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.
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.
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.
With his Billboard number one track Sukiyaki, Kyu Sakamoto became the first to score a pop number one with a song entirely sung in Japanese. Born to a restaurateur, he had started his career singing in jazz clubs. He died in a 1985 plane crash that killed over 500 people.
Award-winning Japanese manga artist Naoki Urasawa is best known for his thriller Monster and the sci-fi 20th Century Boys. Fans love his intricate and psychologically complicated plots. He also teaches at the Nagoya Zokei University and is a skilled rock musician who once performed as Bob Lennon.
Kiyoshi Kurosawa is a Japanese film director and film critic. He is also a professor at Tokyo University of the Arts. Interested in filmmaking from a young age,he received his training under prominent film critic Shigehiko Hasumi before beginning his career. He has worked in numerous genres and is best known for his many contributions to the Japanese horror genre.
One of the co-founders of the Japanese Communist Party, Sanzō Nosaka had stepped into politics as a university student and had later traveled to the U.S. to work on plans such as smuggling Communists into Japan. He also campaigned against the Japanese occupation of China.