Sonny Chiba

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Sonny Chiba
千葉 真一
Movie Pictorial (Eiga Joho), June 1965 issue
Sadaho Maeda

(1939-01-23)23 January 1939
Fukuoka, Fukuoka, Japan
Died19 August 2021(2021-08-19) (aged 82)
Kisarazu, Chiba, Japan
Other namesShinichi Chiba
JJ Sonny Chiba
Rindō Wachinaga
Alma materNippon Sport Science University
Occupation(s)Actor, martial artist
Years active1960–2021
  • (m. 1972; div. 1994)
  • Tamami Chiba
    (m. 1996; div. 2015)
RelativesJirō Yabuki (brother)

Shinichi Chiba (Japanese: 千葉 真一, Hepburn: Chiba Shin'ichi, born Sadaho Maeda; 23 January 1939 – 19 August 2021), known internationally as Sonny Chiba, was a Japanese actor and martial artist.[1] Chiba was one of the first actors to achieve stardom through his skills in martial arts, initially in Japan and later before an international audience.[2][3]

Born in Fukuoka, Chiba played a variety of sports in high school, including baseball and volleyball. He also practiced gymnastics and participated at the National Sports Festival of Japan in his third year. When he was a university student, he learned martial arts, earning a black belt in Kyokushin Karate in 1965 and later receiving a fourth degree in 1984.

Chiba's career began in the 1960s, when he starred in two tokusatsu superhero shows. In his first role, he replaced Susumu Wajima as the main character Kōtarō Ran/Seven Color Mask in Seven Color Mask (Nana-iro Kamen) in the second half of the series. However, his breakthrough role was in the 1974 film The Street Fighter. Before retiring, Chiba had also appeared in a number of English language American films, including Kill Bill: Volume 1 (2003) and Fast & Furious 3: Tokyo Drift (2006).

Chiba died of COVID-19 complications at the hospital in Tokyo on 19 August 2021, at the age of 82.


Born Sadaho Maeda (前田 禎穂, Maeda Sadaho), he used the stage name "Chiba Shinichi" throughout his professional career. When New Line Cinema released the film Gekitotsu! Satsujin ken (激突! 殺人拳) in the United States in 1974, they retitled it The Street Fighter and billed its star as Sonny Chiba. Later, Chiba modified the name to "JJ Sonny Chiba", wherein the initials stood for "Justice Japan".[4] After appearing in the taiga drama Fūrin Kazan[5][6] in November 2007, he announced the retirement of the stage name "Shinichi Chiba"; henceforth he was billed "JJ Sonny Chiba" as an actor and Rindō Wachinaga (和千永 倫道, Wachinaga Rindō) as a film director.[7]

Early life[edit]

Chiba in Drifting Detective: Tragedy in the Red Valley, 1961

Chiba was born in Fukuoka, the third of five children. His father was a pilot for the Imperial Japanese Army Air Service; his mother, originally from Kumamoto Prefecture, had competed in track and field in her youth.[8] When he was four years old, his father was transferred to Kisarazu, Chiba, and the family moved to Kimitsu, Chiba Prefecture.[9]

After Chiba went to junior high school in Kimitsu, the physical education teacher advised him to do artistic gymnastics.[10] He also was passionate about track and field sports, baseball, and volleyball.[10] He participated in those four sports championships of Chiba Prefecture.[10] In high school, Chiba dedicated himself to artistic gymnastics and won the National Sports Festival of Japan while in his third year.[2][11] He enjoyed watching movies, including Western movies such as Shane and High Noon.[11]

Chiba went to the Nippon Sport Science University in 1957.[2][12] He was a serious candidate for a place in the Japanese Olympic team in his late teens until he was sidelined by a back injury.[2][12] While he was a university student, he began studying martial arts with the renowned Kyokushin Karate master Masutatsu "Mas" Oyama (whom he later portrayed in a trilogy of films), which led to a first-degree black belt on 15 October 1965, later receiving a fourth-degree on 20 January 1984.[13]


Chiba in Invasion of the Neptune Men, 1961

Sometime around 1960,[14] he was discovered in a talent search (called "New Face") by the Toei film studio, and he began his screen career soon after. [citation needed] The CEO of Toei at the time gave him the stage name "Shinichi Chiba".[citation needed]

His acting career began on television, starring in two tokusatsu superhero shows, first replacing Susumu Wajima as the main character Kōtarō Ran/ Seven Color Mask in Seven Color Mask (Nana-iro kamen) in the second half of the series and then starring as Gorō Narumi/Messenger of Allah in Messenger of Allah (Allah no Shisha). He starred in the 1961 science fiction movie Invasion of the Neptune Men and the first Kinji Fukasaku film, Drifting Detective: Tragedy in the Red Valley, which marked the beginning of a long series of collaborations for the two. Over the next decade, he was cast primarily in crime thrillers. By 1970, Chiba had started his own training school for aspiring martial arts film actors and stunt performers known as JAC (Japan Action Club) [ja], in order to develop the level of martial arts techniques and sequences used in Japanese film and television. Today the organization is known as Japan Action Enterprise (JAE). He starred in Karate Kiba (Bodyguard Kiba) in 1973, which was his first martial arts movie.[citation needed] Chiba's breakthrough international hit was The Street Fighter (1974) which was brought to Western audiences (dubbed in English) by New Line Cinema. The film and its sequels established him as the reigning Japanese martial arts actor in international cinema for the next two decades.[2][3] It was New Line Cinema founder Robert Shaye who gave Chiba the English name "Sonny",[15] which Chiba would adopt as his own (mostly for non-Japanese projects) from that point on.[citation needed]

