Renji Ishibashi

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Born on August 9, 1941, famous Japanese actor Renji Ishibashi has one of the most extensive and impressive filmography lists in Asian cinema, which stems back all the way to 1964 and reaches forward into 2007. Ishibashi is featured in extra, supporting, and starring roles in a total of 147 films and T.V. series for the more than 40 years he has been active in Japanese show business.

Ishibashi got his start in acting with an appearance in the 1964 film Okami to buta to ningen (Wolves, Pigs & Men), followed by appearances in Himo and Kamo in 1965, Otoko nante nanisa and Zigoku no okite ni asu wa nai in 1966, and Yasashii Nippon jin (Those Quiet Japanese) and Arakajime ushinawareta koibitotchiyo (Lost Lovers) in 1971.

Ishibashi continued to appear in a variety of films throughout the 1970s, and in 1981, he managed to snag roles in six films: Slow na boogie ni shitekure (Play it, Boogie-Woogie); A! Onnatachi: waika; Akuryo-To (Akuryo Island), as Kichitaro; Les Fruits de la Passion, as Kato; Masho no natsu—“Yotsuya kaidan” yori, as Gonbei; and Kemono-tachi no atsui nemuri, as Setsuo Kishii, the latter two roles for which Ishibashi was nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Japanese Academy Award. Ishibashi did win a Yokohama Film Festival prize for Best Supporting Actor for Kemono-tachi no atsui nemuri, however.

For the latter part of the decade, Ishibashi kept himself quite busy with mostly supporting roles in films such as Ushimitsu no mura (1983), Amagi goe (Amagi Pass, 1983), Irodori-gawa (The Street of Desire, 1984), Ma no toki (1985), Kataku no hito (House on Fire, 1986), New Morning of Billy the Kid (1986), Shuto shoshitsu (Tokyo Blackout, 1987), Akutoku no sakae (1988), So What (1988), Crazy Boys (1988), Tetsuo (1989), and Yuwakusha (The Enchantment, 1989).

His next award-winning roles were in 1990’s Ware ni utsu yoi ari as Akikawa and Rônin-gai as Gonbei. The combination of these roles in that year led Ishibashi to win a Japanese Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, a Hochi Film Award for Best Supporting Actor, a Kinema Junpo Award for Best Supporting Actor, and a Mainichi Film Concours Award, also for Best Supporting Actor. Ishibashi went on to appear in many different films throughout the 1990s.

A clear Japanese acting veteran, Ishibashi has been able to land all kinds of roles in films in almost every year, and sometimes multiple times per year, of his acting career, and in recent years this has proved no exception. Some of his latest projects of 2006 and 2007 include Dekotora no Shu: Koino hanasaku shimizuko, 46-okunen no koi, in which he stars opposite Masanobu Ando, Sakuran, which stars Anna Tsuchiya, Shiruba kamen, Akanezora, The Ramen Girl, which stars American actress Brittany Murphy as a girl stranded alone in Tokyo after breaking up with her boyfriend, and Sukiyaki Western Django, featuring renowned actor Quentin Tarantino.

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