Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Death and Life: Heath Ledger and Sonny Chiba

Heath Ledger is dead. It is a tragedy. We all feel for his family and daughter. Twenty-eight years old, and gone to soon. That is something that happens every day. The self-righteous pigs that we call the media will not let him rest peacefully. There is no secret in that. Sensationalize... sensationalize... sensationalize…

That’s why we will leave it at that. We have something else to discuss.

On January 23, 1939, the gods smiled on this rock, and gave us someone to cherish in Fukuoka, Japan. Someone who would inspire thousands of suburban children to walk on down to their local dojo (ed- more to come on a particular dojo soon enough), and sign up for their first karate lesson.

Today marks the 69th birthday of the man, the myth, the legend Sonny Chiba.

He is a master of Judo, Goju-ryu Karate and Ninjutsu, amongst others. He has been in such great films as The Street Fighter (1974), Champion of Death (1975), Golgo 13 (1977), Aces: Iron Eagle III (1992), Battle Royale II: Requiem (2003), just to name a few. We also know him more recently from Kill Bill Vol. 1 (2003), where he took on the now legendary role of Hattori Hanzo.

Sonny Chiba you were there for us when we lost the great Bruce Lee. So today on your 69th birthday, Sadaho Maeda, we at the Hall of the W.O. salute you, and express our deepest gratitude. You are truly one of the greats.


"Well, he ain't so much a good guy as he is just a bad mother fucker. I mean, he gets paid by people to fuck guys up." -Clarence Worley


Melina said...

If you haven't seen Kinji Fukasaku's film series The Yakuza Papers, make it a point to see the second film if nothing else. Chiba plays the wonderfully psychotic Otomo in the film Deadly Battle in Hiroshima.

Worthless Opinions said...

Thank you for the recommendation. I'll be sure to check it out.