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Frankie Sakai

  • Biography
1929-1996. Actor. Sakai worked as a jazz drummer while he was attending Keio University, and he appeared as a drummer in the 1953 movies Ganpeki (The Quay) and Meitantei Ajapa-shi (Master Detective Ajapa). He later flourished as an actor, using his abundant showmanship while continuin his musical activities. In 1957 he received the Blue Ribbon Best Actor Award for Bakumatsu Taiyo-den (Not Long After Leaving Shinagawa), and in the following year he won the Ministry of Education Arts Festival Award for the TV drama Watashi wa Kai ni naritai (I Want to be a Clam). He also devoted himself to studying the ukiyo?e artist Sharaku Toshusai for many years, and he was the executive producer for the movie Sharaku in 1995.

  • Association with Minato City
Displayed his talent for entertaining from when he was in Azabu Junior High School

Sakai moved to Tokyo from Kagoshima in 1942 and enrolled at Azabu Junior High School. His classmates included Takeshi Kato (actor) and Nada y Nada (writer), and in the same year the actors Shoichi Ozawa and Noboru Nakatani. Even though this was wartime, they spent a happy time in and out of school because they always came up with new games to play. After the war, Sakai joined various clubs, including kendo, debate, music, and drama. At the school’s first cultural festival, he was active in chamber music, drama, and comedy and enjoyed the applause of the audience. After enrolling at the Keio University Faculty of Law, he stumbled onto a set of drums at the house of a senior student from Drama Club, and began displaying his talent as a drummer. He continued to nurture his diverse talents and friendships throughout his time at Azabu Junior High and at Keio University.

Nihon Jinmei Daijiten (Japanese Biographical Dictionary) (Kodansha)
Nihon Eiga Jinmei Jiten (Biographical Dictionary of Japanese Movies) (Cinema Shunposha)
Geimu Kankaku: Frankie Jinsei Gekijo (Geimu Kankaku: Frankie’s Theater of Life) (Frankie Sakai / Shueisha)

  • Literary Works
Sharaku Michiyuki (Sharaku’s Road) (Frankie Sakai / Bunshun Bunko)
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  • Related Publications
Nihon no Kigekijin (Comedy Actors of Japan) (Yumihiko Nakahara / Shobunsha)
Geimu Kankaku: Frankie Jinsei Gekijo (Geimu Kankaku: Frankie’s Theater of Life) (Frankie Sakai / Shueisha)
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