Sasuke (TV series)
The title card for Sasuke.
|Also known as||Ninja Warrior
|Narrated by||Furutachi Ichiro
|Country of origin||Japan|
English subtitles and dubbed contestant profiles in United States broadcast;
English voice-over in United Kingdom broadcast.
|No. of seasons||30 competitions|
|Executive producer(s)||Ushio Higuchi|
|Location(s)||Midoriyama, Aoba-ku, Yokohama|
|Running time||180 to 360-minute specials in Japan;
30-minute episodes (United States, France, Finland, Estonia, United Kingdom, New Zealand, and others);
30- or 60-minute episodes (Singapore);
50-minute episodes (Czech Republic, Serbia)
Tokyo Broadcasting System
|Original channel||Tokyo Broadcasting System|
|Original run||26 September 1997– present|
|Preceded by||Kinniku Banzuke (Muscle Ranking)|
Pro Sportsman No.1,
Viking: The Ultimate Obstacle Course
Sasuke (stylized in Japan as SASUKE) is a Japanese sports entertainment television special in which 100 competitors attempt to complete a four stage obstacle course. An edited version, named Ninja Warrior, is screened in at least 18 other countries. To date, Sasuke content has been aired in 157 countries.
Shot on location at Midoriyama studio in Yokohama, it airs on TBS between Japanese television drama seasons. Each 3-hour special covers an entire competition; there are normally 100 participants. There have been 30 specials produced, approximately one new special per season (twice per year). The show is produced by Monster9 and is one of the spin-offs of Muscle Ranking (筋肉番付 Kinniku Banzuke?), another sports entertainment competition, which airs on G4 under the name Unbeatable Banzuke. Until the 10th competition, Sasuke was broadcast as a special part of Muscle Ranking, but it became an independent program when Muscle Ranking was discontinued. The first competition was held indoors, marking the only time Sasuke did not take place outside. Competitions generally start in the daytime and continue until completed regardless of weather or darkness. After Monster9's bankruptcy on November 2011, all rights to the show fell completely into the hands of its broadcaster, Tokyo Broadcasting System. Following their acquisition of all rights to Sasuke, TBS renamed the show Sasuke Rising.
There have been several programs related to Sasuke. Kunoichi, perhaps the most well-known spin off, is a version of Sasuke restricted to female competitors only. There have also been competitions held for children and the elderly.
Applicants are interviewed or auditioned and trial rounds are held to test their physical ability until the field is narrowed to 100 competitors. Sasuke consists of four stages of increasing difficulty; competitors must complete a stage to advance. Before the 18th tournament, a 1200-meter run was held in order to determine the competitors' starting positions. Each competition is taped prior to the air date, edited for time, and broadcast as a 3-hour show.
An online game based on G4's edit of the show has been made and is available on the network's website. It is G4's highest rated show.
- 1 Competitors
- 1.1 Sasuke All-Stars
- 1.2 Sasuke New Stars
- 1.3 Notable Competitors
- 1.4 Athletes
- 1.5 Japanese entertainers
- 1.6 Japanese comedians
- 1.7 Other notable competitors
- 1.8 Women in Sasuke
- 1.9 American Ninja Challenges
- 2 Results
- 2.1 SASUKE 1
- 2.2 SASUKE 2
- 2.3 SASUKE 3
- 2.4 SASUKE 4
- 2.5 SASUKE 5
- 2.6 SASUKE 6
- 2.7 SASUKE 7
- 2.8 SASUKE 8
- 2.9 SASUKE 9
- 2.10 SASUKE 10
- 2.11 SASUKE 11
- 2.12 SASUKE 12
- 2.13 SASUKE 13
- 2.14 SASUKE 14
- 2.15 SASUKE 15
- 2.16 SASUKE 16
- 2.17 SASUKE 17
- 2.18 SASUKE 18
- 2.19 SASUKE 19
- 2.20 SASUKE 20
- 2.21 SASUKE 21
- 2.22 SASUKE 22
- 2.23 SASUKE 23
- 2.24 SASUKE 24
- 2.25 SASUKE 25
- 2.26 SASUKE 26
- 2.27 SASUKE 27
- 2.28 SASUKE 28
- 2.29 SASUKE 29
- 2.30 SASUKE 30
- 3 Stages and obstacles
- 4 Broadcast
- 4.1 United States
- 4.2 United Kingdom
- 4.3 Greece
- 4.4 Serbia
- 4.5 Singapore
- 4.6 Russia
- 4.7 Indonesia
- 4.8 Italy
- 4.9 South Africa
- 4.10 Germany
- 4.11 Turkey
- 4.12 Bulgaria
- 4.13 Czech Republic
- 4.14 Croatia
- 4.15 Slovak Republic
- 4.16 Australia
- 4.17 Bosnia
- 4.18 Estonia
- 4.19 Lithuania
- 4.20 Latvia
- 4.21 Middle East
- 4.22 Poland
- 4.23 Romania
- 4.24 Malaysia
- 4.25 Thailand
- 4.26 Colombia
- 5 Related events
- 6 See also
- 7 References
- 8 External links
The show hosts a broad spectrum of participants. While most are amateur athletes from Japan, national television personalities and Olympians from other countries, including the USA, Bulgaria, China and Korea, have taken part in the competition. Some of the more enthusiastic competitors dress up in costumes, bring props to the starting stage, or show off some of their talents.
The Sasuke All-Stars are a group of six favored competitors, established by the TBS network, originally thought to be the most likely to clear all four stages. It includes two of the men to complete the Sasuke course, Kazuhiko Akiyama (1999, 4th tournament) and Makoto Nagano (2006, 17th tournament). The membership of the All-Stars has remained unchanged despite other successful competitors in later tournaments, notably, Yuuji Urushihara who completed the course in the 24th and 27th tournaments. The All-Stars were officially 'retired' in the 28th tournament, although several of them continue to compete, now known as 'former All-Stars'.
The six consist of:
- Kazuhiko Akiyama (ja), a crab fisherman. Known for being the first contestant to ever achieve Total Victory. He has not been able to repeat his success, being hindered by an eye condition known as degenerative reintosis that has been haunting him for years.
|2nd||100||Failed Wall Lifting||Second|
|3rd||99||Failed Wall Lifting||Second|
|4th||86||Total Victory (6.00 seconds to spare)||Final|
|5th||Did not compete|
|6th||100||Failed Jump Hang||First|
|7th||99||Failed Jump Hang||First|
|8th||99||Failed Jump Hang||First|
|9th||100||Failed Quintuple Step||First|
|10th||981||Failed Warped Wall||First|
|11th||99||Failed Body Prop||Third|
|12th||97||Failed Pipe Slider||Third|
|13th||91||Failed Crooked Wall||First|
|14th||71||Failed Warped Wall||First|
|15th||81||Failed Warped Wall||First|
|16th||71||Failed Metal Spin||Second|
|17th||71||Failed Circle Slider||First|
|18th||Did not compete|
|19th||Did Not Compete|
|20th||1901||Failed Halfpipe Attack||First|
|21st||Did not compete|
|22nd||20||Failed Halfpipe Attack||First|
|23rd||Did Not Compete|
|24th||62||Failed Warped Wall||First|
|25th||98||Failed Warped Wall||First|
|26th||Did not compete|
|27th||Did not compete|
|28th||96||Failed Spinning Bridge||First|
- Makoto Nagano, a fisherman and fishing boat captain. Known for reaching the final stage more than anyone else and being the second person to complete the course.
|7th||87||Failed Warped Wall||First|
|8th||41||Failed Warped Wall||First|
|9th||61||Failed Pipe Slider||Third|
|10th||999||Failed Jump Hang||First|
|11th||96||Failed Rope Climb||Final|
|12th||100||Failed Rope Climb (by 0.11 seconds)||Final|
|13th||100||Failed Rope Climb||Final|
|14th||100||Failed Jumping Bars||Third|
|15th||100||Failed Metal Spin||Second|
|16th||100||Failed Devil Swing||Third|
|17th||99||Total Victory (2.56 seconds to spare)||Final|
|18th||96||Disqualified on Shin-Cliff Hanger†||Third|
|19th||100||Failed Flying Chute||First|
|20th||2000||Failed Downhill Jump||Second|
|21st||100||Failed Gliding Ring||Third|
|22nd||100||Failed Slider Jump||First|
|24th||100||Failed Jumping Spider||First|
|25th||99||Failed Circle Slider||First|
|26th||99||Failed Jumping Spider||First|
|27th||100||Failed Ultimate Cliff Hanger||Third|
|28th||100||Failed Second Warped Wall||First|
|29th||100||Failed Second Warped Wall (injured)||First|
|30th||2999||Failed Swap Salmon Ladder||Second|
† – Nagano touched the top of the Shin-Cliff Hanger after swinging from the second to the third ledge. He disqualified himself, admitting his error and bowing out after he reached the next platform.
