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.