Japanese kawaii metal sensation Suzuka Nakamoto is best known for being part of the band Babymetal. Also known as Su-metal, she entered the world of showbiz with Jewel Drop commercials and later won a kids’ audition. She has also been part of the idol girl group Sakura Gakuin.
Once a popular child actor, Haruma Miura stormed the Japanese film scene after an impactful performance as Hiro in Koizora. He had also tried his luck in singing and had starred in series such as Last Cinderella. He shocked his fans by committing suicide by hanging at age 30.
Best known for his award-winning voice role of Light Yagami in the manga series Death Note, Mamoru Miyano is an anime artist who has also released singles such as Kuon and Discovery. The artist, who is also known as Mamo, or Mamo-chan, is also a skilled harmonica/harp player.
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.
Miyavi is a Japanese singer-songwriter, guitarist, actor, and record producer. Apart from being an entertainer, Miyavi is also a volunteer at UNHCR; since 2013, he has been visiting several refugee camps across the world. He was made an official UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador in November 2017.
Hirai Momo is a Japanese dancer and singer based in South Korea. She is best known for being one of three Japanese members of the popular South Korean girl group, Twice. One of the most famous K-pop stars from outside Korea, Momo's popularity has been credited with boosting international relations between Japan and South Korea.
Japanese singer-actor Sakura Miyawaki initially gained fame as part of groups such as HKT48 and Iz*One. The J-pop and K-pop icon apparently signed a deal with BTS’s agency HYBE in 2021. She was also the runner-up on the reality show Produce 48 and has a popular YouTube video gaming channel, too.
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.
Though Daisuke Ono initially wished to build a career in TV broadcasting, criticism from one of his art institute professors made him move toward acting. The Seiyu Award-winning voice actor is now known for his performances in manga series such as Black Butler and JoJo's Bizarre Adventure.
Japanese pop icon Ayumi Hamasaki had started a TV career after moving to Tokyo at 14. She later gained fame with her dance hits and ballads. Also known for her dramatic costumes and videos, The Empress of J-pop has been rendered totally deaf in one ear, owing to a ear infection.
Best known as an anime voice actor, Kana Hanazawa began her career at 14, voicing Holly Mad-thane in Last Exile. She was also seen as a child actor in programs such as Yappari Sanma Daisensei. Known by many nicknames such as KanaHana and Zaa-san, she has also released several albums.
Japanese voice actor Nobuhiko Okamoto is best known for his award-winning performances in anime series such as A Certain Magical Index and Persona: Trinity Soul. He is also a certified shogi player and has participated in several shogi events. He has also tried his luck in singing.
Scouted while still in high school, Takeru Satoh is best known as Ryotaro Nogami from the Kamen Rider Den-O franchise. He had earlier worked as a child actor and was also skilled in baseball and martial arts. He has also starred in the live-action movie Rurouni Kenshin, based on a popular manga.
Though Chiaki Kuriyama gained immense fame as a child model, especially for her photos in the bestselling book Shinwa-Shojo, the book was banned for child pornography later. Now an actor-singer, too, she is known for her roles in films such as Battle Royale and Kill Bill: Volume 1.
One of the best-known Japanese voice actors, Maaya Sakamoto soared to fame with her performances as Kiyomi Takada in Death Note and Lunamaria Hawke in Gundam Seed Destiny. She is also a successful singer and a sociology major. She has also dubbed for films such as the Star Wars trilogy.
J-pop icon Namie Amuro has started her career as an adolescent, with the group Super Monkey’s. Her singing and dancing talent soon made her go solo, with hit tracks such as Body Feels EXIT. She later experimented by mingling pop and hip-hop, and also collaborated with many American artists.
Hikaru Utada is a Japanese-American singer, producer, and songwriter. She achieved popularity after releasing her first Japanese-language studio album First Love, which became Japan's best-selling album of all time. Utada was regarded as the most influential artist of the 2000s in Japan. She is also one of the most decorated Japanese artists of her generation.
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.
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.
Takahiro Moriuchi, better known to fans a Taka, soared to fame as the lead singer of the Japanese rock band One Ok Rock. He was previously part of the boy band News. The eldest son of popular singers Shinichi and Masako Mori, he now owns a lavish home in Hollywood Hills.
Seiyu Award-winning voice actor Maaya Uchida is the sister of fellow voice actor Yuma Uchida. Initially interested in gaming, she later aspired to be a voice actor for gaming characters and thus ventured into voice acting. She owns a fan club named LIFE IS LIKE A SUNNY DAY.
Japanese cultural icon and J-pop star Kyary Pamyu Pamyu soared to fame with singles such as PonPonPon and Candy Candy. She now promotes everything from soft drinks to fashion and make-up. Also dubbed as the Harajuku Girl, she is also known for her love for blonde wigs.
Japanese voice actor Ayana Taketatsu is known for her work in anime/manga series such as Sword Art Online and Guilty Crown. She has also dubbed for movies such as The Angry Birds Movie 2 and is part of the band Hokago Tea Time. She is married to fellow voice actor Yûki Kaji.
