Sho Kosugi (小杉 正一, Kosugi Shōichi, born June 17, 1948 in Minato, Tokyo) is a Japanese martial artist with training in ninjutsu who gained popularity as an actor during the 1980s, usually playing ninja. He is the father of Kane Kosugi and Shane Kosugi.
Once there was a man who created a huge Ninja sensation throughout the world. Born in Tokyo, Japan, he began his Martial Arts training at the age of 5 1/2 years old. By the time he reached 18, he held the prestigious title of All-Japan Karate Champion as well as many others. However in 1968, he left Japan to pursue his real dream which was to become an actor. After 8 determined years of doing stunt and extra work in films, he landed his 1st major role and there began his success story. He is the 1st and only Japanese actor to ever reach the prestigious plateau of “the billion dollar star.” His name is Sho Kosugi.
His Ninja success instantly spread worldwide. Within a matter of years, he played the leading roles in films such as: Enter the Ninja(1981), Revenge of the Ninja(1982), Ninja 3: The Domination (1983), Nine Deaths of the Ninja(1984), Pray for Death(1985), Rage of Honor (1986), Master Class(1985) and Ninja Theater(1986). The Ninja sensation was so big that when Pat Rod, of the Hollywood Reporter, was in countries like Greece and Turkey she said, “Movie enthusiasts there never asked me about Stallone, Cruise, or Harrison Ford; it was always, ‘Have you ever met Sho Kosugi?'”
Realizing that the big Ninja revolution would one day end, he made the decision to diversify his acting to achieve a new status, not as a Ninja but as an action hero in films like Black Eagle(1987), Blind Fury(1988) and Journey of Honor: Shogun Mayeda (which he also produced,1990). After a while, he began teaching young people, helping make their dreams come true, by establishing the Sho Kosugi Institute(SKI) in Hollywood in 1998, where he is the principle as well as a frequent instructor. Since then, schools in Nagoya, Tokyo, and Osaka have been opened, and Fukuoka is next on the list. SKI is an academy where prospective young talents can learn Gymnastics, Acting, Dance, Singing, Martial Arts, English, and Taiko (Japanese Drums). In the SKI brochure, Sho Kosugi says, “There are many young people who seek their dreams on the streets of Hollywood. Looking back on my 22 years as a Hollywood star, not all my time was as productive as it could have been. But as a result of my experience, I am confident that my time here will not have been wasted if I am able to help you find success in Hollywood. Your dream is to become a star and my dream is to help you become one.” He has also devoted himself to the education of children, broadening their horizons physically, mentally, and spiritually. He highly values discipline and respect as seen very clearly through his children, two sons and a daughter. Utilizing his experience, he now guides more than 500 young lives and teaches them not to give up on their dreams.
Although currently a retired Ninja in black himself, he continues to encourage others about his brand new style of Ninjas. In 1998, he created ‘Ninja Taiko’from amongst his SKI members, a combination of traditional Japanese Taiko with Martial Arts and Acrobatic movements. Most of the members were new to the Taiko drums but became proficient at the SKI school in Hollywood.
‘Ninja Taiko’ has been performing in LA for various public events, one of which caught the eye of a director which landed them a role in the movie “The Scorpion King. “‘Ninja Taiko’also became a stage play in Japan entitled, “The Ninjas from Hollywood-Japan Tour 2001” The show starred his second son, Shane Kosugi as well as Sho Kosugi himself. Currently, “The Ninjas from Hollywood-Japan Tour 2002″is in preparations, because people love revivals of old TV shows and movies, especially of action heroes. Recently, we have seen the Re-emergence of Batman, Spiderman, X-Men, Charlie’s Angels, and many more are soon to follow. It is the action heroes that give us hopes and dreams that encourage us to try harder in our every day lives.