Actor Attacked by Assailant Wielding Pickaxe

Actor and director Beat Takeshi was attacked by a man wielding a pickaxe this weekend in Tokyo, Japan. Local newspaper The Mainichi reported that Takeshi was in a car outside of the Tokyo Broadcasting System Television studio late on Saturday night when the attack took place, according to an English-language report by Anime News Network. No one was injured and the attacker was arrested.

 Takeshi is a beloved actor, director, comedian and TV host in Japan, sometimes known as Takeshi Kitano. Fans in the U.S. may know him for his appearance in the 2016 live-action adaptation of Ghost in the Shell as Aramaki. He is also lauded for directing movies like Zatōichi, Boiling Point, Outrage and Ryuzo and the Seven Henchmen. The acclaimed entertainer was reportedly in his car when a stranger began smashing the outside of it with a pickaxe, demanding that he come outside.

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(Photo: Dave Hogan/Getty Images)

A security guard for the TV studio called the police, who responded to the scene quickly and arrested the man on the spot. The suspect was reportedly carrying a knife with a 4-inch blade in addition to the pickaxe. He was judged to be in his 40s, while Takeshi is 74 years old.

Police have refused to comment on the reported attack so far, saying only that a suspect was arrested on suspicion of illegal possession of weapons. However, sources at Tokyo Broadcasting Systems (TBS) told The Hollywood Reporter that the man has approached Takeshi in public before, including back in June when he allegedly kneeled in front of Takeshi's car and asked for help finding work in the entertainment industry.

Police are investigating the suspect and not ruling out any potential motives. So far, Takeshi has not issued a public comment on the attack. He was just leaving the set of his talk show when the whole thing took place.

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Fans expressed their relief for Takeshi's safety on social media, where they tried to convey his immense popularity and legacy to overseas viewers who may not know him by name. Takeshi is multi-talented, with success across many mediums and genres. Japanese film critic Nagaharu Yodogawa once named him "the true successor" of legendary Japanese director Akira Kurosawa, but he is just as beloved for his comedy and unscripted appearances. Fans are waiting to see how Takeshi manages to make light of this situation in his work.