*- Nagano was allowed a second attempt at the first stage due to a malfunction of the Slider Jump.
|5th||74||Failed Spider Walk||Second|
|6th||93||Failed Body Prop||Third|
|7th||96||Failed Rope Climb||First|
|8th||71||Failed Pipe Slider||Third|
|9th||97||Failed Globe Grasp||Third|
|10th||997||Failed Jump Hang||First|
|11th||97||Failed Body Prop||Third|
|12th||95||Failed Pipe Slider||Third|
|13th||98||Failed Cliff Hanger||Third|
|14th||97||Failed Cliff Hanger||Third|
|15th||96||Failed Devil Swing||Third|
|16th||98||Failed Cliff Hanger||Third|
|17th||91||Failed Pipe Slider||Third|
|18th||†||Failed Salmon Ladder||Second|
|19th||96||Failed Warped Wall||First|
|20th||1995||Failed Rope Ladder||First|
|21st||98||Failed Ascending Climb||Third|
|22nd||92||Failed Jumping Spider||First|
|23rd||97||Failed Spider Flip||Third|
|24th||98||Failed Spider Flip||Third|
|25th||70||Failed Double Salmon Ladder||Second|
|26th||Did not compete|
|27th||Did not compete|
|28th||97||Failed Rolling Escargot||First|
|30th||2980||Failed Swap Salmon Ladder||Second|
† – Takeda had no number in the 18th tournament. He was around the 86th person to run the course.
|1st||7||Failed Dodging Hammer||Second|
|2nd||20||Failed Pipe Slider||Third|
|3rd||13||Failed Rope Climb||Final|
|4th||98||Failed Balance Bridge||First|
|5th||98||Failed Pipe Slider||Third|
|6th||96||Failed Rolling Log||First|
|7th||97||Failed Spider Climb (injured†)||Final|
|8th||98||Failed Rope Climb||First|
|9th||98||Failed Rumbling Dice||Third|
|10th||998||Failed Rope Climb||First|
|11th||98||Failed Cliff Hanger||Third|
|12th||96||Failed Cliff Hanger||Third|
|13th||76||Failed Wall Lifting||Second|
|14th||98||Failed Curtain Cling||Third|
|15th||95||Failed Body Prop||Third|
|16th||97||Failed Jump Hang||First|
|17th||98||Failed Body Prop||Third|
|18th||61||Failed Flying Chute||First|
|19th||81||Failed Jumping Spider||First|
|20th||1981||Failed Halfpipe Attack||First|
|21st||71||Failed Flying Chute||First|
|22nd||31||Failed Halfpipe Attack||First|
|23rd||93||Failed Arm Rings (injured†)||Third|
|24th||96||Failed Tarzan Rope||First|
|25th||90||Failed Balance Tank||Second|
|26th||94||Failed Rolling Escargot||First|
|27th||81||Failed Spinning Bridge||First|
|28th||98||Failed Spinning Bridge||First|
† – Yamamoto was hurt in the 7th competition when he dislocated his shoulder and in the 23rd he re-injured his shoulder.
|9th||79||Failed Warped Wall||First|
|10th||Did Not Compete|
|11th||66||Failed Wall Lifting||Second|
|12th||77||Failed Rope Climb||Final|
|13th||99||Failed Pipe Slider||Third|
|14th||96||Failed Balance Tank||Second|
|15th||94||Failed Climbing Bars||Third|
|16th||96||Failed Pipe Slider||Third|
|17th||81||Failed Body Prop||Third|
|18th||95||Failed Jumping Spider||First|
|19th||82||Failed Flying Chute||First|
|20th||Did not compete (injured)|
|21st||83||Failed Downhill Jump||Second|
|22nd-29th||Did not compete (injured)|
|30th||2997||Failed Jump Hang Kai||First|
- Katsumi Yamada (ja), a steel worker known as "Mr. Sasuke" or "Mr. Ninja Warrior". He was once thought to be the one most likely to complete the entire course by the tournament's producers, but has not passed the first stage in over nine years.
|1st||92||Failed Dodging Hammer||Second|
|2nd||91||Failed Spider Walk||Second|
|3rd||89||Timed Out Rope Climb||Final|
|4th||100||Failed Cliff Hanger||Third|
|5th||100||Failed Spider Walk||Second|
|6th||99||Failed Pipe Slider||Third|
|7th||100||Timed Out Rope Climb||First|
|8th||100||Timed Out Warped Wall||First|
|9th||99||Timed Out Wall Lifting||Second|
|10th||1000||Failed Pipe Slider||Third|
|11th||100||Failed Balance Tank||Second|
|12th||98||Disqualified on Spider Walk†||Second|
|13th||Did not compete|
|14th||99||Failed Jump Hang||First|
|15th||99||Failed Cross Bridge||First|
|16th||99||Timed Out Rope Climb||First|
|17th||100||Timed Out Warped Wall||First|
|18th||73||Timed Out Rope Ladder||First|
|19th||91||Failed Jumping Spider||First|
|20th||1999||Failed Jumping Spider||First|
|21st||96||Timed Out Warped Wall (injured)||First|
|22nd||81||Failed Jumping Spider||First|
|23rd||71||Failed Slider Jump||First|
|24th||80||Timed Out Warped Wall||First|
|25th||Did not compete|
|26th||90||Failed Jumping Spider||First|
|27th||91||Timed Out Warped Wall||First|
|28th||99||Timed Out First Warped Wall||First|
|29th||Did not compete|
† – Although Yamada completed the entire course, he forgot to take off his gloves before the Spider Walk.
Sasuke New Stars
The Sasuke New Stars are recent competitors who have made a name for themselves.
- Yuuji Urushihara (ja), a shoe salesman, an Unlimited Cliffer member and the only man to achieve total victory twice.
|21st||72||Failed Flying Chute||First|
|23rd||99||Failed Unstable Bridge||Second|
|24th||93||Total Victory (3.57 seconds to spare)||Final|
|25th||100||Failed Double Salmon Ladder||Second|
|26th||100||Failed Half-Pipe Attack||First|
|27th||99||Total Victory (6.71 seconds to spare)||Final|
|28th||88||Failed Crazy Cliffhanger||Third|
|30th||2993||Failed Wall Lifting||Second|
|21st||42||Failed Warped Wall||First|
|22nd||76||Failed Slider Jump||First|
|23rd||47||Failed Salmon Ladder||Second|
|25th||60||Failed Ultimate Cliffhanger||Third|
|26th||98||Failed Metal Spin||Second|
|27th||20||Failed Chain SeeSaw||Third|
|28th||40||Failed Spinning Bridge||First|
|20th||1976||Failed Jumping Spider||First|
|22nd||49||Disqualified on Spider Flip †||Third|
|24th||99||Failed Tarzan Rope||First|
|25th||89||Failed Balance Tank||Second|
|26th||93||Failed Rolling Escargot||First|
|27th||1||Withdrew on Double Salmon Ladder ‡||Second|
|28th||89||Failed Crazy Cliffhanger||Third|
|29th||97||Failed Crazy Cliffhanger||Third|
|30th||2996||Failed Crazy Cliffhanger||Third|
† – Kanno touched part of the frame with his foot and climbed along the side of the platform, thereby going off the course.
‡ - Kanno withdrew before Double Salmon Ladder because of a shoulder injury.
|23rd||45||Failed Salmon Ladder||Second|
|24th||73||Failed Gliding Ring||Third|
|25th||49||Failed Circle Slider||First|
|26th||86||Failed Jumping Spider||First|
|27th||29||Failed Slider Drop||Second|
|21st||44||Failed Log Grip||First|
|23rd||50||Failed Salmon Ladder||Second|
|24th||78||Failed Salmon Ladder||Second|
|25th||18||Failed Unstable Bridge||Second|
|21st||46||Failed Flying Chute||First|
|25th||6||Failed Circle Slider||First|
|26th||63||Failed Rolling Escargot||First|
|27th||62||Failed Rope Climb||Final|
|28th||87||Failed Passing Wall||Second|
|30th||2994||Failed Rope Climb||Final|
- Kazuma Asa, a hedge trimmer.
|21st||45||Failed Warped Wall||First|
|27th||55||Failed Double Salmon Ladder||Second|
|28th||58||Failed Crazy Cliffhanger||Third|
|29th||96||Failed Crazy Cliffhanger||Third|
|30th||2998||Failed Crazy Cliffhanger||Third|
- Yusuke Morimoto, a student.
|18th||91||Failed Jumping Spider||First|
|19th||71||Failed Halfpipe Attack||First|
|20th||Did not compete|
|21st||52||Failed Jumping Spider||First|
|22nd||27||Failed Warped Wall||First|
|23rd-26th||Did not compete|
|27th||84||Failed Metal Spin||Second|
|28th||Did not compete|
|29th||79||Failed Pipe Slider||Third|
|30th||3000||Failed Wall Lifting||Second|
- Masashi Hioki, an electronics store worker.
|25th||92||Failed Circle Slider||First|
|26th||64||Failed Warped Wall||First|
|27th||61||Failed Giant Swing||First|
|30th||2935||Failed Crazy Cliffhanger||Third|
- Tomohiro Kawaguchi, a truck driver.
|21st||47||Failed Halfpipe Attack||First|
|22nd||78||Failed Slider Jump||First|
|24th||47||Failed Unstable Bridge||Second|
|25th||67||Failed Circle Slider||First|
|27th||25||Failed Rolling Escargot||First|
|30th||2967||Failed Rope Climb||Final|
- Shinya Kishimoto, a salesman.
|25th||95||Failed Dome Steps||First|
|26th||8||Failed Rolling Escargot||First|
|27h||17||Failed Warped Wall||First|
|30th||2973||Failed Vertical Limit||Third|
- Hiroyuki Asaoka, a former elementary school teacher turned illustrator. Commonly known as "Sasuke Sensei" or Professor Ninja Warrior.
