Shinichi Chiba, who paid off 200 million yen in debt in five years, looks back on his spectacular life with “treasured photos | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Shinichi Chiba, who paid off 200 million yen in debt in five years, looks back on his spectacular life with “treasured photos

In Memoriam: 'Action Movie Legend' Dies of Pneumonia Caused by H1N1 Coronavirus at 82

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In 1959, he was selected as a Toei New Face, and became an action star with his well-trained body in gymnastics and karate.

“It’s important for a man’s symbol to be healthy. It is important for a man’s symbol to be vigorous, and Ken Takakura told me a lot, ‘If you don’t use it, it will degenerate. If you don’t use it, it will degenerate. That’s what I’m still doing.

Actor Shinichi Chiba (82), who passed away suddenly on August 19 due to the new coronavirus, was still very much “active” as mentioned in the interview conducted by this magazine in January 2006.

Although he was 78 years old at the time, he also said

“People say, ‘How can you do it at your age?’ But I can do it for 15 minutes. It’s nice to make a girl happy.

Naturally, there is no shortage of episodes from his younger days. In an interview at the time, she confessed that she was a virgin until she entered the entertainment industry. As a student, she was a serious gymnast aiming for the Olympics. After dropping out of the Nippon Gymnastics University, he entered the entertainment industry in 1959, and from there he worked his way up to becoming an action star.

In the drama “Ki Hunter” (1968), Mr. Chiba filmed a scene in which he chased a Cessna plane on the runway with a car and jumped onto the plane without using a stuntman. In the movie “Yakuza Cop” (1970), he escaped from a car that was falling down a cliff and jumped into the sea, and in a TV project, he descended from the roof of the Keio Plaza Hotel to the ground with only a rope.

In 1973, he married Yoko Nogi, whom he had worked with on “Kiwi Hunter. They had a private ceremony in the Aegean Sea. They divorced in 1994.

In 1978, the restaurant he managed was in a slump, and he was saddled with a debt of 200 million yen. This was due to the fact that a relative who had been entrusted with the management of the restaurant had accumulated debts from loan sharks. Chiba scrambled to work and raise money, and paid off the debt in just five years.

In 1979, he starred in the movie “Sengoku SDF” and also served as an action director.

In 1979, he starred in the film “Sengoku SDF” and was also the action director.

After that, he appeared in a number of major films, including “Makai Tensei” (1981). In 2007, he surprised the public by changing his stage name to JJ Sunny Chiba, where JJ comes from Justice Japan.

Actor Kiichiro Wakayama, who has known Chiba for 40 years and is the eldest son of the famous actor Tomisaburo Wakayama, recalls, “Even as recently as last year, he was always there.

“Even as recently as recently, he was training without fail. Mr. Chiba was an actor who acted with all his senses, based on the belief that ‘the body is the language of the actor. Even in his later years, he had a strong commitment to film. When I met him on July 3, he wanted to play “Mito Komon”. When I met him on July 3, he wanted to do “Mito Kōmon,” and Suke-san and Tadasu said, “I would be happy if my sons could do it. They also said enthusiastically, ‘Let’s do Inazo Nitobe,’ or ‘I’m going to do a film that depicts Jubei Yagyu’s death.

Such a star would never appear again.

When his second son, Maeda Gohun (21, photo on right), born to his second wife, participated in a brass band competition in high school, Chiba came to cheer him on.
In January 2006, Chiba was tipsy after an interview with this magazine at a pub in Shinbashi, Tokyo, when he agreed to be photographed in a crowded place. He’s just so young!

From the September 10, 2021 issue of FRIDAY

  • Photography Masahiro Kawayanagi, Hiroyuki Komatsu

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