Sho Kosugi

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Sho Kosugi
小杉 正一 (Shōichi Kosugi)

(1948-06-17) June 17, 1948 (age 70)
OccupationActor, martial artist
Years active1974–present
Shook Gim Chan
(m. 1973; div. 2009)
ChildrenKane Kosugi, Shane Kosugi, Ayeesha Kosugi

Sho Kosugi (ショー・コスギ, Shō Kosugi, born Shōichi Kosugi (小杉 正一 Kosugi Shōichi) on June 17, 1948) is a Japanese martial artist, actor, filmmaker, and writer with extensive training in Shindō jinen-ryū Karate, Kendo, Judo, Iaido, Kobudo, Aikido and Ninjutsu. A former All Japan Karate Champion[2][3], he gained popularity as an actor during the 1980s, often playing ninja. He starred in a trilogy of ninja-themed martial arts films produced by Cannon Films, before earning a starring role in the primetime television series The Master.[4]


At the age of 19, Kosugi left Japan to study and reside in Los Angeles where he earned a bachelor's degree in Economics at CSULA. At the same time, he consistently improved his martial arts skills while learning a wide variety of styles, such as Chinese Xing Yi Quan, Korean Tae Kwon Do, and Japanese Shitō-ryū and Shotokan-ryū Karate.[5]

He is the father of Kane and Shane Kosugi, who are both actors and martial artists; and Ayeesha Kosugi, who is a senior member of the women's golf team at the University of Las Vegas. After taking a hiatus from film, he started a taiko group in California. In Japan, he also ran an internationally oriented group of martial arts acting schools known as the Sho Kosugi Institute. He currently resides in Los Angeles. Films in which Kosugi's sons perform alongside their father include Revenge of the Ninja, Pray for Death, Black Eagle, and Journey of Honor (a.k.a. Kabuto and Shogun Warrior).[6]

In 2009, Sho made a comeback to films playing the lead villain of Ozunu in the action thriller Ninja Assassin opposite K-Pop star and actor Rain.



Year Title Role Note
1974 The Godfather: Part II Passerby in Coat with Cap Pulled Down Extra
1975 Six Killers
1976 Bruce Lee Fights Back from the Grave Suzuki Supporting villain
1978 The Bad News Bears Go to Japan Kata Demonstrator Extra
1981 Enter the Ninja Hasegawa 3rd lead
1983 Revenge of the Ninja Cho Osaki Lead + Fight choreographer
1984 Ninja III: The Domination Goro Yamada Lead + Fight choreographer
1985 9 Deaths of the Ninja Spike Shinobi Lead + Fight choreographer
Pray for Death Akira Saito Lead + Fight choreographer
1987 Rage of Honor Shiro Tanaka Lead + Fight choreographer + Special weapons designer
1988 Aloha Summer Yukinaga Konishi Special appearance + Special kendo choreographer
1988 Black Eagle Ken Tani Lead + Fight choreographer
1989 Blind Fury The Assassin Special appearance + Sword duel choreographer
1991 Journey of Honor Daigoro Mayeda Lead + Story + Producer
1993 極東黒社会 Kyokutō Kuroshakai (Drug Connection) Larry Matsuda 3rd lead
1994 ザ・格闘王 Za Kakutō Oh (The Fighting King) Director
ザ・格闘王2 Za Kakutō Oh 2 (The Fighting King 2) Director
2002 The Scorpion King Taiko choreographer
2009 Ninja Assassin Ozunu Lead villain


