Shintaro Katsu

Shintaro Katsu (Japanese: 勝 新太郎, Hepburn: Katsu Shintarō, 29 November 1931 – 21 June 1997) was a Japanese actor, singer, producer, and director.

Shintaro Katsu
Shintaro Katsu in 1956
Born
Toshio Okumura

(1931-11-29)29 November 1931
Fukagawa, Tokyo, Japan
Died21 June 1997(1997-06-21) (aged 65)
Kashiwa, Chiba, Japan
OccupationActor, singer, producer, writer and director
Years active1954–97
Spouse(s)Tamao Nakamura
Japanese name
Kanji勝 新太郎
Hiraganaかつ しんたろう
Katakanaカツ シンタロウ

Life and career

Born Toshio Okumura (奥村 利夫 Okumura Toshio) on 29 November 1931. He was the son of Minoru Okumura (奥村 実), a noted kabuki performer who went by the stage name Katsutōji Kineya (杵屋 勝東治) and who was renowned for his nagauta and shamisen skills, and younger brother of actor Tomisaburo Wakayama.

Shintaro Katsu began his career in entertainment as a shamisen player. He switched to acting because he noticed it was better paid. In the 1960s he starred simultaneously in three long-running series of films, the Akumyo series, the Hoodlum Soldier series, and the Zatoichi series.

He played the role of blind masseur Zatoichi in a series of 25 films between 1962 and 1973, in 100 episodes across a four season television series from 1974 to 1979, and in a 26th and final film in 1989, which he also directed.[1]

In 1967, Katsu formed the company Katsu Productions.[2]

Katsu had a troubled personal life. A heavy drinker, Katsu had several skirmishes with the law regarding drug use as well, including marijuana, opium and cocaine with arrests in 1978, 1990 and 1992.[3]

He had also developed a reputation as a troublemaker on set. When director Akira Kurosawa cast him for the lead role in Kagemusha (1980), Katsu left before the first day of shooting was over.[4] Though accounts differ as to the incident, the most consistent one details Katsu's clash with Kurosawa regarding bringing his own film crew to the set (to film Kurosawa in action for later exhibition to his own acting students).[5][6] Kurosawa is reputed to have taken great offense at this, resulting in Katsu's termination (he was replaced by Tatsuya Nakadai). In her recent book, Waiting on the Weather, about her experiences with director Kurosawa, script supervisor Teruyo Nogami chalks the differences between Katsu and Kurosawa up to a personality clash that had unfortunate artistic results.[7]

He was the husband of actress Tamao Nakamura (married in 1962), and father of actor Ryutaro Gan (Gan Ryūtarō).[8]

Stunt actor Yukio Kato was killed on the set of Zatoichi 26 by Katsu's son, who was co-starring, when an actual sword was mistaken for a prop, fatally wounding Kato.

In her book, Geisha, A Life, Kyoto geisha Mineko Iwasaki claimed to have had a long time affair with Katsu, whom she calls by his given name, Toshio. The affair ended in 1976, and eventually the two became good friends until his death.

Katsu produced the manga-based Lone Wolf and Cub (Kozure Okami) series of jidaigeki films starring his brother Tomisaburo Wakayama which were later compiled into the movie Shogun Assassin, as well as co-writing, producing, and acting alongside his brother in the TV jidaigeki series Oshizamurai Kiichihōgan (Mute Samurai) and Tsūkai! Kōchiyama Sōshun.

His other television work includes the police drama Keishi-K (Superintendent K) which he starred in (as Katsutoshi Gatsu), co-wrote, directed, and produced. His daughter, Masami Okumura, co-starred.

His film work includes the Hanzo the Razor series, as Detective Itami Hanzo. He was also an accomplished shamisen player, as well as a vocalist, recording several albums in both pop and Enka.

He died of pharyngeal cancer on 21 June 1997.

The character Fujitora in the manga series One Piece is based on him.

