Tough guy actor Yasuoka Rikiya (63) underwent a liver transplant yesterday, with the donor being his son Rikito (24). The two were taken to the operating room on the morning of August 30. About 65% of Rikito’s liver was removed and transplanted to his father, who spent a total of 39 hours in surgery. Rikiya was diagnosed with a form of paralysis known as Guillain-BarrÃ© syndrome in 2006. But he made his return to work in an appearance on the TV Asahi talk show “Tetsuko no Heya” in April. He also worked on the movie “Oh! My Brother,” which is due for release in November.
Rikiya made his movie debut in 1964s “Jidosha Dorobo” (The Car Thieves) and went on establish himself as Japan’s most famous potrayer of hulking gangsters.
Living donor liver transplants began in Japan in the early 1990s and there are currently about 500 such procedures annually.