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TOKYO – Veteran actor Ken Takakura, 82, will be one of five recipients of the Order of Culture, the highest award of its kind in Japan, in a ceremony at the Imperial Palace on Nov. 3.
Takakura, with his rugged good looks and stoic style, made his name in yakuza gangster and action movies in the 1950s and ’60s, working on countless films at Toei studio until the mid-1970s.
In 1970, Takakura made his international debut in war film Too Late the Hero, starring Michael Caine and Henry Fonda, before appearing alongside Robert Mitchum in Sydney Pollack’s The Yakuza in 1975. In 1989, he played a Japanese policeman in Ridley Scott‘s Black Rain, also appearing in 1992 comedy Mr. Baseball.
After a six-year break, Takakura returned to the big screen in 2012, appearing in Yasuo Furuhata‘s To You (Anata e).
Last year saw Yoji Yamada, who directed Takakura in The Yellow Handkerchief in 1977, receive the Order of Culture.
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