|3rd||34||Failed Hammer Dodge||Second|
|4th||3||Failed Pipe Slider||Third|
|5th||27||Failed Jump Hang||First|
|6th||15||Failed Jump Hang||First|
|7th||29||Failed Jump Hang||First|
|8th||Did not compete|
|9th||Did not compete|
|10th||954||Failed Body Prop||Third|
|11th||58||Failed Chain Reaction||Second|
|12th||72||Failed Rope Climb (12 metres up)||Final|
|13th||Did not compete|
|14th||80||Failed Cliff Hanger||Third|
|15th||91||Failed Rope Climb||First|
- Naoki Iketani, a former gymnast, sports talent, and World Record Holder in Monster Box at 23 boxes.
|2nd||90||Failed Spinning Log||First|
|3rd||Did not compete|
|4th||81||Failed Pipe Slider||Third|
|5th||81||Failed Warped Wall||First|
|6th||Did not compete|
|7th||Did not compete|
|8th||61||Failed Rolling Log||First|
|9th||81||Failed Wall Lifting||Second|
|10th||961||Failed Cliff Hanger||Third|
|11th||61||Failed Cliff Hanger||Third|
|12th||81||Failed Rope Climb||First|
|13th||90||Failed Body Prop||Third|
|14th||81||Failed Body Prop||Third|
|15th||90||Failed Warped Wall||First|
|16th||90||Failed Body Prop||Third|
|17th||Did not compete|
|18th||Did not compete|
|19th||Did not compete|
|20th||1983||Failed Jumping Spider||First|
|21st||93||Failed Flying Chute||First|
|22nd||97||Failed Warped Wall||First|
|23rd||Did not compete|
|24th||90||Failed Warped Wall||First|
|25th||Did not compete|
|26th||87||Failed Double Salmon Ladder||Second|
|27th||93||Failed Double Salmon Ladder||Second|
|28th||76||Failed Rolling Escargot||First|
- Shunsuke Nagasaki, a trampolinist.
|14th||67||Failed Wall Lifting||Second|
|15th||65||Failed Cliff Hanger||Third|
|16th||89||Failed Cliff Hanger||Third|
|17th||87||Failed Rope Climb||Final|
|19th||97||Failed Flying Chute||First|
|20th-28th||Did not compete|
|29th||93||Failed Passing Wall||Second|
|30th||2986||Failed Crazy Cliff Hanger||Third|
- Daisuke Nakata, a former Olympic trampolinist.
|8th||46||Failed Wall Lift||Second|
|9th||71||Failed Globe Grasp||Third|
|10th||940||Failed Globe Grasp||Third|
|11th||95||Failed Globe Grasp||Third|
|12th||94||Failed Rolling Log||First|
|13th||71||Failed Wall Lifting||Second|
|14th||Did not compete|
|15th||Did not compete|
|16th||65||Failed Rope Climb||First|
|17th||96||Failed Arm Rings||Third|
|18th||Did not compete|
|19th||Did not compete|
|20th||Did not compete|
|21st||88||Failed Salmon Ladder||Second|
|12th||1||Failed Cliff Hanger||Third|
|13th||88||First Jump Hang||First|
|14th||57||Failed Warped Wall||First|
|15th||70||Failed Jumping Bars||Third|
|16th||91||Failed Pipe Slider||Third|
|17th||95||Failed Metal Spin||Second|
|18th||Did not compete|
|19th||79||Failed Salmon Ladder||Second|
- Shinji Kobayashi, a sanitary engineer.
|11th||74||Failed Pipe Slider||Third|
|12th||93||Failed Jump Hang||First|
|13th||86||Failed Jump Hang||First|
|14th||68||Failed Devil's Swing||Third|
|15th||98||Failed Crooked Wall||First|
|16th||92||Failed Metal Spin||Second|
|17th||Did not compete|
|18th||44||Failed Flying Chute||First|
|19th||76||Failed Flying Chute||First|
|20th||1985||Failed Jumping Spider||First|
- Masaaki Kobayashi, a gymnastics instructor.
|12th||92||Failed Body Prop||Third|
|13th||97||Failed Curtain Cling||Third|
|14th||87||Failed Body Prop||Third|
|15th||71||Failed Warped Wall||First|
|16th||93||Failed Metal Spin||Second|
|17th-28th||Did not compete|
|29th||58||Failed Jump Hang Kai||First|
- Kenji Takahashi, a deliveryman.
|5th||??||Failed Rolling Log||First|
|6th||??||Failed Warped Wall||First|
|7th||46||Failed Cliff Hanger||Third|
|8th-15th||Did not compete|
|16th||66||Failed Cliff Hanger||Third|
|17th||Did not compete|
|18th||98||Failed Shin-Cliff Hanger||Third|
|19th||84||Failed Jumping Spider||First|
|20th||1988||Failed Flying Chute||First|
|21st||85||Failed Jumping Spider||First|
|22nd||80||Failed Rope Ladder||First|
|23rd||84||Failed Gliding Ring||Third|
|25th||40||Failed Ultimate Cliff Hanger||Third|
|26th||96||Failed Rolling Escargot||First|
|27th||15||Failed Spinning Bridge||First|
|28th||Did not compete|
|29th||87||Failed Crazy Cliff Hanger||Third|
|30th||2995||Failed Swap Salmon Ladder||Second|
- Yuji Washimi, a mechanic, formerly a Motocross star.
|17th||68||Failed Warped Wall||First|
|18th||70||Failed Salmon Ladder||Second|
|19th||86||Failed Salmon Ladder||Second|
|20th||1991||Failed Halfpipe Attack||First|
|21st||89||Failed Flying Chute||First|
|22nd||Did not compete|
|23rd||Did not compete|
|24th||84||Failed Metal Spin||Second|
|25th-28th||Did not compete|
World-class athletes, including Olympians, have attempted Sasuke:
Several Japanese athletes have competed in Sasuke over the years including, professional team handball player, Daisuke Miyazaki, who was featured in the 20th, 21st, 22nd and 26th competitions. In his debut, the 20th competition, he failed on the Halfpipe Attack. His best performance was in the Sasuke 21, where he made it all the way to the third stage devil steps. In Sasuke 22, he timed out on the net climb in stage 1, and in Sasuke 26, he failed the first stage Rolling Escargot.
After the 27th competition, 3 Japanese olympians competed: Tomoko Hagiwara, Koki Sakamoto, and Daisuke Nakano. Hagiwara competed in the 28th competition, but she failed the Quintuple Step. She also competed in the 29th competition, but she failed the Hedgehog. Sakamoto competed in the 28th competition, wearing #95 (the highest # for non all-stars that tournament), but he timed out on the second Warped Wall. Nakano competed in the 29th competition, but he failed the Jump Hang Kai, while trying to grab both nets.
Various American athletes, including Olympic gymnasts (and twin brothers) Paul and Morgan Hamm, have competed in Sasuke. Paul made it to the second stage in the 14th and 16th competitions but failed to make it further – in the 14th, he cleared Wall Lifting but forgot to hit the button at the end before time ran out, and in the 16th, he was eliminated by the Metal Spin. He competed in the 15th competition as well, but he failed to make it past the first stage's Warped Wall. Morgan timed out in the first stage before he could attempt the Rope Climb in the 14th competition, but he made it to the third stage in the 15th, failing on the Curtain Cling. In the 16th competition, he failed the first stage's Warped Wall.
Decathlete Paul Terek competed four times. He first appeared in the 17th competition, making it to the third stage before failing on the Cliff Hanger. The announcer pointed to his immense size (6 foot 3 and 215 pounds) as a barrier to his advancement. After earning the title of Pro Sportsman No. 1 in 2007, Terek appeared in the 19th competition but failed the first stage's Jumping Spider. He helped G4 oversee the 2nd American Ninja Challenge competition in early 2008, but he did not compete in Sasuke's 20th competition due to his training for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing (though he eventually had to drop out of the running for the Olympics after suffering a torn meniscus in his left knee). He made his return to Sasuke in the 22nd competition but failed on a new obstacle in the first stage, the Slider Jump. He failed the same obstacle in Sasuke 24. In 2010, Paul Terek announced his retirement from international competition, so it is likely he will never compete again.
Levi Meeuwenberg, a free runner from G4's American Ninja Challenge 2, first competed in Sasuke 20, where he was one of only three people to clear the first stage and the only person to clear the second stage. He cleared stage 2 with a record time of 38.5 second left. He failed the third stage's Shin-Cliff Hanger. In the 21st competition, he failed the Salmon Ladder in the second stage; in the 22nd, he failed the new Slider Jump; in the 23rd, he made it back to the third stage but again failed the Shin-Cliff Hanger. He missed the 24th competition but returned for the 25th, where he failed the first obstacle of the second stage, the Slider Drop. However, he couldn't compete in the 26th competition after breaking his wrist while participating in Jump City: Seattle, a televised professional parkour tournament. In the four times he completed the first stage, he had the fastest time out of everyone else, usually around 16 to 30 seconds to spare.
