Image of Masaaki Sakai

Masaaki Sakai

Born the son of Shunji Sakai, a famous comedian in Japan, Sakai initially came to fame by fronting the group sounds band The Spiders. This group, formed in 1962, was popular throughout the 1960s; they spawned several hit songs as well as thirteen situation comedy films featuring their music. He took the title role of Songoku (Monkey) in the 1970s Japanese TV program Saiyūki. This gained him fame in many English-speaking countries in the early 1980s when it was dubbed by the BBC and retitled Monkey. Due to his fame playing the mythical character Songoku, Sakai created a dance called "the Monkey" which became a craze in Japan. Sakai went on to a successful solo career after The Spiders disbanded, and continued acting in films and on television. In 1999, he formed the band Sans Filtre with two former Spiders, Hiroshi Kamayatsu and Takayuki Inoue. They released their first album Yei Yei in 2000. Sakai is known in Japan as a car enthusiast and regularly took part in the annual Mille Miglia race in Italy with his wife as a co-driver. He won a similar Japanese road race on October 18, 2000 driving a 1947 Cisitalia 202 MM with Inoue Takayuki (the guitarist from Sans Filtre) as co-driver. Due to business commitments he gave up racing in 2002 and gave his Alfa Romeo race car to Masahiko Kondō who is also a singer and race enthusiast. He is also a hobby archer. Sakai has been married and divorced twice, and has two daughters. He is an active supporter of AIDS charities. His show-business nickname is "Machaaki".

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Aug 6, 1946
Movie/TV Credits:
First Appeared:
In the movie High School Juniors 1963-11-16
Latest Project:
Series Tokugawa Yoshinobu 2022
Known For
Poster of Sayonara Sankaku Mata Kite Shikaku
Poster of The Black Swindler
Poster of Lieutenant Ninzaburo Furuhata
Poster of Monkey
Series Tokugawa Yoshinobu Unknown 2022
Series Sayonara Sankaku Mata Kite Shikaku Unknown 2022
Movie Beautiful World Yuzo Tsutai 2012-11-16
Movie Yunagi City, Sakura Country Asahi Ishikawa (Old) 2007-07-28
Series The Black Swindler Unknown 2006-04-14
Movie A Hardest Night!! Boss 2005-10-22
Movie Locomotive Teacher Unknown 2004-07-31
Series The Most Useful School in the World Unknown 2004-10-30
Series Churasan Kohagura Keibun 2001-04-03
Series Papa Survival Unknown 1995-07-02
Series Lieutenant Ninzaburo Furuhata Unknown 1994-04-13
Movie Bored Hatamoto: Letter of Death Unknown 1993-01-01
Series Monkey Monkey 1978-10-01
Movie Machi no Hi Chiyomatsu Sakanoshita 1974-04-27
Movie The Spiders' The Road to Bali Masaaki Sakai 1968-08-28
Movie The Spiders' The Noisy Parade Masaaki Sakai 1968-01-03
Movie Las Vegas Free-For-All Unknown 1967-04-28
Movie The Sunset Is Crying Unknown 1967-05-20
Movie The Spiders' The Reckless Operation Masaaki 1967-08-26
Movie Youth A Go Go! Unknown 1966-03-27
Movie Nakamatachi Unknown 1964-03-14
Movie Here Because of You Unknown 1964-05-23
Movie Song of Happiness Unknown 1964-12-19
Movie Let's Dance Bon-Odori in Hawaii Masaya Matsui 1964-08-01
Movie High School Juniors (Part II) Unknown 1964-08-22
Movie High School Juniors Unknown 1963-11-16
Movie The School Cap Matsubara 1963-12-15