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Meiko Kaji

Meiko Kaji, 梶 芽衣子 Born Masako Ota, (1947-03-24) March 24, 1947 (age 66), Chiyoda, Tokyo, Japan Occupation Actress, singer Meiko Kaji (梶 芽衣子, Kaji Meiko), born March 24, 1947 in Chiyoda, Tokyo is a Japanese actress and singer. She has appeared in about 100 films, with her most famous roles being outlaw characters in early 1970s films, such as the rebels of the Stray Cat Rock series, the assassin Lady Snowblood, or the murderous Sasori from the Female Convict 701: Scorpion series. Life and career edit: Meiko Kaji was born in the Kanda area of Tokyo and graduated from the Yakumo Academy high school in Meguro, Tokyo. She began work in the film industry under her real name, Masako Ota, at Nikkatsu studio in 1965 after graduating from high school. In 1969 she appeared in "Nihon Zankyoden", one of a series of films directed by Masahiro Makino, who recognized her acting ability and gave her the stage name of Meiko Kaji. From 1970 to 1971 she appeared in the Noraneko Rokku (Stray cat/Alleycat Rock) series of films about delinquent young people. In 1971, Nikkatsu moved into the pink film business, and to avoid this, Kaji moved to Toei. There she made the Female Convict 701: Scorpion series of films. In 1973 she took on the role of Yuki in the revenge-themed film Lady Snowblood, followed by a sequel, Lady Snowblood 2: Love Song of Vengeance. She went on to appear in several of Kinji Fukasaku's films, such as Yakuza Graveyard (1976). In 1978, she starred in Sonezaki Shinjū, for which she earned nominations for Best Actress at five different awards shows, winning four of them. Kaji has worked in television since the 1980s. In 1989 she portrayed Omasa, an informant, in the television jidaigeki Onihei Hankachō (the Shochiku-Fuji Television version starring kabuki actor Nakamura Kichiemon II). She is also a singer. She sang the theme song to Lady Snowblood, "Shura no Hana" (修羅の花), and the theme song of the Female Convict Scorpion series, "Urami Bushi" (怨み節). When these songs were both used in Kill Bill, it led to a revival of interest in her music. Her songs were released on CD for the first time. This encouraged her to resume her musical career. In 2009 she released a single Onna wa yametai. In 2011 Kaji put out her first new album in 31 years, Aitsu no suki-so-na burūsu (あいつの好きそなブルース) with songs written by Ryudo Uzaki and Yoko Aki. With the renewed interest in her due to Kill Bill, she also received many offers of acting roles from Hollywood, but refused them all, saying she could not give a good performance in a language other than Japanese. Filmography edit: Films edit: The Blind Woman's Curse aka The The Tattooed Swordswoman aka The Haunted Life of a Dragon-Tattooed Lass (怪談昇り竜 , Kaidan nobori ryū) (June 1970, d. Teruo Ishii), Shinjuku Outlaw - Step on the gas (新宿アウトロー ぶっ飛ばせ, Shinjuku autorō - Buttobase) (Oct. 1970), The Stray Cat Rock series (1970-71) Stray Cat Rock: Delinquent Girl Boss, Stray Cat Rock: Wild Jumbo, Stray Cat Rock: Sex Hunter, Stray Cat Rock: Machine Animal, Alleycat Rock: Crazy Riders '71 (野良猫ロック 暴走集団'71, Nora neko rokku: Bōsōshūdan '71) (Jan. 1971, d. Toshiya Fujita), , The Sasori series (1972-73) Female Convict 701: Scorpion, Female Convict Scorpion: Jailhouse 41, Female Convict Scorpion: Beast Stable, Female Convict Scorpion: Grudge Song, , The Gincho series (1972) Wandering Ginza Butterfly, Gincho Nagaremono: Mesuneko Bakuchi, , Battles Without Honor and Humanity: Hiroshima Deathmatch (1973), Lady Snowblood (1973), Lady Snowblood 2: Love Song of Vengeance (1974), The Homeless (1974), Lullaby of the Earth (大地の子守唄, Daichi no komoriuta) (June 1976, d. Yasuzo Masumura), Yakuza Graveyard (1976), Double Suicide of Sonezaki (1978), Tree Without Leaves (1986), Television edit: Sasagawa Saho Matatabi Shirizu - Kuresakatouge e no chisou (1972) - Oshizu, Terauchi Kantarō Ikka (1974) TV series .... Shizue Terauchi, Sorekara no Musashi (1981) TV series ... Yuri-hime, Kaseifu wa mita! 2 (1984) (TV), Sutaa tanjō (1985) TV series, Tantei Kamizu Kyōsuke no satsujin suiri 8: Izu Shimoda-kaigan ni akai satsui ga hashiru (1988) (TV) .... Shōko Hamano, Aoi sanmyaku '88 (1988) .... Umetaro, Onihei hankachō (1989) TV series .... Omasa, Onihei hankachō (1995) ... aka Onihei's Detective Records (International: English title), Kenkaku Shōbai (1998) TV series, Kaseifu ha mita! 21 (2003) (TV) .... Mayumi Hirao, Anata no tonari ni dare ka iru (2003) TV series .... Shimako Matsumoto, Nogaremono orin (2006) TV series, Hasshū mawari kuwayama jūbei (2007) TV series

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