- Note: Does not include American Ninja Warrior results
|14th||82||Failed Tarzan Jump||First|
|15th||93||Failed Curtain Cling||Third|
|14th||82||Failed Wall Lift†||Second|
|15th||92||Failed Warped Wall||First|
|16th||94||Failed Metal Spin||Second|
† - Hamm cleared the Second Stage with 3 seconds left, but forgot to hit the buzzer at the end of the obstacles.
|17th||86||Failed Cliff Hanger||Third|
|18th||Did not compete|
|19th||98||Failed Jumping Spider||First|
|20th||Did not compete|
|21st||Did not compete|
|22nd||98||Failed Slider Jump||First|
|23rd||Did not compete|
|24th||82||Failed Slider Jump||First|
|21st||99||Failed Salmon Ladder||Second|
|22nd||91||Failed Slider Jump||First|
|24th||Did not compete|
|25th||48||Failed Slider Drop||Second|
Bulgarian gymnast and six-time Olympian (1992, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012) Yordan Yovchev (spelled on G4 as Jordan Jovtchev) first competed in the 8th competition. During that competition he reached the final stage but became the only competitor to suffer a 15-second timeout on the initial Spider Climb portion, falling when it spread apart. Rain and a two-second late start also hurt his performance. He made it to the third stage three more times in competitions 12, 14, and 16, failing the Cliff Hanger each time. He competed in the 15th competition but failed the Warped Wall in the first stage. He later came back to compete in Sasuke 20, where he failed the Warped Wall again. He also competed in Sasuke 23, where he managed to pass all of the other obstacles but timed out on the final rope ladder.
|8th||59||Failed Spider Climb||Final|
|9th||Did not compete|
|10th||Did not compete|
|11th||Did not compete|
|12th||99||Failed Cliff Hanger||Third|
|13th||Did not compete|
|14th||91||Failed Cliff Hanger||Third|
|15th||97||Failed Warped Wall||First|
|16th||95||Failed Cliff Hanger||Third|
|17th||Did not compete|
|18th||Did not compete|
|19th||Did not compete|
|20th||1993||Failed Warped Wall||First|
|21st||Did not compete|
|22nd||Did not compete|
|23rd||79||Failed Rope Ladder||First|
South Korean gymnast Yeo Hong Chul, silver medalist in the men's vault at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, competed three times but has never gotten past the first stage. In the 7th competition, he was unable to beat the Rolling Log; In the 8th, he failed the Quintuple Step; in the 11th, he timed out on the Warped Wall.
Spanish gymnast Gervasio Deferr, 2000 and 2004 Olympic Champion in the vault and 2008 silver medalist in the floor exercise, competed in the 10th competition but timed out a few feet from the buzzer on the first stage's Rope Climb.
Li En-Chih (who was incorrectly listed as Lee Yen Chi in the US version and was mistakenly called Lee Enchi or Li En Zhi for years), is a professional rock climber from Taiwan. In his first attempt in the 17th competition, he cleared the first stage but failed the second stage's Metal Spin. In the 18th competition, he failed the Jumping Spider in first stage. After a two tournament absence, he competed in Sasuke 21 and was one of only nine competitors to make it to the second stage, timing out on Wall Lifting. In the 22nd competition, he was one of four people to make it to the third stage, ultimately failing the Shin-Cliff Hanger. In Sasuke 23, he failed the second stage's Metal Spin. In Sasuke 24, he made it to the Final Stage for the first time but timed out 19 meters up. Li became the third foreigner to reach the Final Stage since Yordan Yovchev and Kane Kosugi in SASUKE 8. In Sasuke 25, he went to the third stage, but he failed the Ultimate Cliff Hanger. He made it back to the Ultimate Cliff Hanger in Sasuke 26, but again failed there. In Sasuke 25 and 26, Li finished overall first, becoming the only foreigner to have progressed further than any competitor in consecutive tournaments. After making it to the Ultimate Cliff Hanger 2 times, it looked like Li would go all the way in Sasuke 27. However, he shocked many when his feet dipped the water on the Step Slider in stage 1. This was his earliest defeat, and first time failing stage 1 since Sasuke 18. He failed the first stage yet again in Sasuke 28, on the Spinning Bridge. He finally cleared the First Stage again in Sasuke 29, but timed out on the Passing Wall. He is also the only foreigner to clear Stage One 6 times in a row (Sasuke 21-26).
|17th||92||Failed Metal Spin||Second|
|18th||26||Failed Jumping Spider||First|
|19th||Did not compete|
|20th||Did not compete|
|21st||49||Failed Wall Lifting||Second|
|22nd||79||Failed Shin-Cliff Hanger||Third|
|23rd||94||Failed Metal Spin||Second|
|25th||80||Failed Ultimate Cliff Hanger||Third|
|26th||95||Failed Ultimate Cliff Hanger||Third|
|27th||97||Failed Step Slider||First|
|28th||83||Failed Spinning Bridge||First|
|29th||56||Failed Passing Wall||Second|
|30th||2990||Failed Crazy Cliff Hanger||Third|
Mixed martial artists and wrestlers
K-1 mixed martial artist Genki Sudo has competed in five tournaments, failing at the Jump Hang (6th, 12th), the Rolling Log (13th), Duodectuple Step (23rd), and the Log Grip (24th). Another mixed martial artist, Sanae Kikuta competed in the 8th and 10th tournaments, where he fell off of the Rolling Log in the first stage; in the 12th tournament, he fell on the Plank Bridge in the first stage. Other K-1 fighters who have competed include Tatsuji (19th competition, failed the Jumping Spider), Yudai (20th competition, failed the Rokudantobi), Andy Ologun (18th competition, failed the Rope Glider; 20th Competition, failed the Log Grip), Bobby Ologun (22nd Competition, failed the Log Grip), and Bernard Ackah (19th competition, failed the Jumping Spider).
Former Pride Fighting Championships and Pancrase Japanese mixed martial artist and pro wrestler Ikuhisa Minowa, competing in DREAM known as "Minowaman", was featured in the 26th competition wearing red wrestling tights, pads, and boots. He failed the second obstacle, "Hazard Swing" after jumping from the swing, and missing the rope on the platform, falling into the water below. He also competed in the 29th competition, but failed the first obstacle, the "Long Jump", where he landed feet first onto the sandbox and jumped backwards into the water. Japanese featherweight mixed martial artist from DREAM Hideo Tokoro, (announced as a "freelance fighter") was featured right after Minowaman in the 26th competition where he failed to grab the rope to swing himself to the other side in the first obstacle "Step Slider".
Several professional wrestlers have also competed, including Tiger Mask IV, The Great Sasuke (referred to as Great Ninja Warrior in the US and UK versions), Minoru Suzuki, Hiroshi Tanahashi and Naohiro Hoshikawa. Suzuki and Tanahashi were the Triple Crown Heavyweight and IWGP Heavyweight Champion, respectively, during their runs in the course.
Several Japanese or Japan-based entertainers have taken part in Sasuke, including action movie star Kane Kosugi and his brother Shane. Kane made the third stage in the 1st, 4th and 6th competitions, failing on the Pole Bridge, Cliff Hanger and Body Prop, respectively. In the 7th competition, he made the second stage but failed the Spider Walk. He reached the final stage in the 8th Competition, becoming, alongside Yordan Yovchev, the first foreigner to make it that far. Competing in heavy rain, Kane timed out on the rope climb; he has not competed since. Shane timed out on the second stage's Wall Lift in the 2nd competition, then failed the first stage's Rolling Log in the 3rd competition. In the 4th, he came close to completing the first stage but timed out on the Rope Climb. In the 6th and 7th competitions, he made it to the third stage, failing both times on the Body Prop. In the 8th competition, he failed to get past the first stage's Warped Wall. Unlike his brother, Shane competed in the 9th competition, where he failed the Big Boulder in the first stage.
Other entertainers who have competed include Hiromichi Sato, host of several NHK children's programs; Shigeyuki Nakamura, a champion of the Muscle Gym event in Kinniku Banzuke; actor-singer Kazumi Morohoshi, a former member of the band Hikaru Genji who is now a solo artist; actor/announcer Kenjirō Ishimaru; and actors Masaki Nomura and Shōei. Sato debuted in the 18th tournament and failed the first stage's Flying Chute. In the 19th tournament, he failed the Log Grip. In the 20th competition, he timed out before he attempted the Tarzan Rope. In the 21st competition, he timed out on the Warped Wall. In the 22nd, Sato finally cleared the first stage but failed the Metal Spin in the second. In Sasuke 23, he failed the Jumping Spider. In Sasuke 24, he failed the Metal Spin again. He missed Sasuke 25, but failed the Jumping Spider again in Sasuke 26. He missed Sasuke 27 and 28 but competed in 29, where he shocked the crowd by unexpectedly going out on the first obstacle, the Long Jump. Nakamura made it to the third stage in the 2nd competition, failing there on the Pipe Slider, but in the 6th competition he was eliminated by the first stage's Jump Hang. Morohoshi debuted in the 20th tournament but failed the Log Grip in the first stage. Ishimaru has never made it past the first stage; his two closest attempts, in the 16th and 17th competitions, timed out on the Rope Climb. Shōei competed 3 times. He competed in Sasuke 6, and failed the Jump Hang when he tried to go under using only his arms. He timed out on the rope climb in stage 1 in Sasuke 7. He finally made it pass the first stage and second stage in Sasuke 8. He struggled in stage 3 on the Propeller bars, and failed the Body Prop. Actor James Okada, a graduate from a martial arts academy, competed in the 6th and 7th competitions. In his first attempt, he failed the Jump Hang in the first stage, but in the next tournament, he made it all the way to the third, where he was defeated by the first obstacle, the Propeller Bars.
