Tomisaburo Wakayama Movies and Career Information

Tomisaburo Wakayama profile image
Sep 01, 1929
Actor and Producer

Tomisaburo Wakayama (若山 富三郎, Wakayama Tomisaburo, September 1, 1929 – April 2, 1992), born Masaru Okumura, was a Japanese actor, best known for playing Ogami Ittō, the scowling, 17th century ronin warrior in the six Lone Wolf and Cub samurai movies. Wakayama was born on September 1, 1929, in Fukagawa, a district in Tokyo, Japan. His father was Tohiji Katsu (or Katsutoji Kineya), a noted kabuki performer and nagauta singer, and the family as a whole were kabuki performers. He and his younger brother, Shintaro Katsu, followed their father in the theater. Wakayama tired of this; at the age of 13, he began to study judo, eventually achieving the rank of 4th dan black belt in the art. In 1952, as part of the Azuma Kabuki troupe, Wakayama toured the United States of America for nine months. He gave up theater performance completely after his two-year term with the troupe was over. Wakayama taught judo until Toho recruited him as a new martial arts star in their jidaigeki movies. He prepared for these movies by practicing other disciplines, including kenpō, iaidō, kendo, and bōjutsu. All this helped him for roles in the television series The Mute Samurai, the 1975 television series Shokin

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