Shinichi Chiba, born as Sadaho Maeda on January 23, 1939 in Fukuoka, Japan, and known to international audiences as Sonny Chiba, was a world-renowned Japanese martial arts film star best known for films such as Bodyguard Kibanote , Golgo 13: Kowloon Assignment, and The Street Fighter. Among his best known film roles are Terry Tsurugi from The Street Fighter films and various incarnations of Hanzo Hattori in numerous movies, including Kill Bill. One of his earlier roles was as Space Chief in Invasion of the Neptune Men, a film famous for its rough riffing on Mystery Science Theater 3000.
He was known in Japan as J.J. Sonny Chiba (J.J. being short for "Justice Japan").
He also founded the Japan Action Club for aspiring action stars in Japan. Among his apprentices was Sue Shiomi, who starred in the Sister Street Fighter films and appeared in two movies in the main trilogy. He had three children, all of whom also became actors and actresses: Julie Manase, Mackenyu, and Gordon Maeda.
He passed away on August 19, 2021, at the age of 82 due to pneumonia caused by COVID-19.