Chiba's subsequent projects included such pictures as The Bullet Train (1975), Karate Warriors (1976), Doberman Cop (1977), Golgo 13: Assignment Kowloon (1977), and The Assassin (1977). He also occasionally returned to the science fiction genre, in movies such as Message from Space (1978). He also began to star on some jidaigeki such as Shogun's Samurai (1978), The Fall of Ako Castle (1978), G.I. Samurai (1979), Shadow Warriors (1980), and Samurai Reincarnation (1981). He was not only actor in but also stunt coordinator for G.I. Samurai, Burning Brave (1981), and Shogun's Shadow (1989). He was executive producer and director for Yellow Fangs (1990) and also directed and starred in Oyaji (2007).

Chiba portrayed Yagyū Jūbei Mitsuyoshi multiple times, first in the 1978 film Shogun's Samurai and in its TV series remake The Yagyu Conspiracy, which aired from 1978 to 1979. He then appeared as Jūbei in the TV series Yagyū Abaretabi, which aired from 1980 to 1981 and in the 1981 film Samurai Reincarnation (Makai Tensho) and its theatrical musical version Yagyu Jubei Makai Tensho. He then reprised his role as Jūbei in the second season of Yagyū Abaretabi, this time entitled Yagyū Jūbei Abaretabi, which aired from 1982 to 1983. A few years later he returned to play Jūbei in Iemitsu, Hikoza, and Isshin Tasuke: A National Crisis, a TV movie that aired in 1989. His final appearance as Jūbei was in 2 direct-to-DVD films entitled Sarutobi Sasuke and the Army of Darkness 3: Wind Chapter and Sarutobi Sasuke and the Army of Darkness 4: Fire Chapter in 2005.[16][17] Other notable Japanese television roles for Chiba were the ninja leaders Hattori Hanzō III, Tsuge Shinpachi, Tarao Hanzō, and Hattori Hanzō XV across multiple seasons of the Shadow Warriors TV series and Hattori Hanzō I in the 2003 direct-to-DVD series follow-up Shin Kage no Gundan (New Shadow Warriors).[citation needed]

Chiba was even busier in the 1980s, doing dozens of movies as well as making forays into television, and with roles in such high-profile adventures as the popular Hong Kong comic-based movie The Storm Riders (1998), starring alongside Ekin Cheng and Aaron Kwok. His fame in Japan remained unabated into the 1990s.[citation needed]

In his fifties, the actor resumed working as a choreographer of martial arts sequences. At the dawn of the 21st century, Chiba was as busy as ever in feature films and also starring in his own series in Japan. Roles in Takashi Miike's Deadly Outlaw: Rekka and his work with directors Kenta and Kinji Fukasaku in Battle Royale II effectively bridged the gap between modern day and yesteryear cinematic cult legends. Chiba's enduring onscreen career received a tribute when he appeared in a key role as Hattori Hanzo, the owner of a sushi restaurant and retired samurai sword craftsman, in director Quentin Tarantino's bloody revenge epic Kill Bill: Volume I in 2003.[18]

Chiba starred in more than 125 films for Toei Studios and has won numerous awards in Japan for his acting.[19]

Personal life[edit]

In 1994 Chiba divorced his first wife, actress Yōko Nogiwa. Their daughter Juri Manase is also an actress.[20]

He married Tamami Chiba in 1996, with whom he had a 28-year age difference.[21] They had two sons, Mackenyu Arata (新田真剣佑, Arata Makken'yū) and Gordon Maeda (郷敦), who are both actors.[22] Chiba and Tamami Chiba divorced in 2015.[21]

Also in 2015, Weekly Shincho reported that Chiba was romantically involved with a 22-year old female university student. At the time, his divorce with Tamami Chiba was in the process of being finalised.[23]

His younger brother, Jirō Yabuki (also known as Jiro Chiba), was also an actor.[24]


In early August 2021, Chiba contracted COVID-19 (due to the highly contiguous Delta variant). Initially, he was treated at home, but was hospitalized a few days later on 8 August when he developed pneumonia.[25][26] He died at the hospital in Kisarazu, Chiba, on 19 August 2021, at the age of 82.[27][1][28] He has not received double or triple vaccination, according to his agency.[29][30] His body was cremated on 20 August after the private funeral.[31]

In Western popular culture[edit]

Christian Slater's character Clarence Worley in True Romance is a fan of Chiba. In a pivotal early scene he watches a Sonny Chiba triple feature.