Several Japanese comedians have taken part in Sasuke, including Akira Omori ("The Monkey"), Koriki Choshu ("the most famous gut in Japan" and 2nd on G4's Craziest Contestants Poll), Passion Yara ("screaming wacko" and 5th on G4s craziest contestants poll), Masaki Sumitani ("Razor Ramon H.G." or "Hard Gay"), Yoku Hata ("Guitar Samurai"), Tetsurō Degawa, and Kinnikun Nakayama. Most of these compete for entertainment value and do not represent serious challenges – for example, Choshu's only accomplishment was being the first person to clear the Rope Glider in the 18th competition. However, some have seen success. Omori made it to the final stage three times in a row (1st–3rd competitions), a record that is shared with Sasuke all-star Makoto Nagano, but since then he has not been able to clear the first stage. Nakayama made it to the second stage in the 9th and 11th competitions; in the 9th, Nakayama failed the Spider Walk, and in the 11th, he missed hitting the second stage's final button by a split-second. He competed in Sasuke 27. He had footage showing himself training for the new course. He wore #30, and despite his training, he failed the Rolling Escargot when he could not get enough mommentum to get the structure spinning, and fell into the water when trying to restart the obstacle. He got revenge on it in the 28th tournament, but timed out on the second Warped Wall. In the 29th tournament, he almost cleared the first stage for the first time in 10 years, but ultimately, timed out at the top of the Rope Ladder. Recent comedians include, Yoshio Kojima, who competed in 5 competitions (22, 24, 26-28), where he failed at the Log Grip twice, Hazard Swing, Step Slider, and Rolling Escargot respectively. Funnyman Masumi Yagi was featured in the 26th competition but failed on the Step Slider. Cocky comedian, Eiko Kano (aka "Mr. Narcissus") was featured in the 25th competition and failed at the Dome Steps, but got past the first obstacle in the 26th competition and failed at the Rolling Escargot. Penalty comedian Wakky competed 8 times in Sasuke. He debuted in Sasuke 20 and failed the Halfpipe Attack. In Sasuke 21 and 22, he failed the Jumping Spider. In Sasuke 23, he got revenge on both the Jumping Spider and the Halfpipe Attack, only to fail the Slider Jump. In Sasuke 24, he failed the Halfpipe Attack again. He returned for Sasuke 27 and cleared the First Stage for the first time. In the Second Stage, he failed the Double Salmon Ladder. In Sasuke 28, he timed out on the Rope Ladder. He returned to the Second Stage in Sasuke 29, but failed the Swap Salmon Ladder.
Other notable competitors
Some other participants notable for their success in Sasuke include Shinji Kobayashi, a 42-year-old garbage man from Matsumoto, Nagano Prefecture, who has competed ten times and made it to the third stage in the 11th competition (failing on the Pipe Slider) as well as the 14th (where he failed the Devil's Swing). In Sasuke 15, he failed the Crooked Wall. Since his debut in the 11th tournament, he has only missed the 17th; however, much of his footage has been cut from the TBS broadcast. He usually competes in a blue or gray garbage man's uniform. In the 16th competition, when the G4 commentator commented on his wipeout on the Metal Spin, Kobayashi was mistakenly called an All-Star. He failed the Metal Spin in stage 2 in Sasuke 16. He also competed in Sasuke 20, where he wore the number 1985, and failed the jumping spider.
Former elementary school teacher Hiroyuki Asaoka, previously known as the "Sasuke Sensei" (in America: "Professor Ninja Warrior", in the UK: "The Professor"), has competed in several tournaments. He first competed in the 3rd competition, failing the second stage's Hammer Dodge. Asaoka was one of the three men to reach the final stage in the 12th competition, failing on the Rope Climb. He also reached the third stage in the 4th, 10th, and 14th competitions. In the 20th tournament, which was his last, he failed the first stage's Rope Ladder. Asaoka works as an illustrator for graphic novels.
Kenji Takahashi (aka Kongu), a 37-year-old delivery man from Saitama Prefecture, has competed fifteen times, with a 5-year break between his third and fourth attempts. He reached the third stage in competitions 7, 16, and 18 but failed the Cliff Hanger each time. He then failed the first stage four times, in the 19th through 22nd tournaments. In the 23rd competition, Takahashi failed the Gliding Ring. In the 24th, he made it to the final stage for the first time, but his support cable got tangled with the G-Rope, and he timed out a few meters short of completion. In the 25th competition, he made it to the third stage but failed the Ultimate Cliff Hanger. He returned in Sasuke 26, but failed the Rolling Escargot. He also competed in Sasuke 27, but failed the new Spinning Bridge in Stage 1. He returned to the Third Stage in Sasuke 29, but ultimately, slipped up on the transition to the second ledge of the Crazy Cliffhanger.
American Navy salvage diver Travis Schraeder made his debut in the 4th competition, making it to the third stage. There, he reached the Pipe Slider, but he pushed the pipe too hard, and it fell off its tracks, resulting in his disqualification. He was the first American competitor to reach the third stage. In his only other appearance in the 5th competition, he ran out of time on the first stage's Rope Climb.
Schraeder's partner, Kevin Lee, competed in the 6th competition but failed the Jump Hang.
Another notable competitor is Tomihiro Tatsukawa, the "Japanese Clark Kent", an insurance salesman who usually dressed in a Superman costume. He competed in the first ten tournaments but never cleared the first stage. He is No. 4 on the G4 Wardrobe Malfunction poll.
A dancer named Goku who competed in many of the earlier competitions is known for removing almost all of his clothes, except for an old-fashioned white thong, before he begins. He has never made it past the first stage. In the G4 Broadcast of the 12th competition, he was honored on the "Warrior Wipeout" for his failure on the Jump Hang, but was mistakenly listed as Sou Takei, who also failed that obstacle. Goku is No. 5 on the G4 Wardrobe Malfunction poll.
65-year-old Minoru Kuramochi, known as "the Octopus" because he usually brings an octopus with him, is the owner of the Edokko Izakaya octopus bar in Tokyo and is one of the oldest competitors. He has competed several times, never making it very far into the first stage. Despite this, he seems to be a fan favorite. In the 20th Competition's preview special, he welcomed the G4 American Ninja Challengers to his bar, served them his special octopus meal, and showed off to them his physical skills. He is No. 4 on G4's Craziest Contestant poll. His best performance was in Sasuke 26, where he managed to make it to the Rolling Escargot. He got further than in Sasuke 19, when he timed out on the Pole Maze.
Toyohisa Ijima, a martial arts dance instructor and former member of the Japan Self-Defense Forces, competed in the first several tournaments. He is known as the "Japanese Bruce Lee" because of his resemblance to the late action star, which extends to dressing and acting like him. He has only made it past the first stage in the 1st tournament; in the 11th tournament, he missed hitting the final button on the Rope Climb by a split second because he had wasted time posing for the crowd after completing each obstacle. He is No. 3 on G4's Craziest Contestant poll.
Hibari Igano, a transsexual who is a former dancer-turned-action star, usually referred to simply as Hibari and known as the "World's Toughest Transsexual", also competed in several early tournaments. She never made it past the first stage. She is No. 2 on G4's Wardrobe Malfunction poll for her appearance in the 7th competition.
The 2nd youngest competitor to pass the first stage, Kota Honma, was 16 years old during the 17th competition. He was also the youngest participant – 13 years old in the 13th Competition – until Sasuke 24. Kota has built a model of the full Sasuke course, including a qualifying round. He has also demonstrated his hobby of juggling on the first stage starting platform. Before the 17th competition, he trained six days per week with his school's track and field team. The youngest competitor to complete the first stage was Ryūgo Suzuka, another 16 year old high school student who did so in the 4th competition.
Tien Dinh, a background dancer for Ashanti who appeared on the Soul Train Music Awards, competed on Sasuke in 2004.
Ken Yasuda, coach of the Tokyo Sabres of the IFL, competed in the 4th, 5th, and 13th tournaments. He failed the Balance Bridge in his first attempt. In his other two tries, he fell off the Rolling Log.
An USA President Barack Obama look-alike, called Nocchi, competed on Sasuke three times. In Sasuke 18, he failed the Rope Glider. He then competed in Sasuke 22 and 24, where he failed the Log Grip both times.
Koji Yamada is a 40-year-old fireman from the Gifu Prefecture with just three percent body fat. In his debut in the 12th competition, he wore No. 1 and became the only person to wear that number and make it to the third stage. In that competition, he made it all the way to the third stage obstacle, the Cliffhanger, before failing. In the 13th competition, he failed the redesigned Jump Hang, and in the 14th, he timed out on the Warped Wall. He made it to the third stage in the 15th and 16th competitions, failing the Jumping Bars and the Pipe Slider, respectively. In the 17th, he failed a second stage obstacle, the Metal Spin. He was one of two competitors to pass the first stage of the 19th competition, ultimately timing out on the Salmon Ladder. G4 dubs his first name as Yasushi, possibly to avoid confusion with Katsumi Yamada or because of translation issues.
Yusuke Morimoto is a 21-year old student who competed 6 times in Sasuke. He debuted in Sasuke 18, at the young age of 15, but failed the Jumping Spider. In Sasuke 19, he was still 15, and he got revenge on the Jumping Spider but failed the next obstacle, the Halfpipe Attack. He also competed in Sasuke 21 and 22, but was cut both times. He returned for Sasuke 27, at age 19, and cleared the First Stage. But in the Second Stage, the Metal Spin was his downfall. He made his best run on Sasuke 29, at age 21. In that tournament, he cleared the First Stage with 9.69 seconds left. He got revenge on the Second Stage, clearing with a slim 0.81 seconds left. In the Third Stage, despite almost failing the Iron Paddler, he cleared it and became the first person ever to beat the Crazy Cliffhanger. He almost made it to the Final Stage, but fell inches short on the Pipe Slider. He went further than everybody else that tournament and earned himself the #1 seat of Japan for the Sasuke ASEAN Open Cup.
