Count Takeshi

Count Takeshi and his cronies sitting atop his castle

Takeshi Kitano is the notorious leader who sits atop the appropriately named “Takeshi’s Castle”. Takeshi Kitano is seen as the ‘Final Boss’ of the hit game show Takeshi’s

Castle. As with all Japanese celebrities – especially those on game shows, they really become the character they are acting. Whilst Takeshi’s Castle was a small part of Takeshi’s career (only spanning 3 years ‘86 – ‘89). He is also an established director, actor and owns a talent agency and has won numerous awards for his work.

Takeshi is well respected and has amassed a large following of loyal fans. Whilst I couldn’t find much information out about the specifics his personal life, I managed to find a great deal out about his works and the recognition he has received, not just on a Japanese stage. He has been awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award in Moscow and was name a Commander of the Order of the Arts and Letters of France.  

What I really found interesting about Takeshi and his work was the way he commits to each roll. Some of Takeshi’s earlier films are dramas about Yakuza gangsters or the police. Many of his films express a bleak or nihilistic philosophy, but they are also filled with humor and affection for their characters. Takeshi’s films leave paradoxical impressions and can seem controversial. The Japanese public knows him primarily as a TV host and comedian. I believe this method of filming complemented his acting style which contributed to his success.

I think the best way to communicate the diversity of Takeshi Kitano is by simply showing him in two completely different roles.


  1. I have very fond memories of watching Takeshi’s castle as a kid. I never really looked into the other roles he has played though, I don’t think it’s ever crossed my mind. I think I was more focused on the show rather than the character of Takeshi.


  2. I agree with Nathan I loved watching Takeshi’s Castle when I was younger, although I never even thought of Takeshi as doing or being anything else other than the host/boss. I wonder if that is directly related to the fact that Takeshi’s Castle as a show had so much success in English speaking countries, with the Western spinoff Wipeout also achieving great success. Maybe that format of game show or humour just translated better. When looking at his other works and movies they all seem to be Japanese movies and actors, with content targeted at a Japanese audience. Strange to think he is an accredited “Japanese film director, comedian, singer, actor, film editor, presenter, screenwriter, author, poet, painter, and one-time video game designer” and yet we can only recognise him for one reality show! Although maybe we are lucky we never had to witness his video game :/


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