The writer of True Romance, Quentin Tarantino, worked with Chiba ten years later in Kill Bill: Volume I, where Chiba portrayed Katana master maker Hattori Hanzō,[32][33] in an episode that combined comical interaction with his assistant, played by Kenji Ohba, with sombre references to traditional, Japanese sword making.[34]

A modified version of the opening scroll to the English-language version of 1973 movie Karate Kiba (English title: The Bodyguard) was used in the script of Quentin Tarantino's 1994 movie Pulp Fiction.[32] Tarantino's script changed the Ezekiel 25:17 speech, swapping out "I am Chiba the Bodyguard" for "my name is the Lord".[35]

The character Takayuki Chiba from the shōnen manga series Kengan Ashura is based on Chiba and Hiroyuki Sanada.[36]

Martial arts ranks[edit]

Chiba held black belts in the following martial arts:



Year Title Role Notes
1961 Police Department Story: Alibi
(警視庁物語 不在証明(ありばい))
Detective Nakagawa
Police Department Story: The 15 Year Old Woman
(警視庁物語 十五才の女)
Detective Nakagawa
Drifting Detective: Tragedy in the Red Valley
(風来坊探偵 赤い谷の惨劇)
Gorō Saionji
Drifting Detective: Black Wind in the Harbor
(風来坊探偵 岬を渡る黒い風)
Gorō Saionji
Invasion of the Neptune Men
Shinichi Tachibana/Iron Sharp
Hepcat in the Funky Hat
Ichirō Tenka
Police Department Story: Twelve Detectives
(警視庁物語 十二人の刑事)
Detective Nakagawa
Hepcat in the Funky Hat: The 20,000,000 Yen Arm
(ファンキーハットの快男児 二千万円の腕)
Ichirō Tenka
Shinto Boss Series: Employee Ishimatsu Is the Man
(進藤の社長シリーズ 石松社員は男でござる)
1962 The Kamikaze
Love School
(恋愛学校 ラブ・スクール)
Shinichi Kogure
Escape: The 2/26 Incident
(二・二六事件 脱出)
Private First Class Shinohara
For Love, the Sun, and the Gang
Higher Than the Stars in the Sky
Yoshio Horimoto
Tragedy of Twins
Four Sisters
Shinkichi Hayami
Mid-August Commotion
Dr. Ōmori
Gang vs. G-Men
Osamu Kaji
The Gambler
The Terrifying Witch
Daisuke Shirono
1963 Twins Searching for Mother
President Jiro and Employee Ishimatsu: Yasugi Bushi Road
(次郎長社長と石松社員 安来ぶし道中)
Hiroshi Shiomi
The Violent Underworld
Kazuo Ichinoki
Special Tactical Police
Detective Naitō
Twins in the Meadow
(こまどり姉妹 未練ごころ)
Kenichi Tomizawa
Judo for Life
Shirō Hongō
Special Tactical Police 2
(特別機動捜査隊 東京駅に張り込め)
Detective Naitō
Lure of A Killer
Daisuke Jōno
Gambler Tales of Hasshu: A Man's Pledge
(八州遊侠伝 男の盃)
The Chivalrous of Asakusa
Shinsuke Hayama
The Navy
Takao Mutaguchi
Song of the Yakuza
Shunji Nitta
Gang Chusingura
Shichirō Yatō
White Ball
Yōta Ogiwara
Life of Blackmail
Gorō Ozawa
1964 Decree from Hell
Shinichi Ōmatsu
Judo for Life: The Devil of Kodokan
(柔道一代 講道館の鬼)
Shirō Hongō
Tokyo Untouchable: Prostitution Underground Organization
(東京アンタッチャブル 売春地下組織)
Yoshio Hamada
Here Because of You
Makoto Yabuki
Dragon and Tiger Generation
Shinichi Matsuhashi
1965 Singing to Those Clouds
Jun Tonomura
That Cute Girl
Hey, Clouds!
Saburō Tatsumi
Tale of Japanese Burglars
Attorney Ōki
The Fugitive
Saburō Tateishi
Yakuza G-Men: Meiji Underworld
(やくざGメン 明治暗黒街)
Tōru Shibayama
A Villain's Code Of Honor
Sōichi Jinnai
Abashiri Prison: Hokkai Territory
(網走番外地 北海篇)
1966 Bitches of the Night
Tatsuo Ōtsuki
Kamikaze Man: Duel at Noon
(カミカゼ野郎 真昼の決斗)
Ken Mitarai
Terror Beneath the Sea
Ken Abe
Abashiri Prison: Duel in the South
(網走番外地 南国の対決)
Dash to the Sun
Takashi Shindō
Game of Chance
Bungo Endō
Ōgon Bat
Dr. Yamatone
1967 Soshiki Bōryoku
Shinji Takasugi
Game of Chance 2
(続 浪曲子守唄)
Bungo Endō
Diaries of the Kamikaze
Second Sub-lieutenant Hanzawa
The North Sea Chivalry
Shūichi Aida
King of Gangsters
Game of Chance 3
Bungo Endō
Kawachi Chivalry
Komakichi Sugimoto
