NINJA: THE SHO KOSUGI STORY

Chapter VI: Return of the Ninja (2005-present)

On March 28, 2005, Variety.com posted an article entitled "Kosugi will kick up 'Return' to ninja role".  The article stated that a new Hollywood movie entitled RETURN OF THE NINJA was being scripted by Steven de Souza and would be produced by Kevin Foster of Amazing Grace Films.  This movie would be financed by a group of Japanese investors who would bankroll 60% of the project's $35 million budget.  Sho would play Ohara, the last ninja master, who travels to the U.S. to find the American heir to the stealth martial arts legacy.  A year later, an article entitled "Return of the Ninja!" appeared in the November 2006 issue of Black Belt magazine.  In it Sho confirmed that plans were underway to get the film to the screen.  Unfortunately things didn't work out, and the project was ultimately canceled.

 






A short time after doing the interview with Black Belt magazine, Sho started doing an instructional Japanese TV series called ITSUDEMO DOKODEMO! SHO KOSUGI NO TAORU EKUSASAIZU (いつでもどこでも!ショー・コスギのタオルエクササイズ Anytime Anywhere! Sho Kosugi's Towel Exercise), which aired on the NHK Educational TV channel from December 2006 to February 2007.  A book by the same name was also released around this time, and a follow-up video entitled SHO KOSUGI NO LET'S TAORUSAIZU (ショーコスギのLet'sタオルサイズ Sho Kosugi's Let's Towelcise) was released on DVD in March 2008.  This light-hearted high-spirited DVD featured Sho singing and dancing and appearing in some slapstick-style comedy bits.

 






Although Sho's RETURN OF THE NINJA film unfortunately never materialized, his two sons Kane and Shane both followed in their father's stealthy footsteps by appearing in some cool ninja projects of their own around this time.

 

Sho's eldest son Kane was the male lead, portraying the ninja Ryu Hayabusa, in DOA: Dead or Alive (2006), a film version of the Tecmo/Team Ninja video game of the same name, adapted by J.F. Lawton.  Directed by Cory Yuen (元奎 Yuen Kwai), the film starred Jaime Pressly, Devon Aoki, Holly Valance, Sarah Carter, and Natassia Malthe.

Kane also appeared in War (2007) starring Jet Li (
李連杰 Li Lian-Jie), Jason Statham, John Lone, Devon Aoki, Luis Guzman, Saul Rubinek, and Ryō Ishibashi (石橋凌), a film that revolved around rival Japanese Yakuza and Chinese Triad gangs and which also featured a short ninja scene.

 

In War, written by Lee Anthony Smith & Gregory J. Bradley, and directed by Philip G. AtwelKane played a yakuza identified simply as Temple Garden Warrior in the credits, who sword fights his oyabun (yakuza boss) played by Ryō Ishibashi, and has another fantastic unarmed fight, choreographed by Cory Yuen, against martial arts movie legend Jet Li

 

 

Sho's youngest son Shane also continued the Kosugi legacy by appearing as one of the samurai warriors being trained by martial arts movie legend Hiroyuki Sanada (真田広之) in the big screen blockbuster The Last Samurai (2003), directed by Edward Zwick and starring Tom Cruise, Ken Watanabe (渡辺健), Timothy Spall, Billy Connolly, Tony Goldwyn, Hiroyuki Sanada, Masato Harada (原田真人), Koyuki (小雪), and William Atherton.  While working on the film, which also featured a memorable ninja sequence, Shane befriended another member of the samurai ensemble, actor/martial artist Takeshi Maya (真矢武), who went on to write, produce, direct and star opposite Shane in the awesome KAGE (2007), a period ninja short film featuring a nod to Sho Kosugi Production in the closing credits.

 

Although it's unclear how much of a role Sho Kosugi Production had in the making of KAGE, a closer look at the Kanji (Japanese characters) used in the credits indicate that what was translated as simply "Special Thanks" is actually more accurately "Produced in Cooperation with" (制作協力).  The short film also starred Chisa Yokoyama (横山智佐), Takeshi Ishida (石田武), Hiroki Noguchi (野口尋生), Airi Yoshihama (吉浜愛梨), and Shinya Shimokawa (下川真矢), and featured special appearances by Junichi Haruta (春田純一) and Kenji Oba (大葉健二), two alumni from Shinichi "Sonny" Chiba's legendary JAC (Japan Action Club), who appeared in numerous Japanese period ninja TV series.

