Sasuke (TV series)

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Sasuke
Sasuke Title.jpg
The title card for Sasuke.
Also known asNinja Warrior
Sasuke Rising
GenreSports Entertainment,
Obstacle Course
Narrated byFurutachi Ichiro
Hatsuta Keisuke
Matoba Koji
Ito Ryusuke
Jinnai Takanori
Komada Kengo
Country of originJapan
Original language(s)Japanese;
English subtitles and dubbed contestant profiles in United States broadcast;
English voice-over in United Kingdom broadcast.
No. of seasons29 competitions
Production
Executive producer(s)Ushio Higuchi
Producer(s)Yoshiyuki Kogake
Makoto Fujii
Location(s)Midoriyama, Aoba-ku, Yokohama[1]
Running time180 to 360-minute specials in Japan;
30-minute episodes (United States, France, Finland, Estonia, United Kingdom, New Zealand, and others);
30- or 60-minute episodes (Singapore);
50-minute episodes (Czech Republic, Serbia)
Production company(s)Monster9
(1997–2011)
Tokyo Broadcasting System
(2012–present)
Broadcast
Original channelTokyo Broadcasting System
Original run26 September 1997 (1997-09-26) – present
Chronology
Preceded byKinniku Banzuke (Muscle Ranking)
Related showsKUNOICHI,
Pro Sportsman No.1,
Viking: The Ultimate Obstacle Course
External links
Website
 
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Sasuke
Sasuke Title.jpg
The title card for Sasuke.
Also known asNinja Warrior
Sasuke Rising
GenreSports Entertainment,
Obstacle Course
Narrated byFurutachi Ichiro
Hatsuta Keisuke
Matoba Koji
Ito Ryusuke
Jinnai Takanori
Komada Kengo
Country of originJapan
Original language(s)Japanese;
English subtitles and dubbed contestant profiles in United States broadcast;
English voice-over in United Kingdom broadcast.
No. of seasons29 competitions
Production
Executive producer(s)Ushio Higuchi
Producer(s)Yoshiyuki Kogake
Makoto Fujii
Location(s)Midoriyama, Aoba-ku, Yokohama[1]
Running time180 to 360-minute specials in Japan;
30-minute episodes (United States, France, Finland, Estonia, United Kingdom, New Zealand, and others);
30- or 60-minute episodes (Singapore);
50-minute episodes (Czech Republic, Serbia)
Production company(s)Monster9
(1997–2011)
Tokyo Broadcasting System
(2012–present)
Broadcast
Original channelTokyo Broadcasting System
Original run26 September 1997 (1997-09-26) – present
Chronology
Preceded byKinniku Banzuke (Muscle Ranking)
Related showsKUNOICHI,
Pro Sportsman No.1,
Viking: The Ultimate Obstacle Course
External links
Website

Sasuke is a Japanese sports entertainment television special in which 100 competitors attempt to complete a four stage obstacle course. An edited version, named Ninja Warrior, is screened in at least 18 other countries. To date, Sasuke content has been aired in 157 countries.

Shot on location at Midoriyama studio in Yokohama, it airs on the Tokyo Broadcasting System (TBS) between Japanese television drama seasons. Each 3-hour special covers an entire competition; there are normally 100 participants. There have been 29 specials produced, approximately one new special per season (twice per year). The show is produced by Monster9 and is one of the spin-offs of Muscle Ranking (筋肉番付 Kinniku Banzuke?), another sports entertainment competition, which currently airs on G4 under the name Unbeatable Banzuke. Until the 10th competition, Sasuke was broadcast as a special part of Muscle Ranking, but it became an independent program when Muscle Ranking was discontinued. The first competition was held indoors, marking the only time Sasuke did not take place outside. Competitions generally start in the daytime and continue until completed regardless of weather or darkness.[2] After Monster9's bankruptcy on November 2011, all rights to the show fell completely into the hands of its broadcaster, Tokyo Broadcasting System. Following their acquisition of all rights to Sasuke, TBS renamed the show Sasuke Rising.

There have been several programs related to Sasuke. Kunoichi, perhaps the most well-known spin off, is a version of Sasuke restricted to female competitors only. There have also been competitions held for children and the elderly.

Applicants are interviewed or auditioned and trial rounds are held to test their physical ability until the field is narrowed to 100 competitors. Sasuke consists of four stages of increasing difficulty; competitors must complete a stage to advance. Before the 18th tournament, a 1200-meter run was held in order to determine the competitors' starting positions. Each competition is taped prior to the air date, edited for time, and broadcast as a 3-hour show.

An online game based on G4's edit of the show has been made and is available on the network's website. It is G4's highest rated show.[3]

Competitors[edit]

The show hosts a broad spectrum of participants. While most are amateur athletes from Japan, national television personalities and Olympians from other countries, including the USA, Bulgaria, China and Korea, have taken part in the competition. Some of the more enthusiastic competitors dress up in costumes, bring props to the starting stage, or show off some of their talents.

Sasuke All-Stars[edit]

The Sasuke All-Stars are a group of six favored competitors, established by the TBS network, thought to possess the greatest opportunities to clear all four stages. It includes two of the men to complete the Sasuke course, Makoto Nagano (2006, 17th Tournament) and Kazuhiko Akiyama (1999, 4th tournament). In the 24th and 27th tournament, a third man, Yuuji Urushihara, cleared all four stages, but he is not considered an All-Star. They are no longer referred as All-Stars, starting the 29th tournament.although it says not compete instead they watch

The six consist of:

Akiyama's results
CompetitionStart positionObstacleStage
2nd100Timed Out Wall LiftingSecond
3rd99Timed Out Wall LiftingSecond
4th86Total Victory (6.00 seconds to spare)Final
5thDid not compete
6th100Failed Jump HangFirst
7th99Failed Jump HangFirst
8th99Failed Jump HangFirst
9th100Failed Quintuple StepFirst
10th981Timed Out Warped WallFirst
11th99Failed Body PropThird
12th97Failed Pipe SliderThird
13th91Failed Crooked WallFirst
14th71Timed Out Warped WallFirst
15th81Timed Out Warped WallFirst
16th71Failed Metal SpinSecond
17th71Failed Circle SliderFirst
18thDid not compete
19thDid Not Compete
20th1901Failed Halfpipe AttackFirst
21stDid not compete
22nd20Failed Halfpipe AttackFirst
23rdDid Not Compete
24th62Timed Out Warped WallFirst
25th98Timed Out Warped WallFirst
26thDid not compete
27thDid not compete
28th96Failed Spinning BridgeFirst
Nagano's results
CompetitionStart positionObstacleStage
7th87Timed Out Warped WallFirst
8th41Timed Out Warped WallFirst
9th61Failed Pipe SliderThird
10th999Failed Jump HangFirst
11th96Timed Out Rope ClimbFinal
12th100Timed Out Rope Climb (by 0.11 seconds)Final
13th100Timed Out Rope ClimbFinal
14th100Failed Jumping BarsThird
15th100Failed Metal SpinSecond
16th100Failed Devil SwingThird
17th99Total Victory (2.56 seconds to spare)Final
18th96Disqualified on Shin-Cliff HangerThird
19th100Failed Flying ChuteFirst
20th2000Failed Downhill JumpSecond
21st100Failed Gliding RingThird
22nd100Failed Slider JumpFirst
23rd100Timed Out G-Rope*Final
24th100Failed Jumping SpiderFirst
25th99Failed Circle SliderFirst
26th99Failed Jumping SpiderFirst
27th100Failed Ultimate Cliff HangerThird
28th100Timed Out Second Warped WallFirst
29th100Timed Out Second Warped Wall (injured)First

† – Nagano touched the top of the Shin-Cliff Hanger after swinging from the second to the third ledge. He disqualified himself, admitting his error and bowing out after he reached the next platform.

*- Nagano was granted a mulligan on the First Stage due to the malfunction of the Slider Jump.

Takeda's results
CompetitionStart positionObstacleStage
5th74Failed Spider WalkSecond
6th93Failed Body PropThird
7th96Timed Out Rope ClimbFirst
8th71Failed Pipe SliderThird
9th97Failed Globe GraspThird
10th997Failed Jump HangFirst
11th97Failed Body PropThird
12th95Failed Pipe SliderThird
13th98Failed Cliff HangerThird
14th97Failed Cliff HangerThird
15th96Failed Devil SwingThird
16th98Failed Cliff HangerThird
17th91Failed Pipe SliderThird
18thFailed Salmon LadderSecond
19th96Timed Out Flying ChuteFirst
20th1995Timed Out Rope LadderFirst
21st98Failed Ascending ClimbThird
22nd92Failed Jumping SpiderFirst
23rd97Failed Spider FlipThird
24th98Failed Spider FlipThird
25th70Failed Double Salmon LadderSecond
26thDid not compete
27thDid not compete
28th97Failed Rolling EscargotFirst
29th95Failed HedgehogFirst

† – Takeda had no number in the 18th tournament. He was around the 86th person to run the course.

