A masked kung fu fighter who used to be known as “Black Widow” has turned to a new career as a cleaner in Japan, where he is preparing for a comeback.
In a move that has captured the hearts of fans worldwide, Kazuyasu Watanabes mask, mask and all, has been put on display in the capital, Tokyo, for the first time since his release from prison in February last year.
The 38-year-old former bodyguard was convicted in 2013 of stealing a camera, stealing from an ambulance and two other crimes and was sentenced to 15 years in prison.
He has been in hiding since his arrest in December 2015.
A year later, Watanabi appeared on a popular Japanese television show where he explained his reasons for turning to cleaning.
He said he had been given a clean suit by a local woman after seeing her work.
“I was told I was lucky to be in prison, so I decided to take advantage of that,” he said.
“I don’t want to give up my work just yet, so instead of using a mask, I will use a cleaner’s mask.”
It’s really fun to see the mask I’m wearing and see it on TV.
It’s really nice to see people smiling and being happy with me.
“Watanabe, who has also appeared in several Japanese films, including a film about a karate fighter who saves the world, also revealed he had a secret love for martial arts.
He told the broadcaster NHK: “I love fighting.”
Watch Watanagi fight: https://t.co/ZW9g6Zp4bE — NHK (@NHK) July 23, 2019In recent years, Watenabes popularity has waned as the authorities have tightened security and his mask and mask-like accessories have been confiscated by the police.
But Watanabis latest appearance in Japan is a rare and welcome return to public life.
He is still jailed and has yet to be freed, but Watanabs latest appearance has drawn the attention of the public and celebrities.
Watanabi was one of the main characters in the popular anime film “Black Jack” and appeared in numerous other films including the hit “Penguin” TV series, which ran for two seasons from 2003 to 2010.
In 2013, Wataabi, who was born in Japan in 1952, became one of Japan’s most famous masked kunai practitioners and fought in numerous movies, TV series and shows.
His most famous mask was a white mask worn by one of his main characters, Black Jack.