 






Just when it looked like Sho would not be returning to his ninja roots in a big budget big screen ninja movie, there came word in early 2008 that mega producer Joel Silver and the Wachowski brothers were co-producing a new big budget ninja film in conjunction with Warner Bros. and that a certain legend of the genre might be involved.  This was confirmed in the Warner Bros. press release on May 29, 2008Sho was indeed a part of the new film NINJA ASSASSIN playing the ruthless leader of the Ozunu ninja clan hunting for a renegade former member played by the film's lead, Korean pop star, dancer, and actor Rain.  And best of all, this production was already well underway with filming having started a month earlier on April 28.  Shot on location in Berlin, the shoot wrapped up principle photography at the end of June.

 

 

Director James McTeigue ("V For Vendetta"), stars Rain and Naomie Harris, and producer Joel Silver attended the 2008 Comic-Con in San Diego in late July 2008 to talk about the film and were asked numerous times about Sho's involvement.  Director McTeigue revealed that he'd been a ninja movie fan growing up in Australia and thought it would be cool to have Sho in the film as an homage to him and his great ninja movies.  The film's stunt coordinators / second unit directors Chad Stahelski and David Leitch also stated in interviews that they were big Sho Kosugi fans and were thrilled to have him in the movie, referring to Sho as a master martial artist who's still in fantastic shape.

 

 

In NINJA ASSASSIN, Sho delivers perhaps his most powerful and intense performance as the ruthless and cold-blooded Ozunu.  A fact that was unanimously recognized and applauded, with many viewers saying that he stole the film.  Along with Rain as Raizo, Naomie Harris as Mika Coretti, and Sho as Ozunu, the film also co-starred Ben Miles as Ryan Maslow and Rick Yune as Takeshi, all of whom delivered excellent performances.  The same was true of the supporting cast, particularly Joon Lee who played Raizo as a teenager, and the wonderful Anna Sawai who delivered a heart wrenching performance as the pivotal character Kiriko.

 

 

From its dark tone, to its stunning Japanese anime-like visuals, to its visceral action scenes, to its serious portrayal of the ninja, to its deeply introspective and moving flashbacks, NINJA ASSASSIN is to its great credit a much deeper, much more serious ninja movie than is usual for the often disrespected ninja movie genre.  Skillfully written by Matthew Sand and J. Michael Straczynski, the story's structure allows viewers to immerse themselves into the subject matter by slowly giving them more and more pieces to the puzzle through the wonderfully placed and executed flashback scenes.  Also, the film's ninja mythology and its many nods to ninja history, traditions, and legends, such as the use of the infamous nightingale floors which were used to detect ninja intruders, the use of the Ozunu name (the name of a real ninja ancestor), the Raizo name in honor of the star of the classic 1960s Shinobi no Mono (忍びの者) film series, the use of the Kuji-no-in (九字之印) to heal wounds, and of course the inclusion of "The Ninja" himself Sho Kosugi in a truly fantastic role worthy of him and his legacy, all contributed in making NINJA ASSASSIN something extra special.  All of these elements help to explain why Sho was justifiably proud to be a part of this truly epic and fantastic ninja film.

 

 

On November 19, 2009, Sho attended the Hollywood premiere of NINJA ASSASSIN at the famed Grauman's Chinese Theatre before reportedly traveling to Hong Kong to attend his son Kane's wedding on November 21.  The celebrations continued when NINJA ASSASSIN opened 4 days later on November 25.  The $40 million budget film grossed over $13 million in its opening weekend in North America and went on to gross $61.6 million worldwide ($38+ million domestically and $23+ million internationally), making it an unquestionable box-office success.

