The original Kamen Rider

Real Name: Hongô Takeshi

Identity/Class: Cyborg

Occupation: University student, studying biochemistry

Affiliations: member of the Kamen Riders, particularly Kamen Rider 2 (the two are known as the Double Riders); Tachibana Tobei, Ultraman, Professor Midorikawa (deceased), Midorikawa Ruriko, Taki Kazuya, Shônen Riders 

Enemies: Shocker, Geldam, Gelshocker, Kumo-Otoko (Spider-Man), Shinigami Hakase (Professor Death), Jigoku Taishi (Hell Ambassador)

Known Relatives: Unnamed parents (both deceased)

Aliases: Ichigô, Masked Rider,Ichigo-Rider, Waza no Ichigo

Base of Operations: Arizona, formerly worldwide, formerly Japan

First Appearance: Kamen Rider (live-action tv, April 4th, 1971)

Powers/Abilities: Hongô Takeshi allegedly has an IQ of 600, making him one of the smartest people on the planet. After his operation he had superhuman strength and reflexes, which become even greater after he initiates the change into Kamen Rider. He does this using his belt, Typhoon, which activates when the wind presses against it, activating a micro-nuclear engine. Once transformed he is strong enough to bend steel with a punch or kick.

Kamen Rider generally travels around on a hyper-charged motorbike, the Cyclone (later the New Cyclone), a nuclear powered racing machine originally built by the Professor and later redesigned by his old friend Tachibana Tobei. Capable of speeds in excess of 250 mph, and able to jump more than 30 metres, the bike appears to be a normal of-road vehicle when Hongô is in his civilian identity. The bike is tough enough to be used as a high speed battering ram when required.

History: Hongô Takeshi was an extremely intelligent biochemistry student at Tokyo's Jyounan University, whose hobbies included motocross racing. Out with his coach Tachibana Tobei practicing for a race, he was kidnapped by Kumo-Otoko (Spider-Man), a mutant agent of the terrorist group Shocker. They needed a physically fit test subject to use as a guinea pig in their cyborg warrior programme, and Hongô was ideal for their purpose. He awoke a week later, imprisoned within Shocker's base, where he was informed of his planned fate. Shocker's scientists performed a number of operations on him, but before the could brainwash him to make an obedient slave, they were interupted by an explosion. One of the scientists was Hongô's lecturer at university, working for Shocker under duress because they had kidnapped his daughter. Recognising his student on the operating table, he had rigged the explosion to cause a distraction that might allow him to free Hongô. Together the two fled Shocker's base.

Shocker sent Kumo-Otoko after them, and Hongô battled the mutant on the edge of a cliff, and was thrown over the edge. This initiated his first transformation into Kamen Rider. In the ensuing battle Kumo-Otoko slew the Professor, the murder witnessed by the scientist's daughter who wrongly felt Kamen Rider was responsible. The mutant villain then grabbed the girl and fled, pursued by Kamen Rider, who eventually rescued the damsel and killed the murderer.

Kamen Rider fought the forces of Shocker for several months, but eventually Hongô handed over to Kamen Rider 2, Ichimongi Hayato, and left him to defend Japan while he pursued Shocker overseas to Africa and Europe. When he returned to his homeland full time, he purposely allowed Shocker to capture him again. They operated on him once more, making him even more powerful, but again left the brain surgery to last. Prepared for this, Hongô had stayed conscious during the operation through self-hypnosis, and he escaped once more before they could tame him. He recruited a network of youthful informants, the Shônen Riders, who alerted him to Shocker activity in their areas. With his increased abilities, and working in conjunction with Kamen Rider 2, he managed to finally eliminate Shocker and it's successor, Gelshocker.

Sometime later the two Kamen Riders helped transform Kazami Shiro into Kamen Rider V3. Almost immediately afterwards the two early Riders appeared to die, sacrificing their lives to save Japan by taking a monster out over the Pacific Ocean before it exploded. Believed dead for some time, both of the original Riders had actually survived, and eventually they made their way to Australia, and latterly returned to Japan.

After a lengthy period of heroics, Hongô emigrated to Arizona, U.S.A., where he set up a base which any of the increasing number of Kamen Riders could use to rebuild their strength between battles with evil. He still ocassionally ventures out to help the heroes who came after him, but generally the veteran who founded the Kamen Rider dynasty enjoys a well earned retirement.

Comments: Created by Shohtaroh Ishinomori.

Played by Fujioka Hiroshi, the Kamen Rider franchise started out of necessity after he broke his left leg badly during a stunt gone wrong early on in the filming of the series. To allow him time to recover while still continuing the show, they brought in a new Kamen Rider and made up an excuse that the original had left to battle Shocker overseas. Once Fujioka had recovered, the original Kamen Rider returned, first in a number of guest starring episodes, and later taking back the leading role in the show. The two Riders were still shown to work together fairly often, and became known as the Double Riders.

CLARIFICATIONS: Not to be confused with

Any Additions/Corrections? Please let me know.

Back to Japanese heroes main page


All images and characters depicted on this site are copyright their respective holders, and are used for informational purposes only. No infringement is intended and copyrights remain at source.