Home > Film, Idols, Interviews, Martial Arts > Exclusive Interview: Rina Takeda – Actress Idol And Karate Girl

Exclusive Interview: Rina Takeda – Actress Idol And Karate Girl

Interview conducted by Spencer Lloyd Peet

“After working on High Kick Girl and Karate Girl, I feel that there is no difference between ‘real’ martial arts and what we did on those films.”  Rina Takeda.

She may be small in stature and unbelievably cute, but action star and real-life Ryukyu Shorin-ryu karate champion, Rina Takeda, is anything but a pussy cat. During filming she has taken falls which Jackie Chan would think twice of doing; and delivered lighting kicks that Bruce Lee would have had trouble deflecting.  Her outstanding martial arts prowess and lethal kicks and punches in films such as High Kick Girl, Karate Girl, and Kunoichi, which has left audiences wondering if they were for real, has won her a legion of fans and much praise from critics.  Her popularity rises from one film to the next and she is undoubtedly set for international stardom.

After a special screening of Karate Girl at the Terracotta Far East Film Festival 2011 in London on 8 May, Takeda kindly gave Diverse Japan a one-to-one interview.   We would also like to thank her for extending the interview via email.

(Courtesy of Terracotta Film Distribution)

Who inspired you to become a martial artist?

Jackie Chan.  I’m a big fan of his films.

Have you ever had to use your karate skills in a real life situation?

No, fortunately (Laughs)

Do you ever incorporate the attacking of pressure points into your training?

Hmm, sometimes, depends who I’m fighting against and how aggressive the other person is.

Terracotta Far East Film Festival

Do you appreciate the philosophical side of combat such as the bushido code?

Yes, director Nishi taught me the history of Karate before shooting High Kick Girl.

How often do you train?

Well, it depends on the month. Actually, I practice with my father and younger brother when I can’t train at the karate dojo. Also I do weight training and sparring.

What personal values has karate given you?

I become more patient through learning karate. Not only my body but also my mentality is strengthened.

What made you want to become an actor?

I wanted to become an actor after watching the TV drama Kinpachi- Sensai; I was a really big fan of it.

From your point of view as a genuine martial artist, how important do you think it is that action films should feature ‘real’ martial artists?

After working on High Kick Girl and Karate Girl, I feel that there is no difference between “real” martial arts and what we did on those films.

(Courtesy of Terracotta Film Distribution)

From the rehearsal footage of your films you really look like you enjoy the full-contact, would you say that is an accurate assumption?

I enjoyed doing most of it, but some of it made me nervous.

What is your favourite Martial Art film?

Jackie Chan’s Police Story.  It is so exciting from the beginning to the end; it really put me into it! He is not only strong but has various skills and comical reactions; the [film] series is so funny, and exciting!

(Courtesy of Terracotta Film Distribution)

What sort of roles would you like to play in the future?

I was acting a cool girl in High Kick Girl!, KG: Karate Girl and Kunoichi. So I would like to try to play a comical role like Jackie Chan. And also I’d like to try a role of a lady in love. (Laughs)

Whose idea was it for you to record the closing theme song to Karate Girl?

Director Nishi is the one who offered me this idea. I love singing songs, so it was “YES!” for me.

Idol DVD

Is it true that you once auditioned to be in the idol pop group Morning Musume?

Yes, it’s true! (Laughs)

Were you disappointed you didn’t make it into the group?

Yes, it was very tough and frustrating to be failing in the auditions because I was very serious to become the member of the group at that time.  But now I really appreciate those experiences, they encouraged me to be what I am now.

Apart from practicing martial arts, what do you like to do in your spare time?

I like going to the spa, watching films, karaoke and chatting with my friends.

What goals have you set for yourself, both personally and professionally?

Spencer Lloyd Peet with Rina Takeda

I was very happy to take part in an overseas film festival with my starring film [Karate Girl].  I would like to try my best to take part in a foreign film. High Kick Girl is the new starting point for me. My goal is to have an offer from Jackie Chain!  And… to be the Bond Girl of ‘007’, I will try my best to make my dream come true. (Laughs)

Is there anything you would like to say to your fans and supporters?

Whether acting or doing stunts, I would like to be the one which people say, ‘No one can do this but Rina!’ Of course private life is important but I really enjoy being an actress.  I would like to try many things that will help to improve my performance.

Special thanks to:

Satomi Nagasawa – Rina’s manager

Miyo Urushihara - Personal interpreter and translator

Miyuki Guitet- Translator

Terracotta Festival

Third Window Films

KG:  Karate Girl film review

About these ads
  1. May 20, 2011 at 7:52 pm

    Arigato gozaimasu, Rina Takeda, it was an absolute pleasure meeting and talking with you at the terracotta Far east Film Festival in London. Hope to see you again in the UK for some Fish & Chips :)

    Like

  2. May 22, 2011 at 5:03 am

    Thank you~* so much for sharing this interview with the amazing Takeda~san!! I’ll be watching “Karate Girl” for sure and she truly defines agility and speed….it’s breathtaking to watch and I literally got a kick out of seeing them repeatedly slow~mo her fighting moves in “High Kick Girl” and I was thinking afterward that it was surely done as to pay tribute to her ability which would’ve been too quick to really appreciate at regular speed. Just like with watching Ling Xiaoyu in the Tekken series kick so much butt with much much larger opponents I get that same feeling with watching Takeda~san =).

