Famous Japanese Actors

Find out more about the greatest Japanese Actors, including Maria Ozawa, Ken Watanabe, Rinko Kikuchi, Toshiro Mifune and Sola Aoi.

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

Vote for Your Favourite Japanese Actors

 1 Hiroyuki Sanada

Hiroyuki Sanada.
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: October 12, 1960
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Tokyo, Japan

Hiroyuki Sanada gained prominence when he starred alongside Tom Cruise, in The Last Samurai. It opened the gates of Hollywood for him which was followed by various television shows and films. He bagged in the Japanese Academy Award for Tasogare Seibei (The Twilight Samurai).

 2 Ken Watanabe

Ken Watanabe.
4
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: October 21, 1959
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Koide, Japan

While tragic hero characters shot him to fame, the Japanese actor is recognized by global audience for his roles in The Last Samurai and Godzilla. Having started his career as a stage actor, Ken Watanabe is known for playing Samurai roles in Japanese films. He was also cast in the lead role in The King and I staged on Broadway.

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 3 Mako Iwamatsu

Mako Iwamatsu.
2
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: December 10, 1933
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Kobe, Japan
Died: July 21, 2006

Japanese-American actor Makoto Iwamatsu, or Mako, is remembered for his Academy Award- and Golden Globe-nominated role of Po-Han in The Sand Pebbles. He also appeared in Conan the Barbarian, Conan the Destroyer, and Seven Years in Tibet. He delivered a Tony-nominated performance in Pacific Overtures and co-founded East West Players.

 4 Haruma Miura

Haruma Miura.
3
Famous As: Actor, Singer, Voice actor, Child actor
Birthdate: April 5, 1990
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Tsuchiura

 5 Glenn Howerton

Glenn Howerton.
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: April 13, 1974
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Japan

 6 Richard T. Jones

Richard T. Jones.
2
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: January 16, 1972
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture

Richard T. Jones is an American actor known for playing important roles in films like Full Court Miracle, The Wood, and Why Did I Get Married? Apart from being an actor, Richard T. Jones is also a preacher/minister and often appears in Christian drama films, such as A Question of Faith.

 7 Takeshi Kitano

Takeshi Kitano
4
Famous As: Comedian
Birthdate: January 18, 1947
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Adachi, Tokyo, Japan

Takeshi Kitano is a Japanese comedian, TV presenter, author, actor, and filmmaker. He gained international fame in the 1970s as one half of the comedy duo Two Beat. He later pursued a solo act and became one of the top comedians in Japan. He then ventured into acting and direction as well. He won the Golden Lion award in 1997.   

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 8 Mark Dacascos

Mark Dacascos
6
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: February 26, 1964
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Honolulu, Hawaii, USA

 9 Toshiro Mifune

Toshiro Mifune.
0
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: April 1, 1920
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Qingdao, Shandong, Republic of China
Died: December 24, 1997

Toshiro Mifune was a Japanese actor best known for his collaboration with director Akira Kurosawa. The two worked together for 16 films, most of which are considered cinema classics. In 1986, Mifune was honored with the Medal of Honor with Purple Ribbon. In 2016, he was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

 10 Brian Tee

Brian Tee.
2
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: March 15, 1977
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Okinawa Prefecture, Japan

Brian Tee is a Japanese American actor. He is best known for playing Dr. Ethan Choi in the popular medical drama TV series, Chicago Med. Tee has reprised his role as Ethan in spin-off series, such as Chicago Fire and Chicago P.D. He has also appeared in popular films like The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift and Jurassic World

 11 Masi Oka

Masi Oka.
1
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: December 27, 1974
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Tokyo, Japan
Masi Oka soared to fame with his Emmy-nominated and Saturn Award-winning role of Hiro Nakamura in the superhero series Heroes. The Hawaii Five-0 star is a black belt in Japanese fencing and an avid chess player. He is also multilingual and has been a translator at the 1992 Summer Olympics.

