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|“||Japanese: セガサターン、シロ! Sega Satān, shiro!
English: You must play the Sega Saturn!
|~ Segata Sanshiro|
Segata Sanshiro (Japanese: せがた三四郎, Hepburn: Segata Sanshirō) is a fictional character created by Sega to advertise the Sega Saturn in Japan between 1997 and 1998. He is a parody of Sugata Sanshirō, a legendary judo fighter from Akira Kurosawa's film Sanshiro Sugata. In television and radio advertisements, he is portrayed by actor Hiroshi Fujioka. The character was positioned as a martial artist who commanded people to play Sega Saturn games.
The advertising campaign began in 1997, with the Saturn having a modest level of success in Japan at that point. Fujioka was impressed by Sega's ideas for the character and felt that Segata Sanshiro would send a strong message to children. Advertisements would continue both on television and on radio until 1999. As a result of the advertisements, Segata Sanshiro's theme song became a CD single and he was made the main character of his own video game, Segata Sanshirō Shinken Yūgi.
Since the end of the advertising campaign, Segata Sanshiro has also had cameo appearances in video games, a comic book, and a live concert. He has retained a cult following in Japan and has been credited with helping to give the Saturn improved sales in the Japanese region. Western journalists have praised the appeal and advertising prowess of the character.
Appearances in Idea Wiki
- Segata Sanshiro appears in Sonic and the Tomb Raider, voiced by Eric Bauza. This version is a high-ranking martial arts teacher from Japan who teaches his students the arts of Kung Fu and Samurai Swordsmanship. He was also one of Sonic the Hedgehog's mentors and teachers. He first appears in "Old Habits", where he receives Lara Croft (who was visiting Japan to learn what Sonic learned) and her friend Lin Chang and agrees to teach them some Martial Arts lessons.