1968 Human Torpedoes: Kaiten Special Attack Force
(人間魚雷 あゝ回天特別攻撃隊)
Chief navigator Takiguchi
Army Intelligence 33
Kazuo Yamamoto
The Young Eagles of the Kamikaze
Second Sub-lieutenant Kodama
1969 Delinquent Boss: Ocho the She-Wolf
(不良番長 猪の鹿お蝶)
Mitsuo Fujiki
Memoir of Japanese Assassinations
Tadashi Onuma
1970 Yakuza Deka
Shirō Hayata
Yakuza Cop 2: Marijuana Trafficking Syndicate
(やくざ刑事 マリファナ密売組織)
Shirō Hayata
The Last Suicide Squad
Captain Mishima
1971 Yakuza Cop 3: Poison Gas Affair
(やくざ刑事 恐怖の毒ガス)
Shirō Hayata
Yakuza Cop 4: No Epitaphs for Us
(やくざ刑事 俺たちに墓はない)
Shirō Hayata
1972 Yakuza Wolf: I Perform Murder
(狼やくざ 殺しは俺がやる)
Gōsuke Himuro
Vice G-Men
Yasuo Kikuchi
Wandering Ginza Butterfly 2: She-Cat Gambler
(銀蝶流れ者 牝猫博奕)
Ryūji Azuma
Yakuza Wolf 2: Extend My Condolences
(狼やくざ 葬いは俺が出す)
Tōru Ibuki
Vice G-Men 2: Terrifying Flesh Hell
(麻薬売春Gメン 恐怖の肉地獄)
Haruo Kikuchi
1973 Battles Without Honor and Humanity: Deadly Fight in Hiroshima
(仁義なき戦い 広島死闘篇)
Katsutoshi Ōtomo
Karate Kiba
Naoto Kiba
Tokyo-Seoul-Bangkok Drug Triangle
(東京-ソウル-バンコック 実録麻薬地帯)
Tatsuya Wada
Karate Kiba 2
(ボディガード牙 必殺三角飛び)
Naoto Kiba
1974 The Street Fighter
(激突! 殺人拳)
Takuma Tsurugi
Return of the Street Fighter
Takuma Tsurugi
Military Spy School
(ルバング島の奇跡 陸軍中野学校)
Ichirō Kikuchi
The Executioner
(直撃! 地獄拳)
Sister Street Fighter
Seiichi Hibiki
The Street Fighter's Last Revenge
(逆襲! 殺人拳)
Takuma Tsurugi
The Executioner II: Karate Inferno
(直撃地獄拳 大逆転)
1975 Killing Machine
Doshin So
Young Nobility: Maki of the 13 Steps
(若い貴族たち 13階段のマキ)
Kenichi Hyūga
Wolfguy: Enraged Lycanthrope
(ウルフガイ 燃えろ狼男)
Akira Inugami
The Bullet Train
Champion of Death
(けんか空手 極真拳)
Masutatsu Ōyama
Detonation: Violent Riders
(爆発! 暴走族)
New Battles Without Honor and Humanity: The Boss's Head
(新仁義なき戦い 組長の首)
Bartender Uncredited
The Defensive Power of Aikido
(激突! 合気道)
Shinbei Natori
Karate Bearfighter
(けんか空手 極真無頼拳)
Masutatsu Ōyama
1976 Dragon Princess
Isshin Higaki
Yokohama Underworld: Machine Gun Dragons
(横浜暗黒街 マシンガンの竜)
Keiichi Komatsu
Karate Warriors
Shūhei Sakata
The Rugby Star
Rikio Ōtate
Jail Breakers
Wataru Kangi
Okinawa Yakuza War
Seigō Kunigami
1977 Yakuza War: The Japanese Don
(やくざ戦争 日本の首領)
Tsuneyoshi Sakota
Soul of Chiba
(激殺! 邪道拳)
Mu Yun Tek[38] Planning
Hokuriku Proxy War
Hachirō Kanai
Karate for Life
Mas Oyama
Gambler's Code of Japan
Katsuji Kogure
Doberman Cop
Jōji Kanō
Torakku Yarō
Jōji Niimura
Golgo 13: Assignment Kowloon
(ゴルゴ13 九竜の首)
Golgo 13/Duke Tōgō
Black Jack: The Visitor in the Eye
(ブラック・ジャック 瞳の中の訪問者)
1978 Shogun's Samurai
Yagyū Jūbei Mitsuyoshi
Message from Space
Prince Hans
Okinawa: The Ten Year War
Chōyū Inami
The Fall of Ako Castle
Kazuemon Fuwa
1979 Dead Angle
Yōsuke Ōta
Hunter in the Dark
Samon Shimoguni
The Resurrection of the Golden Wolf
Mitsuhiko Sakurai
G.I. Samurai
Lt. Yoshiaki Iba Action director
1980 Virus
Dr. Yamauchi
Shogun's Ninja
(忍者武芸帖 百地三太夫)
Shōgen Shiranui Action director
1981 The Bushido Blade Prince Ido
Chanbara Graffiti
(ちゃんばらグラフィティー 斬る!)
Samurai Reincarnation
Yagyū Jūbei Mitsuyoshi
Roaring Fire
Shunsuke Tachikawa Action director
The Kamikaze Adventurer
Daisuke Kamikaze
The Blazing Valiant
Action Director
1982 Fall Guy
Ninja Wars
Yagyū Munetoshi
1983 Kabamaru the Ninja
Saizō Igano Planning
Legend of the Eight Samurai
Dōsetsu Inuyama
1984 Kotaro to the Rescue
Moore County colonel Planning
1985 The Last True Yakuza
Ryōzō Kanō
1986 Cabaret
1987 Sure Death 4: Revenge
(必殺4 恨みはらします)
Bunshichi Warabeya
1989 Tetsuro Tamba's Large Spiritual World
(丹波哲郎の大霊界 死んだらどうなる)
Shogun's Shadow
(将軍家光の乱心 激突)
Shōzaemon Iba Action director
Makoto Ushiyama Producer
1990 Yellow Fangs
(リメインズ 美しき勇者たち)