 12 Tadanobu Asano

Tadanobu Asano
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Famous As: Actor, Guitarist, Musician, Singer, Film director, Model
Birthdate: November 27, 1973
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Yokohama

 13 Kento Yamazaki

Kento Yamazaki.
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: September 7, 1994
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Itabashi, Tokyo
Japanese actor/model Kento Yamazaki is best known for his performance as L in the series Death Note and as Minato Shindo in Good Doctor, with the latter winning him a Television Drama Academy Award. He also appeared in films such as Orange and previously modeled for Pichi Lemon magazine. 

 14 Takeshi Kaneshiro

Takeshi Kaneshiro.
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: October 11, 1973
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Wanhua District, Taipei

Taiwanese-Japanese actor Takeshi Kaneshiro was not seen in any major projects after his successful stint in the romantic comedy This Is Not What I Expected, till he announced he was part of the much-delayed Sons of the Neon Night. He is also popular as Samanosuke from the Onimusha video games.

 15 Shun Oguri

Shun Oguri
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Famous As: Actor, Seiyū, Film director, Child actor, Stage actor
Birthdate: December 26, 1982
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Kodaira

 16 Takuya Kimura

Takuya Kimura.
1
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: November 13, 1972
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Tokyo

Takuya Kimura is a Japanese actor, radio personality, and singer. He is best known for his association with SMAP, one of East Asia's best-selling boy bands. After starting his career as a singer, Kimura found considerable success as an actor, which catapulted him to stardom and turned him into a Japanese icon. His acting skills have earned him several awards.

 17 Sessue Hayakawa

Sessue Hayakawa
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Famous As: Actor, Novelist, Screenwriter, Film director
Birthdate: June 10, 1889
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Chiba
Died: November 23, 1973

 18 Takeru Satoh

Takeru Satoh
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Famous As: Actor, Singer
Birthdate: March 21, 1989
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Iwatsuki-ku

 19 Yoshihiro Akiyama

Yoshihiro Akiyama
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Famous As: Mixed martial artist
Birthdate: July 29, 1975
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Ikuno Ward, Osaka, Japan

 20 Antonio Inoki

Antonio Inoki
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Famous As: Politician, Professional wrestler, Writer, Actor
Birthdate: February 20, 1943
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Yokohama

 21 Takahiro Sakurai

Takahiro Sakurai
1
Famous As: Voice Actor
Birthdate: June 13, 1974
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Okazaki, Japan

 22 Mamoru Miyano

Mamoru Miyano
1
Famous As: Actor, Singer, Seiyū, Child actor
Birthdate: June 8, 1983
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Saitama Prefecture

 23 Hiroshi Kamiya

Hiroshi Kamiya
1
Famous As: Voice actor
Birthdate: January 28, 1975
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Chiba, Japan

 24 Takashi Miike

Takashi Miike
1
Famous As: Film director, Film producer, Screenwriter, Actor
Birthdate: August 24, 1960
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Yao

 25 Yûki Furukawa

Yûki Furukawa
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Birthdate: December 18, 1987
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Tokyo

 26 Junichi Suwabe

Junichi Suwabe
2
Famous As: Voice actor
Birthdate: March 29, 1972
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Tokyo, Japan

 27 Kenichi Matsuyama

Kenichi Matsuyama.
1
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: March 5, 1985
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Mutsu, Aomori Prefecture

Initially a model, Japanese actor Kenichi Matsuyama later stepped into films. He is best known for playing L in the Death Note film franchise and Toru Watanabe in the movie version of Norwegian Wood. He has also won awards such as the Japan Academy and the Blue Ribbon awards.

 28 Hideaki Anno

Hideaki Anno
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Famous As: Film director, Animator, Actor, Screenwriter, Film producer, Film actor
Birthdate: May 22, 1960
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Ube

 29 Sota Fukushi

Sota Fukushi.
1
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: May 30, 1993
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Tokyo

Sota Fukushi is a Japanese actor who has been active in the entertainment industry for over a decade. He started his career by playing minor roles in TV shows and films. He gained international prominence with his role of Gentaro Kisaragi in the Kamen Rider franchise. He is also popular for his appearance in the TV show My Lover's Secret. 

 30 Masaki Suda

Masaki Suda.
1
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: February 21, 1993
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Minoh, Osaka Prefecture

Initially aspiring to be a math teacher, Masaki Suda later stepped into the world of entertainment. He was scouted by agents in school and later gained fame with the Kamen Rider TV and film franchise. His debut movie, The Backwater, won him the Japan Academy Prize for the best newcomer.

