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Has Sonny Chiba acted with Quentin before?

OK, so we all know the Quentin-Chiba connections.  Clarence’s love for Sonny Chiba and the Streetfighter movie marathon in “True Romance”.  Jules Winnfield’s Ezekiel speech in “Pulp Fiction” taken from Sonny Chiba’s 1974 film “The Bodyguard” also known as “Karate Kiba”.  We know that every Sunday night QT and his pals would stay up late and watch Chiba’s TV action series “Shadow Warriors”.  Now we know that with Sonny Chiba starring in “Kill Bill” as Hattori Hanzô, Quentin (as Pai Mei) will finally get to act alongside his hero.

But did you know Tarantino has already acted with Chiba before?

In 1996 and 1997 I lived in Osaka, Japan.  I knew that Tarantino had been in Japan promoting the Japanese release of “From Dusk Til Dawn” with Robert Rodriguez.

But I was surprised to see QT on TV one night with his hero Shinichi “Sonny” Chiba.

It was a TV commercial but since my Japanese was so bad I wasn’t sure what they were advertising.  I think it was either cell phones (for Kansai Digital Phones) or for the satellite subscriber channel PerfecTV.

In the spot Sonny played a cop who arrested Quentin for some reason and dragged him around to the police station and yelled at him. ÂÂ

I found out later that Quentin had indeed done commercials for both Kansai Digital Phones and PerfecTV and managed to find and pick up a couple of posters like the ones below.

It turned out there was a series of ads with each furthering the story of Quentin in trouble with the Japanese law.  In each one Tarantino was talking in English into his cell phone while Chiba yelled at him in Japanese.  Eventually Quentin would look into the camera and say “Shaberu Tarantino!” which means something like “Tarantino’s talking!”

In one TV spot he was tied up in a chair and tries to escape.  All in all it was fairly humorous and amusing.  That is why when I learned of their collaboration on “Kill Bill” I wasn’t too surprised as they had worked together before.

There is a website for the company that made those commercials and if you wait long enough a small Quicktime .mov file loads and shows clips from all the commercials they’ve made over the years.  If you don’t blink you can catch glimpses of Tarantino and Chiba (the guy with the moustache) in there.  The soundtrack is horrible, but if you have the sound on you can hear Tarantino attempt Japanese, saying “Shaberu Tarantino!”.  Also try and see how many “famous” faces you see in there.  It’s quite a pop-culture mix!

Click below to see it:

or you can download it here:

Wow Jeff those pics are the BOMB!! I had no idea that QT had acted with Sonny before. Thanks very much for that info.

Jeff, I was wondering, Im working on some graphics for the website, would it be ok if I used that cool pic of QT for it? Let me know.


Sure you can use the pic. I look forward to see what you come up with.

Yeah, it was funny to see Quentin doing Japanese commercials, but he’s not the only one, oh no…

Check here for some goofy gaijin fun:

I have heard that Chiba paid a visit to the set of Pulp Fiction in 1994

In KILL BILL, Sonny Chiba plays “The Man from Okinawa”.

Okinawa is a set of the most southern Japanese islands .

It’s had an interesting history.

An island group of the central Ryukyu Islands in the western Pacific Ocean southwest of Japan. In World War II Okinawa, the largest island in the group, was the scene of fierce combat between the Japanese and U.S. Army and Marine forces (April 1-June 21, 1945). The islands were returned to the Japanese in 1972.

Now, I’m wondering why QT would have Hattori Hanzo come from there.

Does anyone know if QT has ever visited Okinawa?

I know that QT visited Japan in 1997 promoting the Japanese release of “From Dusk Til Dawn” with Robert Rodriguez. He also made a series of Japanese commercials with Sonny Chiba. But I don’t think he ventured outside of Osaka or Tokyo.

Anyone know if he went anywhere else?

Okinawa is known as the birthplace of Karate. But being so south of the rest of Japan, didn’t have much of a samurai history. In fact, it’s almost considered not a real part of Japan by the rest of the Japanese. It’s like Hawaii to the rest of the US. It’s officially part of the country but it feels more like an island get-away.

QT may have gotten the idea because the “Beat” Takeshi Kitano film SONATINE released on QT’s Rolling Thunder Label is set for the most part in Okinawa.

Any other reasons?

I haven’t read the script yet. (I know my willpower is crumbling. :wink: )

first post in 7 years wow.