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Kan Mikami once beat the crap out of David Bowie.

Mikami’s dustup with the Thin White Duke occurred in the Pacific War saga “Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence” (1983), in which he had a small role opposite Bowie as the sadistic Lt. Ito. Bowie’s fame was then at its “Let’s Dance” peak; Mikami, by contrast, had lost his audience and largely given up on the singing career that had made him a star a decade earlier when he played at the Nakatsugawa Folk Jamboree — Japan’s answer to Woodstock.

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