Revealed in the 1970s in Japan, Sonny Chiba had marked Western minds in 2003 in “Kill Bill”, in which he played Hattori Hanzō. The actor died at the age of 82.
Disappearance of Sonny Chiba
It is with sadness that we learn of the death of the Japanese actor Sonny Chiba. Born on January 23, 1939, the actor left on August 19, 2021, at 82, as a result of a pulmonary infection linked to Covid, as reported by the Japanese media (via BFM). A real star in Japan who had marked the spirits in the West by its appearance in Kill Bill (2003). Subsequently, he participated in particular in Fast and Furious: Tokyo Drift in the role of Uncle Kamata. He had also introduced barehanded martial arts in Japanese cinema, when the productions mainly featured sword fights or firearms.
Tarantino’s Hattori Hanzō
Sonny Chiba was an important actor in Japanese cinema. Beginning his career in the 1960s in series, he really knows success in the 1970s. We especially remember The Street Fighter (1974) in which he shows his karateka abilities. A very violent action film that will launch a saga with three other films worn by the actor. But if success is at the rendezvous in Jjapon, this is not the case in France where the distribution of these productions is more complicated.
Thus, for the general public, the actor will remain associated with his role in Kill Bill. In the first part signed Quentin Tarantino, he interprets Hattori Hanzō. If his name refers to a samurai in Japanese culture, it is in the blacksmith film that will allow the heroine played by Uma Thurman to obtain the sword with which she will start her revenge. So, by using Sonny Chiba for this short but striking role, Quentin Tarantino wanted to make it a bit more homage to 1970s action and samurai movies. No doubt the director will be sorry to hear this news.