 

 

Ironically enough, NINJA ASSASSIN wasn't the only ninja movie to be released in November 2009.  Another much less impressive film, simply titled "Ninja", made its direct-to-DVD debut at almost the exact same time.  Produced by Nu Image, the same South-African company that had co-produced American Ninja 2, 3, and 4 with Cannon Films, and the equally abysmal Lethal Ninja on their own, "Ninja" was unfortunately not much better than those films, using the same lame premise and overall sillyness.  If that wasn't bad enough, the marketing for the film led many to incorrectly believe that "Ninja" was the film that featured Sho's return to ninja movies by using artwork that is nearly identical to a photo of Sho from REVENGE OF THE NINJA on its announcement poster, and then completely ripping off the NINJA ASSASSIN theatrical poster for its release.

 

 

Even with that deceptive marketing, this unrelated and uninspired film would not warrant being mentioned in relation to Sho were it not for the fact that 4 years later the same company (Nu Image), same director (Isaac Florentine), and same stars (Scott Adkins and Mika Hijii), did a full 180 and made a completely different, much more serious, and infinitely better sequel entitled Ninja: Shadow of a Tear that co-starred Sho's eldest son Kane as a mysterious ninja named Nakabara.  Gone were the silly cartoony villainous cults, the bad acting, the awful ultra-modern and futuristic sci-fi ninja suits, and the fairytale-like magic potion hidden in a sword handle from the first film.  Unlike it's fantasy-based predecessor, Ninja: Shadow of a Tear is a film rooted in raw realism with a great ninja backstory based on true history.  This fantastic no-nonsense old-school action-packed martial arts revenge film, in the tradition of Sho's 2 best 80's ninja films, REVENGE OF THE NINJA and PRAY FOR DEATH, is a great addition to the Kosugi ninja film legacy.

 

 

And speaking of legacies, on a much more personal and meaningful level, Sho's daughter Ayeesha has made her own wonderful contribution to the Kosugi Family Legacy by making Sho a grandfather to a girl named Kylee in 2015, and a boy in 2016.  Though Ayeesha never appeared in any of Sho's films like her elder brothers, she definitely shared their athletic abilities.  Ayeesha was a two-year letter winner in golf in High School, where she played on the boys varsity.  She also lettered for three years in basketball, helping her team to a couple of league titles.  In College, Ayeesha was also a four-year letter winner for the UNLV Rebels Women's Golf Team.  Might we someday see Kylee or her brother follow in their grandpa's footsteps? Time will tell.

 

In September of 2015, Sho joined on-line social media by opening his official FACEBOOK account on September 3, 2015 and then opening up his official INSTAGRAM account a few days later on September 7, 2015. Via these, Sho began to share with his fans/followers many rare promotional and personal photos, video clips, and stories about his life and his various films, TV shows, and other projects. He also used these platforms to announce new upcoming video and book projects, personal appearances, etc...  Ever the gracious gentleman, Sho even posted a personal thank you to this fan site in a December 26, 2015 Instagram message.






In April 2017, Sho added another amazing chapter to his incredible ninja legacy with the release of a sensational 5-part DVD series entitled THE ART OF HOLLYWOOD NINJA ACTION FILM MAKING.  Similar to his classic MASTER CLASS home video, this new DVD series, available exclusively from MastersMag.com, was produced and directed by Sho and Val Mijailovic, and features Sho giving instructions, with the assistance of his youngest son Shane, in basic acting, camera awareness, camera transitions, expressions, stances, hand-to-hand choreography, hand & feet choreography, and sword fighting choreography.  The DVD set, a Sho Kosugi Production in Association with MASTERS Magazine, also includes an excellent one-on-one interview with Sho on Volume 5.

 






In early 2017, Sho's son Shane also started working as a teacher at KYS Studio in Minato-ku, Tokyo.  In connection with this, Shane was the Action Director and one of the ninja on a cool promotional video entitled The Heroes (英雄伝).  This short KYS Studio / Angel Film (Hong Kong) co-production written, photographed, and directed by Jimmy Ming Shum and starring Kansuke Yokoi (横井寬典), was published on Youtube on June 15, 2017.  It's unclear whether this Digital Asia Entertainment teaser will become a short film or full-length feature or merely exist as a promo, but ironically on the same day that it was released, Sho gave a special class alongside his son Shane and Kansuke Yokoi (who was also one of Sho's main assistants on THE ART OF HOLLYWOOD NINJA ACTION FILM MAKING) at KYS Studio in Tokyo...

