Japanese Actors in HK Cinema
Though Japanese cinema is an acknowledged influence on many HK filmmakers,
resentment over the occupation of China during World War II, and the tens of millions
of Chinese murdered by the Japanese military, pervaded HK martial arts films for
decades. Historically, most Japanese characters were portrayed as villains, and with few
exceptions, were generally played by Chinese actors.
From the late 1960's-early 70's, Japan's Inoue Umetsugu wrote and directed a string of
successful HK musicals, romances and dramas for Shaw Brothers. Not only were these
films purely from a Chinese perspective, but typically a female one as well.
Japanese and Chinese swordplay films were famously united when Shintaro Katsu's
blind swordsman confronted Jimmy Wang Yu's appendage-missing warrior in
Zatoichi Meets the One-Armed Swordsman (1971). Only one Japanese martial arts star,
Yasuaki Kurata, succeeded as a leading man in Hong Kong. While he played bad guys
on occasion, Kurata was able to spend the majority of his HK career starring in
Cantonese language kung fu films, often as the protagonist.
In the late 80's, Yukari Oshima developed into Hong Kong's first major female Japanese
action star in Hong Kong. The early 1990's generated the debut of half-Taiwanese
film star Takeshi Kaneshiro, a young actor whose thriving career in Hong Kong later
led to leading roles in Japan. Japanese actors have figured more and more in Hong Kong
productions in recent years, just as HK actors have increasingly shown up in Japanese
films. Producers and financiers find the cross-cultural collaborations especially
appealing, as the mixture helps ensure profitably in both markets.
Japanese Actors in Hong Kong Film
|Hiroshi Abe||Ikeda Akiko|
|Sonny Chiba||Chikako Aoyama|
|Riki Hashimoto||Nadeki Fujimi|
|Hayama Go||Noriko Fujiwara|
|Takeshi Kaneshiro||Kumiko Goto|
|Masaya Kato||Yu Hayami|
|Nishimura Kazuhiko||Asuka Higuchi|
|Sato Keiji||Yoshie Kashiwabara|
|Yasuaki Kurata||Seina Kasugai|
|Rikiya Kurokawa||Michiko Nishiwaki|
|Tatsuya Nakadai||Yukari Oshima|
|Tetsuya Matsui||Junna Risa|
|Toru Nakamura||Noriko Sakai|
|Hiroyuki Sanada||Nakayama Shinobuko|
|Kenya Sawada||Hisako Shirata|
|Takashi Sorimachi||Takako Tokiwa|
|Akira Takarada||Yasuko Tomita|
|Tetsuro Tamba||Mirai Yamamoto|
More non-HK actors
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