Hiroshi Fujioka (born February 19, 1946 in Kumakōgen, Japan) is a Japanese actor, voice actor, practicing martial artist, singer and full-fledged national cultural icon, known for bringing sheer levels of total badassness to any role he plays. His claim to fame was actually his first role, playing Takeshi Hongo/Rider 1 in the first Kamen Rider series (and singing the first rendition of the theme song).
One of his best-known roles is Segata Sanshiro, as part of an ad campaign for the Sega Saturn in the 1990s. Even after the campaign ended in the titular character's Heroic Sacrifice, Fujioka continued to keep a decent relationship with Sega for many years, playing Ryo Hazuki's father Iwao in flashbacks in Shenmue, and appearing in person to promote the arcade game of the fourth Rambo film. He reprised Segata Sanshiro in the Nintendo 3DS game Project X Zone 2: Brave New World.
Oh yeah, and later on he voiced Shan Yu (the leader of the Huns) in the Japanese dub of Disney's Mulan (naturally, this also extended to the original Japanese release of Kingdom Hearts II) and Zangan in the Japanese version of Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII.
Fujioka claims that even in his sixties he's still in peak physical condition and ready to reprise his role if Ishimori Productions ever calls him. As a matter of fact, he's recently played UFDA director Reiji Osakabe—a.k.a. R0—in Tomica Hero Rescue Fire (who's the very definition of Cool Old Guy and Old Master, both). In the third Super Hero Taisen movie, he takes this claim to its logical conclusion by reprising his signature role as Takeshi Hongo on-screen for the first time in 38 years.
Action films aren't his only forte, though, at 2016, he's also a cast member in the NHK Drama Sanada-Maru, a series chronicling the life of the Sengoku Period general Sanada Yukimura, where Fujioka played... the undoubtably badass general Honda Tadakatsu. He was also in a series of UFO Kamen Yakisoban commercials parodying Kamen Rider, where his character could transform into a motorcycle for Sauce to ride on- which won't be the last time he advertises for Nissin, as he continues as an ambassador for Nissin UFO noodles and appearing in ads for the instant noodle company even through 2021. In 2020, he reprised his role as Segata Sanshiro in an ad campaign for Sega's 60th Anniversary celebration alongside his son, Maito Fujioka, who will become Sega's new ambassador. He would also become the ambassador for the Japanese webstore Mercari, advertising their payment service Merpay, in December 2020.
Hiroshi Fujioka is more or less Japan's equivalent of Chuck Norris where popularity and myth are concerned; the man even has an asteroid named after him for Pete's sake. He visited Thailand once, this is the result.
Tropes associated with Hiroshi Fujioka include:
- Affectionate Parody: The UFO Kamen Yakisoban commercials parody Kamen Rider, with Hiroshi portraying a parody of his signature role in the 2017 commercials.
- Cool Old Guy: Really deserves this title. As of 2016 Fujioka is 70 years old and still reprised his role as Takeshi Hongo and even did some of the fight scenes.
- Old Shame: He wasn't too fond of how Hongo was portrayed in Heisei Rider vs. Showa Rider: Kamen Rider Taisen feat. Super Sentai, which made him a crotchety old man who hated the younger Riders' way of thinking. He ended up helping with rewrites for Kamen Rider 1 to make sure his trademark character was treated right this time.
- Star-Making Role: Takeshi Hongo of Kamen Rider.
- What Could Have Been
- He was considered as a playable character for Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing but didn't make the cut. It would have been suitably amusing if he did make it though, for there is only one character in the final roster to hail from the Saturn era (Jacky Bryant).note He eventually showed up in Sonic and All Stars Racing Transformed as a cameo, accessible by being in first at the start of the final lap on the Race of Ages track.
- On the Kamen Rider level, somehow negotiations fell through and he was unable to voice Rider 1 in Kamen Rider Decade. Toei eventually did get him to voice Rider 1 for the 40th anniversary film two years later. ...then three years later, he's fully reprising his role as Rider 1 in both presence and voice in Heisei Rider vs. Showa Rider: Kamen Rider Taisen feat. Super Sentai!