With her film Sayonara, Miyoshi Umeki became the first Asian actress to win an Academy Award. Initially a night-club singer, she was later known for playing docile and submissive characters in most of her films. She also earned a Golden Globe nomination for playing Mei Li in Flower Drum Song.
Born in Germany, Tetsuya Kakihara later established himself as a fine voice actor in Japan. He now also owns his own agency. Best known for his performances in manga/anime productions such as Fairy Tail, he later also released singles. He has also worked in adult media as Raku Kaiou.
One of Japan’s most well-known adult stars, Yuma Asami had begun her career at age 18. She mostly worked with studios that specialized in soft porn. The Grand Prix award-winning actor was later diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Post-recovery, she ditched the adult industry and began working as a singer.
Born to a Portuguese mother and a Japanese father, adult star Tina Yuzuki rose to be an AV idol and later worked under the pseudonym Rio. She later stepped into the mainstream film industy and also tried her luck in singing. She is known for erotic movies such as Stop the Bitch Campaign.
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.
Yūki Ono is a Japanese singer and voice actor best known for his work in video games and anime shows. After being inspired by Kishō Taniyama, Yūki Ono went on to establish himself as a popular voice actor, winning honors like the Seiyu Award.
Kyoko Fukada, also known as Fukakyon, is best known for her award-winning lead role of Momoko Ryugasaki in Kamikaze Girls. She has also appeared in countless series and experimented with J-pop, too. In 2021, she went on an indefinite hiatus after being diagnosed with adjustment disorder.
Popularly known as the Clint Eastwood of Japan for playing brooding characters, Ken Takakura has mostly been part of yakuza movies that dealt with organized crime. He soared to fame with Abashiri Prison and later delivered award-winning performances in films such as Station, The Yellow Handkerchief, and Poppoya.
Mamiko Noto is a Japanese film actress, singer, and voice actress. Noto is renowned for her contribution to anime and video games in Japan. She has also released many songs and albums that have been featured in music charts like Oricon.
Kōji Wada was a Japanese pop singer best remembered for performing several theme songs for the popular anime television series, Digimon. He had contributed songs to six Digimon anime series, including his most famous single Butter-Fly. Kōji Wada went on to perform internationally before succumbing to cancer in 2016 at the age of 42.
Damo Suzuki is a Japanese musician best known for his association with the German experimental rock band Can where he was the lead singer from 1970 to 1973. Suzuki, who has been living in Germany since the 1970s, is an exponent of a genre of experimental rock called Krautrock, which was developed in the 1960s and 1970s in West Germany.
Meiko Kaji is a Japanese singer and actress best known for playing outlaw characters in movies like Stray Cat Rock, Female Prisoner 701: Scorpion, and Wandering Ginza Butterfly. She has appeared in more than 100 television series and films so far. Meiko Kaji was honored with the prestigious Kinuyo Tanaka Award at the 75th Mainichi Film Awards.
Toma Ikuta is a Japanese actor best known for playing important roles in TV series like Hanazakari no Kimitachi e: Ikemen Paradise. Over the course of his career, Ikuta has been honored with prestigious awards, such as Tokyo Drama Award, Television Drama Academy Award, and Blue Ribbon Award.
Akira Fuse is a Japanese actor and singer who has been contributing immensely to the Japanese TV and music industry for many years now. From hosting a late-night talk show to performing in tours, Fuse has tried his hand at many things throughout his career.
Yukie Nakama is a Japanese singer, actress, and former idol. Nakama, who has contributed immensely to anime, video games, TV, and film industry, has been honored with several prestigious awards like the Japanese Drama Academy Awards and the Japan Academy Prize.
Kumi Koda is a Japanese singer renowned for her R&B and urban pop songs. One of the top-selling artists of her generation, Koda has won some of the most prestigious awards like MTV Video Music Awards Japan and Mnet Asian Music Awards. Over the years, Koda has also established herself as a fashion icon, setting trends like the ero-kakkoii style.
Momoe Yamaguchi is a Japanese former actress, singer, and idol. Considered one of the most successful Japanese singers ever, Yamaguchi released 21 studio albums in a career that spanned eight years. She also appeared in many television serial dramas and 15 feature films before retiring at the peak of her popularity, at the age of 21, to marry her costar, Tomokazu Miura.
Akiyuki Nosaka was a Japanese novelist, lyricist, and singer. He is best remembered for his children's stories about wars. In 1967, two of his stories namely American Hijiki and Grave of the Fireflies won the prestigious Naoki Prize. Many of his works, including his novel, The Pornographers, and short story, Grave of the Fireflies, have been adapted into films.
Masayuki Suzuki is a Japanese singer renowned for his association with the popular blackface pop group Rats & Star where he was the lead vocalist. Suzuki is credited with forming the band, which was disbanded in 1996. Nicknamed Japan's King of Love Songs, Masayuki Suzuki is also known for his successful solo career.
Yōsuke Kubozuka is a Japanese musician and actor who worked as a model for TV commercials and magazines before starting his career as an actor. He then went on to establish himself as a reggae musician. Over the years, Kubozuka has been honored with many prestigious awards like the Japan Academy Film Prize, Television Academy Award, and Kinema Junpo Award.