1991 Gokudo Wars
(極道戦争 武闘派)
Takatsugu Kasai
1992 Fighting Fist
(HAKEN 覇拳 ふりむけば修羅)
Superintendent Yamada Director
Aces: Iron Eagle III Colonel Sueo Horikoshi
A Mine Field
Hiromichi Takagi Original idea
The Triple Cross
1994 Immortal Combat Jiro 'J.J.' Jintani
1995 Body Count Makoto
1998 The Storm Riders
(風雲 ストームライダーズ)
Lord Conqueror
2000 The Legend of the Flying Swordsman
'Dagger' Yuan-ba Li
Born to Be King
Ichio Kusakari
Takeshi Kuroda
2001 The Melancholy Hitman
(悲しきヒットマン 蒼き狼)
Tōyōzō Kuroshima Direct-to-video
Koroshi no Gundan
Miyoshi Direct-to-video
Koroshi no Gundan 2
(殺しの軍団 関西制圧への道)
Miyoshi Direct-to-video
2002 Akumyoh 2
(悪名2 〜荒ぶる喧嘩魂〜)
Tōyōzō Kuroshima Direct-to-video
Deadly Outlaw: Rekka
(実録 安藤昇侠道伝 烈火)
Yasunori Hijikata
Yakuza of Legend: Chapter of Raging Fire
(伝説のやくざ ボンノ 烈火の章)
Don no Michi 6
Takagi Direct-to-video
2003 Don no Michi 7
Takagi Direct-to-video
Don no Michi 8
Takagi Direct-to-video
New Shadow Warriors
Hattori Hanzō I Planning
Yakuza of Legend: Chapter of the Setting Sun
(伝説のやくざ ボンノ 落日の章)
New Shadow Warriors II
Hattori Hanzō I Planning
Don no Michi 9
Takagi Direct-to-video
Battle Royale II: Requiem
(バトル・ロワイアルII 鎮魂歌)
Makio Mimura
True Kyūshū Yakuza 1
(新実録・九州やくざ烈伝 兇健と呼ばれた男)
Isoji Ōga Direct-to-video
New Shadow Warriors III
(新・影の軍団III 地雷火)
Hattori Hanzō I Executive producer
Kill Bill: Volume 1 Hattori Hanzō Kenjutsu Choreographer
Namishō no Yamamoto-ja! Kenka Yakyū-hen
(浪商のヤマモトじゃ! 喧嘩野球編)
2004 New Shadow Warriors IV
(新・影の軍団IV 地雷火) 
Hattori Hanzō I Executive producer
Kill Bill: Volume 2 Hattori Hanzō
Kōjirō Shinkai
Zenidō 2
(銭道2 借金地獄抜け道指南)
Kōjirō Shinkai
Zenidō 3
(銭道3 なにわ金融指南)
Kōjirō Shinkai
New Boss of Japan
Matsuo Takano Direct-to-video
New Boss of Japan 2
(新・新・日本の首領II 非情篇)
Matsuo Takano Direct-to-video
New Boss of Japan 3
(新・新・日本の首領III 激闘篇)
Matsuo Takano Direct-to-video
Survive Style 5+ Kazama
Zenidō 4
(銭道4 男と女の金融講座)
Kōjirō Shinkai Direct-to-video
Explosive City
Zenidō 5
(銭道5 無限連鎖講)
Kōjirō Shinkai Direct-to-video
2005 Zenidō 6
Kōjirō Shinkai
New Shadow Warriors V
(新・影の軍団V 服部半蔵VS陰陽師)
Hattori Hanzō I
New Shadow Warriors VI
(新・影の軍団 最終章)
Hattori Hanzō I
Sarutobi Sasuke and the Army of Darkness 3: Wind Chapter
(猿飛佐助 闇の軍団3 風の巻)
Yagyū Jūbei Mitsuyoshi
Sarutobi Sasuke and the Army of Darkness 4: Fire Chapter
(猿飛佐助 闇の軍団4 火の巻 完結篇)
Yagyū Jūbei Mitsuyoshi
2006 The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift Boss Kamata
Master of Thunder
(マスター・オブ・サンダー 決戦!! 封魔龍虎伝)
The Winds of God: Kamikaze Nobutada Ōta
True Kyūshū Yakuza 2
(実録九州やくざ抗争 誠への道)
Isoji Ōga Direct-to-video
2007 True Kyūshū Yakuza 3
(実録九州やくざ抗争 誠への道 完結編)
Isoji Ōga Direct-to-video
Ryūmichi Numata Director
2009 Sennen no Matsu
Sennen no Matsu 2
(千年の松 完結篇)
2012 Shura no Hanamichi
Yoshio Sutama
Shura no Hanamichi 2
(修羅の花道 2)
Yoshio Sutama Direct-to-video
Gokudō no Monshō Part 18
(極道の紋章 第十八章)
Sushi Girl Sushi chef
2013 Nihon Tōitsu
Seizō Gonda
Nihon Tōitsu 2
(日本統一 2)
Seizō Gonda Direct-to-video
2014 Shura no Denshō Araburu Kyō Inu
(修羅の伝承 荒ぶる凶犬)
Shūhei Akiyama
Kabukichō High School
Hakkaisan board chairman
Kanto Gokudo Association Part 1
(関東極道連合会 第一章)
2015 Take a Chance Miyamoto Musashi
Kanto Gokudo Association Part 2
(関東極道連合会 第二章)
April Fools
Bōryokudan leader
So-On: The Five Oyaji
2017 Gokudō Tenka Fubu Part 1
(極道天下布武 第一幕)
Motonari Mōriya
Gokudō Tenka Fubu Part 2
(極道天下布武 第二幕)
Motonari Mōriya
Teppen 2
(頂点(てっぺん) 2)
Teppen 3
(頂点(てっぺん) 3)
Shashin Koshien Summer in 0.5 Seconds
(写真甲子園 0.5秒の夏)
Chair workshop craftsman
Gokudō Tenka Fubu Part 4
(極道天下布武 第四幕)
Motonari Mōriya
2023 Bond of Justice: Kizuna Posthumous release; Final film role