Yamamoto's results:
CompetitionStart positionObstacleStage
1st7Failed Dodging HammerSecond
2nd20Failed Pipe SliderThird
3rd13Timed Out Rope ClimbFinal
4th98Failed Balance BridgeFirst
5th98Failed Pipe SliderThird
6th96Failed Rolling LogFirst
7th97Failed Spider Climb (injured)Final
8th98Timed Out Rope ClimbFirst
9th98Failed Rumbling DiceThird
10th998Timed Out Rope ClimbFirst
11th98Failed Cliff HangerThird
12th96Failed Cliff HangerThird
13th76Timed Out Wall LiftingSecond
14th98Failed Curtain ClingThird
15th95Failed Body PropThird
16th97Failed Jump HangFirst
17th98Failed Body PropThird
18th61Failed Flying ChuteFirst
19th81Failed Jumping SpiderFirst
20th1981Failed Halfpipe AttackFirst
21st71Failed Flying ChuteFirst
22nd31Failed Halfpipe AttackFirst
23rd93Failed/Withdrew Arm Rings (injured)Third
24th96Timed Out Tarzan RopeFirst
25th90Failed Balance TankSecond
26th94Failed Rolling EscargotFirst
27th81Failed Spinning BridgeFirst
28th98Failed Spinning BridgeFirst
29th36Timed Out BackstreamSecond

† – Yamamoto was hurt in the 7th competition when he dislocated his shoulder and in the 23rd he re-injured his shoulder.

Shiratori's results
CompetitionStart positionObstacleStage
9th79Timed Out Warped WallFirst
10thDid Not Compete
11th66Timed Out Wall LiftingSecond
12th77Timed Out Rope ClimbFinal
13th99Failed Pipe SliderThird
14th96Failed Balance TankSecond
15th94Failed Climbing BarsThird
16th96Failed Pipe SliderThird
17th81Failed Body PropThird
18th95Failed Jumping SpiderFirst
19th82Timed Out Flying ChuteFirst
20thDid not compete (injured)
21st83Failed Downhill JumpSecond

He hasn't competed since the 22nd competition due to injury.

Yamada's results
CompetitionStart positionObstacleStage
1st92Failed Dodging HammerSecond
2nd91Failed Spider WalkSecond
3rd89Timed Out Rope ClimbFinal
4th100Failed Cliff HangerThird
5th100Failed Spider WalkSecond
6th99Failed Pipe SliderThird
7th100Timed Out Rope ClimbFirst
8th100Timed Out Warped WallFirst
9th99Timed Out Wall LiftingSecond
10th1000Failed Pipe SliderThird
11th100Failed Balance TankSecond
12th98Disqualified on Spider WalkSecond
13thDid not compete
14th99Failed Jump HangFirst
15th99Failed Cross BridgeFirst
16th99Timed Out Rope ClimbFirst
17th100Timed Out Warped WallFirst
18th73Timed Out Rope LadderFirst
19th91Failed Jumping SpiderFirst
20th1999Failed Jumping SpiderFirst
21st96Timed Out Warped Wall (injured)First
22nd81Failed Jumping SpiderFirst
23rd71Failed Slider JumpFirst
24th80Timed Out Warped WallFirst
25thDid not compete
26th90Failed Jumping SpiderFirst
27th91Timed Out Warped WallFirst
28th99Timed Out First Warped WallFirst

† – Although Yamada completed the entire course, he forgot to take off his gloves before the Spider Walk.

Sasuke New Stars[edit]

The Sasuke New Stars are recent competitors who have made a name for themselves.

CompetitionStart PositionObstacleStage
21st72Failed Flying ChuteFirst
22nd77Timed Out G-RopeFinal
23rd99Failed Unstable BridgeSecond
24th93Total Victory (3.57 seconds to spare)Final
25th100Failed Double Salmon LadderSecond
26th100Failed Half-Pipe AttackFirst
27th99Total Victory (6.71 seconds to spare)Final
28th88Failed Crazy CliffhangerThird
29th99Timed Out BackstreamSecond
CompetitionStart PositionObstacleStage
21st42Timed Out Warped WallFirst
22nd76Failed Slider JumpFirst
23rd47Failed Salmon LadderSecond
24th85Timed Out G-RopeFinal
25th60Failed Ultimate CliffhangerThird
26th98Failed Metal SpinSecond
27th20Failed Chain SeeSawThird
28th40Failed Spinning BridgeFirst
29th41Timed Out BackstreamSecond
CompetitionStart PositionObstacleStage
20th1976Failed Jumping SpiderFirst
22nd49Disqualified on Spider Flip †Third
23rd96Timed Out G-RopeFinal
24th99Timed Out Tarzan RopeFirst
25th89Failed Balance TankSecond
26th93Failed Rolling EscargotFirst
27th1Withdrew on Double Salmon Ladder ‡Second
28th89Failed Crazy CliffhangerThird
29th97Failed Crazy CliffhangerThird

† – Kanno touched part of the frame with his foot and climbed along the side of the platform, thereby going off the course.
‡ - Kanno withdrew before Double Salmon Ladder because of a shoulder injury.

CompetitionStart PositionObstacleStage
23rd45Failed Salmon LadderSecond
24th73Failed Gliding RingThird
25th49Failed Circle SliderFirst
26th86Failed Jumping SpiderFirst
27th29Failed Slider DropSecond
CompetitionStart PositionObstacleStage
21st44Failed Log GripFirst
23rd50Failed Salmon LadderSecond
24th78Failed Salmon LadderSecond
25th18Failed Unstable BridgeSecond
CompetitionStart PositionObstacleStage
21st46Failed Flying ChuteFirst
25th6Failed Circle SliderFirst
26th63Failed Rolling EscargotFirst
27th62Timed Out Rope ClimbFinal
28th87Timed Out Passing WallSecond
29th98Timed Out BackstreamSecond
CompetitionStart PositionObstacleStage
21st45Timed Out Warped WallFirst
27th55Failed Double Salmon LadderSecond
28th58Failed Crazy CliffhangerThird
29th96Failed Crazy CliffhangerThird

Notable Competitors[edit]

Asaoka's results
CompetitionStart positionObstacleStage
3rd34Failed Hammer DodgeSecond
4th3Failed Pipe SliderThird
5th27Failed Jump HangFirst
6th15Failed Jump HangFirst
7th29Failed Jump HangFirst
8thDid not compete
9thDid not compete
10th954Failed Body PropThird
11th58Failed Chain ReactionSecond
12th72Failed Rope Climb (12 metres up)Final
13thDid not compete
14th80Failed Cliff HangerThird
15th91Failed Rope ClimbFirst
Iketani's results
CompetitionStart positionObstacleStage
2nd90Failed Spinning LogFirst
3rdDid not compete
4th81Failed Pipe SliderThird
5th81Failed Warped WallFirst
6thDid not compete
7thDid not compete
8th61Failed Rolling LogFirst
9th81Failed Wall LiftingSecond
10th961Failed Cliff HangerThird
11th61Failed Cliff HangerThird
12th81Failed Rope ClimbFirst
13th90Failed Body PropThird
14th81Failed Body PropThird
15th90Failed Warped WallFirst
16th90Failed Body PropThird
17thDid not compete
18thDid not compete
19thDid not compete
20th1983Failed Jumping SpiderFirst
21st93Failed Flying ChuteFirst
22nd97Failed Warped WallFirst
23rdDid not compete
24th90Failed Warped WallFirst
25thDid not compete
26th87Failed Double Salmon LadderSecond
27th93Failed Double Salmon LadderSecond
28th76Failed Rolling EscargotFirst
Nagasaki's results
CompetitionStart positionObstacleStage
14th67Failed Wall LiftingSecond
15th65Failed Cliff HangerThird
16th89Failed Cliff HangerThird
17th87Failed Rope ClimbFinal
18th97Failed Shin-CliffhangerThird
19th97Failed Flying ChuteFirst
20th-28thDid not compete
29th93Failed Passing WallSecond
Nakata's results
CompetitionStart positionObstacleStage
8th46Failed Wall LiftSecond
9th71Failed Globe GraspThird
10th940Failed Globe GraspThird
11th95Failed Globe GraspThird
12th94Failed Rolling LogFirst
13th71Failed Wall LiftingSecond
14thDid not compete
15thDid not compete
16th65Failed Rope ClimbFirst
17th96Failed Arm RingsThird
18thDid not compete
19thDid not compete
20thDid not compete
21st88Failed Salmon LadderSecond
Yamada's results
CompetitionStart positionObstacleStage
12th1Failed Cliff HangerThird
13th88First Jump HangFirst
14th57Failed Warped WallFirst
15th70Failed Jumping BarsThird
16th91Failed Pipe SliderThird
17th95Failed Metal SpinSecond
18thDid not compete
19th79Failed Salmon LadderSecond
Kobayashi's results
CompetitionStart positionObstacleStage
11th74Failed Pipe SliderThird
12th93Failed Jump HangFirst
13th86Failed Jump HangFirst
14th68Failed Devil's SwingThird
15th98Failed Crooked WallFirst
16th92Failed Metal SpinSecond
17thDid not compete
18th44Failed Flying ChuteFirst
19th76Failed Flying ChuteFirst
20th1985Failed Jumping SpiderFirst
21st79UnknownFirst
Kobayashi's results
CompetitionStart positionObstacleStage
12th92Failed Body PropThird
13th97Failed Curtain ClingThird
14th87Failed Body PropThird
15th71Failed Warped WallFirst
16th93Failed Metal SpinSecond
17th-28thDid not compete
29th58Failed Jump Hang KaiFirst
Morimoto's results
CompetitionStart positionObstacleStage
18th91Failed Jumping SpiderFirst
19th71Failed Halfpipe AttackFirst
20thDid not compete
21st52UnknownFirst
22nd??UnknownFirst
23rd-26thDid not compete
27th84Failed Metal SpinSecond
28thDid not compete
29th79Failed Pipe SliderThird
Takahashi's results
CompetitionStart positionObstacleStage
5th??Failed Rolling LogFirst
6th??Failed Warped WallFirst
7th46Failed Cliff HangerThird
8th-15thDid not compete
16th66Failed Cliff HangerThird
17thDid not compete
18th98Failed Shin-Cliff HangerThird
19th84Failed Jumping SpiderFirst
20th1988Failed Flying ChuteFirst
21st85Failed Jumping SpiderFirst
22nd80Failed Rope LadderFirst
23rd84Failed Gliding RingThird
24th94Failed G-RopeFinal
25th40Failed Ultimate Cliff HangerThird
26th96Failed Rolling EscargotFirst
27th15Failed Spinning BridgeFirst
28thDid not compete
29th87Failed Crazy Cliff HangerThird
Washimi's results
CompetitionStart positionObstacleStage
17th68Failed Warped WallFirst
18th70Failed Salmon LadderSecond
19th86Failed Salmon LadderSecond
20th1991Failed Halfpipe AttackFirst
21st89Failed Flying ChuteFirst
22ndDid not compete
23rdDid not compete
24th84Failed Metal SpinSecond
25th-28thDid not compete
29th74Failed HedgehogFirst

