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Rikidozan (역도산)

역도산 (yeok-do-san)

Directed by Song Hae-seong (송해성)

Screenplay by

Action Drama

125min | Release date in South Korea :

"Rikidozan" is a Korean-Japanese co-production
Rikidozan seemingly had the world in his grasp, but he was not happy. In 1950, realizing that unless he was born Japanese, he will not reach the pinnacle of a sumo wrestling career, and gives up trying. Spending his days drinking and picking fights, he suddenly chances upon pro wrestling, and heads to America to seek his fortune. Two years later, he returns home as a pro wrestler. In his historical first match, he defeats the American opponent with a single karate chop and the Japanese crowd worships him as their hero. However, thinking that he now truly has the world in his grasp, Rikidozan's life starts to unravel.


Rikidozan | Cast

Rikidozan | Soundtracks, OST (Sponsored)

Rikidozan | HanCinema Reviews

  • [HanCinema's Film Review] "Rikidozan"

    Sin-rak (played by Sol Kyung-gu) was just a kid on a farm in Korea during the thirties, until circumstances conspire to send him to Japan during the forties and begin a career as a sumo wrestler. While Sin-rak had an excellent physique and a fair amount of talent, ultimately, he lacked discipline. Well, as an ethnically Korean man living in Japan Sin-rak also had to contend with racism. But in the end Sin-rak's personality, an odd mix of quick temper coupled with excessive theatricality, proved a better fit for a far more eccentric sort of athletic career,...More

Rikidozan | News

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  • [HanCinema's Film Review] "Rikidozan"

    Sin-rak (played by Sol Kyung-gu) was just a kid on a farm in Korea during the thirties, until circumstances conspire to send him to Japan during the forties and begin a career as a sumo wrestler. While Sin-rak had an excellent physique and a fair amount of talent, ultimately, he lacked discipline. Well, as an ethnically Korean man living in Japan Sin-rak also had to contend with racism. But in the end Sin-rak's personality, an odd mix of quick temper coupled with excessive theatricality, proved a better fit for a far more eccentric sort of athletic career,...More
  • Stars Who Have Lost/Gained Weight for Their Characters

    2017/04/24, Source
    When actors and actresses give their all to the role they chose, they will put literally everything into their work. Such time is put into the effort of being one with their character including research, practice, and even changing their appearance,...More
  • Yoon Je-moon, Song Hae-seong "Aging Family"

    2012/09/06, Source
    Yoon Je-moon is starring in "Aging Family" according to a spokesperson on the 5th. No details have been revealed yet but the crank in should be in the start of October,...More
  • Art and Culture

    2012/08/10, Source
    It's finally Friday and I'm sure everyone is very excited to get some rest and sleep in. Today, our Michelle Kim brings us some events that are sure to get those of us in London and Seoul out of our homes over the weekend. Hello Michelle [Reporter : ] Hello Conn-young So what do you have for us today,...More
  • (37) 'Yonsama': Korean love god captures Japanese hearts

    2012/05/30, Source
    Actor Bae Yong-joon waves upon his arrival as Japanese fans gather at Tokyo International Airport in Narita on Nov. 25, 2004. Bae, a main actor of the mega-hit Korean soap opera "Winter Sonata", was on a promotion tour of Japan. / Korea Times file Actor Bae Yong-joon leads 'hallyu' (Korea wave) Some years ago, this writer climbed into a taxi in Seoul. As is commonly the case, the driver asked where I was from. On hearing "the United Kingdom" he responded, "Aha! Beckham!" Then, in excellent Konglish, he continued, "U.K. ― David Beckham! Korea ― Bae Yong-joon!",...More
  • Netflix expanding asian movie selection in deal with korea's top studio CJ E&M

    2011/10/07, Source
    LOS ANGELES – October 6, 2011 – CJ E&M today announced an agreement to feature twenty of its acclaimed Asian movies on Netflix, the world's leading Internet subscription service for enjoying movies and TV shows. Beginning in October 2011, Netflix members in the US will be able to instantly watch the twenty titles multiple platforms, including TVs, popular tablets, key gaming consoles, computers and mobile phones. All the titles will be available from October 1. "CJ E&M is delighted to make our movies available through Netflix for the first time". said Joon Choi, CEO of CJ E&M America. "Netflix has been a revolutionary force in entertainment, whose members have long enjoyed unparalleled access to movies from around the globe. This deal brings movie lovers iconic films from Asia's top entertainment company, CJ E&M",...More
  • [INTERVIEW] Actor Sol Kyung-gu (Part 1)