Tomokazu Tanaka was the show's first competitor. He put on an impressive run but had trouble at the Wicked Wall/Hill Climb and ran out of time at the Subduction Zone/Mountain Climb.
Women in Sasuke
The only woman to have completed the first stage is former Super Sentai stuntwoman Chie Nishimura, who did so in the 2nd tournament. She attempted the second stage's Spider Walk in a non-optimal fashion, because her legs were too short to reach across the obstacle the proper way, and failed. She also competed in Sasuke 3 but failed the Rolling Log. She hasn't competed in Sasuke since.
Masami Yusa (G4 mislists her first name as "Miyabi" in some tournaments), a beach flags champion, has competed 7 times. She debuted in Sasuke 6 but failed the Barrel Climb. In the Sasuke 13 trials, she became the first woman to beat the Jump Hang, although she timed out there. During the actual competition, she was able to grab on to the redesigned Jump Hang, but she misjudged her jump, slammed face-first onto the platform, and fell into the water; this failure earned her a "Warrior Wipeout" during G4's broadcasting of this tournament. In Sasuke 14, she became the first woman to beat the Jump Hang and the Crooked Wall in competition, but she ultimately timed out on the Warped Wall.
Rie Komiya has competed several times. She is a Kunoichi (women of ninja warrior) 8 champion. She first competed in Sasuke 22, where she was disqualified on the jumping spider for falling on the safety mat just after the trampoline. She got her revenge in Sasuke 23, but she fell on the halfpipe attack. In Sasuke 24, she surprised many by failing the log grip. She did not compete in Sasuke 25, but did compete in Sasuke 26, and failed the Rolling Escargot.
American Ninja Challenges
In Fall 2007, the G4 network held a contest called the American Ninja Challenge, whose grand prize was a trip to Japan to compete in Sasuke's 19th competition. Ten semifinalist videos were selected on August 3 via internet poll to determine three finalists who would appear on G4's Attack of the Show! on August 28–30 to demonstrate their Ninja Warrior skills. On August 31, Michigan State University Economics student Colin Bell and the runner-up, Greenville, South Carolina native Brett Sims, were both selected, and they became the subjects of an hour-long G4 special on November 14 during G4's Ninjafest. Ultimately, both Colin and Brett qualified for the course thanks to their impressive physical abilities, but they both failed the Jumping Spider.
The second contest by G4 wrapped up in March 2008 and aired as part of G4's Ninjafest 2 on May 18, 2008. Levi Meeuwenberg of Ann Arbor, Michigan and Brian Orosco of San Francisco, California were both chosen to compete in Sasuke's 20th tournament; both are free runners. They competed alongside surprise guest Brett Sims, who was given the opportunity to return by G4. Sims failed the first stage's Warped Wall, while Orosco failed the Flying Chute. Meeuwenberg, however, made it to the third stage before he ultimately failed the Shin-Cliff Hanger.
The third contest by G4 wrapped up in August 2008 and aired as part of G4's Ninjafest 3 on November 12, 2008. Viewers voted for their favorite competitors, the top three of whom would be flown to Japan to compete in Sasuke's 21st tournament. The winners were Brian Orosco (who qualified with a different video), gymnast Mark Witmer of Minneapolis, Minnesota, and free runner/stuntwoman Luci Romberg – the first woman to qualify – of Valley Village, California. They joined American Ninja Challenge 2 winner Levi Meeuwenberg and both hosts from Attack of the Show!, Olivia Munn and Kevin Pereira, to compete in Sasuke 21. In that tournament, Munn failed the Sextuple Step, while Pereira's run ended after his feet hit the water on the Log Grip; on the TBS broadcast, Munn's run was shown only in part while Pereira's run was cut completely. Romberg failed the Halfpipe Attack, while Witmer failed the Log Grip due to a severe ulnar nerve injury that he suffered while warming up. Orosco completed the first stage with just 0.6 seconds left on the clock but failed the second stage's Salmon Ladder. Meeuwenberg cleared Stage 1 with the fastest time, with 21.5 seconds remaining, but similarly failed the Salmon Ladder.
The fourth contest by G4 wrapped up in March 2009 and aired on June 21, 2009 on G4 as part of Ninjafest 4. The competitors' videos were judged by Attack of the Show's Olivia Munn. The winner, David Campbell, was joined by Munn and previous competitors Levi Meeuwenberg and Luci Romberg. Munn failed the new Circle Hammer in the first stage; Romberg failed the first stage's Jumping Spider; Campbell timed out on the final first stage obstacle, the Rope Ladder, and later told the sideline reporter that he "underestimated the cardio" involved in the course. Meeuwenberg failed a new first stage obstacle, the Slider Jump.
The following is a list of available information of people who achieved the best results in each competition and also the number of competitors who failed in the lower stages. Under each competition, the results are listed in order of best performance. Their names are listed along with their number (1-100) from the competition, and the stage/obstacle they failed to complete (or Total Victory). In the 10th competition the number system ran from 901-1000 to indicate that 1000 competitors had attempted the First Stage, and then ran from 1901-2000. In the 20th competition to indicate that 2000 competitors had attempted the First Stage, and from 2901-3000 during the 30th competition to indicate roughly 3000 attempts on Sasuke. All air dates are of the Japanese broadcast on TBS.
Aired: September 26, 1997
|No. 97 Ōmori Akira||Final||Failed Rope Climb (about 11m up)|
|No. 96 Hasegawa Ken||Final||Failed Rope Climb (about 8m up)|
|No. 72 Yo Takashi||Final||Failed Rope Climb (about 8m up)|
|No. 49 Kawashima Takayuki||Final||Failed Rope Climb (about 10m up)|
|No. 89 Kane Kosugi||Third||Failed Pole Bridge|
|No. 18 Yoshihito Yamamoto||Third||Failed Pole Bridge|
Aired: September 27, 1998
|No. 97 Tanaka Hikaru||Final||Failed Rope Climb (about 12m up)|
|No. 99 Ōmori Akira||Final||Failed Rope Climb (about 7m up)|
Aired: March 13, 1999
|No. 89 Yamada Katsumi||Final||Failed Rope Climb (about 14.5m up)|
|No. 13 Yamamoto Shingo||Final||Failed Rope Climb (about 12m up)|
|No. 49 Matsumoto Minoru||Final||Failed Rope Climb (about 8m up)|
|No. 100 Ōmori Akira||Final||Failed Rope Climb (about 8m up)|
|No. 54 Yamamoto Tatsuya||Final||Failed Rope Climb (about 8m up)|
Aired: October 16, 1999
|No. 86 Akiyama Kazuhiko||Final||Total Victory (6.0 seconds to spare)|
Aired: March 18, 2000
|No. 98 Yamamoto Shingo||Third||Failed Pipe Slider|
Aired: September 9, 2000
Note: This is the only tournament to date where no one failed the Second Stage.
Aired: March 17, 2001
|No. 97 Shingo Yamamoto||Final||Failed Spider Climb (injured)^|
^Went 2 1/2 Meters up then fell down.
Aired: September 29, 2001
|No. 91 Kane Kosugi||Final||Failed Rope Climb (about 18m up)|
|No. 59 Jordan Jovtchev||Final||Failed Spider Climb (about 11.5m up)^|
^ Jovtchev fell off the Spider Climb after the walls split at the 15 second limit.
