Written by Jack Herbert
Indie cool or bumbling fool?
Known in the West as a maverick indie director, "Beat" Takeshi is best known in his home country for small screen buffoonery.
After dropping out of university, he worked as an MC in a strip club before forming part of a successful TV manzai duo ("The Two Beats").
He earned his fame by pushing the limits of taste in the name of a laugh: swearing, cross-dressing, offending minorities, and assaulting the editor of 'Friday', a popular magazine (for which he was arrested).
He started directing by chance in 1989 - taking the reins when the intended director of 'Violent Cop', which starred Kitano, dropped out.
In 1994, he had a serious accident while riding drunk on his moped, which he was extremely lucky to survive. Since then, his film-making has become broader and more thoughtful.