Filmography

As actor

YearTitleJapaneseRomanizationCharacter
1955A Girl Isn't Allowed to Love薔薇いくたびかBara ikutabikaAkira Takakura
1956Migratory Birds of the Flowers
1956The Renyasai Yagyu Hidden Story
1956Sisters of the Gion祇園の姉妹Gion no shimai
1956Marason zamurai
1956Ghost-Cat of Gojusan-TsugiKaibyo Gojusan-tsugi
1956Tsukigata Hanpeita
1957An Osaka StoryOsaka monogatari
1957Nijūkyū-nin no Kenka-jō
1957Ghost-Cat of YonakiKaibyo Yonaki numa
1958Nichiren and the Great Mongol Invasion日蓮と蒙古大襲来Nichiren to mōko daishūrai
1958The Gay MasqueradeBenten kozō
1958The Loyal 47 Ronin忠臣蔵Chūshingura
1958Ghost-Cat Wall of HatredKaibyō noroi no kabe
1959Samurai VendettaHakuōki
1959Seki no yatappe
1959Beni azami
1959Beauty Is GuiltyBibō ni tsumi ari
1959Enchanted PrincessHatsuharu tanuki gotten
1960Zoku Jirocho Fuji
1960The Ogre of Mount OeOoe-yama Shuten-dōji
1960Secrets of a Court Masseur
also titled The Blind Menace
and Agent Shiranui
Shiranui kengyō
1960Tsukinode no ketto
1961Mito komon umi o wataru
1961Kaze to kumo totoride
1961Hanakurabe tanuki dochu
1961Blind DevotionMidaregami
1961Tough GuyAkumyōAsakichi
1961BuddhaShakaDevadatta
1961Tough Guy, Part 2Zoku akumyoAsakichi
1962The Tale of ZatoichiZatōichi monogatariIchi
1962New Bad ReputationShin akumyoAsakichi
1962The Whale GodKujira gami
1962 The Great Wall Shin no shikōtei
1962The Tale of Zatoichi ContinuesZoku Zatoichi monogatariIchi
1962New Bad Reputation ContinuesZoku shin akumyoAsakichi
1963The Money DanceDokonjo monogatari – zeni no odori
1963Daisan no akumyoAsakichi
1963An Actor's RevengeYukinojo henge
1963New Tale of ZatoichiShin Zatoichi monogatariIchi
1963Akumyo ichibaAsakichi
1963Zatoichi The FugitiveZatoichi kyojo tabiIchi
1963Akumyo hatobaAsakichi
1963Zatoichi on the RoadZatōichi kenka-tabiIchi
1963Akumyo ichibanAsakichi
1964Zatoichi and the Chest of GoldZatōichi senryō-kubiIchi
1964Suruga yūkyōden: Toba arashi
1964Zatoichi's Flashing SwordZatōichi abare takoIchi
1964Akumyo daikoAsakichi
1964Suruga yūkyōden
1964Fight, Zatoichi, FightZatōichi kesshō-tabiIchi
1964Kojiki taisho
1964If You're Happy, Clap Your HandsShiawasa nara te o tatake
1964Adventures of ZatoichiZatoichi sekisho yaburiIchi
1964Rōnin-gai
1964Dokonjō monogatari: Zuputo iyatsu
1965Suruga yūkyōden: Dokyō garasu
1965The Hoodlum SoldierHeitai yakuzaKisaburo Omiya
1965Zatoichi's RevengeZatōichi nidan-kiriIchi
1965Akumyo noboriAsakichi
1965Life of Matsu the UntamedMuhomatsu no issho
1965Zatoichi and the Doomed ManZatoichi sakate giriIchi
1965Akumyo mutekiAsakichi
1965Zatoichi and the Chess ExpertZatoichi Jigoku tabiIchi
1965Hoodlum Soldier and the C.O.Zoku heitai yakuzaIchi
1966Akumyo zakuraAsakichi
1966Zatoichi's VengeanceZatoichi no uta ga kikoeruIchi
1966Zatoichi's PilgrimageZatōichi umi o wataruIchi
1966Hoodlum Soldier Deserts AgainShin heitai yakuza
1966Heitai yakuza datsugoku
1966Heitai yakuza daidasso
1967The Hoodlum PriestYakuza bozu
1967Heitai yakuza ore ni makasero
1967Zatoichi's Cane SwordZatoichi tekka tabiIchi
1967Akumyo ichidaiAsakichi
1967Zatoichi the OutlawZatōichi rōyaburiIchi
1967Hoodlum Soldier on the AttackHeitai yakuza nagurikomi
1967Zatoichi ChallengedZatoichi chikemuri kaidoIchi
1968Zoku yakuza bozu
1968Tomuraishi tachi
1968Heitai yakuza godatsu
1968Akumyo juhachi-banAsakichi
1968The Man Without a MapMoetsukita chizu
1968Zatoichi and the FugitivesZatōichi hatashi-jōIchi
1968Samaritan ZatoichiZatōichi kenka-daikoIchi
1969Devil's TempleOni no sumu yakata
1969HitokiriHitokiriOkada Izō
1969The Magoichi SagaShirikurae MagoichiOda Nobunaga
1969Akumyo ichiban shobuAsakichi
1970Kenka ichidai: Dodekai yatsu
1970Zatoichi Meets YojimboZatōichi to YōjinbōIchi
1970Genkai yūkyōden: Yabure kabure
1970Incident at Blood PassMachibuse
1970Yakuza ZessyōYakuza zessyō
1970Zatoichi at the Fire FestivalZatōichi abare-himatsuriIchi
1970Fuji sanchō
1971Zatoichi Meets the One Armed SwordsmanShin Zatōichi: Yabure! Tojin-kenIchi
1971Inn of EvilInochi bō ni furō
1971Kitsune no kureta akanbō
1971Kaoyaku
1972Zatoichi at LargeZatōichi goyō-tabiIchi
1972Shin heitai yakuza: Kasen
1972Zatoichi in DesperationShin Zatōichi monogatari: Oreta tsue akaIchi
1972Hanzo the Razor: Sword of JusticeGoyōkibaHanzo Itami
1973Mute SamuraiOshizamurai Kiichihōgan (TV series)Manji
1973Zatoichi's ConspiracyShin Zatōichi monogatari: Kasama no chimatsuriIchi
1973ŌshōSankichi Sakata
1973Hanzo the Razor: The SnareGoyōkiba: Kamisori Hanzō jigoku zemeHanzo Itami
1974The HomelessYadonashi
1974Hanzo the Razor: Who's Got the Gold?Goyōkiba: Oni no Hanzō yawahada kobanHanzo Itami
1974Akumyo: Notorious DragonAkumyo: shima arashiakaAsakichi
1974Zatōichi monogatari (TV series)Ichi
1975Tsūkai! Kōchiyama Sōshun (TV series)Kōchiyama Sōshun
1983Meiso chizu
1987The one-eyed dragon Masamune (TV series)独眼竜政宗Dokuganryu MasamuneToyotomi Hideyoshi
1988Tokyo: The Last MegalopolisTeito monogatariShibusawa Eiichi
1989Zatoichi: Darkness Is His AllyZatōichi 26Ichi
1990Saga of the PhoenixKujaku ō: Ashura densetsu
1990Ronin GaiRōnin-gai

