Ken Takakura, who became an idol in his local Japan for his description of brooding, cool and hard-hitting heroes, has died aged 83 from lymphoma.
He was famous to western audiences in 80s and 90s Hollywood films including Mr Baseball, in that Tom Selleck plays a ball actor transferring to Japan in a twilight of his career, and Black Rain, a hardboiled Ridley Scott film starring Michael Douglas as a patrolman removing drawn into a rapist underworld of Japan’s yakuza mafia.
It was in yakuza films that Takakura done his name in a 1960s, creation as many as 10 films a year in a impression famous as ninkyo eiga, supposed “chivalric films” in that nonconformist yakuza would find out probity for typical people. “I consider that a reason a ubiquitous open identified with a roles we played, was that they were struck by my position as a male who unrelentingly stands adult to absurd injustices,” Takakura assist progressing this year. “It wasn’t only that we was only going off to a sword fight, though that my impression was peaceful to scapegoat himself in sequence to strengthen a people critical to him.”
He parlayed a purpose into an English-language picture, Sydney Pollack’s 1974 film The Yakuza. But mafiosi cinema grew adult in Japan, apropos some-more heartless and bloodthirsty, and Takakura went towards some-more thespian roles, including one in Antarctica in 1983, that stood as Japan’s highest-grossing film for 15 years.
His supernatural work rate slowed in a 90s and 00s, though in 2005 he was expel in a lead of Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles by Zhang Yimou, who destined a composed play as a palate-cleanser after his fantastical martial-arts epics Hero and House of Flying Daggers.
Takakura was also feted by executive John Woo. To emanate a impression played by Chow Yun-Fat in his film A Better Tomorrow, Woo said: “I put all my idols together – Clint Eastwood, Steve McQueen, Alain Delon and Ken Takakura.”