Year Title Role Note
1977 The Richard Pryor Show Samurai Extra - 1 episode (#2)
1984 The Master Okasa / "Master" double Lead villain / double for lead + ninja choreographer and technical advisor + stunt coordinator - All 13 episodes
1986 Honda Hurricane Commercial Ninja Lead - 1 TV commercial
1993 琉球の風 Ryūkyū no Kaze (Dragon Spirit) Shintenpu Major supporting - 10 episodes (#1-6,9,11-13)
Ultraman: The Ultimate Hero Voice of Ultraman Powered Guest star - 1 episode (#1) (Japanese-language version only)
1994 忍者戦隊カクレンジャー Ninja Sentai Kakuranger Gali Guest star - 2 episodes (#28-29)
1996 聖龍伝説 Seiryū Densetsu (Legend of St. Dragon) Shusaku Sendo Guest star - 1 episode (#7)
Sho Kosugi Self-Defense & Ninjaerobics Himself Host
2006–2007 いつでもどこでも!ショー・コスギのタオルエクササイズ Anytime Anywhere! Sho Kosugi's Towel Exercise Himself Host


Year Title Role Note
1986 Master Class Himself Martial Arts Instructional video
Ninja Theater Hosted by Sho Kosugi Himself VHS Video Host segments (13 in all)
1998 Tenchu: Stealth Assassins Rikimaru Video game (motion capture portrayal)
2001–2002 The Ninjas From Hollywood Japan Tour God of War and Peace Stage show
2017 The Art of Hollywood Ninja Action Film Making Himself Martial Arts Choreography and Cinematography


Non-fiction (in Japanese)

  • ショー・コスギ アメリカンドリームを実現した男 Sho Kosugi: Amerikan Dream o Jitsugen Shita Otoko, 1990, ISBN 978-4-5280003-5-3
  • アメリカンサバイバル American Survival, 1993, ISBN 978-4-0620627-7-0
  • ショー・コスギの運を掴む Sho Kosugi no Un o Tsukamu, 1994, ISBN 978-4-0620714-0-6
  • ショー・コスギのニンジャ式人生必勝法 Sho Kosugi no Ninja Shiki Jinsei Hissho Ho, 1996, ISBN 978-4-8873700-0-5
  • メイク・ドリームズ・カム・トゥルー Make Dreams Come True, 1997, ISBN 978-4-8728450-0-6
  • ぼくの英語武者修行 頭はいらない!英会話 Boku no Eigo Musha Shugyo: Atama wa Iranai! Eikaiwa, 1998, ISBN 978-4-0626369-3-3
  • 最強の男ケイン・コスギになる43の秘策 Saikyo no Otoko Kane Kosugi ni Naru 43 No Hisaku, 2000, ISBN 978-4-0621032-7-5
  • ハリウッド・シネマ英語道場 努力はいらない!英会話 Hollywood Cinema Eigo Dojo: Doryoku wa Iranai! Eikaiwa, 2000, ISBN 978-4-0626480-5-9
  • 子供をたくましく育てる本物の「躾」 Kodomo o Takumashiku Sodateru Honmono no Shitsuke: How To Raise A Child, 2001, ISBN 978-4-8284093-9-9
  • NHKまる得マガジン いつでもどこでも!ショ-・コスギのタオルエクササイズ NHK Marutoku Magazine: Itsudemo Dokodemo! Sho Kosugi no Towel Exercise, 2006, ISBN 978-4-14-827154-6

Novels (in English)


  1. ^ "Sho Kosugi Vs Shook Gim Kosugi - Marriage Dissolution/Divorce Case". Retrieved 30 May 2018.
  2. ^ "'Ninja' Knockin' 'Em Dead". Chicago Tribune. 15 May 1986. Retrieved 23 March 2011.
  3. ^ Beale, Lewis (20 April 1986). "Martial Arts Pics—packing A Hard Punch". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 27 August 2010.
  4. ^ "`Ninja` Knockin`` Em Dead". Chicago Tribune. 15 May 1986. Retrieved 23 March 2011.
  5. ^ "`Sho Kosugi Profile". Retrieved 13 August 2015.
  6. ^ "Interview with Sho Kosugi" ZigZag Asia, 1 January 2001
  7. ^ "Yin-Yang Code Novels". Retrieved 2 May 2019.

External links[edit]