Athletes[edit]

World-class athletes, including Olympians, have attempted Sasuke:

Japanese athletes[edit]

Several Japanese athletes have competed in Sasuke over the years including, professional team handball player, Daisuke Miyazaki, who was featured in the 20th, 21st, 22nd and 26th competitions. In his debut, the 20th competition, he failed on the Halfpipe Attack. His best performance was in the Sasuke 21, where he made it all the way to the third stage devil steps. In Sasuke 22, he timed out on the net climb in stage 1, and in Sasuke 26, he failed the first stage Rolling Escargot.

After the 27th competition, 3 Japanese olympians competed: Tomoko Hagiwara, Koki Sakamoto, and Daisuke Nakano. Hagiwara competed in the 28th competition, but she failed the Quintuple Step. She also competed in the 29th competition, but she failed the Hedgehog. Sakamoto competed in the 28th competition, wearing #95 (the highest # for non all-stars that tournament), but he timed out on the second Warped Wall. Nakano competed in the 29th competition, but he failed the Jump Hang Kai, while trying to grab both nets.

American athletes[edit]

Various American athletes, including gymnasts (and twin brothers) Paul and Morgan Hamm, have competed in Sasuke. Paul made it to the second stage in the 14th and 16th competitions but failed to make it further – in the 14th, he cleared Wall Lifting but forgot to hit the button at the end before time ran out, and in the 16th, he was eliminated by the Metal Spin. He competed in the 15th competition as well, but he failed to make it past the first stage's Warped Wall. Morgan timed out in the first stage before he could attempt the Rope Climb in the 14th competition, but he made it to the third stage in the 15th, failing on the Curtain Cling. In the 16th competition, he failed the first stage's Warped Wall.

Decathlete Paul Terek competed four times. He first appeared in the 17th competition, making it to the third stage before failing on the Cliff Hanger. The announcer pointed to his immense size (6 foot 3 and 215 pounds) as a barrier to his advancement. After earning the title of Pro Sportsman No. 1 in 2007, Terek appeared in the 19th competition but failed the first stage's Jumping Spider. He helped G4 oversee the 2nd American Ninja Challenge competition in early 2008, but he did not compete in Sasuke's 20th competition due to his training for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing (though he eventually had to drop out of the running for the Olympics after suffering a torn meniscus in his left knee). He made his return to Sasuke in the 22nd competition but failed on a new obstacle in the first stage, the Slider Jump. He failed the same obstacle in Sasuke 24. In 2010, Paul Terek announced his retirement from international competition, so it is likely he will never compete again.

Henry Cejudo, gold medal-winning wrestler at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, competed in the 21st competition, but failed the first stage's Halfpipe Attack.

Levi Meeuwenberg, a free runner from G4's American Ninja Challenge 2, first competed in Sasuke 20, where he was one of only three people to clear the first stage and the only person to clear the second stage. He cleared stage 2 with a record time of 38.5 second left. He failed the third stage's Shin-Cliff Hanger. In the 21st competition, he failed the Salmon Ladder in the second stage; in the 22nd, he failed the new Slider Jump; in the 23rd, he made it back to the third stage but again failed the Shin-Cliff Hanger. He missed the 24th competition but returned for the 25th, where he failed the first obstacle of the second stage, the Slider Drop. However, he couldn't compete in the 26th competition after breaking his wrist while participating in Jump City: Seattle, a televised professional parkour tournament. In the four times he completed the first stage, he had the fastest time out of everyone else, usually around 16 to 30 seconds to spare.

Brian Orosco, also a free runner, debuted in Sasuke 20 only to fail on the Flying Chute. In his next two appearances he failed the Salmon Ladder and Unstable Bridge. In the 25th competition, he made it to the third stage for the first time, only to fail the Doorknob Grasper. In the 26th competition, he was one of the four Americans to make it to the third stage but ultimately failed on the Roulette Cylinder.

Result[edit]
Hamm's results
CompetitionStart positionObstacleStage
14th82Failed Tarzan JumpFirst
15th93Failed Curtain ClingThird
Hamm's results
CompetitionStart positionObstacleStage
14th82Failed Wall LiftSecond
15th92Failed Warped WallFirst
16th94Failed Metal SpinSecond

† - Hamm cleared the Second Stage with 3 seconds left, but forgot to hit the buzzer at the end of the obstacles.

Terek's results
CompetitionStart positionObstacleStage
17th86Failed Cliff HangerThird
18thDid not compete
19th98Failed Jumping SpiderFirst
20thDid not compete
21stDid not compete
22nd98Failed Slider JumpFirst
23rdDid not compete
24th82Failed Slider JumpFirst
Meeuwenberg's results
CompetitionStart positionObstacleStage
20th1989Failed Shin-CliffhangerThird
21st99Failed Salmon LadderSecond
22nd91Failed Slider JumpFirst
23rd95Failed Shin-CliffhangerThird
24thDid not compete
25th48Failed Slider DropSecond

Bulgarian athletes[edit]

Bulgarian gymnast and six-time Olympian (1992, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012) Yordan Yovchev (spelled on G4 as Jordan Jovtchev) first competed in the 8th competition. During that competition he reached the final stage but became the only competitor to suffer a 15-second timeout on the initial Spider Climb portion, falling when it spread apart. Rain and a two-second late start also hurt his performance. He made it to the third stage three more times in competitions 12, 14, and 16, failing the Cliff Hanger each time. He competed in the 15th competition but failed the Warped Wall in the first stage. He later came back to compete in Sasuke 20, where he failed the Warped Wall again. He also competed in Sasuke 23, where he managed to pass all of the other obstacles but timed out on the final rope ladder.

Result[edit]
Jovtchev's results
CompetitionStart positionObstacleStage
8th59Failed Spider ClimbFinal
9thDid not compete
10thDid not compete
11thDid not compete
12th99Failed Cliff HangerThird
13thDid not compete
14th91Failed Cliff HangerThird
15th97Failed Warped WallFirst
16th95Failed Cliff HangerThird
17thDid not compete
18thDid not compete
19thDid not compete
20th1993Failed Warped WallFirst
21stDid not compete
22ndDid not compete
23rd79Failed Rope LadderFirst

Korean athletes[edit]

South Korean gymnast Yeo Hong Chul, silver medalist in the men's vault at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, competed three times but has never gotten past the first stage. In the 7th competition, he was unable to beat the Rolling Log; In the 8th, he failed the Quintuple Step; in the 11th, he timed out on the Warped Wall.

Spanish athletes[edit]

Spanish gymnast Gervasio Deferr, 2000 and 2004 Olympic Champion in the vault and 2008 silver medalist in the floor exercise, competed in the 10th competition but timed out a few feet from the buzzer on the first stage's Rope Climb.

Taiwanese athletes[edit]

Li En-Chih (who was incorrectly listed as Lee Yen Chi in the US version and was mistakenly called Lee Enchi or Li En Zhi for years), is a professional rock climber from Taiwan. In his first attempt in the 17th competition, he cleared the first stage but failed the second stage's Metal Spin. In the 18th competition, he failed the Jumping Spider in first stage. After a two tournament absence, he competed in Sasuke 21 and was one of only nine competitors to make it to the second stage, timing out on Wall Lifting. In the 22nd competition, he was one of four people to make it to the third stage, ultimately failing the Shin-Cliff Hanger. In Sasuke 23, he failed the second stage's Metal Spin. In Sasuke 24, he made it to the Final Stage for the first time but timed out 19 meters up. Li became the third foreigner to reach the Final Stage since Yordan Yovchev and Kane Kosugi in SASUKE 8. In Sasuke 25, he went to the third stage, but he failed the Ultimate Cliff Hanger. He made it back to the Ultimate Cliff Hanger in Sasuke 26, but again failed there. In Sasuke 25 and 26, Li finished overall first, becoming the only foreigner to have progressed further than any competitor in consecutive tournaments. After making it to the Ultimate Cliff Hanger 2 times, it looked like Li would go all the way in Sasuke 27. However, he shocked many when his feet dipped the water on the Step Slider in stage 1. This was his earliest defeat, and first time failing stage 1 since Sasuke 18. He failed the first stage yet again in Sasuke 28, on the Spinning Bridge. He finally cleared the First Stage again in Sasuke 29, but timed out on the Passing Wall. He is also the only foreigner to clear Stage One 6 times in a row (Sasuke 21-26).

