Tetsurō Tamba

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Tetsurō Tamba
丹波 哲郎
Tanba Tetsuro.jpg
Born(1922-07-17)July 17, 1922
Tokyo, Japan
DiedSeptember 24, 2006(2006-09-24) (aged 84)
Tokyo, Japan
Years active1952–2006
Known forYou Only Live Twice as Tiger Tanaka
Height1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)

Tetsurō Tamba (Japanese: 丹波 哲郎, Hepburn: Tanba Tetsurō, July 17, 1922 – September 24, 2006) was a Japanese actor with a career spanning five decades. He is best known in the West for his role in the 1967 James Bond film You Only Live Twice as Tiger Tanaka.[1]


Tamba had a part-time job as an interpreter at Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers before becoming an actor.[2][3] In 1948, he graduated from Chuo University.[3] In 1951, he joined the Shintoho company and made his screen debut with Satsujinyogisha.[2]

Tamba was introduced to Western audiences in the 1961 film Bridge to the Sun, directed by Etienne Périer. He also appeared in the 1964 film The 7th Dawn, directed by Lewis Gilbert. Tamba is perhaps best known by Western audiences for his role as Tiger Tanaka in the 1967 James Bond film You Only Live Twice, also directed by Gilbert (Tamba's voice was dubbed by Robert Rietti). By then, he had among other roles appeared in two films by director Masaki Kobayashi: Harakiri and Kwaidan. He also portrayed the lead character in the police dramas Key Hunter and G-Men '75, the latter of which remains his best-known role in Japan.[4][2] In 1981, he won the Best Actor in a Supporting Role award of Japan Academy Prize for his work in The Battle of Port Arthur.[2][3]

Tamba appeared in a lot of jidaigeki television dramas. His major historical roles were Imai Sōkyū in the 1978 taiga drama Ōgon no Hibi and Sanada Masayuki in the 1985 Sanada Taiheiki.[5]

He voiced the "Cat King" in the original Japanese version of the Studio Ghibli anime film The Cat Returns. He had parts in Twilight Samurai and two Takashi Miike films, The Happiness of the Katakuris and Gozu, as well as acting as a spokesperson for the Dai Rei Kai spiritual movement.

Tamba's son, Yoshitaka Tamba, is also an actor.[2]

In February 2005, Tamba was hospitalized for influenza and appendicitis. He lost weight drastically and his health degenerated. On September 24, 2006, he died in Tokyo at the age of 84 of pneumonia.[3][1] His last appearance in the television series is the 2005 Taiga drama Yoshitsune and his last film appearance is Sinking of Japan in 2006.[6]

Selected filmography[edit]


TV dramas[edit]


Awards and nominations[edit]


Awards nominated[edit]


  1. ^ a b 丹波哲郎 (in Japanese). KB. Retrieved 2019-12-31.
  2. ^ a b c d e 日本映画人名事典 男優篇 下巻 キネマ旬報社, P.151 1996
  3. ^ a b c d "Tetsuro Tamba biography". Kinema Junpo. Retrieved 10 January 2021.
  4. ^ Japan Hero Archived 2006-07-13 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ "Tetsuro Tamba on NHK". NHK. Retrieved 2020-12-10.
  6. ^ "Obituary: Tetsuro Tamba | World news". The Guardian. London. 2006-12-06. Retrieved 2020-11-10.
  7. ^ Stuart Galbraith IV (16 May 2008). The Toho Studios Story: A History and Complete Filmography. Scarecrow Press. p. 177. ISBN 978-1-4616-7374-3.
  8. ^ The Battle of Port Arthur (203 Koshi) in the Internet Movie Database
  9. ^ 第 4 回日本アカデミー賞優秀作品 (in Japanese). Japan Academy Prize. Retrieved 2010-12-16.

External links[edit]