 4: We Will Avenge You (1987)
Cabaret (1986)
“Kage no Gundan: Bakumatsu hen” (1985) TV Series
The Last Gambler (1985)
Space Cop Shaider: Pursuit! Shigi Shigi Abduction Plan (1985)
Legend of the Eight Samurai (1983)
Roaring Fire (1982)
“Kage no gundan III” (1982) TV Series
Ninja Wars (1982)
Fall Guy (1982)
“Space Sheriff Gavan” (1982) TV Series
Dragon Princess (1981)
The Bushido Blade (1981)
Bôkensha kamikaze (1981)
Samurai Reincarnation (1981)
“Hattori Hanzô: Kage no Gundan aka Shadow Warriors” (1980) TV Series
Shogun’s Ninja (1980)
Virus (1980)
“Yagyuu Conspiracy” (1979) TV Series
Hunter in the Dark (1979)
G.I. Samurai (1979)
The Resurrection of the Golden Wolf (1979)
Hakuchyu no shikaku (1979)
Okinawa: The Ten-Year War (1978)
The Shogun’s Samurai (1978)
Yokohama Underworld: The Machine-Gun Dragon (1978)
Message from Space (1978)
Swords of Vengeance (The Fall of Ako Castle) (1978)
Soul of Chiba (1977)
Golgo 13 Kowloon Assignment (1977)
A Tale of Sorrow and Sadness (1977)
Torakku yarô: Dokyô ichiban hoshi (1977)
Yakuza War: The Japanese Don (1977)
Doberman Cop (1977)
Japanese Honor (1977)
Karate For Life (1977)
Proxy War in Hokuriku (1977)
Okinawa Yakuza War (1976)
Karate Warriors (1976)
Hissatsu onna kenshi (1976)
Bakuhatsu! Boso zoku (1975)
The Defensive Power of Aikido (1975)
“The Gorilla Seven” (1975) TV Series
Karate Bearfighter (1975)
Karate Bullfighter (1975)
Champion of Death (1975)
The Killing Machine (1975)
Bullet Train (1975)
Wolfman Vs. the Supernatural (1975)
Wakai kizoku-tachi: 13-kaidan no Maki (1975)
The Bodyguard (1974)
The Executioner 2: Karate Inferno (1974)
The Street Fighter’s Last Revenge (1974)
Sister Street Fighter (1974)
The Executioner (1974)
Rupangu-to no ritsugun Nakano gakko (1974)
Return of the Street Fighter (1974)
The Street Fighter (1974)
Bodyguard Kiba (1973)
Bodigaado Kiba: Hissatsu sankaku tobi (1973)
Tokyo-Seoul-Bangkok (1973)
The Yakuza Papers: Deadly Fight in Hiroshima (1973)
Wandering Ginza: She-Cat Gambler (1972)
Saigo no tokkôtai (1970)
Yakuza Deka: The Assassin (1970)
Yakuza Deka: Gangster Cop (1970)
Memoir of Japanese Assassins (1969)
Rikugun chôhô 33 (1968)
Hokkai yûkyôden (1967)
“Key Hunter” (1967) TV Series
Kawachi yûkyôden (1967)
Gyangu 11 (1967)
The Private Police (1967)
The Golden Bat (1966)
Terror Beneath the Sea (1966)
Kamikaze yarô (1966)
“5th Level in Darkness” (1965) TV Series
Game of Chance (1965)
Nippon dorobô monogatari (1965)
Zoku Tokyo antachaburu (1964)
Song of the Yakuza (1963)
Gang Chushingura (1963)
Jirocho shacho to Ishimatsu shacho (1963)
“JNR Inspector No. 36″ (1962) TV Series
Ôsho (1962) …. Mouri
Gang vs. G-Men (1962)
Vigilante in the Funky Hat (1961)
Vigilante in the Funky Hat: 200,000 Yen Arm (1961)
The Drifting Detective (1961)
Fûraibô tantei: Misaki o wataru kuroi kaze (1961)
Police Department Story: The Twelve Detectives (1961)
Invasion of the Neptune Men (1961)
“Messenger of Allah” (1960) TV Series
“Spectral Mask” (1959) TV Series

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