Result[edit]
En-Chi's results
CompetitionStart positionObstacleStage
17th92Failed Metal SpinSecond
18th26Failed Jumping SpiderFirst
19thDid not compete
20thDid not compete
21st49Failed Wall LiftingSecond
22nd79Failed Shin-Cliff HangerThird
23rd94Failed Metal SpinSecond
24th92Failed G-RopeFinal
25th80Failed Ultimate Cliff HangerThird
26th95Failed Ultimate Cliff HangerThird
27th97Failed Step SliderFirst
28th83Failed Spinning BridgeFirst
29th56Failed Passing WallSecond

Mixed martial artists and wrestlers[edit]

K-1 mixed martial artist Genki Sudo has competed in five tournaments, failing at the Jump Hang (6th, 12th), the Rolling Log (13th), Duodectuple Step (23rd), and the Log Grip (24th). Another mixed martial artist, Sanae Kikuta competed in the 8th and 10th tournaments, where he fell off of the Rolling Log in the first stage; in the 12th tournament, he fell on the Plank Bridge in the first stage. Other K-1 fighters who have competed include Tatsuji (19th competition, failed the Jumping Spider), Yudai (20th competition, failed the Rokudantobi), Andy Ologun (18th competition, failed the Rope Glider; 20th Competition, failed the Log Grip), Bobby Ologun (22nd Competition, failed the Log Grip), and Bernard Ackah (19th competition, failed the Jumping Spider).

Former Pride Fighting Championships and Pancrase Japanese mixed martial artist and pro wrestler Ikuhisa Minowa, currently competing in DREAM known as "Minowaman", was featured in the 26th competition wearing red wrestling tights, pads, and boots. He failed the second obstacle, "Hazard Swing" after jumping from the swing, and missing the rope on the platform, falling into the water below. He also competed in the 29th competition, but failed the first obstacle, the "Long Jump", where he landed feet first onto the sandbox and jumped backwards into the water. Japanese featherweight mixed martial artist from DREAM Hideo Tokoro, (announced as a "freelance fighter") was featured right after Minowaman in the 26th competition where he failed to grab the rope to swing himself to the other side in the first obstacle "Step Slider".

Several professional wrestlers have also competed, including Tiger Mask IV, The Great Sasuke (referred to as Great Ninja Warrior in the US and UK versions), Minoru Suzuki, Hiroshi Tanahashi and Naohiro Hoshikawa. Suzuki and Tanahashi were the All Japan Triple Crown champion and IWGP Heavyweight Champion, respectively, during their runs in the course.

Japanese entertainers[edit]

Several Japanese or Japan-based entertainers have taken part in Sasuke, including action movie star Kane Kosugi and his brother Shane. Kane made the third stage in the 1st, 4th and 6th competitions, failing on the Pole Bridge, Cliff Hanger and Body Prop, respectively. In the 7th competition, he made the second stage but failed the Spider Walk. He reached the final stage in the 8th Competition, becoming, alongside Yordan Yovchev, the first foreigner to make it that far. Competing in heavy rain, Kane timed out on the rope climb; he has not competed since. Shane timed out on the second stage's Wall Lift in the 2nd competition, then failed the first stage's Rolling Log in the 3rd competition. In the 4th, he came close to completing the first stage but timed out on the Rope Climb. In the 6th and 7th competitions, he made it to the third stage, failing both times on the Body Prop. In the 8th competition, he failed to get past the first stage's Warped Wall. Unlike his brother, Shane competed in the 9th competition, where he failed the Big Boulder in the first stage.

Other entertainers who have competed include Hiromichi Sato, host of several NHK children's programs; Shigeyuki Nakamura, a champion of the Muscle Gym event in Kinniku Banzuke; actor-singer Kazumi Morohoshi, a former member of the band Hikaru Genji who is now a solo artist; actor/announcer Kenjirō Ishimaru; and actors Masaki Nomura and Shōei. Sato debuted in the 18th tournament and failed the first stage's Flying Chute. In the 19th tournament, he failed the Log Grip. In the 20th competition, he timed out before he attempted the Tarzan Rope. In the 21st competition, he timed out on the Warped Wall. In the 22nd, Sato finally cleared the first stage but failed the Metal Spin in the second. In Sasuke 23, he failed the Jumping Spider. In Sasuke 24, he failed the Metal Spin again. He missed Sasuke 25, but failed the Jumping Spider again in Sasuke 26. He missed Sasuke 27 and 28 but competed in 29, where he shocked the crowd by unexpectedly going out on the first obstacle, the Long Jump. Nakamura made it to the third stage in the 2nd competition, failing there on the Pipe Slider, but in the 6th competition he was eliminated by the first stage's Jump Hang. Morohoshi debuted in the 20th tournament but failed the Log Grip in the first stage. Ishimaru has never made it past the first stage; his two closest attempts, in the 16th and 17th competitions, timed out on the Rope Climb. Shōei competed 3 times. He competed in Sasuke 6, and failed the Jump Hang when he tried to go under using only his arms. He timed out on the rope climb in stage 1 in Sasuke 7. He finally made it pass the first stage and second stage in Sasuke 8. He struggled in stage 3 on the Propeller bars, and failed the Body Prop. Actor James Okada, a graduate from a martial arts academy, competed in the 6th and 7th competitions. In his first attempt, he failed the Jump Hang in the first stage, but in the next tournament, he made it all the way to the third, where he was defeated by the first obstacle, the Propeller Bars.

Japanese comedians[edit]

Several Japanese comedians have taken part in Sasuke, including Akira Omori ("The Monkey"), Koriki Choshu ("the most famous gut in Japan" and 2nd on G4's Craziest Contestants Poll), Passion Yara ("screaming wacko" and 5th on G4s craziest contestants poll), Masaki Sumitani ("Razor Ramon H.G." or "Hard Gay"), Yoku Hata ("Guitar Samurai"), Tetsurō Degawa, and Kinnikun Nakayama. Most of these compete for entertainment value and do not represent serious challenges – for example, Choshu's only accomplishment was being the first person to clear the Rope Glider in the 18th competition. However, some have seen success. Omori made it to the final stage three times in a row (1st–3rd competitions), a record that is shared with Sasuke all-star Makoto Nagano, but since then he has not been able to clear the first stage. Nakayama made it to the second stage in the 9th and 11th competitions; in the 9th, Nakayama failed the Spider Walk, and in the 11th, he missed hitting the second stage's final button by a split-second. He competed in Sasuke 27. He had footage showing himself training for the new course. He wore #30, and despite his training, he failed the Rolling Escargot when he could not get enough mommentum to get the structure spinning, and fell into the water when trying to restart the obstacle. He got revenge on it in the 28th tournament, but timed out on the second Warped Wall. In the 29th tournament, he almost cleared the first stage for the first time in 10 years, but ultimately, timed out at the top of the Rope Ladder. Recent comedians include, Yoshio Kojima, who competed in 5 competitions (22, 24, 26-28), where he failed at the Log Grip twice, Hazard Swing, Step Slider, and Rolling Escargot respectively. Funnyman Masumi Yagi was featured in the 26th competition but failed on the Step Slider. Cocky comedian, Eiko Kano (aka "Mr. Narcissus") was featured in the 25th competition and failed at the Dome Steps, but got past the first obstacle in the 26th competition and failed at the Rolling Escargot. Penalty comedian Wakky competed 8 times in Sasuke. He debuted in Sasuke 20 and failed the Halfpipe Attack. In Sasuke 21 and 22, he failed the Jumping Spider. In Sasuke 23, he got revenge on both the Jumping Spider and the Halfpipe Attack, only to fail the Slider Jump. In Sasuke 24, he failed the Halfpipe Attack again. He returned for Sasuke 27 and cleared the First Stage for the first time. In the Second Stage, he failed the Double Salmon Ladder. In Sasuke 28, he timed out on the Rope Ladder. He returned to the Second Stage in Sasuke 29, but failed the Swap Salmon Ladder.

Other notable competitors[edit]

Some other participants notable for their success in Sasuke include Shinji Kobayashi, a 42-year-old garbage man from Matsumoto, Nagano Prefecture, who has competed ten times and made it to the third stage in the 11th competition (failing on the Pipe Slider) as well as the 14th (where he failed the Devil's Swing). In Sasuke 15, he failed the Crooked Wall. Since his debut in the 11th tournament, he has only missed the 17th; however, much of his footage has been cut from the TBS broadcast. He usually competes in a blue or gray garbage man's uniform. In the 16th competition, when the G4 commentator commented on his wipeout on the Metal Spin, Kobayashi was mistakenly called an All-Star. He failed the Metal Spin in stage 2 in Sasuke 16. He also competed in Sasuke 20, where he wore the number 1985, and failed the jumping spider.