Aired: March 16, 2002
Aired: September 25, 2002
Aired: March 21, 2003
|No. 96 Nagano Makoto||Final||Failed Rope Climb (about 20m up)|
Aired: October 1, 2003
|No. 100 Nagano Makoto||Final||Failed Rope Climb (by 0.11 [1/9] seconds)|
|No. 77 Shiratori Bunpei||Final||Failed Rope Climb (about 21m up)|
|No. 72 Asaoka Hiroyuki||Final||Failed Rope Climb (about 20m up)|
Aired: April 6, 2004
|No. 100 Nagano Makoto||Final||Failed Rope Climb (about 22.4m up)|
Aired: January 4, 2005
Aired: July 20, 2005
Aired: December 30, 2005
Aired: October 11, 2006
|No. 99 Nagano Makoto||Final||Total Victory (2.56 seconds to spare)|
|No. 87 Nagasaki Shunsuke||Final||Failed Rope Climb (about 18m up)|
Aired: March 21, 2007
Aired: September 19, 2007
Aired: March 26, 2008
|No. 1989 Levi Meeuwenberg||Third||Failed Shin-Cliff Hanger|
Aired: September 17, 2008
Aired: March 30, 2009
|No. 77 Urushihara Yuuji||Final||Failed G-Rope (about 22m up)|
Aired: September 27, 2009
|No. 100 Nagano Makoto||Final||Failed G-Rope (reached the top)|
|No. 96 Kanno Hitoshi||Final||Failed G-Rope (about 18m up)|
Aired: January 1, 2010
|No. 93 Urushihara Yuuji||Final||Total Victory (3.57 seconds to spare)|
|No. 85 Hashimoto Koji||Final||Failed G-Rope (about 22m up)|
|No. 94 Takahashi Kenji||Final||Failed G-Rope (about 20m up)|
|No. 95 Okuyama Yoshiyuki||Final||Failed G-Rope (about 19m up)|
|No. 92 Lee Yen Chi||Final||Failed G-Rope (about 19m up)|
Aired: March 28, 2010
Aired: January 2, 2011
Aired: October 3, 2011
|No. 99 Urushihara Yuuji||Final||Total Victory(6.71 seconds to spare)|
|No. 62 Matachi Ryo||Final||Failed Rope Climb (18.8 meters up)|
Aired: December 27, 2012
Aired: June 27, 2013
Aired: July 3, 2014
|No. 2994 Matachi Ryo||Final||Failed Rope Climb|
|No. 2967 Kawaguchi Tomohiro||Final||Failed Rope Climb|
Stages and obstacles
The program previously aired on G4 in the United States under the name Ninja Warrior. Each episode now lasts thirty minutes and it also includes some minor changes in the on-screen graphics. Throughout the episode, there's the "Ninja Killer" (for the obstacle that took out the most competitors) and "Warrior Wipeout" (honors the best wipeout) segments. The Japanese play-by-play commentary and interviews with the competitors have English subtitles, while the competitor profiles, replays, and introductions were dubbed by voice actor Dave Wittenberg. The show became the highest rated program on the network since its debut. Aside from a few sporadic occurrences, reruns of Ninja Warrior stopped airing regularly sometime in December 2012 in wake of G4 slated to be rebranded as the Esquire Network on September 23, 2013. The last four episodes to air on G4 appeared as a 2-hour block on April 10, 2013. It is unknown if Ninja Warrior would return to the network's schedule or if some other channel would acquire the series. Commercials on G4 show American Ninja Warrior to air on G4 in July, marking it the last program being advertised on the network as a G4 program, and not an Esquire channel presentation.
American Ninja Warrior
The popularity of the American Ninja Challenge has led G4 to produce a version of the series featuring American contestants called American Ninja Warrior. The program is produced by Pilgrim Films and Television, Inc. Auditions on G4's website ended on August 18, 2009. Open tryouts were held in Los Angeles on August 29 and 30, 2009, and were taped for the show, with ten finalists competing on the 23rd tournament of the original Ninja Warrior course in Japan in September 2009. The eight-episode series began airing on December 12, 2009.
The qualifying round consists of over 300 competitors, running an obstacle course strongly influenced by Sasuke's first stage. The course consists of the Quintuple Step, a Rope Swing, the Jumping Spider, a modified version of the pipe slider, and a much smaller Warped Wall. The preliminaries used a leader board, and the 30 fastest times moved on to the semi-finals, which included the preliminary course plus three obstacles, the Tarzan Jump, the Jumping Bars, and a Net Climb.
American Ninja Warrior aired only the American finalists during the Sasuke obstacle course. The Japanese competitors were later aired on April 10, 2010.
A second season was cast on G4's website as of April 10, 2010 and aired in hour long specials starting December 8, 2010. The top 10 contestants would participate in Sasuke 26. Three episodes were run for the first two weeks. The first three episodes covered the opening round of the competition, the fourth covered the semifinals. This was followed by four days of a "boot camp" where the fifteen winners of the semifinals were divided into three five-man teams and put through several different Pressure Challenges, with the losing team having to complete a punishment while the other two teams got extra training time on models of some of the Sasuke obstacles (The Warped Wall, Double Salmon Ladder, Balance Tank, and Circle Slider). The teams would then run through a grouping of the obstacles with some sort of hindrance (Usually carrying something heavy between obstacles). The teams with the worst time would be forced to send two members to an elimination challenge, with the losing person forced to leave.
After boot camp, the ten final winners traveled to the Sasuke course to compete. Once again, only the American competitors were aired during the special, with the rest of the Sasuke competition to air later. The most successful of the American competitors in the past, Levi Meeuwenberg, withdrew from the competition due to a fractured wrist, giving his spot to Adam LaPlante. Five members failed in the First Stage: Patrick Cusic and former American Gladiators champion and gladiator Evan "Rocket" Dollard both fell from the new Rolling Escargot obstacle, LaPlante fell on the Halfpipe Attack and Adam Truesdell fell from the Giant Swing, a new variation of the Jump Hang, the only one out of all 100 competitors to do so in the whole tournament. In addition, veteran Shane Daniels once again timed out on the Cargo Net. In the Second Stage, four of the remaining five cleared, while Travis Furlanic fell on the Balance Tank, an obstacle he struggled on during Boot Camp. In the Third Stage, Paul Kasemir failed the Doorknob Grasper. Brent Steffensen made it to the Ultimate Cliffhanger before falling into the water. David Campbell, despite having the fastest times of all the competitors to complete (finishing the second stage with over 24 seconds left) failed at the Ultimate Cliffhanger as well. Brian Orosco fell at the very first obstacle, the Roulette Cylinder, which he had passed easily in the previous competition. While the $250,000 prize went unclaimed, Sasuke 26 was the start of a successful showing by a collection of American competitors.
The third season of American Ninja Warrior debuted on July 31 on G4, again with 300 competitors at the tryouts in Venice Beach. While many top competitors were absent including Levi Meeuwenberg, Rich King and Luci Romberg, a talented crop of new competitors took their place including Denver Broncos wide receiver Matt Willis, who finished the course but did not qualify for boot camp. Other notable competitors who failed to advance to boot camp included two-time Sasuke veteran Shane Daniels, season two veterans Evan "Rocket" Dollard, Adam Truesdell, Adam LaPlante and Patrick Cusic, top first round qualifiers from the previous season Trevor Vaughn and David Money, and former world freerunning champion Tim Shieff. In addition, professional freerunner and Survivor: China competitor Michael "Frosti" Zernow ranked in the top fifteen and was invited to boot camp, but injured himself and was replaced with fellow Jump City: Seattle competitor Jake Smith. Other competitors from Jump City who advanced to boot camp also included Brian Orasco, Drew Dreschel and David "Young Flip" Rodriguez. The level of competition in boot camp was noticeably higher in the third season, as competitors were only given one attempt at each obstacle in challenges, leading to large increase in time penalties. Promising competitors Dustin Rocho, Brandon Douglass, Alan Connealy, second-seeded qualifier Chris Wilczewski and five-time Sasuke veteran Brian Orosco all saw their Sasuke dreams come to an end at boot camp.
Of the ten who advanced to Sasuke, nine easily cleared the First Stage. The only exception was Dreschel, who injured his knee landing on the Halfpipe Attack, and despite a valiant attempt at the Warped Wall, was unable to put any weight on his leg and stated on his Facebook that he will not be available for Sasuke 28. The high hopes of the remaining nine took a major hit in the Second Stage, as five more were eliminated including Rodriguez on the Slider Drop, Smith on the Double Salmon Ladder, and newcomer Travis Rosen and veterans Travis Furlanic and Brent Steffensen on the Metal Spin. The remaining four competitors made it to the Third Stage only to be outdone by the Ultimate Cliffhanger. Ryan Stratis failed to make the fourth ledge while James McGrath and fan favorite Paul Kasemir failed the transition to the fifth ledge. The last competitor, David Campbell almost made it through the entire obstacle but on the final ledge his grip gave out. Even though no one earned a $500,000 K-Swiss Endorsement Deal, the competitors at Sasuke 27 were by far the strongest group of Americans to date. The final episode of the third season aired on NBC on August 29, 2011 as a two-hour special in prime-time.
A fourth season of the program began airing on May 20, 2012 and the show aired on both G4 and NBC for the Regionals and the Championship with the grand prize of $500,000 and the coveted American Ninja Warrior title. The entire format was changed as well - regional qualifiers in different parts of the country were aired and the Mt. Midoriyama course was recreated just off the Las Vegas Strip for the national finals. The regional qualifiers would narrow down its selections down to 30 contestants who finished its qualifying course in the fastest time as well as the contestants who finished the furthest the fastest. Qualifying obstacles would include common Stage 1 obstacles such as the Quintuple steps and the Warped wall, but its contents would change from city to city. The 30 contestants were then cut in half in the regional finals where the course would extend to include common Stage 2 and Stage 3 obstacles such as the Salmon Ladder, Cliffhanger and Body Prop. The 100 contestants who qualified (including wild cards) earned tickets to Las Vegas to challenge Mt. Midoriyama.
The show returned for its fifth season on July 1, 2013 in the same format. This season, if a contestant were to finish the course, that player would be guaranteed a spot in the next round. The show returned once again for its sixth season on May 25, 2014 on both NBC and Esquire Network with the same rules as in previous seasons. NBC has renewed the show for its seventh season in 2015. So far, it has produced, among other things, the first American to complete the Ultimate Cliffhanger (Brent Steffensen) and the first woman to complete the Salmon Ladder (Kacy Catanzaro, who did so in a historic win at the 2014 Dallas city qualifier finals) - and the endorsement of Makoto Nagano.
USA vs Japan (2014-Present)
Full details in the American Ninja Warrior article
In 2014, the first Sasuke-based team competition was started, pitting five Sasuke All-Stars and New Stars representing Japan against five American Ninja Warrior stars representing the United States in what was dubbed by some as the inaugural Sasuke/Ninja Warrior world championship. The first meeting took place at the Mt. Midoriyama reconstruction in Las Vegas and was first broadcast in America on January 13th, 2014 on NBC, with a second meeting already scheduled for the original Mt. Midoriyama in Aoba-ku in 2015.