 






Another new project that Sho has recently released is something that he actually started working on in 1998 when he began doing research on the 88 Temples of Shikoku Island, Japan, visiting each of them on numerous occasions and reading many books about the temples and Kūkai (空海) 774-835 (known posthumously as Kōbō-Daishi 弘法大師), a Japanese Buddhist monk, scholar, martial artist, poet, and calligrapher who founded the Shingon or "True Word" school of Buddhism.  From this extensive research, Sho began to create characters and formulate a story and mythology revolving around the legend of Kūkai and the 88 temples of Shikoku Island, that would incorporate Japanese mysticism, a mysterious scroll, and a modern day treasure hunt.

 

A little over 10 years ago, this all culminated into a screenplay co-written by Sho, his son Shane, and Gordon Hessler.  With screenplay in hand, Sho travelled to Japan in hopes of turning it into a movie, but unfortunately he was unable to secure the necessary financing.  Switching gears, Sho then decided to turn the screenplay into a novel written in Japanese.  Unfortunately, this also proved to be a dead end as he was unable to find a publishing company willing to publish it.  Undeterred, Sho persevered and about 3 years ago he decided to try and revive the project by releasing it as a novel written in English.  Sho travelled to Houston where he met with Warren Chaney, whom he had known since ALOHA SUMMER (1984), a film in which Mr.  Chaney had been the executive producer on.  And so it was that after nearly 2 decades Sho's saga would finally become a reality in the form of a story spanning 2 novels.

 

 

The first book, entitled YIN-YANG CODE: THE DRUMS OF TENKAI-BO, released on September 15, 2017, tells the story of a multi-cultural group of friends, all UCLA students, who, after having traveled to Japan as part of a class trip for their history course and tragically losing their professor and one of their friends in a horrible car "accident", find an ancient document written by the legendary Japanese monk, scholar, and adventurer Kukai.  The friends determine that if they can crack the code they may be able to find a lost treasure, if they stay alive long enough that is...  At the heart of the story is the strained relationship between Daiki (modeled after Sho's son Shane), a young Japanese student attending UCLA, and his mysterious grandfather Daichi (modeled after Sho), who had sent him to the U.S. after the tragic and mysterious deaths of his parents.  The book also features many beautiful illustrations by Shinobu Ohno and co-author Warren Chaney, and is dedicated to Sho's late friend and frequent collaborator Gordon Hessler (1925-2014).

 

 

The second book, entitled YIN-YANG CODE: SHADOW OF TENKAI-BO, released on January 13, 2018, picks up where the first book left off and delivers even more action, drama, mystery, and excitement, culminating in an epic battle between good and evil.  Racing against time to rescue his beloved girlfriend Jun who has been abducted by the evil Tenkai-Bo and his army of shugenja warriors, Daiki, with the help of his friends and his grandfather Daichi, continues his quest to find the lost treasure of the legendary Japanese monk Kukai, by searching for pieces of a centuries-old puzzle at the 88 temples of Shikoku.  As was the case with the first book, the second book features wonderful illustrations by Shinobu Ohno and Mr. Chaney that help bring to life the characters and events being described.

While he was promoting the upcoming release of the novels, Sho had posted many of the wonderful drawings created for them on his Instagram account and revealed some teaser information about the characters and the storyline.  Also, in honor of his late friend and mentor Gordon Hessler, Sho offered a giveaway of items that he had used when he and the late director had worked together. Held in conjunction with the book's publisher, Legendary International Publications, Inc. (LIP inc), the first place winner would receive one of Sho's screen-used SK Ninja-To along with a certificate of authenticity signed by Sho, the 2nd prize winner would receive the Black Jacket & Black Gloves worn by Sho in RAGE OF HONOR along with a certificate of authenticity signed by Sho, while the 3rd place winner would receive a set of 5 different martial arts magazines that featured Sho on the cover.  In order to be eligible to win these truly great prizes, you simply needed to follow Sho's Instagram account (@shokosugiofficial) and the Instagram account of Legendary International Publications, Inc. (@liplipinc), and then, once you had read both novels, you needed to answer questions related to the story and the characters.