Former elementary school teacher Hiroyuki Asaoka, previously known as the "Sasuke Sensei" (in America: "Professor Ninja Warrior", in the UK: "The Professor"), has competed in several tournaments. He first competed in the 3rd competition, failing the second stage's Hammer Dodge. Asaoka was one of the three men to reach the final stage in the 12th competition, failing on the Rope Climb. He also reached the third stage in the 4th, 10th, and 14th competitions. In the 20th tournament, which was his last, he failed the first stage's Rope Ladder. Currently, Asaoka works as an illustrator for graphic novels.

Kenji Takahashi (aka Kongu), a 37-year-old delivery man from Saitama Prefecture, has competed fifteen times, with a 5-year break between his third and fourth attempts. He reached the third stage in competitions 7, 16, and 18 but failed the Cliff Hanger each time. He then failed the first stage four times, in the 19th through 22nd tournaments. In the 23rd competition, Takahashi failed the Gliding Ring. In the 24th, he made it to the final stage for the first time, but his support cable got tangled with the G-Rope, and he timed out a few meters short of completion. In the 25th competition, he made it to the third stage but failed the Ultimate Cliff Hanger. He returned in Sasuke 26, but failed the Rolling Escargot. He also competed in Sasuke 27, but failed the new Spinning Bridge in Stage 1. He returned to the Third Stage in Sasuke 29, but ultimately, slipped up on the transition to the second ledge of the Crazy Cliffhanger.

American Navy salvage diver Travis Schraeder made his debut in the 4th competition, making it to the third stage. There, he reached the Pipe Slider, but he pushed the pipe too hard, and it fell off its tracks, resulting in his disqualification. He was the first American competitor to reach the third stage. In his only other appearance in the 5th competition, he ran out of time on the first stage's Rope Climb.

Schraeder's partner, Kevin Lee, competed in the 6th competition but failed the Jump Hang.

Another notable competitor is Tomihiro Tatsukawa, the "Japanese Clark Kent", an insurance salesman who usually dressed in a Superman costume. He competed in the first ten tournaments but never cleared the first stage. He is No. 4 on the G4 Wardrobe Malfunction poll.

A dancer named Goku who competed in many of the earlier competitions is known for removing almost all of his clothes, except for an old-fashioned white thong, before he begins. He has never made it past the first stage. In the G4 Broadcast of the 12th competition, he was honored on the "Warrior Wipeout" for his failure on the Jump Hang, but was mistakenly listed as Sou Takei, who also failed that obstacle. Goku is No. 5 on the G4 Wardrobe Malfunction poll.

65-year-old Minoru Kuramochi, known as "the Octopus" because he usually brings an octopus with him, is the owner of the Edokko Izakaya octopus bar in Tokyo and is one of the oldest competitors. He has competed several times, never making it very far into the first stage. Despite this, he seems to be a fan favorite. In the 20th Competition's preview special, he welcomed the G4 American Ninja Challengers to his bar, served them his special octopus meal, and showed off to them his physical skills. He is No. 4 on G4's Craziest Contestant poll. His best performance was in Sasuke 26, where he managed to make it to the Rolling Escargot. He got further than in Sasuke 19, when he timed out on the Pole Maze.

Toyohisa Ijima, a martial arts dance instructor and former member of the Japan Self-Defense Forces, competed in the first several tournaments. He is known as the "Japanese Bruce Lee" because of his resemblance to the late action star, which extends to dressing and acting like him. He has only made it past the first stage in the 1st tournament; in the 11th tournament, he missed hitting the final button on the Rope Climb by a split second because he had wasted time posing for the crowd after completing each obstacle. He is No. 3 on G4's Craziest Contestant poll.

Hibari Igano, a transsexual who is a former dancer-turned-action star, usually referred to simply as Hibari and known as the "World's Toughest Transsexual", also competed in several early tournaments. She never made it past the first stage. She is No. 2 on G4's Wardrobe Malfunction poll for her appearance in the 7th competition.

The 2nd youngest competitor to pass the first stage, Kota Honma, was 16 years old during the 17th competition. He was also the youngest participant – 13 years old in the 13th Competition – until Sasuke 24. Kota has built a model of the full Sasuke course, including a qualifying round. He has also demonstrated his hobby of juggling on the first stage starting platform. Before the 17th competition, he trained six days per week with his school's track and field team. The youngest competitor to complete the first stage was Ryūgo Suzuka, another 16 year old high school student who did so in the 4th competition.

Tien Dinh, a background dancer for Ashanti who appeared on the Soul Train Music Awards, competed on Sasuke in 2004.

Ken Yasuda, coach of the Tokyo Sabres of the IFL, competed in the 4th, 5th, and 13th tournaments. He failed the Balance Bridge in his first attempt. In his other two tries, he fell off the Rolling Log.

A President Barack Obama look-alike, called Nocchi, competed on Sasuke three times. In Sasuke 18, he failed the Rope Glider. He then competed in Sasuke 22 and 24, where he failed the Log Grip both times.

Koji Yamada is a 40-year-old fireman from the Gifu Prefecture with just three percent body fat. In his debut in the 12th competition, he wore No. 1 and became the only person to wear that number and make it to the third stage. In that competition, he made it all the way to the third stage obstacle, the Cliffhanger, before failing. In the 13th competition, he failed the redesigned Jump Hang, and in the 14th, he timed out on the Warped Wall. He made it to the third stage in the 15th and 16th competitions, failing the Jumping Bars and the Pipe Slider, respectively. In the 17th, he failed a second stage obstacle, the Metal Spin. He was one of two competitors to pass the first stage of the 19th competition, ultimately timing out on the Salmon Ladder. G4 dubs his first name as Yasushi, possibly to avoid confusion with Katsumi Yamada or because of translation issues.[citation needed]

Yusuke Morimoto is a 21-year old student who competed 6 times in Sasuke. He debuted in Sasuke 18, at the young age of 15, but failed the Jumping Spider. In Sasuke 19, he was still 15, and he got revenge on the Jumping Spider but failed the next obstacle, the Halfpipe Attack. He also competed in Sasuke 21 and 22, but was cut both times. He returned for Sasuke 27, at age 19, and cleared the First Stage. But in the Second Stage, the Metal Spin was his downfall. He made his best run on Sasuke 29, at age 21. In that tournament, he cleared the First Stage with 9.69 seconds left. He got revenge on the Second Stage, clearing with a slim 0.81 seconds left. In the Third Stage, despite almost failing the Iron Paddler, he cleared it and became the first person ever to beat the Crazy Cliffhanger. He almost made it to the Final Stage, but fell inches short on the Pipe Slider. He went further than everybody else that tournament and earned himself the #1 seat of Japan for the Sasuke ASEAN Open Cup.

Tomokazu Tanaka was the show's first competitor. He put on an impressive run but had trouble at the Wicked Wall/Hill Climb and ran out of time at the Subduction Zone/Mountain Climb.

Women in Sasuke[edit]

The only woman to have completed the first stage is former Super Sentai stuntwoman Chie Nishimura, who did so in the 2nd tournament.[4] She attempted the second stage's Spider Walk in a non-optimal fashion, because her legs were too short to reach across the obstacle the proper way, and failed. She also competed in Sasuke 3 but failed the Rolling Log. She hasn't competed in Sasuke since.

Masami Yusa (G4 mislists her first name as "Miyabi" in some tournaments), a beach flag champion, has competed 7 times. She debuted in Sasuke 6 but failed the Barrel Climb. In the Sasuke 13 trials, she became the first woman to beat the Jump Hang, although she timed out there. During the actual competition, she was able to grab on to the redesigned Jump Hang, but she misjudged her jump, slammed face-first onto the platform, and fell into the water; this failure earned her a "Warrior Wipeout" during G4's broadcasting of this tournament. In Sasuke 14, she became the first woman to beat the Jump Hang and the Crooked Wall in competition, but she ultimately timed out on the Warped Wall.

Rie Komiya has competed several times. She is a Kunoichi (women of ninja warrior) 8 champion. She first competed in Sasuke 22, where she was disqualified on the jumping spider for falling on the safety mat just after the trampoline. She got her revenge in Sasuke 23, but she fell on the halfpipe attack. In Sasuke 24, she surprised many by failing the log grip. She did not compete in Sasuke 25, but did compete in Sasuke 26, and failed the Rolling Escargot.

American Ninja Challenges[edit]

In Fall 2007, the G4 network held a contest called the American Ninja Challenge, whose grand prize was a trip to Japan to compete in Sasuke's 19th competition. Ten semifinalist videos were selected on August 3 via internet poll to determine three finalists who would appear on G4's Attack of the Show! on August 28–30 to demonstrate their Ninja Warrior skills. On August 31, Michigan State University Economics student Colin Bell and the runner-up, Greenville, South Carolina native Brett Sims, were both selected, and they became the subjects of an hour-long G4 special on November 14 during G4's Ninjafest. Ultimately, both Colin and Brett qualified for the course thanks to their impressive physical abilities, but they both failed the Jumping Spider.

The second contest by G4 wrapped up in March 2008 and aired as part of G4's Ninjafest 2 on May 18, 2008. Levi Meeuwenberg of Ann Arbor, Michigan and Brian Orosco of San Francisco, California were both chosen to compete in Sasuke's 20th tournament; both are free runners. They competed alongside surprise guest Brett Sims, who was given the opportunity to return by G4. Sims failed the first stage's Warped Wall, while Orosco failed the Flying Chute. Meeuwenberg, however, made it to the third stage before he ultimately failed the Shin-Cliff Hanger.

