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Kunie Tanaka, Inspiration for Admiral Kizaru of ‘One Piece,’ Dies at 88

The beloved actor will be remembered through his memorable work in ‘Battles Without Honor,’ ‘Humanity,’ and ‘Kita no kuni kar’ (From the Northern Country), which ran on Japanese television for 20 years.

Legendary Japanese cinema actor Kunie Tanaka (Battles Without Honor, Humanity) passed away March 24th at 88 years of age, surrounded by family. The beloved actor was the inspiration for the design of Eiichiro Oda's One Piece manga character Admiral Kizaru, a major antagonist of the anime series’ Marineford Arc.

Tanaka is also known for playing Aodaishō in the Wakadaishō film series, his appearance in Akira Kurosawa’s Sanjuro, and his time on the 20-year-long run of Japanese TV drama Kita no kuni kara (From the Northern Country). In addition to multiple nominations, the seasoned actor won a Japan Academy Film Prize in 1994 for Best Supporting Male for his work on Gakko, which also won Best Film.

He will be dearly missed.

Laurén Alexa's picture

Cybersecurity specialist by day, investigative journalist by night.