Ever seen this guy? Chances are you have but never knew it. He has been killed over 50,000 times on screen. His name is Seizo Fukumoto and he has made kirareyaku or the art of spectacularly dying on screen into an actual art. His signature move is the Ebi-zori or prawn bend and it usually comes when the star needs a close up. You also might have most recently seen him in the Last Samurai as Tom Cruise's silent bodyguard.
From the Guardian: Fukomoto has played the kirareyaku in samurai movies and television shows stretching back to the 1960s. He began acting at the age of 15 in the Japanese equivalent of Hollywood, Kyoto, and is now considered one of the nation's top exponents of the role. The actor's signature move is the "ebi-zori"or "prawn bend", which involves arching of the back, twisting and convulsing during a screen death. Fukomoto says he invented it to give himself extra screen-time, because the convulsion results in the kirareyaku's face being turned to the camera just before he falls to the ground.
Speaking to NPR, Fukumoto stated "Whenever we die, we have to do it in a way that is unsightly or clumsy, not graceful and in this buzama (clumsiness) we find beauty. To die in an uncool way is the coolest." Fukumoto show us that we can bring a sense of grace and art to whatever it is we are doing regardless if it is glamorous or not.
Want to read more about Seizo Fukumoto? http://www.theguardian.com/film/2014/aug/12/japan-most-killed-samurai-stuntman-seizo-fukumoto-prize