The third contest by G4 wrapped up in August 2008 and aired as part of G4's Ninjafest 3 on November 12, 2008. Viewers voted for their favorite competitors, the top three of whom would be flown to Japan to compete in Sasuke's 21st tournament. The winners were Brian Orosco (who qualified with a different video), gymnast Mark Witmer of Minneapolis, Minnesota, and free runner/stuntwoman Luci Romberg – the first woman to qualify – of Valley Village, California. They joined American Ninja Challenge 2 winner Levi Meeuwenberg and both hosts from Attack of the Show!, Olivia Munn and Kevin Pereira, to compete in Sasuke 21. In that tournament, Munn failed the Sextuple Step, while Pereira's run ended after his feet hit the water on the Log Grip; on the TBS broadcast, Munn's run was shown only in part while Pereira's run was cut completely. Romberg failed the Halfpipe Attack, while Witmer failed the Log Grip due to a severe ulnar nerve injury that he suffered while warming up. Orosco completed the first stage with just 0.6 seconds left on the clock but failed the second stage's Salmon Ladder. Meeuwenberg cleared Stage 1 with the fastest time, with 21.5 seconds remaining, but similarly failed the Salmon Ladder.

The fourth contest by G4 wrapped up in March 2009 and aired on June 21, 2009 on G4 as part of Ninjafest 4. The competitors' videos were judged by Attack of the Show's Olivia Munn. The winner, David Campbell, was joined by Munn and previous competitors Levi Meeuwenberg and Luci Romberg. Munn failed the new Circle Hammer in the first stage; Romberg failed the first stage's Jumping Spider; Campbell timed out on the final first stage obstacle, the Rope Ladder, and later told the sideline reporter that he "underestimated the cardio" involved in the course. Meeuwenberg failed a new first stage obstacle, the Slider Jump.

Results[edit]

The following is a list of currently available information of people who achieved the best results in each competition and also the number of competitors who failed in the lower stages. Under each competition, the results are listed in order of best performance. Their names are listed along with their number (1-100) from the competition, and the stage/obstacle they failed to complete (or Total Victory). In the 10th competition the number system ran from 901-1000 to indicate that 1000 competitors had attempted the First Stage, and then ran from 1901-2000 in the 20th competition to indicate that 2000 competitors had attempted the First Stage, and will most likely run from 2901-3000 during the 30th competition. All air dates are of the Japanese broadcast on TBS.

SASUKE 1[edit]

Aired: September 26, 1997

CompetitorStageObstacle
No. 97 Ōmori AkiraFinalFailed Rope Climb (about 11m up)
No. 96 Hasegawa KenFinalFailed Rope Climb (about 8m up)
No. 72 Yo TakashiFinalFailed Rope Climb (about 8m up)
No. 49 Kawashima TakayukiFinalFailed Rope Climb (about 10m up)
No. 89 Kane KosugiThirdFailed Pole Bridge
No. 18 Yoshihito YamamotoThirdFailed Pole Bridge
17 competitorsSecondFailed
77 competitorsFirstFailed

SASUKE 2[edit]

Aired: September 27, 1998

CompetitorStageObstacle
No. 97 Tanaka HikaruFinalFailed Rope Climb (about 12m up)
No. 99 Ōmori AkiraFinalFailed Rope Climb (about 7m up)
7 competitorsThirdFailed
25 competitorsSecondFailed
66 competitorsFirstFailed

SASUKE 3[edit]

Aired: March 13, 1999

CompetitorStageObstacle
No. 89 Yamada KatsumiFinalFailed Rope Climb (about 14.5m up)
No. 13 Yamamoto ShingoFinalFailed Rope Climb (about 12m up)
No. 49 Matsumoto MinoruFinalFailed Rope Climb (about 8m up)
No. 100 Ōmori AkiraFinalFailed Rope Climb (about 8m up)
No. 54 Yamamoto TatsuyaFinalFailed Rope Climb (about 8m up)
1 competitorThirdFailed
7 competitorsSecondFailed
87 competitorsFirstFailed

SASUKE 4[edit]

Aired: October 16, 1999

CompetitorStageObstacle
No. 86 Akiyama KazuhikoFinalTotal Victory (6.0 seconds to spare)
10 competitorsThirdFailed
26 competitorsSecondFailed
63 competitorsFirstFailed

SASUKE 5[edit]

Aired: March 18, 2000

CompetitorStageObstacle
No. 98 Yamamoto ShingoThirdFailed Pipe Slider
2 competitorsSecondFailed
97 competitorsFirstFailed

SASUKE 6[edit]

Aired: September 9, 2000

CompetitorStageObstacle
5 competitorsThirdFailed
95 competitorsFirstFailed

Note: This is the only tournament to date where no one failed the Second Stage.

SASUKE 7[edit]

Aired: March 17, 2001

CompetitorStageObstacle
No. 97 Shingo YamamotoFinalFailed Spider Climb (injured)^
4 competitorsThirdFailed
3 competitorsSecondFailed
92 competitorsFirstFailed

^Went 2 1/2 Meters up then fell down.

SASUKE 8[edit]

Aired: September 29, 2001

CompetitorStageObstacle
No. 91 Kane KosugiFinalFailed Rope Climb (about 18m up)
No. 59 Jordan JovtchevFinalFailed Spider Climb (about 11.5m up)^
2 competitorsThirdFailed
2 competitorsSecondFailed
94 competitorsFirstFailed

^ Jovtchev fell off the Spider Climb after the walls split at the 15 second limit.

SASUKE 9[edit]

Aired: March 16, 2002

CompetitorStageObstacle
4 competitorsThirdFailed
3 competitorsSecondFailed
93 competitorsFirstFailed

SASUKE 10[edit]

Aired: September 25, 2002

CompetitorStageObstacle
4 competitorsThirdFailed
1 competitorSecondFailed
95 competitorsFirstFailed

SASUKE 11[edit]

Aired: March 21, 2003

CompetitorStageObstacle
No. 96 Nagano MakotoFinalFailed Rope Climb (about 20m up)
6 competitorsThirdFailed
4 competitorsSecondFailed
89 competitorsFirstFailed

SASUKE 12[edit]

Aired: October 1, 2003

CompetitorStageObstacle
No. 100 Nagano MakotoFinalFailed Rope Climb (by 0.11 [1/9] seconds)
No. 77 Shiratori BunpeiFinalFailed Rope Climb (about 21m up)
No. 72 Asaoka HiroyukiFinalFailed Rope Climb (about 20m up)
7 competitorsThirdFailed
1 competitorSecondFailed
89 competitorsFirstFailed

SASUKE 13[edit]

Aired: April 6, 2004

CompetitorStageObstacle
No. 100 Nagano MakotoFinalFailed Rope Climb (about 22.4m up)
4 competitorsThirdFailed
5 competitorsSecondFailed
90 competitorsFirstFailed

SASUKE 14[edit]

Aired: January 4, 2005

CompetitorStageObstacle
10 competitorsThirdFailed
4 competitorsSecondFailed
86 competitorsFirstFailed

SASUKE 15[edit]

Aired: July 20, 2005

CompetitorStageObstacle
6 competitorsThirdFailed
1 competitorSecondFailed
93 competitorsFirstFailed

SASUKE 16[edit]

Aired: December 30, 2005

CompetitorStageObstacle
8 competitorsThirdFailed
8 competitorsSecondFailed
84 competitorsFirstFailed

SASUKE 17[edit]

Aired: October 11, 2006

CompetitorStageObstacle
No. 99 Nagano MakotoFinalTotal Victory (2.56 seconds to spare)
No. 87 Nagasaki ShunsukeFinalFailed Rope Climb (about 18m up)
6 competitorsThirdFailed
3 competitorsSecondFailed
89 competitorsFirstFailed

SASUKE 18[edit]

Aired: March 21, 2007

CompetitorStageObstacle
3 competitorsThirdFailed
3 competitorsSecondFailed
95 competitorsFirstFailed

SASUKE 19[edit]

Aired: September 19, 2007

CompetitorStageObstacle
2 competitorsSecondFailed
98 competitorsFirstFailed

SASUKE 20[edit]

Aired: March 26, 2008

CompetitorStageObstacle
No. 1989 Levi MeeuwenbergThirdFailed Shin-Cliff Hanger
2 competitorsSecondFailed
97 competitorsFirstFailed

SASUKE 21[edit]

Aired: September 17, 2008

CompetitorStageObstacle
3 competitorsThirdFailed
6 competitorsSecondFailed
92 competitorsFirstFailed

SASUKE 22[edit]

Aired: March 30, 2009

CompetitorStageObstacle
No. 77 Urushihara YuujiFinalFailed G-Rope (about 22m up)
3 competitorsThirdFailed
1 competitorSecondFailed
96 competitorsFirstFailed

SASUKE 23[edit]

Aired: September 27, 2009

CompetitorStageObstacle
No. 100 Nagano MakotoFinalFailed G-Rope (reached the top)
No. 96 Kanno HitoshiFinalFailed G-Rope (about 18m up)
5 competitorsThirdFailed
9 competitorsSecondFailed
84 competitorsFirstFailed

SASUKE 24[edit]

Aired: January 1, 2010

CompetitorStageObstacle
No. 93 Urushihara YuujiFinalTotal Victory (3.57 seconds to spare)
No. 85 Hashimoto KojiFinalFailed G-Rope (about 22m up)
No. 94 Takahashi KenjiFinalFailed G-Rope (about 20m up)

Twisted up the G-Rope and got the safety wire tangled, causing him to stop.