    2010/01/11, Source
    Actor Sol Kyung-gu [Beck Una/10Asia] Sol Kyung-gu (Seol): Wow, it's been such a long time. I came here today with the thought of meeting an old friend, not to do an interview. Was the last time we met for an interview for "Rikidozan"? At the trailer on set in Bucheon? Beck Una (Beck): Yes, you remember. That was the last time. Seol: Ha... That's when I started going through rough times. "Rikidozan" flopped (laugh), I didn't have any work for eight months after that and then tried frantically to lose weight in a month to shoot "Another Public Enemy", going into a state of panic. You can guess how I was from the fact that I would ask the director, "Can we stop shooting today?" Beck: Really? You're someone who would ask to do a re-shoot, not stop shoot. Seol: Exactly. Beck: To be frank, I think that's when it started. When, as an observer of the path you take as an actor, I started thinking 'What's this?' It seemed like you were going to another world.,...More
  • [INTERVIEW] Actor Sol Kyung-gu (Part 2)

    2010/01/11, Source
    Actor Sol Kyung-gu [Beck Una/10Asia] Beck Una (Beck): And that is when you decided to take the civil service examination. Sol Kyung-gu (Seol): Haha. Let me explain that to you. I was dying to leave the Hanyang Repertory. I'd already graduated but that place was an extension of school while I wanted to meet a larger variety of people. I didn't think they'd let me go for no reason so I lied that I'm going to take the civil service exam. (laugh) But what's so spontaneous about me is that although I had left because I didn't like it, I didn't have anything to do right away. And I needed money but I didn't want to ask my parents for it so I ended up asking a senior of mine to give me a part-time job putting up posters. The interesting thing is that I ended up staying in the industry. Of course, if I had really taken off, I might have ended up becoming human trash. (laugh) Anyway, I had been at the job for about a month and a half? I was suddenly asked if I would want to take part in the musical "Line 1". Mr. Kim Min-ki had seen me about, putting up the posters and asked me if I would want to take part thinking that I'm hardworking. That had been my audition for it. Me and actors from all walks of life with all sorts of experience rehearsed for three months and wow, it was so much fun. That was the start of "Line 1". It also did very well. Before I took on film "Girls' Night Out", I was making two million won per month and drove a Sephia. (laugh) But after "Line 1", I had no work at all. That's when scenarist Lee Seon-mi, who used to do plays, recommended me to writer Jeong Seong-joo. And that is how I got to become part of the cast for morning TV series "Sisters". I think I'm a very person when it comes to human relationships. Beck: Did you not think of taking on dramas after "Sisters"? Seol: Why wouldn't I have? I was also asked to quite a lot. Not official auditions but one-on-one. But you know how you get glanced at from head to toe? I really hated the look they gave me when they do that. So after "Girls' Night Out" and then "Rainbow Trout", a man called Lee Chang-dong called me. Beck: After he watched "Girls' Night Out"?,...More
  • [INTERVIEW] Actor Sol Kyung-gu (Part 3)

    2010/01/11, Source
    Actor Sol Kyung-gu [Beck Una/10Asia] Beck Una (Beck): "Haeundae" is actually on weird coordinates in terms of your filmography. In comparison to your past films which had a single main character, "Haeundae" was a film which didn't necessarily need you to be part of. On top of that, director Yoon JK is known for creating commercial films. So I've been curious to know how you got to work on this film. Seol: I was once asked which director I work best with. To that I answered, "None of them". I make things work. "Haeundae" seemed like a movie calling for trouble. Like it would become a massive hit or flop horribly. Director Yoon may seem smart and clever on the outside but he seemed innocent in my eyes. I didn't see any murkiness in his eyes. And I am great with directors. Ryoo Seung-bum was surprised at me while shooting "No Mercy". He said I listen to well to the director. But what would I do? I'm not the director. The actor should listen. Of course, it gets annoying when my actions become limited. It's tough when the director limits my actions within the camera's angle. As long as I'm not trapped inside an angle, I can listen to what the director wants. Beck: I felt from interviews that you were a hard time especially while shooting "Voice of a Murderer" -- that you were feeling lonely. Seol: I was having a hard time personally. And it peaked during the times I shot "Cruel Winter Blues" and "Venus and Mars". To an extent I felt bad for my manager. I'm usually not the type that lets my personal life interfere with my work. But I felt that I failed to cut off my emotions in front of the camera during those days. Couldn't hide it in the expression -- it would all show. I feel very bad for director Han Ji-seung and actress Kim Tae-hee. I really was at my worst during "Venus and Mars"! The phrase I used often back then was that I had hit rock bottom. But I feel much more at ease after hitting rock bottom. The phrase I use most often nowadays is to 'go with the flow'. In a way, I might be even more bold than I used to be. (laugh),...More
  • Sol Kyung-gu: no Ordinary Action Hero

    2006/11/08, Source
    "Cruel Winter Blues", which goes on release Thursday, is a little different from conventional action flicks, even if it deals with,...More
  • Local Movies Thrive on Nationalism

    2006/07/19, Source
    By Kim Tae-jong
    Staff Reporter

    Korean movies thrive on nationalism as five of the 10 recent box-office local movies deal with nationalistic themes.