On March 14, 2018, just a couple months after the release of his second YIN-YANG CODE book, a special event entitled AN EVENING WITH LEGENDARY JAPANESE MARTIAL ARTIST AND ACTOR SHO KOSUGI was held in the Hilton 100 auditorium at the Hilton Center for Business on the Loyola Marymount University Campus in Los Angeles, California.  As part of the D.K. Kim Foundation Lecture Series offered by The Center for Asian Business at Loyola Marymount University, this wonderfully engaging lecture had Sho recounting his life story, his early ambitions of becoming a Hollywood action star after seeing Bruce Lee portraying Kato in THE GREEN HORNET, his stuggles along the way, and his personal philosophy of "No pain, no gain...  No dream, no life."

 

 

This was followed by a brief discussion of Sho by Timothy Saito, one of his students and a Loyola Marymount University parent, who told those in attendance how humble and down to earth Sho is and how Sho had stayed for over two hours after the premiere of NINJA ASSASSIN to make sure that the last person that was waiting for an autograph would get to meet him. Timothy then touched on the codes of conduct in the martial arts and introduced the "9 Levels of Power" (Kuji-no-in) which was featured so memorably in Sho's first ninja film ENTER THE NINJA and which was then demonstrated by Sho while the meaning of each of these was spoken aloud by Timothy's son Michael Saito, who'd been one of the participants in Sho's THE ART OF HOLLYWOOD NINJA ACTION FILM MAKING DVD series.

 

 

An informative discussion on the ninja sword vs the standard Japanese sword followed, with Sho demonstrating how to hide the shorter ninja sword from an opponent and using it with a reverse grip.  Sho then performed an impressive sword duel demonstration between himself and Timothy, before ending the night with a Q&A session and a chance for fans to meet Sho, get his autograph, and purchase his YIN-YANG CODE books.

 






On November 3rd and 4th, 2018, Sho made his first ever appearance at a fan convention at the WEEKEND OF HELL Euro-Comicon in Dortmund, Germany. Billed as Europe's hottest horror convention and the ultimate fan event for fans of horror, movies, TV shows and entertainment, the 2-day gathering offered autograph signings and photo shoots with the star guests, Q&A panels on stage, dinner with the stars, free film screenings, original movie props, and more.  Having previously announced his appearance at the event via his official Facebook and Instagram accounts, Sho began sharing short promotional "Welcome" videos on these social media platforms in the weeks leading up to his appearance, in which he displayed some great sword and martial arts techniques and invited fans to come and see him at the event.

 

 

The first video was posted on Saturday, October 13, 2018, the second video was posted on Saturday, October 20, 2018, the third video was posted on Saturday, October 27, 2018, the fourth video was posted on Friday, November 2, 2018, and the fifth and final video was posted on the morning of the first day of the event on Saturday, November 3, 2018.

 

 

Sho was in attendance during both days of the convention, meeting with the numerous fans that came to see him from all over Europe, signing autographs, and posing for photos.

 

 

Sho also appeared on stage where he discussed his career and philosophy, gave a spirited Kuji-no-in performance, demonstrated his remarkable sword skills with his trademark SK Ninja-to, before ending with a Q&A session with the appreciative fans in attendance.

 

 

During his time at the event, Sho also had the good fortune of being able to reunite with two old friends: Rutger Hauer, whom Sho had worked with so memorably on BLIND FURY some 30 years earlier, and Steven Seagal, whom Sho hadn't seen in more than 40 years.  The two had known each other long before they became movie stars, back when Seagal was practicing Aikido and Sho was practicing Karate and various other martial arts. Sho was also happy to meet and talk to another star guest at the event, ex-football star turned actor Fred Williamson, who Sho said had shared some helpful and important advice which would help him with his future projects, and which he was very honored to receive and appreciated very much.

 

 

After returning from the event, Sho posted several photos and details about the event on his Instagram, and also expressed his deep appreciation and thanks to those who came to see him from Australia, New Zealand, Sweden, Netherlands, Switzerland, Austria, Vienna, Belarus, Spain, and all the various cities in Germany.