As producer

YearTitleJapaneseRomanizationRole
1970Zatoichi Meets YojimboZatōichi to Yōjinbōproducer
1970Zatoichi at the Fire FestivalZatōichi abare-himatsuriproducer
1971Zatoichi Meets the One Armed SwordsmanShin Zatōichi: Yabure! Tojin-kenproducer
1971Kaoyakuexecutive producer
1972Hanzo the Razor: Sword of JusticeGoyōkibaproducer
1972Zatoichi at LargeZatōichi goyō-tabiproducer
1972Shin heitai yakuza: Kasenproducer
1972Lone Wolf and Cub: Sword of VengeanceKozure Ōkami: Kowokashi udekashi tsukamatsuruproducer
1972Lone Wolf and Cub: Baby Cart at the River StyxKozure Ōkami: Sanzu no kawa no ubagurumaproducer
1972Lone Wolf and Cub: Baby Cart to HadesKozure Ōkami: Shinikazeni mukau ubagurumaproducer
1972Zatoichi in DesperationShin Zatōichi monogatari: Oreta tsueproducer
1973Mute SamuraiOshizamurai Kiichihōgan (TV series)executive producer
1973Zatoichi's ConspiracyShin Zatōichi monogatari: Kasama no chimatsuri
1973Hanzo the Razor: The SnareGoyōkiba: Kamisori Hanzō jigoku zeme
1974Yadonashiproducer
1974Hanzo the Razor: Who's Got the Gold?Goyōkiba: Oni no Hanzō yawahada kobanproducer
1974Akumyo: Notorious DragonAkumyo: shima arashiaka
1980Shogun Assassinproducer
1989Shintaro Katsu's ZatoichiZatōichi

As director

YearTitleJapaneseRomanization
1971Kaoyaku
1972Zatoichi in DesperationShin Zatōichi monogatari: Oreta tsue
1973Mute SamuraiOshi samurai (TV series)
1974Zatōichi monogatari (TV series)
(episode "A Memorial Day and the Bell of Life")
1989Zatoichi: Darkness Is His AllyZatōichi

As writer

YearTitleJapaneseRomanization
1970Zatoichi at the Fire FestivalZatōichi abare-himatsuri
1971Kaoyaku
1989Zatoichi: Darkness Is His AllyZatōichi

As himself

YearFilmFilm type
1978The Blind SwordsmanDocumentary

References

  1. West, David (2006). Chasing dragons: an introduction to the martial arts film. I.B.Tauris. p. 33. ISBN 978-1-85043-982-0. Retrieved 16 October 2010.
  2. Standish, Isolde (8 May 2006). A New History of Japanese Cinema: A Century Of Narrative Film. Continuum International Publishing Group. p. 359. ISBN 978-0-8264-1790-9. Retrieved 16 October 2010.
  3. West, Mark D. (2006). Secrets, Sex, and Spectacle: The Rules of Scandal in Japan and the United States. University of Chicago Press. p. 201. ISBN 978-0-226-89408-9. Retrieved 16 October 2010.
  4. Galloway, Patrick (1 May 2005). Stray Dogs & Lone Wolves: The Samurai Film Handbook. Stone Bridge Press, Inc. p. 184. ISBN 978-1-880656-93-8. Retrieved 16 October 2010.
  5. Kurosawa, Akira; Cardullo, Bert (2008). Akira Kurosawa: Interviews. Univ. Press of Mississippi. p. 68. ISBN 978-1-57806-997-2. Retrieved 16 October 2010.
  6. Cowie, Peter (1981). International Film Guide. Tantivy Press. p. 205. ISBN 978-0-498-02530-3. Retrieved 16 October 2010.
  7. Nogami, Teruyo (2006). Waiting on the Weather: Making Movies with Akira Kurosawa. Stone Bridge Press, Inc. pp. 251–60. ISBN 978-1-933330-09-9. Retrieved 16 October 2010.
  8. Galloway, Patrick (1 May 2005). Stray Dogs & Lone Wolves: The Samurai Film Handbook. Stone Bridge Press, Inc. p. 40. ISBN 978-1-880656-93-8. Retrieved 16 October 2010.

Bibliography

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