Year Title Role Notes
1960 Seven Color Mask
Seven Color Mask II/Kōtarō Ran 26 episodes
Messenger of Allah
Gorō Narumi 26 episodes
Wanted: Demon Fire
(指名手配 悪魔の火)
1 episode
1963 The Light of Asakusa
TV film
1964 JNR Inspector No. 36
Railway Inspector Hayakawa 4 episodes
1965 Flag of Glory
Lieutenant Yamanaka Part 1
1965–1966 Blind Black Belt
Tatsuya Kurami
1965 Special Tactical Police
Detective Komatsu 1 episode
1965–1966 Kiiroi Fūdo
1968–1973 Key Hunter
Yōsuke Kazama
1969 Special Investigation Office
1 episode
1970 Judo Straight Line
Washio 3 episodes
1972–1974 The Young Detective
Detective Yabuki 3 episodes
1973 Robot Detective
Keitarō Shinjō 2 episodes
Suspense Series: Modern Witch Tale Murderous Love
(サスペンスシリーズ 現代鬼婆考 殺愛)
Shige 1 episode
1974 The Bodyguard
Shūsuke Washimi 26 episodes
1975 The Gorilla Seven
Daisuke Kazami 26 episodes
1975–1976 Blazing Dragnet
Shirō Ōgami 14 episodes
1976 Emergency Line
Masahiro Godai 10 episodes
Nanairo Tongarashi
Tetsuo Samejima
1977 Shingo Tondeke Torimonochō
1978 Crossroads
Junzō Kihara 3 parts
Omoide no Umibe Papa, Boku Shinitakunai!!
(想い出の海辺 パパ、ぼく死にたくない!!)
TV film
1978–1979 The Yagyu Conspiracy
Yagyū Jūbei Mitsuyoshi 39 episodes
1978 Yukiyama Sanka Aru Seishun: Tateta! Subereta!
(雪山讃歌・ある青春 〜 立てた! 滑れた!)
TV film
Southern Cross
(南十字星 コルネリアお雪異聞 わたしの山田長政)
Miyamoto Musashi TV film
1980 Shadow Warriors
(服部半蔵 影の軍団)
Hattori Hanzō III 27 episodes
Tokyo Great Earthquake Magnitude 8.1
Kobayashi TV film
1980–1981 Yagyu Abaretabi
Yagyū Jūbei Mitsuyoshi 26 episodes
1981 Keishichō Satsujin-ka
1 episode
1981–1982 Shadow Warriors II
Tsuge Shinpachi 26 episodes
1982–1983 Space Sheriff Gavan
Voicer 6 episodes, uncredited
1982 Shadow Warriors III
Tarao Hanzō 26 episodes
1982–1983 Yagyu Jubei Abaretabi
Yagyū Jūbei Mitsuyoshi 26 episodes
1983 Space Sheriff Sharivan
Voicer 1 episode, uncredited
1984 Wonderful Circus Guy
Daigaku Maejima TV film
1985 Shadow Warriors IV
Hattori Hanzō XV 27 episodes
Shadow Warriors: The End of an Era
(影の軍団 幕末編)
Hattori Hanzō XV 13 episodes
1986 Shinya ni Yōkoso
Kōzō Murata 4 parts
1987 Taikoki
Akechi Mitsuhide TV film
Tomorrow's Snow
Dr. Sakamoto TV film
A Traveling Girl
Takeshi Ishikawa
Autumn Scenario
Tatsumi TV film
1988 Tokugawa Ieyasu
Ishikawa Kazumasa TV film
Ryokō keba Renzoku Satsujin
Tetsuya Nanjō TV film
1989 Oda Nobunaga
Oda Nobuhide TV film
Iemitsu, Hikoza, and Isshin Tasuke: A National Crisis
(家光と彦左と一心太助 天下の一大事)
Yagyū Jūbei Mitsuyoshi TV film
OL Sennyū! Nippon Fūzoku Meisho
(OL潜入! ニッポン風俗名所)
Iwata TV film
The Days I Saw in My Dreams
Shinsaku Sekimoto 10 episodes
1990 Minamoto Yoshitsune
Zenrinbō Kakunichi TV film
Shingo's Ten Duels
Umei Tamon TV film
Ashi de Miru-yama
Kurahashi TV film
Seventeen Ninja
Iga no Jingoza TV film, assistant director
1991 Takeda Shingen
Takeda Nobutora TV film
Saito Dosan: Rage of Power
(戦国乱世の暴れん坊 斎藤道三 怒涛の天下取り)
Akechi Mitsutsuna TV film
1992 Tokugawa Buraichō
Matsudaira Tadateru 24 episodes
1993 Mori Ranmaru: Sengoku o Kake Nuketa Waka Jishi
Mori Sanzaemon Yoshinari TV film
1996 Legend of St. Dragon
Yūji Saeki 1 episode
1997–1998 Terakoya Yume Shinan
Matajūrō Sensui 23 episodes
2001 Shotgun-Marriage
Ittetsu Kotani 11 episode
2002 Wind and Cloud
Lord Conqueror
2005 Legendary Sword fights of Yagyu Jubei
Miyamoto Musashi 1 episode
Team Astro
J. Shuro
2007 Fūrin Kazan
Itagaki Nobukata 30 episodes
2011 Secret Agent Erika
(秘密諜報員 エリカ)
Pastor of St. Francisco Church 1 episode
2014 Owakon TV
Genjirō Aramaki 8 episodes


