(aka Shoji Kurata)
Originally from Japan, he was a student of Drama and a master of Shito-ryu karate. In the early '70's, he starred in King Of Boxers with Meng Fei and after a good showing, he was off to Hong Kong, where he worked on Chang Cheh's film The Angry Guest and The 4 Riders. Afterwards, it was apparent that he would only be playing "second-fiddle" to David Chiang and Ti Lung, so he went to work for Independent film companies.
Productions like Fist Of Vengeance and Fist Of The Unicorn (Bruce Lee & I), where he became a good friend of Bruce Lee, only help to secure his place, as one of the genre's more popular villains. His skills made him a sought-after star for films and his looks made him a favorite, with the female fans. He's done some good work at "Seasonal Films", working with good friend Bruce Liang (and an excellent kicker, himself). Their films Little Godfather From Hong Kong, The Fighting Dragon, and Call Me Dragon, have made both of the household names and brought both, numerous fans.
While working on the film The Angry Guest, he and Chen Sing forged a friendship, that would help to bring more acclaim to each man's work (and status in the film world). Films like Kung Fu, The Invisible Fist (which first brought the "Tonfa" to the forefront in a kung-fu film), Rage Of The Wind, A Gathering Of Heroes, and The Gold Snatchers, showed a rivalry of Good Vs Evil, that most wouldn't see again, until Gordon Liu and Wang Lung-Wei, years later.
He would, later, turn in one of the best performances of his life when director Liu Chia-Liang (specifically), asked for him to star in a film he was about to began working on, called Heroes Of The East (Shaolin Challenges Ninja). From that moment on, he was always the first choice to play a "Ninja", in any films that sought to bring more attention to their projects. Only A Life Of Ninja and Ninja In The Deadly Trap, really made an impression, after his work for director Liu. He's appeared in a number of Sonny Chiba projects, such as The Executioner, Sister Streetfighter: Hanging By A Thread, and Dragon Princess with Sue Shiomi.
While working with Chiba and company, he took a role in a small film called Tiger's Claw (under the name - Bruce Lo), which turned out to be a cult-classic. In the film, he got to fight (staged, of course), a man-eating Tiger, as well as Milton Ishibashi. In 1981, he and Chan Wai Man) were arrested, for smuggling (a Gun) in Hong Kong. They were both later found not guilty. He will best be remembered for his roles in The Prodigal Boxer and as the kindly Japanese master in Legend Of A Fighter, which he reprised in Jet Li's, Fist Of Legends. He still makes films to this day.
"Hold It!!... Well, for a boxer, you're a very good Long-distance Sprinter.........!!"
( - Bruce Lee & I)