RIP Tetsuro Tamba


Veteran Japanese actor and noted occultist Tetsuro Tamba has passed away at 84. You may have known him as Tiger Tanaka in the James Bond film You Only Live Twice. I never saw that one, but he was good in the two things I did see him in – Harakiri and Tenkiri Matsu, a TV movie.

Mrs. Adamu and I share a tenuous connection with the man. She used to pass his house on her way to university in Kichijoji. I met him briefly on a movie set in Kyoto. An English student of mine who happened to live next door used her obasan powers to get us in to watch the filiming of Tenkiri Matsu, the story of a thief who lived at the end of the Edo Period. Tamba only played a bit part, but we got to shake his hand and get his autograph, pretty exciting as he was (I was told) a big name. It wasn’t until later that I saw the TV movie they were filming and realized his remarkable screen presence. He reminded me of a kind of Japanese Vincent Price, minus the snake voice.