Year Title Role Notes
2013 Ninja Theory
Ninja master Voice
2018 Shakespeare in Tokyo Calligrapher


Year Title Role Notes
1981 Yagyu Jubei Makai Tensho
(柳生十兵衛 魔界転生)
Yagyū Jūbei Mitsuyoshi
Stuntman Story
1982–1984 The Big Adventure of The Fantastic Pirates
Captain Daedalus Director
1985 The Drunken Duke
Duke Robert Director
Original idea
1986 Adventure Youth Departure
(アドベンチャー 青春の出発)
Planning Supervision
Stuntman Love Story
(スタントマン 愛の物語)
Planning Supervision
1987 Shinichi Chiba's Shadow Warriors
(千葉真一奮闘公演 影の軍団)
2008 Furin Kazan: Harunobu Burning
(風林火山 晴信燃ゆ)
Itagaki Nobukata
2015 Biohazard: The Stage Ezra Sennett


  1. ^ a b Moreau, Jordan (19 August 2021). "Sonny Chiba, Martial Arts Legend and 'Kill Bill' Actor, Dies at 82 of COVID Complications". Variety. Retrieved 19 August 2021.
  2. ^ a b c d e "SPORTS CITY". Kamakura Shobo. Vol. 1, no. 2. 1981. p. 32.
  3. ^ a b "Honke Bruce Lee wo shinogu Chiba Shinichi" [Shinichi Chiba surpasses Bruce Lee as the movie star of martial arts]. Sports Hochi (in Japanese). Tokyo. 27 December 1974.
  4. ^ Chiba 2010, p. 51.
  5. ^ "千葉真一がアクション俳優からの引退を表明、今後は別名で活動も。". narinari. Retrieved 30 November 2020.
  6. ^ "『千葉真一 改め 和千永倫道』". yamakei. Retrieved 30 November 2020.
  7. ^ "千葉真一「JJサニー」に改名!映画監督としては「和千永倫道」 Archived 23 November 2007 at the Wayback Machine." Sankei Shimbun.
  8. ^ Chiba Samurai 2010, pp. 81–82.
  9. ^ Chiba Shin'ichi aratame Wachinaga Rindō, pp.38 – 39.
  10. ^ a b c Chibaryū samurai eno michi, pp.89.
  11. ^ a b Chibaryū samurai eno michi, pp.95 – 96.
  12. ^ a b Chiba Shin'ichi aratame Wachinaga Rindō, pp.53.
  13. ^ a b "International Karate Organization KYOKUSHINKAIKAN Domestic Black Belt List As of Oct.2000". Kyokushin Karate Sōkan: Shin Seishin Shugi Eno Sōseiki E. Aikēōshuppanjigyōkyoku: 62–64. 2001. ISBN 4-8164-1250-6.
  14. ^ The dates are uncertain, because it is possible that he had television appearances to his credit as early as 1959.
  15. ^ Liebenson, Donald (28 January 1996). "PRIVATE LIVES: HOME ENTERTAINMENT, FAMILY ACTIVITIES: VIDEO: 'The Street Fighter' Scratches a Niche: Japanese action star Sonny Chiba is coming to America, and he's bringing blood and gore with him". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 6 May 2019.
  16. ^ "千葉真一主演 「柳生あばれ旅」シリーズ一挙放送!". 時代劇専門チャンネル. Archived from the original on 18 January 2013. Retrieved 30 November 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  17. ^ "ペリーのちょんまげ". 時代劇専門チャンネル. Retrieved 30 November 2020.
  18. ^ Sonny Chiba at IMDb
  19. ^ Ragone, August. "SHINICHI "SONNY" CHIBA: A Real Mean Bastard!". Henshin!Online. Archived from the original on 7 November 2014. Retrieved 23 December 2014.
