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Hiroyuki Sanada (Appreciation Thread)

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Born Hiroyuki Shimosawa on October 12, 1960, the future Hiroyuki Sanada is an expert in Shorinji Kempo and Kyokushin-Kai Karate. At the age of 11, he began training under the legendary Sonny Chiba and became part of Chiba's Japan Action Club (now called Japan Action Enterprises today with Chiba protege Kenji Ohba as the leader of the team). Sanada met Chiba when he as only 5 when he made his film debut in Game of Chance. 1978's The Shogun's Samurai would be Sanada's first full-fledged action role as Hayate, a member of the Negoro Clan. From there, Sanada would work alongside Chiba in a number of films, even nabbing the lead role in Roaring Fire in 1982. That same year, Sanada would make his Hong Kong film debut with Corey Yuen's 1st film as director, Ninja in the Dragon's Den

Sanada has had his share of excellent action roles, but he has proven himself to be a versatile performer, having appeared on the stage in a London production of Shakespeare's King Lear in 1999 as "Fool" and played the ex-husband of Nanako Matsushima's character in the first two installments of the Ringu films, Ringu and Rasen. He's also hit Hollywood with roles in Speed RacerRush Hour 3 (as the lead villain Kenji), and The Wolverine as well as appear on HBO's Westworld. He is scheduled to appear in John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum and the next Avengers film.

He is also an accomplished singer, performing the theme song to Roaring Fire.

 

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Hiroyuki Sanada is receiving the fall 2018 Medal with Purple Ribbon, a Japanese honor awarded to "individuals who have contributed to academic and artistic developments, improvements and accomplishments".  The fall 2018 Medal is being given to 18 people, including the anime film director Keiichi Hara (Miss Hokusai).  From https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2018-11-05/miss-hokusai-director-keiichi-hara-receives-japan-medal-with-purple-ribbon/.139085   

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