Retired? Not Retired? Sakaguchi Tak Retrospective Announced Amidst Conflicting Reports

Todd Brown, Founder and Editor
What's up with Japanese action star Sakaguchi Tak, star of Versus, Shinobi, Yakuza Weapon and a host of other fan favorites? That depends who you ask. Sakaguchi's long time management company Dongyu Club have announced a retrospective screening series to occur at the Human Trust Cinema in Shibuya throughout early April commemorating that action star's retirement. Here's a translation of that announcement:

ACTOR TAK SAKAGUCHI FAREWELL PERFORMANCE (OTOKO NO HANAMICHI)
SEVEN WORKS TO BE SCREENED AT DAILY LATE SHOWS IN SHIBUYA

After making his appearance like a comet in 2001's VERSUS, using his speedy, real action style to leap in one bound from the world into the limelight, the world's fastest action "speed master" Tak Sakaguchi, has decided at this time to step aside from the world of acting. As a thanks to his fans and as a farewell performance, the Shibuya Human Trust Cinema in Tokyo, will late show screenings of seven of the actor's works, in a series entitled "Otoko no hanamichi (a man's passage from the audience to the stage): The Final Love".

The event will not simply feature Sakaguchi's works as an actor, but also as a director, action director and his wider activity within his works of film. Human Trust Cinema has chosen seven of his best works, including some film premieres, as a showcase. Don't miss your chance to attend!

April 6th: TEBANA SANKICHI: RE-MIX VERSION (2012, dir: Yudai Yamaguchi)
April 7th: VERSUS (2001, dir. Ryuhei Kitamura)
April 8th: BE A MAN! SAMURAI SCHOOL (2007, dir: Tak Sakaguchi)
April 9th: SNAKE OF VIOLENCE (2013, dir: Takahiro Ishihara)
April 10th: BATTLEFIELD BASEBALL (2002, dir: Yudai Yamaguchi)
April 11th: DEATH TRANCE (2005, dir: Yuji Shimomura)
April 12th: KYOMUSASHI (2013, dir: Isao Karasawa)
Of note in that list is Kyomusashi, a single take action movie, and the similarly fresh Snake Of Violence.

Also of note, of course, is the statement that Sakaguchi is stepping away from acting. Which is a point very much denied by others, including his new management company for whom he has reportedly already completed one film while being in progress on another.

All of which begs the question of what's really going on here and whether it has anything to do with the recent departure of Sakaguchi's friend and collaborator Sono Sion from the Dongyu fold a few months back. Regardless, if you happen to be in Tokyo, here's your chance to see some of these on the big screen.
Around the Internet:
  • Almathea

    My sources are the most reliable but there are also secret at the moment, so I can't tell much. But one thing is for sure: M. Tak Sakaguchi is NOT giving up acting! :)

  • This is what I've been told repeatedly as well.

  • Art Vandelay

    https://www.facebook.com/photo...

    Apparently, he's not retiring. He's planning to make "Death Trance 2"?!??!!?!?

    What the hell!?!!?? I'm so CONFUSED!

  • Mark Schilling

    The man himself made a retirement statement in English, send to me from Dongyu:

    Dear fans and everyone who has been supportive,

    Probably you are surprised to hear about my sudden announcement of retirement.

    Throughout the year 2012, I was all tossing, turning and worrying for this film I

    have dedicated to, KURUI MUSASHI, which sadly did not turned out to be

    completed. I know I have been selfish enough to make such a decision, but I am

    grateful to Dongyu Club, and Mizue Kunizane who has been always on my side and

    supportive, made this special passage to lead myself to pull my stage curtain still in

    the light.

    “Suppress yourself, and even fire is cool”. This is the word, almost 500 years ago,

    which this famous temple priest Kaisen Joki said when Nobutada Oda burnt down

    his temple, then he died in fire. For a while, I will concentrate on my training to

    gain the ability to transform to a any better human being, with my mind crystal

    clear. Right now I want to blow all my fears and mind away. If I return in

    someday on screen, I would appreciate your hottest passion just as it is now.

    For now, so long, friends.

    Tak Sakaguchi

  • Art Vandelay

    Damn...he was a great entertainer on screen. Awesome screen presence. I'm happy he never said never about returning on screen again. Wish him the best.

  • Bos

    Oh damn...this hits me quite hard, i really like the guy.
    One of my personal favourite, no kidding :(

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