 

 

Following this very happy event for his fans in the latter part of 2018, Sho began 2019 with an exciting announcement.  In an Instagram message posted on January 12, 2019, Sho began by warning his followers that there were many "FAKE SHO KOSUGIs" on the internet, including some selling FAKE Sho Kosugi Ninja-To made in China, FAKE Sho Kosugi Facebooks, FAKE Sho Kosugi Twitters, etc..., before revealing that he would be re-making his official trademark Sho Kosugi Ninja-To in the Summer.  He stated that he hadn't decided how many swords he would make because of how time-consuming the process was going to be and that they would be hand-made by him.  The number of swords would likely be limited to 50 or so.  Sho added that these new swords would be almost identical to the original sword that his old company Sho Kosugi Ninja Enterprises, Inc. sold more than 30 years ago, but that he would include personal signed certificates with them, and was also going to add even more small attaching weapons to it.  A subsequent post made a few months later revealed that due to shipping delays for some of the parts being imported from Japan, the release would be delayed but that they the new upgraded versions of the Sho Kosugi Ninja-To should be available for purchase by the end of 2019.

 

On Tuesday, March 5, 2019, another happy and exciting announcement, one of a decidedly more meaningful and personal nature for the entire Kosugi family was made when Sho's eldest son Kane proudly announced the arrival of his first child, a girl. Posted on his official Instagram and official Twitter accounts and accompanied with a lovely photo of an over-the-moon Kane holding his beautiful new baby girl, the proud and overjoyed new father wrote that both mother and child were healthy and that he was truly grateful to his wife for safely giving birth. Kane ended his short Twitter post with "Boys stay away", punctuating the warning to all of his precious daughter's future suitors with a smile emoji.

 

Beginning on March 26, 2019, Sho began sharing videos created by him and his Sho Kosugi Production staff on YouTube. The first video posted was entitled The Original Ninja "Sho Kosugi" Then and Now and featured Sho performing each of the Kuji-no-in ("9 levels of power") hand gestures interspersed with action-packed clips from his classic films and TV shows, before ending with recently filmed segments showing how unbelievably skilled and fast Sho still is at kicking, sword fighting, and hand to hand combat against multiple opponents.  Subsequent videos have included visual video rundowns of his Yin-Yang Code novels, and Sho introducing his favorite segments from some of his classic films and TV shows.






A few months after attending his first fan convention in Europe, Sho announced that he would be making his first ever US convention appearance at the CHILLER THEATER EXPO in Parsippany, New Jersey from Friday April 26th to Sunday April 28th, 2019Sho once again made the special announcement on his social media accounts. In his Instagram message posted on March 10, 2019, Sho stated that he would be wearing one of his Ninja outfits, and signing autographs and taking photos with fans.  Sponsored by RACC Signings, Sho's appearances would take place at the Parsipanny Hilton Hotel on Friday April 26 from 5:30 PM to 9:00 PM, on Saturday April 27 from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM, and on Sunday April 28th from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM. Sho revealed that he would be performing a Ninja Demonstration on Saturday afternoon.

 

 

Prior to the event, Sho posted a photo of himself holding two of the posters that would be available for fans to get signed by him in person.  He also appeared in a short promotional video for RACC Signings asking fans to come see him, and he even posted a short video of himself at LAX the day he departed for the event.

 

 

Along with signing a wide variety of photos and posters, Sho also received gifts from some of the fans that came to see him, including some personalized artwork.  Some of the fans even brought swords and other weapons for him to sign for them.

 

 

On Saturday afternoon, as promised, Sho appeared on stage where he performed an intense and energetic display of Kuji-no-in (accompanied by a voice-over describing each of the "9 levels of power"), followed by an amazing demonstration of Kenjutsu with his trusty SK Ninja-To. The fans in attendance were then treated to something extra special when Sho literally went into his bag of tricks (a Costco brand duffel bag, which he joked was where he got the contents), and pulled out a number of ninja weapons. Not just any old ninja weapons mind you, but weapons from Sho's very own collection, many of which were the very props seen and used in Sho's classic ninja movies and TV shows!

 

 

The first two weapons he presented to the audience were the boomerang-like Extra-large folding Shuriken seen in 9 DEATHS OF THE NINJA and the Shuko (Tekagi) used in ENTER THE NINJA and REVENGE OF THE NINJA. Sho then pulled out a pair of Sai, which he proceeded to twirl around his fingers as rapidly and effortlessly as ever.