At the first match in Las Vegas, Team Japan was composed of Shingo Yamamoto, Yuuji Urushihara, Ryo Matachi, Hitoshi Kanno and Kazuma Asa from Sasuke, while Team USA was composed of Brent Steffensen, Paul Kasemir, James McGrath, Travis Rosen and Brian Arnold from American Ninja Warrior. The match was composed of four rounds - one on each stage, with each round being a best-of-five of one-on-one races and each competitor running once per stage until the stage outcome was decided. Stage 1 was worth one point, Stage 2 worth two points and Stage 3 worth three, with the tiebreaker being the Final Stage tower. Despite the Japanese boasting superior experience and pedigrees (no Team USA member had completed Stage 3, either in Yokohama or Las Vegas), the Americans pulled off a stunning 6-0 win that included only one Japanese one-on-one race win (Matachi against Arnold on Stage 3.)
The American-edited Ninja Warrior episodes are broadcast in the United Kingdom on Challenge. The show has been re-edited to remove the subtitles. The "Ninja Killer" and "Warrior Wipeout" sections remain, but there is only one advertisement break halfway through the show. The show was voiced-over by Stuart Hall for its first three series, aired between 2007 and 2008. In the fourth UK series, aired in 2011, the subtitles were retained for contestant interviews. Jim North took over as the voice-over for this series. As of July 2012, all tournaments up to Sasuke 27 have aired in the UK. Challenge has now removed Hall's commentary from the first three series, following his imprisonment in June 2013 and re-dubbed them with new commentary by North.
The program can be seen in Greece as Sasuke on the Skai TV network every Saturday at 16:00 (GMT + 2). The show is voiced-over by Akindynos Gikas and Kostas Papageorgiou.
The program can be seen in the Serbia as Nindža Ratnici (Ninja Warriors) every day from Monday until Friday at 19:00 (GMT+1) on B92 (from 13 August 2012). The program was previously seen on Fox TV (now Prva TV), narrated by Igor Brakus and Vladimir Đorđević.
The program broadcast in Singapore is the non-edited version of Ninja Warrior, with the exception of the subtitles being white instead of yellow. The program will be broadcast on MediaCorp Channel 5 every Wednesday at 20:30 (GMT + 8) and screened two episodes back to back. It was later moved to Thursday at 20:30 (GMT + 8), airing one episode. The show's run ended with the 17th competition on the Sasuke series.
The show returned on December 23, 2009, airing Wednesdays at 20:00, showing at various times two episodes, three episodes, or a single episode. The show's run ended with the 24th run.
Singapore has its own edition of Sasuke, which aired on August 9, 2012 at 8:10 pm, after the National Day Parade. It started airing August 15, 2012, and has its own winner going to Japan to take on the Sasuke course.
Season 1 was won by 22 year old SAF's Naval Officer, Isaiah How Jia Jie, he was placed 9th in the first stage but managed to beat 21 year old NUS student, Jenson Ngoh by 0.1 seconds in the season's 20 meter rope climb in the second stage to win.
Season 2 began with a new twist in its first episode, 5 Singaporean contenders will compete with 5 Malaysians contenders, whichever country score the first 3 points will make it to the end. Eventually Team Singapore beat Team Malaysia with a score of 3-2. For the competition, 26 year old gymnastics trainer edge out the other 12 contenders for the season with the timing of 23.9 seconds, just 2.4 seconds shy by breaking Isaiah How's timing, he accompanied Isaiah to Japan in supporting him. However in a twist of events, the production crew brought good luck to Alan Zhang in allowing him in participating it.
The series concluded in its 13th and final episode with Isaiah How & Alan Zhang conquering the obstacle course in Mount Midoriyama, Japan, both crashed out in the fourth obstacle (Jump Hang Kai) and third obstacle (Spinning Bridge) in the 1st stage respectively.
The program broadcast in Indonesia is the G4 version of Ninja Warrior, including the "Ninja Killer" and "Warrior Wipeout" sections. The show is dubbed in Indonesian language and broadcast daily at 09:00 (GMT + 7). Usually two thirty-minute episodes are aired. in TPI (Now MNC TV) Now this show in Indonesia is over.
The program broadcast in South Africa is the Sony MAX CHANNEL version of Ninja Warrior, with the "Ninja Killer" and "Warrior Wipeout" sections.
The program is broadcast in the Czech Republic on Prima Cool as Ninja faktor (Ninja Factor). Episodes are 50 minutes long and split in two parts.
The program can be seen in Croatia on AVA as Nindža Ratnici (Ninja Warriors) from Monday to Friday at 09:45 (GMT+1) and 17:15 (GMT+1) narrated by Davor Jurkotić and Mario Lipovšek Battifiaca.
The program is broadcast in the Slovak Republic on JOJ Plus as Ninja faktor (Ninja Factor).
The American Ninja Warrior is broadcast in Australia on SBS Two. The play-by-play commentary and interviews with participants are subtitled in English, while the introduction, player profiles, and replays have been dubbed by a voice actor.
The program was aired in Estonia as Ninjasõdalane (Ninja Warrior) on the TV6 channel every Saturday and Sunday at 19:00 pm to 20.00 pm. Running time was 30-minute per episode.
Kovotojas Nindzė on TV6.
The program is broadcast in Latvia on LNT every day from Tuesday to Friday at 13.00 local time (GMT+3 - summer time). Every day on LMK at 20.00 o'clock.
The program can be seen in Poland as Wojownicy Ninja (Ninja Warriors) on MTV.
In 2011, Malaysia did a qualifier for Sasuke 27, which Farid Isham won.
In 2014, Malaysia organized the Sasuke ASEAN Open Cup, a tournament held in Malaysia as a competition of different countries going head to head. Team USA was represented by David Campbell, Brian Kretsch, Ryan Stratis, Mike Bernardo, and Drew Drechsel and won gold. Team Japan was represented by Shingo Yamamoto, Yusuke Morimoto, Kazuma Asa, Hitoshi Kanno, and Kenji Takahashi and won silver. Team Malaysia won bronze with their team captain being Farid Isham. There were 3 stages and the tournament went for 2 days. Also, Drew Drechsel got 1st Place in all 3 stages, giving him a spot in Sasuke 30.
The program is broadcast in Thailand on Modernine TV as Ninja Warrior on Tuesday 8.35 PM
The program is broadcast in Colombia on Canal Uno as Guerrero Ninja on Saturday and Sunday at 3:00 PM.
Sasuke executive producer Ushio Higuchi co-created Muscle Musical, a live athletic and comedy-oriented performance featuring several notable Sasuke and Kunoichi competitors, who have included Ayako Miyake, Naoki Iketani, Sayaka Asami, Terukazu Ishikawa, Kayo Haga, Daisuke Nakata, and Rie Komiya, as well as other Japanese athletes and entertainers. Its popularity in Japan and its growing popularity in the United States has resulted in a long-term run at the Sahara Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.
Every January TBS airs the Pro Sportsman No.1 competition, also produced by Monster9. Several people who have competed on Sasuke have participated in this competition.
On Odaiba island, Monster9 has built Muscle Park, an indoor theme park based on events from Sasuke and other Muscle Ranking related programs. Some well-known Sasuke participants, such as Katsumi Yamada, have made live appearances there. Sasuke champion Makoto Nagano was honored in a celebration where he participated in the ribbon cutting there. Since April 2007, Monster9 has been airing episodes of Muscle Channel, a show to promote Muscle Park, the Muscle Musical, and people and events related to Sasuke. Muscle Channel usually airs on BS-i on Thursdays from 8:00 to 9:53 JST and is hosted by Hiromichi Sato. Past guests include Katsumi Yamada and Shunsuke Nagasaki.
- Kinniku Banzuke (known in the United States as Unbeatable Banzuke)
- Kunoichi (women's version of Sasuke)
- Viking: The Ultimate Obstacle Course
- Sarutobi Sasuke
- "Sasuke 2005". Tbs.co.jp. Retrieved 2011-10-12.
- Corkill, Edan, "Average Joes become champions on 'Sasuke'". Japan Times. September 30, 2011. p. 15.
- Levin, Gary. "Americans latch onto G4's intense 'Ninja Warrior'". USA Today. December 7, 2010.
- In that tournament, her last name was listed as Tanabe because at the time she was single.
- "Held a raffle!" (in Japanese). Blog.livedoor.jp. Retrieved 2011-10-12.
- "Muscle Channel Program Details" (in Japanese). Bs-i.co.jp. Archived from the original on 2007-04-25. Retrieved 2011-10-12.
- "TV News" (in Japanese). Musclemusical.com. Retrieved 2011-10-12.
- "TV News" (in Japanese). Musclemusical.com. Retrieved 2011-10-12.
- Sasuke 2007 (Sasuke 2007 Autumn) – Tokyo Broadcasting System (Japanese)
- Sasuke 2006秋 (Sasuke 2006 Autumn) – Tokyo Broadcasting System (Japanese)
- Sasuke 2005・(Sasuke 2005 Winter) – Tokyo Broadcasting System (Japanese)
- Diagrams of the 11th course with measurements – Tokyo Broadcasting System (Japanese)
- Ninja Warrior on Challenge
- Ninja Warrior on G4
- Sasuke at the Internet Movie Database