Happy birthday Sonny Chiba

Sonny Chiba, Japanese actor and martial artist celebrates his 70th birthday today.

Sonny Chiba was brought to the attention of mainstream international audiences by Quentin Tarantino. Before that, he was known to the martial arts film crowd for his film The Street Fighter.

I am fascinated by street fights, so were the Rolling Stones and the track “Street Fighting Man” is considered by many their most political track. I suppose in a Debordian way.


Opening credits of Karate Kiba

Sonny Chiba is connected to the pseudo-biblical passage “Ezekiel 25:17” by way of Pulp Fiction.

“The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the iniquities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who in the name of charity and goodwill shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother’s keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know my name is the Lord when I lay my vengeance upon thee.”

Tarantino had borrowed this text from Chiba’s Karate Kiba.

As to me, for martial artist I prefer Bruce Lee as I’ve seen him in The Tenant and my Chiba as “Cheeba Cheeba”.