    Heavy on anti-Japanese sentiment or rather on,...
  • 10 Hot Culture Issues in 2005
    2005/12/28, Source
    By Kim Tae-jong, Park Chung-a
    Staff Reporters

    How will you remember the year 2005? Perhaps more than other years, this year has been a roller coaster ride, full of many proud moments and shameful incidents.

    As the year draws to a close, The Korea Times looks back on the 10 hottest culture iss,...
  • Actor Seol Kyeong-gu to be highly praised by Japanese media
    2005/12/13, Source
    Japanese media highly praised the actor Seol Gyeong-gu, who starred in "Rikidozan: A Hero Extraordinary" (Director Song Hae-seong, Producer Sidus) to be scheduled to screen on 4 Mar,...More
  • "A Moment To Remember" made the best box-office record in Japan
    2005/12/11, Source
    "A Moment to Remember" starring Jung Woo-sung and Son Ye-jin (Director,...More
  • Movie Industry Set for Another Successful Year

    2005/10/27, Source
    By Kim Tae-jong
    Staff Reporter

    It may be disappointing that there has not been a mega hit film this year nor any art films that have stood at the center of attention at renowned international film,...
  • Tokyo Film Festival to screen Korean movies of 1980-90s
    2005/09/22, Source
    Korean movies produced in the 1980s and '90s will be screened at the 18th Tokyo International Film Festival to be held Oct. 22-30 in Japan.

    According to the Korean Film Council on Sept. 21, the movies to be screened at this year's Tokyo festival are "Colors Of The Rainy Day", one of the early wor,...
  • Wrestler Movie to Close Tokyo Fest
    2005/09/19, Source
    The joint South Korean-Japanese movie "Rikidozan" will close the 18th Tokyo International Film Festival set to open next month.

    The film is about the Korean-born wrestler,...
  • "Rikidozan" to hit Japanese theaters in March
    2005/08/22, Source
    A remake of the movie "Rikidozan", starring Sol Kyung-gu, will open in Japan in March of next year. Unlike the previous version, which opened in Korea last December, the new version f,...More
  • "Marathon" sweeps South Korea's most prestigious film awards
    2005/07/09, Source
    The tale of an autistic teenager who finds happiness in running marathons was chosen as this year's best movie at South Korea's most prestigious film awards, grabbing awards in a total of six categories.

    "Marathon" was given the best pict,...
  • "Crying Fist" Nominated for 12 Categories of Daejong Award
    2005/07/04, Source
    Nominees for the 42nd Daejong Film Festival awards were announced July 1. A total of five movies will compete for the best picture award, including "A Bittersweet Life",,...More
  • NK-Chinese Film `Secret of Yoktosan' to Be Released
    2005/06/20, Source
    A feature film co-produced by North Korea and China based on the life of the ethnic Korean wrestler Yoktosan will be released in China next month, the Yonhap News Agency reported yesterday.

    The film, titled "The Secret of Yoktosan", was originally to be released in March but was postponed to next,...
  • Hard Lessons for Big Budget Films
    2005/06/13, Source
    By Kim Tae-jong
    Staff Reporter

    After a series of commercial failures of local blockbusters, many are starting to think tough times are ahead for the domestic movie industry.

    Many local news media have reported the domestic movie industry is facing a crisis, citing that the number of moviegoer,...
  • Local and Foreign Films With English
    2005/04/14, Source
    SubtitlesRikidozan (Yokdosan) (2004)

    At noon on April 16

    Seoul Selection

    The movie portrays the life of a legendary Korean professional wrestler Kim Shin-rak, who became a wrestling hero in 1950s and '60s Japan. Immigrating from,...
  • Tribeca Film Festival to invite 'Smoke-flavored Life' to its Film Festival
    2005/03/22, Source
    Filmmaker Ryoo Eun-jeong's cinema 'Smoke-flavored Life' is invited by the Tribeca Film Festival to be held from Apr.19 in New York, U.S.

