Bunta Sugawara

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Bunta Sugawara
Born (1933-08-16) August 16, 1933 (age 81)
Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan
Occupation Actor
Years active 1956–2012

Bunta Sugawara (菅原 文太 Sugawara Bunta?, born August 16, 1933) is a Japanese actor from Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture[1] who has appeared in almost 200 feature films. He is the father of one son, actor Kaoru Sugawara, and two daughters.


Sugawara dropped out of Waseda University and worked as a model before becoming an actor in 1958,[2] but his first acting role was in the 1956 Toho film Aishu no Machi ni Kiri ga Furu. He began working with the studio Shintoho, where he had starring roles despite being a newcomer. But after two years with them, the company filed for bankruptcy. Sugawara then moved to Shochiku, but disenchanted with the low pay and what he felt were unsuitable roles, he left and went to Toei in 1967 after being recommended by Noboru Ando.[2]

He didn't achieve major success until 1973 at the age of 40, when he starred in Kinji Fukasaku's five-part yakuza epic Battles Without Honor and Humanity. The role of Shōzō Hirono still remains his most well-known. Sugawara also notably starred in Fukasaku's Street Mobster and Cops vs. Thugs. The character design of Admiral Akainu from One Piece is based on his appearance from these films.

On February 23, 2012, Sugawara announced his retirement from acting. He came to the decision after the Great East Japan Earthquake and being hospitalized in the winter of 2011, although he said he might consider future roles.[3]




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  1. ^ "Bunta Sugawara" (in Japanese). Yahoo! Japan. Retrieved 2012-05-04. 
  2. ^ a b "Confessions of a con artist". Japan Times. 2003-04-02. Retrieved 2012-05-04. 
  3. ^ "Bunta Retires From Big Screen". Japan Zone. 2012-02-24. Retrieved 2012-05-04. 

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