What Was Sonny Chiba’s Net Worth When He Died?

Sonny Chiba was a fourth-degree black belt who hailed from Fukuoka, Japan, according to Variety. Most Americans probably know him from movies like Quentin Tarantino’s “Kill Bill: Vol.1” and “The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift.” Yet, Chiba had a long career starting in the 1960s when he was featured in many Japanese and American TV shows and movies, including 1974’s Japanese turned American hit film “The Street Fighter.” 

The 82-year-old died on August 19, 2021, in Japan while at a hospital where he was being treated for COVID-19 related pneumonia, according to The Japan Times. Chiba had been dealing with the illness since the end of July and was hospitalized on August 8. Kyodo News reported that Chiba’s office said he was not vaccinated against the virus. 

Reuters’ Covid-19 Tracker reported that cases in Japan are at their peak since the pandemic began, with about 18,600 new cases being reported daily. The nation has lost 15,528 people to the disease. Currently, about 45.5% of the population is vaccinated.

Sonny Chiba's reported net worth was less than you would think

Variety reported that Sonny Chiba, whose name at birth was Sadaho Maeda, was a fierce fighter with black belts in several martial arts, including judo, ninjutsu, kendo, shorinji kempo, and goju-ryu karate. Per The Japan Times, he was called the “Bruce Lee of Japan.” According to Kyodo News, Chiba not only acted in “Kill Bill: Vol.1,” but the action star was also an instructor for the film’s fighting scenes.

Even though Sonny Chiba’s bad-assery graced 209 films and movies, according to IMDB, his net worth was not immense, relatively speaking. Though it’s difficult to know his exact net worth, it’s estimated to have been in the low millions. Net Worth Post reported it was $1.3 million, We Publish News estimated $4 million, and Biography Daily said $2 to $4 million. 

Chiba was twice married and divorced. He leaves behind a legion of fans and is survived by three adult children, all of whom are actors, according to The Japan Times. 

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