    Cinema 'Smoke-flavored Life' has been invited from the Pusan International Film Festival last year and was selected as a this year's noteworthy woman cinema by,...
  • Film Sequels to Hit Local Theaters
    2005/01/09, Source
    By Kim Tae-jong
    Staff Reporter

    It is commonly said that film sequels are rarely better than the original, which has been true for all the local sequels in recently years except for such movies as "Hi Dharma 2: Showdown in Seoul (Talmaya Seoul-kaja)", a sequel for gangster comedy ",...
  • December Market Share of Korean Movies Lowest in 4 Years
    2005/01/04, Source
    In December 2004 Korean movies recorded a market share of 16.5 percent, the lowest since June 2000, when it dropped to 15 percent. But the average market share of Korean movies for 2004 as a whole was 55.2 percent thanks to the advertising effects of "Taegugki" and ",...More
  • Co-productions Open Doors to Overseas Market
    2005/01/03, Source
    By Kim Tae-jong
    Staff Reporter

    With the unprecedented commercial success of local films in recent years, international studios are showing more and more interest in co-production projects with Korean movie companies.

    "The number of co-productions is definitely on the increase", said Soh Eun-s,...
  • Sol Kyung-gu Brings a Touch of Muscle to Wrestling Role
    2004/12/15, Source
    "Rikidozan" (Yokdosan), the biopic narrativizing the life of the legendary Korean-Japanese wrestler of the same name, debuts on Dec. 15, 41 years to the day since the heroic figure passed away.
    Moviebuffs' and fan's attention was being dr,...
  • `Rikidozan' Is Close But Doesn't Get the Pin
    2004/12/14, Source
    By Joon Soh
    Culture Editor

    There's not a whole lot of drama you can make out of professional wrestling. After all, it might sometimes be fun to watch grown men in their underwear throw each other around the ring, but when it comes down to it, everyone knows the whole thing is fake. Or is it?
  • Life of Korean Wrestler in Japan Brought to Film
    2004/12/07, Source
    By Shim Sun-ah
    Yonhap News Agency
    A South Korean film brought back to life a legendary Korean-born Japanese professional wrestler 41 years after his death.

    Yokdosan, better known in Japan as Rikidozan, was a national hero to Japanese,...
  • "I Reflected on Myself in Rikidozan"
    2004/12/01, Source
    by Seung-Jae Lee (
    Interview with Sol Kyung-gu

    - How did you interpret the character of Rikidozan?
    "I didn't study the character in advance. In my case, a thoro,...
  • Movie 'Rikidozan': the first public preview on Dec. 6
    2004/11/19, Source
    Movie 'Rikidozan' has the first public preview for the world movie fans on Dec. 6.

    The upcoming Dec. 6's event is its first cinema preview in the world (World premier) in which oversea movie persons and the press take part.

    First cine,...
  • Korean Movie-makers Joining Hands with Foreign Capital and Staff
    2004/11/15, Source
    The popularity of Korean pop culture is reaching over the border and continents, expanding markets for local cultural products. Amid the latest trend, domestic movie-makers are breaking away from merely exporting finished products.
    From neighboring Japan and China, to more distant South American c,...

Rikidozan | Shopping

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Rikidozan | Reviews

Rikidozan | Facts

 Produced by
 Cha Seung-jae (차승재)
Sidus FHN (싸이더스FHN)
CJ Entertainment (CJ엔터테인먼트)
 Oh Seung-wook (오승욱)
 Adaptation / Dramatization
 Goo Dong-hoi (구동회)
 Adaptation / Dramatization
 Kim Hyojung (김효정)
 Production department
 Park Jung-woo-VI (박정우)
 Lighting / Cinematography department
 Kim Hyung-koo (김형구)
 Jung Yeon-kyung (정연경)
 Script supervisor
 Kim Hyo-seok (김효석)
 Assistant director
 Lee Jae-jin-III (이재진)
 Score composer
 Park Kok-ji (박곡지)
 Jung Doo-hong (정두홍)
 Martial arts director
 Yoo Sang-seob (유상섭)
 Martial arts director
Technical Information
125 min 35mm Cinemascope (2.35)
Festival(s) & award(s)
Sales or release dates & Box Office
Airing dates : 2004/12/15
🔢 South Korean Box Office
Source : &
As of 2005.01.02 : 1,342,145 Admissions (total)
As of 2004.12.26 : 1,161,748 Admissions (total)
As of 2004.12.19 : 652,000 Admissions (total)

Rikidozan | Community

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Rikidozan (역도산)


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