No. 95 Okuyama YoshiyukiFinalFailed G-Rope (about 19m up)
No. 92 Lee Yen ChiFinalFailed G-Rope (about 19m up)
2 competitorsThirdFailed
5 competitorsSecondFailed
88 competitorsFirstFailed

SASUKE 25[edit]

Aired: March 28, 2010

CompetitorStageObstacle
5 competitorsThirdFailed
6 competitorsSecondFailed
89 competitorsFirstFailed

SASUKE 26[edit]

Aired: January 2, 2011

CompetitorStageObstacle
6 competitorsThirdFailed
4 competitorsSecondFailed
91 competitorsFirstFailed

SASUKE 27[edit]

Aired: October 3, 2011

CompetitorStageObstacle
No. 99 Urushihara YuujiFinalTotal Victory(6.71 seconds to spare)
No. 62 Matachi RyoFinalFailed Rope Climb (18.8 meters up)
8 competitorsThirdFailed
17 competitorsSecondFailed
73 competitorsFirstFailed

SASUKE 28 (RISING 1)[edit]

Aired: December 27, 2012

CompetitorStageObstacle
3 competitorsThirdFailed
2 competitorsSecondFailed
95 competitorsFirstFailed

SASUKE 29 (RISING 2)[edit]

Aired: June 27, 2013

CompetitorStageObstacle
4 competitorsThirdFailed
17 competitorsSecondFailed
79 competitorsFirstFailed

Stages and obstacles[edit]

Broadcast[edit]

The logo for Ninja Warrior that is broadcast in various countries around the world.

United States[edit]

The program previously aired on G4 in the United States under the name Ninja Warrior. Each episode now lasts thirty minutes and it also includes some minor changes in the on-screen graphics. Throughout the episode, there's the "Ninja Killer" (for the obstacle that took out the most competitors) and "Warrior Wipeout" (honors the best wipeout) segments. The Japanese play-by-play commentary and interviews with the competitors have English subtitles, while the competitor profiles, replays, and introductions were dubbed by voice actor Dave Wittenberg. The show became the highest rated program on the network since its debut. Aside from a few sporadic occurrences, reruns of Ninja Warrior stopped airing regularly sometime in December 2012 in wake of G4 slated to be rebranded as the Esquire Network on September 23, 2013. The last four episodes to air on G4 appeared as a 2-hour block on April 10, 2013. It is currently unknown if Ninja Warrior would return to the network's schedule or if some other channel would acquire the series. Commercials on G4 show American Ninja Warrior to air on G4 in July, marking it the last program being advertised on the network as a G4 program, and not an Esquire channel presentation.

American Ninja Warrior[edit]

The popularity of the American Ninja Challenge has led G4 to produce a version of the series featuring American contestants. The program, American Ninja Warrior, is produced by Pilgrim Films and Television, Inc. Auditions on G4's website ended on August 18, 2009. Open tryouts were held in Los Angeles on August 29 and 30, 2009, and were taped for the show, with ten finalists competing on the 23rd tournament of the original Ninja Warrior course in Japan in September 2009. The eight-episode series began airing on December 12, 2009.

The qualifying round consists of over 300 competitors, running an obstacle course strongly influenced by Sasuke's first stage. The course consists of the Quintuple Step, a Rope Swing, the Jumping Spider, a modified version of the pipe slider, and a much smaller Warped Wall. The preliminaries used a leader board, and the 30 fastest times moved on to the semi-finals, which included the preliminary course plus three obstacles, the Tarzan Jump, the Jumping Bars, and a Net Climb.

American Ninja Warrior aired only the American finalists during the Sasuke obstacle course. The Japanese competitors were later aired on April 10, 2010.

A second season was cast on G4's website as of April 10, 2010 and aired in hour long specials starting December 8, 2010. The top 10 contestants would participate in Sasuke 26. Three episodes were run for the first two weeks. The first three episodes covered the opening round of the competition, the fourth covered the semifinals. This was followed by four days of a "boot camp" where the fifteen winners of the semifinals were divided into three five-man teams and put through several different Pressure Challenges, with the losing team having to complete a punishment while the other two teams got extra training time on models of some of the Sasuke obstacles (The Warped Wall, Double Salmon Ladder, Balance Tank, and Circle Slider). The teams would then run through a grouping of the obstacles with some sort of hindrance (Usually carrying something heavy between obstacles). The teams with the worst time would be forced to send two members to an elimination challenge, with the losing person forced to leave.

After boot camp, the ten final winners traveled to the Sasuke course to compete. Once again, only the American competitors were aired during the special, with the rest of the Sasuke competition to air later. The most successful of the American competitors in the past, Levi Meeuwenberg, withdrew from the competition due to a fractured wrist, giving his spot to Adam LaPlante. Five members failed in the First Stage: Patrick Cusic and former American Gladiators champion and gladiator Evan "Rocket" Dollard both fell from the new Rolling Escargot obstacle, LaPlante fell on the Halfpipe Attack and Adam Truesdell fell from the Giant Swing, a new variation of the Jump Hang, the only one out of all 100 competitors to do so in the whole tournament. In addition, veteran Shane Daniels once again timed out on the Cargo Net. In the Second Stage, four of the remaining five cleared, while Travis Furlanic fell on the Balance Tank, an obstacle he struggled on during Boot Camp. In the Third Stage, Paul Kasemir failed the Doorknob Grasper. Brent Steffensen made it to the Ultimate Cliffhanger before falling into the water. David Campbell, despite having the fastest times of all the competitors to complete (finishing the second stage with over 24 seconds left) failed at the Ultimate Cliffhanger as well. Brian Orosco fell at the very first obstacle, the Roulette Cylinder, which he had passed easily in the previous competition. While the $250,000 prize went unclaimed, Sasuke 26 was the start of a successful showing by a collection of American competitors.

The third season of American Ninja Warrior debuted on July 31 on G4, again with 300 competitors at the tryouts in Venice Beach. While many top competitors were absent including Levi Meeuwenberg, Rich King and Luci Romberg, a talented crop of new competitors took their place including Denver Broncos wide receiver Matt Willis, who finished the course but did not qualify for boot camp. Other notable competitors who failed to advance to boot camp included two-time Sasuke veteran Shane Daniels, season two veterans Evan "Rocket" Dollard, Adam Truesdell, Adam LaPlante and Patrick Cusic, top first round qualifiers from the previous season Trevor Vaughn and David Money, and former world freerunning champion Tim Shieff. In addition, professional freerunner and Survivor: China competitor Michael "Frosti" Zernow ranked in the top fifteen and was invited to boot camp, but injured himself and was replaced with fellow Jump City: Seattle competitor Jake Smith. Other competitors from Jump City who advanced to boot camp also included Brian Orasco, Drew Dreschel and David "Young Flip" Rodriguez. The level of competition in boot camp was noticeably higher in the third season, as competitors were only given one attempt at each obstacle in challenges, leading to large increase in time penalties. Promising competitors Dustin Rocho, Brandon Douglass, Alan Connealy, second-seeded qualifier Chris Wilczewski and five-time Sasuke veteran Brian Orosco all saw their Sasuke dreams come to an end at boot camp.

Of the ten who advanced to Sasuke, nine easily cleared the First Stage. The only exception was Dreschel, who injured his knee landing on the Halfpipe Attack, and despite a valiant attempt at the Warped Wall, was unable to put any weight on his leg and stated on his Facebook that he will not be available for Sasuke 28. The high hopes of the remaining nine took a major hit in the Second Stage, as five more were eliminated including Rodriguez on the Slider Drop, Smith on the Double Salmon Ladder, and newcomer Travis Rosen and veterans Travis Furlanic and Brent Steffensen on the Metal Spin. The remaining four competitors made it to the Third Stage only to be outdone by the Ultimate Cliffhanger. Ryan Stratis failed to make the fourth ledge while James McGrath and fan favorite Paul Kasemir failed the transition to the fifth ledge. The last competitor, David Campbell almost made it through the entire obstacle but on the final ledge his grip gave out. Even though no one earned a $500,000 K-Swiss Endorsement Deal, the competitors at Sasuke 27 were by far the strongest group of Americans to date. The final episode of the third season aired on NBC on August 29, 2011 as a two-hour special in prime-time.

A fourth season of the program began airing on May 20, 2012 and the show aired on both G4 and NBC for the Regionals and the Championship with the grand prize of $500,000 and the coveted American Ninja Warrior title. The entire format was changed to include regional qualifiers in different parts of the country as well as the entire course from Japan recreated in Las Vegas for the Championship round. Regional qualifiers would narrow down its selections down to 30 contestants who finished its qualifying course in the fastest time as well as the contestants who finished the furthest the fastest. Qualifying obstacles would include common first stage obstacles such as the quintuple steps and the warped wall and its contents would change from city to city. The 30 contestants are then cut in half in the regional finals where the course would extend to include common second and third stage obstacles such as the Salmon Ladder and the Cliffhanger. The 100 contestants who qualify are then sent to Las Vegas to tackle the course itself. The show returned for its fifth season on July 1, 2013 in the same format. This season, if a contestant were to finish the course, that player would be guaranteed a spot in the next round. So far in these two seasons, no one has earned the money and the title.

