Saturday, October 11, 2008

Kane Kosugi Week! Kane: The Japan Years

Kane kind of disappeared between 1990 (the year of Kabuto or whatever the actual name of the movie was) and 1993. This roughly corresponds to the time when he would have been finishing up high school.

In 1993, Kane starts popping up again, but this time on Japanese TV. He makes an appearance in the 31st NHK Taiga drama Ryukyu no Kaze (Dragon Spirit) with his father. He also stars in The Kakuto-o 1 and 2 (The Fighting King), movies directed by Sho Kosugi. So Kane is still tagging along but a little bit later, Kane starts standing on his own and it's his father tagging along (but perhaps directing things behind the scenes).

In 1994 Kane is cast as Ninja Black/Jiraiya in 忍者戦隊カクレンジャー (にんじゃせんたいカクレンジャー Ninja Sentai Kaku Ranger).

One interesting note about the show is that Chie Nishimura (then known as Chie Tanabe), the only woman to have ever passed the first stage of SASUKE, was also on the show as Ran (Japanese for orchid), one of the members of the 花のくノ一組.

Sho Kosugi also guest starred as Gary, Jiraiya's father.

Sho (or at least his voice) also had a hand (er..voice) in one of Kane's next projects, the failed experiment known as Ultraman Powered (ウルトラマン・パワード). Ultraman Powered was an attempt at making a U.S. version of Ultraman. It did not go over well; only 13 episodes were produced and the show never made it to it's intended market, showing only in Japan.

So father and son had careers that intertwined for many years. To be honest, I'm not exactly sure when their relationship turned sour. In 1996, Kane did 聖龍伝説 Sei Ryu Densetsu, which Sho also played some part in. It could have happened in 1998 which is when Sho started his SKI schools. But by this time, Kane was fully entrenched in the Japanese TV world. He had already started his association with Kinniku Banzuke and by 1999 he was a regular on shows like Hagure Keiji はぐれ刑事, kid's show ポンキッキーズ Ponki Kids as well. Of course it was Kinniku Banzuke, SASUKE and Sportsman No. 1 that hipped me to Kane (again, I mean, I remember him from the ninja movies but forgot about him till I saw him on these shows). Those shows were his longest running. He's had many other appearances that I can't really get to in just one post so check out his page for all the other things he's been in.

Kane's most current TV gig is on NHK, からだであそぼ Karada de asobo which is actually only ten minutes long but hey, a job is a job.

You can also see Kane doing commercials. He's been the spokesman for Century 21 in Japan since 2000. You can see his latest commercials here. And perhaps more famously, he's been the spokesman for energy drink リポビタンD Lipovitan D since 1999, doing their ファイトー! イッパーッツ!! commercials. You can see the latest commercial here and a few past commercials here.

Up next: Something special!

1 comment:

Arsenette said...

Same thing here. I remember him as a kid but didn't realize who he was until I saw Sasuke again going "omg.. Sho's son grew up!"