Born in 1948, Takashi Sasano (笹野高史) has been acting in feature films and TV series since 1983. In 1985, he appeared in the Yoji Yamada film Otoko wa Tsurai yo – Shibamata yori Ai wo Komete (It’s tough being a man – from Shibamata with Love) and has since been a regular in the films of Yamada. He has appeared in over sixty films ranging from Masato Harada’s Saraba itoshiki hito yo/ The Heartbreak Yakuza in 1987 to Masahiko Tsugawa’s Pengin ga sora o tobu/ Pen- guins in the Sky and Jirochou sangokushi/ Samurai Gangsters, Tomoyuki Takimoto’s Ikigami/ The Ultimate Limit, and Takashi Miike’s Kamisama no pazuru/ God’s Puzzle in 2008. He won the Japan Academy Prize for Best Supporting Actor for his work in Bushi no Ichibun/ Love and Honor in 2006. In the West, he is best known for his role in the Academy Award-winning film Okuribito/ Departures.