For over 30 years Kazuo Hasegawa was one of the most popular stage and screen actors of Japan. Hasegawa got his start in Kabuki theater. He made his film debut in 1927 and subsequently starred in hundreds of dramas, most frequently playing the hero. In 1937, because he had become such a national treasure and had a high market value, a vengeful ex-employer hired a man to attack him with a knife. His face was slashed but Hasegawa survived. In the early '60s, he finally retired from films, but continued working on stage.