 

 

He then extracted a Kyoketsu-shoge, and proceeded to explain how the tanto-hybrid version of this weapon that was seen in NINJA ASSASSIN was incorrectly used in that film and that the weighted end is what is supposed to be thrown at the opponent, not the blade itself.  Sho then humorously revealed that he had argued about this with the director and producers, but they wouldn't listen to him. After this, Sho went back into his duffle bag and pulled out a standard Kusari-Fundo with metal weights, followed quickly by another version of the same weapon with wooden weights, the very one he used in the "Kunoichi" episode of THE MASTER, no less!

 

 

For his final weapon, Sho took out the wickedly-cool Shobo used in both REVENGE OF THE NINJA and the NINJA THEATER HOSTED BY SHO KOSUGI segment about it. Sho then ended the session by answering a number of questions from the audience, which ranged from how he managed to get his weapons through customs, how he got his role in ENTER THE NINJA, and if his sons still practice, train, or compete. Sho explained that he had storage spaces for his large collection in both LA an Japan, then recounted how he got his big break in great detail, and talked about his 3 children and what they were doing now.

 

 

Over the course of his 3 days at the Chiller Theater convention Sho posed for photos with the many fans that came to see him from not only the US, but also Canada, and even some that came all the way from Egypt.  Reporting on his appearance during and after the event, Sho expressed his deep gratitude and appreciation to everyone he had the pleasure to meet there.

 

 

During his time at the event, Sho also had the opportunity to meet and interact with the other star guests there, including Harry Waters Jr., who is best known for his portrayal of Marvin Berry in Back to the Future (1985), and Corey Carrier, who is best known for playing Indiana Jones (aged 8-10) in The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles (1992-1996).

 

 

On Sunday April 28, while waiting for his flight back from the event at the Philadelphia International Airport, Sho posted a photo and message on his Instagram in which he revealed that earlier that morning he had been so surprised to receive the 2019 Hall of Fame from the Philadelphia Historic Martial Arts Society in recognition of his legendary career in the martial arts film industry and for having inspired millions of practitioners throughout the world. Ever humble, Sho revealed that he "had to refuse to accept it because it was really too much and too heavy" for him and that he was "still training and not good enough to receive such an honorable and respectable award". Sho then went on to say that he had told the representatives that it was "extremely overwhelming" and he "couldn't receive it", but that he "really respected them and the award", further adding that he would "ONLY accept their heartwarming minds and thoughts" and apologized to them for "not accepting this honorable award from the bottom of his heart".






Looking at Sho's IMDB page fans will notice a new entry in his filmography, as it lists him playing a character named Sakura in the upcoming film THE FOURTH HORSEMAN. When asked about this, Sho revealed that while he was at the "Weekend of Hell" event he had met famous Italian director Enzo G. Castellari who'd asked him to be in his next film.  Sho revealed that he told him that he would be open to it, which must have been good enough for the filmmaker, because on the official website of German production company Dreamfilms GmbH, Sho is included prominently in the cast rundown.  Formerly known as "Keoma Rises", the film is to be directed by Castellari and would be a long-awaited sequel to his classic 1976 Spaghetti Western "Keoma" starring none other than Sho's ENTER THE NINJA co-star, Franco Nero.

 

 

Also rumored to have a role in the film was Rutger Hauer, but sadly, less than 9 months after he and Sho had seen each other at the WEEKEND OF HELL convention in Germany, Rutger Hauer suddenly passed away after a short illness on July 19, 2019. R.I.P. Rutger, you will be missed. Time will tell if the still in pre-production project will indeed come to fruition as it has reportedly been in development limbo for many years, but the thought of Sho appearing in a Spaghetti Western and reuniting with Nero is a very intriguing and exciting prospect indeed.

 


 

Sho is also actively working to bring his YIN-YANG CODE saga to the screen either in the form of a movie or a TV series, which he would co-star in with his son Shane.


Regardless of what the future holds, Sho Kosugi's place in film history is assured and his name will forever be synonymous with the word Ninja.