 31 Shigeo Tokuda

Shigeo Tokuda
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Famous As: actor, Adult Film Star
Birthdate: 1934 AD
Birthplace: Tokyo

 32 Sonny Chiba

Sonny Chiba
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Famous As: Actor, Judoka, Seiyū, Singer, Composer, Film producer, Film director, Lyricist, Karateka, Stunt performer
Birthdate: January 23, 1939
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Fukuoka

 33 Daisuke Ono

Daisuke Ono
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Famous As: Voice Actor
Birthdate: May 4, 1978
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Sakawa, Takaoka District, Kōchi Prefecture, Japan

 34 Sho Kosugi

Sho Kosugi
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Famous As: Actor, Karateka
Birthdate: June 17, 1948
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Minato-ku

 35 Shōta Sometani

Shōta Sometani
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Famous As: Actor, Child actor
Birthdate: September 3, 1992
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Tokyo

 36 Tomohisa Yamashita

Tomohisa Yamashita.
2
Famous As: Singer, Actor
Birthdate: April 9, 1985
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Funabashi, Chiba

Tomohisa Yamashita is a Japanese singer, TV host, and actor. After joining talent agency Johnny & Associates at the age of 11, Yamashita has been active on TV ever since. He is best known for his portrayal of Kusano Akira in the 2005 TV drama Nobuta Wo Produce. Over the years, he has won several Nikkan Sports Drama Grand Prix awards.

 37 Kazunari Ninomiya

Kazunari Ninomiya.
0
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: June 17, 1983
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Katsushika, Tokyo

Kazunari Ninomiya is a Japanese singer, radio host, songwriter, voice actor, and actor. He is best known for his association with the popular boy band, Arashi. Over the course of his successful career, Kazunari Ninomiya has won several prestigious awards, such as Nikkan Sports Drama Grand Prix, Japan Broadcast Film Arts Award, Hochi Film Award, Hashida Award, and Galaxy Award.

 38 Kōichi Yamadera

Kōichi Yamadera
0
Famous As: Actor, Seiyū, Tarento
Birthdate: June 17, 1961
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Shiogama

 39 Masakatsu Funaki

Masakatsu Funaki
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Famous As: Professional wrestler, Mixed martial artist, Actor
Birthdate: March 13, 1969
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Hirosaki

 40 Kensuke Sasaki

Kensuke Sasaki
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Famous As: Professional wrestler, Tarento
Birthdate: August 4, 1966
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Fukuoka

 41 Kiyoshi Kurosawa

Kiyoshi Kurosawa
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Famous As: Film director, Screenwriter, Film critic, Journalist, Television director, Actor
Birthdate: July 19, 1955
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Kōbe

 42 Takeshi Kaga

Takeshi Kaga
0
Famous As: Actor, Seiyū
Birthdate: October 12, 1950
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Kanazawa

 43 Takashi Shimura

Takashi Shimura
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Famous As: Actor, Film actor
Birthdate: March 12, 1905
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Asago
Died: February 11, 1982

 44 Nobu Matsuhisa

Nobu Matsuhisa
1
Famous As: Chefs
Birthdate: March 10, 1949
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Saitama, Japan

 45 Mitsuyasu Maeno

Mitsuyasu Maeno
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Famous As: actor, film actor
Birthdate: 1947 AD
Birthplace: Tokyo
Died: March 23, 1976

 46 Ken Shimura

Ken Shimura
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Famous As: Comedian
Birthdate: February 20, 1950
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Higashimurayama, Tokyo, Japan
Died: March 29, 2020

 47 Hiroshi Abe

Hiroshi Abe
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Famous As: actor, model
Birthdate: June 22, 1964
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Kanagawa-ku, Yokohama

 48 Taka Kato

Taka Kato
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Famous As: Actor, Film director, Adult Film Star
Birthdate: May 1, 1962
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Akita

 49 Toma Ikuta

Toma Ikuta
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Famous As: Actor, Singer, Child actor, Tarento
Birthdate: October 7, 1984
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Noboribetsu

 50 Jin Akanishi

Jin Akanishi
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: July 4, 1984
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Tokyo