    Like

    • May 23, 2011 at 6:16 pm

      Good point, MB, perhaps one of the reasons they used the slow-mo technique was because her moves were so fast. You are right, the guys she fights are pretty tough in comparison to the usual goofball-types seen in many earlier martial art films – especially those made in the 1970s. Can’t wait to see her third action film, Kunoichi.

      Like

  3. Metalhero
    May 24, 2011 at 6:48 pm

    Great interview. I’m a great fan of Rina, I saw her work in High Kick Girl and Dogoon V. She’s not only beautiful, not only a ordinary idol, she’s a good actress and has great karate skills. Can’t wait to see this movie.

    Like

  4. May 25, 2011 at 8:11 am

    Metalhero :

    Great interview. I’m a great fan of Rina, I saw her work in High Kick Girl and Dogoon V. She’s not only beautiful, not only a ordinary idol, she’s a good actress and has great karate skills. Can’t wait to see this movie.

    Thanks, Metalhero, glad you enjoyed the interview. Totally agree with you, she’s only demonstrated a small percentage of her skill as an actress and martial artist, I’m sure there’s much more to come.

    Like

  5. August 17, 2011 at 5:26 pm

    Fabulous..!! awsome.. Rina takeda is my favorite star!! OSH.. I loved karate too.. :))

    Like

  6. August 17, 2011 at 9:09 pm

    Ika Wulandari :

    Fabulous..!! awsome.. Rina takeda is my favorite star!! OSH.. I loved karate too.. :) )

    Thank you for your comment – I’m glad you like the interview! I’m sure you’ll be pleased to know that in person Rina Takeda is very adorable” :)

    Like

  7. October 6, 2011 at 5:09 pm

    Thanks for sharing this interview. I’m a big fan of Rina Takeda. I love karate(Do) too ^_^ and alsooooo I love Japan…

    But I would like to see Rina in a love story with some martial art actions! ^_^
    Go Rina Takeda! Go! Go! Go!

    Like

    • October 6, 2011 at 6:04 pm

      Aljon Camposano :

      Thanks for sharing this interview. I’m a big fan of Rina Takeda. I love karate(Do) too ^_^ and alsooooo I love Japan…

      But I would like to see Rina in a love story with some martial art actions! ^_^
      Go Rina Takeda! Go! Go! Go!

      Thank you for your comment. Ms. Takeda did say actually in the interview that she would like to play, what she called, “a lady in love” – so you never know! :)

      Like

  8. October 12, 2011 at 8:44 am

    i really love it the movie kunoichi i’m a big fan with you i love karate so much i like your lovely and cute face…………………….rina is my favorite actress now……….i like it muahhhhhhhhhh……..

    Like

  9. lucemon
    May 15, 2012 at 5:10 pm

    You are best rina I like karate

    Like

  10. July 13, 2012 at 5:57 am

    hola buenas noches mi nombre es armando Ivan Salguero Hernández waooooooo aparte de que usted es hermosa y que sabe pelear waoooooooooooo me fascino sus movimientos que ni yo conocía los pondre en practica es la segunda de mis favoritos el primero fue Bruce Lee y ahora es usted cuidese bye.

    Like

  11. Jerry Hodge
    October 12, 2012 at 1:46 am

    I have been a martial artist for over forty years with extensive training in Ninjutsu, Hapkido and Aiki-Jujutsu. I think that puts me in a good position to judge skill. I am highly impressed with Rina. She has a chance to be a great martial arts master if she desires. Her skill is incredible and very natural. I adored her from the moment I saw her in Karate girl, which has now become one of my favorite martial arts movies. She is also totally beautiful. To say that I am one of her biggest fans would be an understatement! Way to go girl.

    Like

  12. October 7, 2013 at 4:31 pm

    Enjoyed this site and also the movie, HIGH KICK GIRL, with Rina Takeda. Keep up the good work.

    Like

    • October 8, 2013 at 3:13 pm

      Thanks for your kind words, Halford – they’re much appreciated :)

      Like

  13. October 22, 2013 at 7:31 am

    Av really enjoyed your interview with Rina & i would erge her 2 keep the spirit burning.though i havent watched her”High kick girl & Kunoichi,”i have no doupt that they are superb.KEEP UP!!!

    Like

  14. Victor Imbuki
    October 22, 2013 at 7:34 am

    Mmmhh, av really enjoyed your interview with Rina & i would erge her 2 keep the spirit burning.though i havent watched her”High kick girl & Kunoichi,”i have no doupt that they are superb.KEEP UP!!!

    Like

  1. May 20, 2011 at 7:21 pm
  2. May 22, 2011 at 8:09 am
  3. May 25, 2011 at 3:03 pm
  4. May 25, 2011 at 4:12 pm
  5. June 4, 2011 at 1:07 pm
  6. November 17, 2011 at 12:12 pm
  7. February 9, 2012 at 4:55 pm
  8. February 9, 2012 at 4:59 pm
  9. March 7, 2012 at 4:51 pm
  10. July 18, 2012 at 3:23 pm
  11. October 31, 2012 at 11:14 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,889 other followers

%d bloggers like this: