Segata Sanshiro

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Segata Sanshirō was a fictional character played by Hiroshi Fujioka. His name is a parody of Sugata Sanshirō, a character from a 1943 Japanese film. He appeared in two dozen commercials by SEGA to advertise the Sega Saturn in Japan between 1997 and 1998.

Sanshiro was a Judo master that tracked down and beat up people who were not playing the Sega Saturn. His name sounds similar to the phrase "Sega Saturn shiro!" meaning roughly "You must play Sega Saturn!". It is also a pun as shiro also means white in Japanese - the color of the Japanese Saturn.

Sanshiro lived as a hermit high on a mountain, devoting his life to intensive Sega Saturn training. He trained physically by carrying around a giant Sega Saturn and punching a giant controller, and mentally by breaking piles of bricks with his head. But he would also frequently visit the city to seek out people who were not playing the Sega Saturn, and harshly teach them a lesson. In one commercial he barges into a nightclub and beats up everyone inside; in another, he beats up three youths who irresponsibly go outside to play baseball instead of playing video games. Sanshiro was a serious man with a firm sense of duty, and he believed that playing video games was the most valuable activity in life.

When the Saturn was phased out and the Sega Dreamcast released, Sanshiro's end came in the form of a commercial involving a missile directed at the Tokyo, Japan headquarters of SEGA. Sanshiro heroically jumped onto the missile and deflected it into the atmosphere, and was killed in the following explosion. The voiceover said that "Segata Sanshiro will live on in your hearts."

The character became very well known in Japan, and helped make the Saturn successful in that country. He appeared in his own game, Segata Sanshiro Shinkenyugi.

Translated theme song lyrics

The character was so popular that a theme song and music video were released. This is an approximate English translation of the lyrics meant to communicate the spirit of the song.


Segasaturn Shiro! by Segata Sanshiro

The solitary man who devoted his soul to the way of games
Today, he comes again
He will punish those who do not play seriously
Their battered bodies will never forget!

[chorus] Segata Sanshiro, Segata Sanshiro! Sega Saturn... shiro!

They play tennis, sing karaoke, flirt around in clubs...
Are there not more serious tasks to be done?
Those who do not play maturely
He questions them deep inside their hearts

Segata Sanshiro, Segata Sanshiro! Sega Saturn... shiro!

(voice of Segata) Youngsters... is there something in your life you are completely devoted to? Something you sink into so deep you put your life on the line? You must play Sega Saturn! Play... until your fingers break! Until your fingers break!

Even if they chase after sex, that petty pleasure
Their soul will remain hollow
Those who do not immerse themselves to the extreme in gaming
Will find their bodies beaten harshly!

Segata Sanshiro, Segata Sanshiro! Sega Saturn... shiro!

The white clouds floating on the great blue sky
And the boiling red blood shed in fierce gaming
Those who give up halfway through
Their battered bodies will never forget!

Segata Sanshiro, Segata Sanshiro! Sega Saturn... shiro!
Segata Sanshiro, Segata Sanshiro! Sega Saturn... shiro!

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