  20. ^ "女優 真瀬樹里さん 母・野際陽子との確執…30過ぎでついに爆発". 東京スクスク. Retrieved 30 November 2020.
  21. ^ a b "眞栄田郷敦の母・千葉玉美の現在は?千葉真一の借金や離婚で波瀾万丈な人生". Sorte Plus (in Japanese). Retrieved 25 September 2023.
  22. ^ "千葉真一、芸能生活60周年! 新田真剣佑&眞栄田郷敦&真瀬樹里に"格言"を授ける". Retrieved 30 November 2020.
  23. ^ "「"今日は泊まっていけ"と言われて…」 千葉真一54歳差の"最後の女性"が明かす「幻の結婚式」". Daily Shincho (in Japanese). Shinchosha. 22 August 2023. Retrieved 25 September 2023.
  24. ^ "スター千葉真一の弟はきこり?". tbs. Retrieved 30 November 2020.
  25. ^ "俳優の千葉真一さん死去 82歳 新型コロナ感染による肺炎". NHK (in Japanese). Retrieved 19 August 2021. マネジメント会社によりますと、千葉さんは今月に入って新型コロナウイルスの感染が確認され、自宅で療養し、その後、症状が悪化したため8日から入院して治療を受けていましたが、19日夕方、千葉県内の病院で肺炎のため亡くなりました。
  26. ^ "俳優の千葉真一さん死去、82歳 新型コロナで入院中". Asahi Shimbun (in Japanese). 19 August 2021. Archived from the original on 19 August 2021. Retrieved 19 August 2021. 所属事務所によると、新型コロナウイルスに感染して8日から入院しており、肺炎が悪化したという。
  27. ^ 千葉真一さん死去 82歳 新型コロナ感染し療養も肺炎悪化、8日入院も Archived 21 August 2021 at the Wayback Machine (in Japanese)
  28. ^ Andrew, Scottie (19 August 2021). "Sonny Chiba, martial arts star of 'Kill Bill,' dies of Covid-19 complications". CNN. Retrieved 19 August 2021.
  29. ^ "俳優の千葉真一さん死去、82歳 死因は新型コロナによる肺炎". Tokyo Shimbun. Tokyo Web. Retrieved 19 August 2021. 所属事務所によると千葉さんは8日から入院し、ワクチンは接種していなかったという。
  30. ^ "Action star Shinichi 'Sonny' Chiba dies at 82 from COVID-19 complications". The Japan Times. 19 August 2021. Archived from the original on 19 August 2021. Retrieved 20 August 2021.
  31. ^ "千葉真一さん"最期の瞬間"を友人が明かす 「親子揃って目を赤く腫らしていました」". デイリー新潮 (in Japanese). 2 September 2021. Retrieved 12 March 2022.
  32. ^ a b Thomas, Brian. VideoHound's Dragon: Asian Action & Cult Flicks. Canton, Michigan: Visible Ink Press, 2003, pp. 61–62.
  33. ^ Gilbey, Ryan (24 August 2021). "Sonny Chiba obituary". The Guardian. Retrieved 20 April 2024.
  34. ^ Haasbroek, Luc (16 June 2023). "10 Characters With The Most Creative and Descriptive Names, According to Reddit". The Collider. Retrieved 20 April 2024.
  35. ^ Sherlock, Ben (22 January 2020). "Pulp Fiction: 10 Best Movie References, Ranked". ScreenRant. Retrieved 18 August 2020.
  36. ^ "Chiba Takayuki"; commentary from Yabako Sandrovich. End of Chapter 102.
  37. ^ "Photo of Shinichi Chiba receiving his 4th Dan Togakure-ryū Ninpō Taijutsu certificate from Masaaki Hatsumi". 戸隠流忍法-台湾武神館 Facebook. Archived from the original on 26 February 2022. Retrieved 15 September 2021.
  38. ^ "激殺!邪道拳: 作品情報".


  • Chiba Shin'ichi aratame Wachinaga Rindō (in Japanese). Yama to Keikokush. 2008. ISBN 978-4-635-34022-9.
  • Chiba, Sonny (September 2010). The Road to Chiba Style Samurai (in Japanese). Bunkasha. ISBN 978-4-8211-4269-9.

External links[edit]