United Kingdom[edit]

The American-edited Ninja Warrior episodes are broadcast in the United Kingdom on Challenge. The show has been re-edited to remove the subtitles. The "Ninja Killer" and "Warrior Wipeout" sections remain, but there is only one advertisement break halfway through the show. The show was voiced-over by Stuart Hall for its first three series, aired between 2007 and 2008. In the fourth UK series, aired in 2011, the subtitles were retained for contestant interviews. Jim North took over as the voice-over for this series. As of July 2012, all tournaments up to Sasuke 27 have aired in the UK. Challenge has now removed Hall's commentary from the first three series, following his imprisonment in June 2013 and re-dubbed them with new commentary by North.

Greece[edit]

The program can currently be seen in Greece as Sasuke on the Skai TV network every Saturday at 16:00 (GMT + 2). The show is voiced-over by Akindynos Gikas and Kostas Papageorgiou.

Serbia[edit]

The program can currently be seen in the Serbia as Nindža Ratnici (Ninja Warriors) every day from Monday until Friday at 19:00 (GMT+1) on B92 (from 13 August 2012). The program was previously seen on Fox TV (now Prva TV), narrated by Igor Brakus and Vladimir Đorđević.

Singapore[edit]

The program broadcast in Singapore is the non-edited version of Ninja Warrior, with the exception of the subtitles being white instead of yellow. The program will be broadcast on MediaCorp Channel 5 every Wednesday at 20:30 (GMT + 8) and screened two episodes back to back. It was later moved to Thursday at 20:30 (GMT + 8), airing one episode. The show's run ended with the 17th competition on the Sasuke series.

The show returned on December 23, 2009, airing Wednesdays at 20:00, showing at various times two episodes, three episodes, or a single episode. The show's run ended with the 24th run.

Singapore has its own edition of Sasuke, which aired on August 9, 2012 at 8:10 pm, after the National Day Parade. It started airing August 15, 2012, and has its own winner going to Japan to take on the Sasuke course.

Season 1 was won by 22 year old SAF's Naval Officer, Isaiah How Jia Jie, he was placed 9th in the first stage but managed to beat 21 year old NUS student, Jenson Ngoh by 0.1 seconds in the season's 20 meter rope climb in the second stage to win.

Season 2 began with a new twist in its first episode, 5 Singaporean contenders will compete with 5 Malaysians contenders, whichever country score the first 3 points will make it to the end. Eventually Team Singapore beat Team Malaysia with a score of 3-2. For the competition, 26 year old gymnastics trainer edge out the other 12 contenders for the season with the timing of 23.9 seconds, just 2.4 seconds shy by breaking Isaiah How's timing, he accompanied Isaiah to Japan in supporting him. However in a twist of events, the production crew brought good luck to Alan Zhang in allowing him in participating it.

The series concluded in its 13th and final episode with Isaiah How & Alan Zhang conquering the obstacle course in Mount Midoriyama, Japan, both crashed out in the fourth obstacle (Jump Hang Kai) and third obstacle (Spinning Bridge) in the 1st stage respectively.

Russia[edit]

The program is broadcast in Russia on Sony Turbo as Путь нинзи (Ninja Warrior) daily at 16:10

Indonesia[edit]

The program broadcast in Indonesia is the G4 version of Ninja Warrior, including the "Ninja Killer" and "Warrior Wipeout" sections. The show is dubbed in Indonesian language and broadcast daily at 09:00 (GMT + 7). Usually two thirty-minute episodes are aired. in TPI (Now MNC TV) Now this show in Indonesia is over.

Italy[edit]

The Ninja Warrior version of the program is broadcast in Italy on GXT or on GXT +1. The Italian version includes "Ninja Killer" and "Warrior Wipeout".

South Africa[edit]

The program broadcast in South Africa is the Sony MAX CHANNEL version of Ninja Warrior, with the "Ninja Killer" and "Warrior Wipeout" sections.

Germany[edit]

The Ninja Warrior version of the program is broadcast in Germany on RTL II and DSF.

Turkey[edit]

The Ninja Warrior version of the program is broadcasting in Turkey on Fox TV narrated by Hayri Hiçler and Hopdedik Ayhan.

Bulgaria[edit]

The program is broadcast in Bulgaria on bTV Comedy as Най-добрият нинджа (The Best Ninja) weekends at 16:00 (GMT + 2).

Czech Republic[edit]

The program is broadcast in the Czech Republic on Prima Cool as Ninja faktor (Ninja Factor). Episodes are 50 minutes long and split in two parts.

Croatia[edit]

The program can currently be seen in Croatia on Nova TV (Croatia) as Ninja Ratnici (Ninja Warriors) from Monday to Friday at 13:30 (GMT+1) and 16:00 (GMT+1) narrated by Davor Jurkotić and Mario Lipovšek Battifiaca.

Slovak Republic[edit]

The program is broadcast in the Slovak Republic on JOJ Plus as Ninja faktor (Ninja Factor).

Australia[edit]

The American Ninja Warrior is broadcast in Australia on SBS Two. The play-by-play commentary and interviews with participants are subtitled in English, while the introduction, player profiles, and replays have been dubbed by a voice actor.

Bosnia[edit]

The program can currently be seen in the Bosnia as Nindža Ratnici (Ninja Warriors) every day from Monday until Friday at 18:20 (GMT+1) on the Hayat TV channel and on Mreža Plus syndicated TV program.

Estonia[edit]

The program was aired in Estonia as Ninjasõdalane (Ninja Warrior) on the TV6 channel every Saturday and Sunday at 19:00 pm to 20.00 pm. Running time was 30-minute per episode.

Lithuania[edit]

Kovotojas Nindzė on TV6.

Latvia[edit]

The program is broadcast in Latvia on LNT every day from Tuesday to Friday at 13.00 local time (GMT+3 - summer time). Every day on LMK at 20.00 o'clock.

Middle East[edit]

The program can currently be seen in the Middle East as محارب النينجا (Ninja Warriors) on MBC Action every Monday at (20:00 Mecca local time / 17:00 GMT / 12:00 EST). The whole program is dubbed into Arabic

Poland[edit]

The program can be currently seen in Poland as Wojownicy Ninja (Ninja Warriors) on MTV.

Malaysia[edit]

The program is broadcast in Malaysia on Disney XD and TV9 as Ninja Warrior

In 2011, Malaysia did a qualifier for Sasuke 27, which Farid Isham won.

In 2013, Malaysia organized the Sasuke ASEAN Open Cup, a match between Japan and the 10 ASEAN nations. (there will be 7 Japanese representatives who qualified for their performance in Sasuke 29.)

Thailand[edit]

The program is broadcast in Thailand on Modernine TV as Ninja Warrior on Tuesday 8.35 pm.

Related events[edit]

The show Viking: The Ultimate Obstacle Course airs on ESPN2 and is also produced by Monster9 for Fuji TV. Many of the competitors from Sasuke also compete in the Viking competition.

Sasuke executive producer Ushio Higuchi co-created Muscle Musical, a live athletic and comedy-oriented performance featuring several notable Sasuke and Kunoichi competitors, who have included Ayako Miyake, Naoki Iketani, Sayaka Asami, Terukazu Ishikawa, Kayo Haga, Daisuke Nakata, and Rie Komiya, as well as other Japanese athletes and entertainers. Its popularity in Japan and its growing popularity in the United States has resulted in a long-term run at the Sahara Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.

Every January TBS airs the Pro Sportsman No.1 competition, also produced by Monster9. Several people who have competed on Sasuke have participated in this competition.

On Odaiba island, Monster9 has built Muscle Park, an indoor theme park based on events from Sasuke and other Muscle Ranking related programs. Some well-known Sasuke participants, such as Katsumi Yamada, have made live appearances there. Sasuke champion Makoto Nagano was honored in a celebration where he participated in the ribbon cutting there.[5] Since April 2007, Monster9 has been airing episodes of Muscle Channel,[6] a show to promote Muscle Park, the Muscle Musical, and people and events related to Sasuke. Muscle Channel usually airs on BS-i on Thursdays from 8:00 to 9:53 JST and is hosted by Hiromichi Sato. Past guests include Katsumi Yamada[7] and Shunsuke Nagasaki.[8]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Sasuke 2005". Tbs.co.jp. Retrieved 2011-10-12. 
  2. ^ Corkill, Edan, "Average Joes become champions on 'Sasuke'". Japan Times. September 30, 2011. p. 15.
  3. ^ Levin, Gary. "Americans latch onto G4's intense 'Ninja Warrior'". USA Today. December 7, 2010.
  4. ^ In that tournament, her last name was listed as Tanabe because at the time she was single.
  5. ^ "Held a raffle!" (in Japanese). Blog.livedoor.jp. Retrieved 2011-10-12. 
  6. ^ "Muscle Channel Program Details" (in Japanese). Bs-i.co.jp. Archived from the original on 2007-04-25. Retrieved 2011-10-12. 
  7. ^ "TV News" (in Japanese). Musclemusical.com. Retrieved 2011-10-12. 
  8. ^ "TV News" (in Japanese). Musclemusical.com. Retrieved 2011-10-12. 

External links[edit]