movies

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Sho Kosugi and the Ninja

The year was 2006, and it was my first visit to Hollywood. Whom did I choose to meet first on that day? The foremost name in ninja movies: Sho Kosugi.

There I was, standing in Kosugi’s office in the heart of Tinseltown, having just wrapped an hourlong interview on the master movie ninja’s life, career and plans for the future, and the camera crew was making its way around the room, getting pickup shots. I was thrilled to have spent an hour hanging with my boyhood hero when Kosugi upped the excitement ante a notch.

“I don’t know if you’re interested,” he said, “but if you want more film …”And with that, Kosugi opened a theretofore-unnoticed office door — seriously, it looked like a utility closet — and ushered us into his secret ninja lair. It harbored a treasure trove of every sword, throwing star, costume, metal claw and chain-mail mask that had ever appeared in an ’80s ninja flick. It also housed a plethora of scripts, original film prints and 8-by-10 glossy color photographs.

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