The Greatest Celebrity Performances in Japanese Food and Drink Commercials

From Harrison Ford for Kirin Beer to James Brown for Nissin Ramen, celebrities often do their finest (or at least strangest) work for Japanese companies.


Long before Bill Murray's fictional Suntory commercial in Lost In Translation, Sean Connery made a real one—and he wasn't the first, nor the last, big-screen celebrity to fly half-way around the world to make a Japanese ad. In fact, the country's food and beverage companies have been wild for Hollywood endorsements for decades. You've probably seen a few while poking around odd corners of the Internet, but the category is well-worth a deep-dive for sheer shock value and hilarity.

If you want to see Jean Claude Van Damme karate chopping some gum, Madonna samurai-slicing her way through a dragon to get to some sake, and a soft drink commercial involving Michael J. Fox with a topiary obsession, you're going to have to take a break from Netflix, and instead watch how the Japanese put our stars to use.

Celebrities have long been earning major Yen doing some pretty eye-raising stunts on Japanese TV. Here are some of our favorites.

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