Arai made his screen debut in Isao Yukisada's GO in 2001 when he was 19 years old. His next film role was the emotionally disturbed senior high school student Aoki in Toshiaki Toyoda's Blue Spring, which won him the Best New Actor award at the 17th Takasaki Film Festival. His Blue Spring performance and promo interviews had attracted the attention of critically acclaimed Japanese director Yôichi Sai, also a Zainichi Korean. They publicly agreed to do a film together some day, which came to be Blood and Bones two years later.
In a Josei Seven interview, Arai had stated that, in spite of his earlier critically acclaimed films, he regarded the satirical crime film The Matsugane Potshot Affair (2006) as his true breakthrough. His role had allowed him to exhibit a wider range of his acting abilities including comic timing. After the film's release, he was offered comedic roles he had wanted but couldn't get, including Korede iinoda!! Eiga★Akatsuka Fujio and Slapstick Brothers.
The June 2012 issue of Switch, a Japanese arts and media magazine, features a special segment on top ten manga that teaches love and passion, chosen by Japanese actors, artists and musicians including Arai, who chose Bakuman while explaining: '"You should up your girl power by learning how to behave like a heroine."'
Arai's birth name is Kyung-Sik Park (박경식). He had stated in a number of Japanese interviews that he has a continual interest in being involved with films that explore Korean-Japanese issues.
Tokyograph announced in 2007 that Arai entered a "serious relationship" with singer Miu Sakamoto, the eldest daughter of noted musician Ryuichi Sakamoto and singer-songwriter Akiko Yano, after meeting during a television talk show in 2006.
|2001||Blue Spring||Aoi haru||Toshiaki Toyoda||Based on Taiyō Matsumoto's manga, sets in a run-down all-boys school where violence and apathy rule the roost.|
|2001||GO||Yukisada Isao||Based on Kazuki Kaneshiro's coming-of-age novel, GO.|
|2002||Justice||Yukisada Isao||(short film)|
|2003||Josee, the Tiger and the Fish||ジョゼと虎と魚たち
Joze to Tora to Sakanatachi
|Isshin Inudo||Based on Seiko Tanabe's novel.|
Tengoku no honya
|Tetsuo Shinohara||Based on Atsushi Matsuhisa and Wataru Tanaka's novel.|
|2004||69 sixtynine||Sang-il Lee||Based on Ryu Murakami's semi-autobiographical novel, 69.|
|2004||Blood and Bones||血と骨
Chi to Hone
|Yoichi Sai||Based on Yan Sogiru's semi-autobiographical novel.|
|2005||Neighbour No. 13||隣人13号
Rinjin 13 Gou
|Yasuo Inoue||Based on Santa Inoue's 3-volume dark psychological thriller manga.|
|2005||The Whispering of the Gods||ゲルマニウムの夜 Gerumaniumu no Yoru (Germanium's Night)||Tatsushi Ōmori||Based on Mangetsu Hanamura's novel. Rou (Arai) returns to his childhood home, a monastery of a tight-knit Christian community, where he soon forces them to face its dark brutal past.|
|2006||Sway||ゆれる Yureru||Miwa Nishikawa||A courtroom drama that revolves around fraternal rivalry that ends with the murder of a childhood friend.|
|2007||The Matsugane Potshot Affair||松ヶ根乱射事件
Matsugane Ransha Jiken
|Nobuhiro Yamashita||Based on Ryūnosuke Akutagawa's crime novel.|
|2008||A Crowd of Three||(ケンタとジュンとカヨちゃんの国
Kenta to Jun to Kayo-chan no Kuni
|Tatsushi Ōmori||a.k.a. Kenta, Jun And Kayo-chan's Country|
|2008||My Darling of the Mountains||Yama no Anata ~Tokuichi no Koi~
(Beyond the Mountains: Tokuichi in Love)
|Katsuhito Ishii||A remake of Hiroshi Shimizu’s 1938 film Anma to Onna (The Masseurs and a Woman).|
|2009||The Blood of Rebirth||Yomigaeri no Chi||Toshiaki Toyoda|
|2009||The Crab Cannery Ship||Kanikōsen||Hiroyuki Tanaka||Based on Takiji Kobayashi's 1929 politically satirical novella.|
|2009||The Wonderful World of Captain Kuhio||Kuhio Taisa (Captain Kuhio)||Daihachi Yoshida||Based on Kazumasa Yoshida’s 2006 biographical novel Kekkon Sagishi Kuhio Taisa (Marriage Swindler: Captain Kuhio).|
|2009||224466||Tadanobu Asano||Part of R246 Story, a film anthology that revolves around Japan's 76-mile highway, Route 246. Other R246 Story short films: CLUB246 (Ilmari), Jiroru: Densetsu no Yo-na-o-shi (Shido Nakamura), Bento Fufu (Yūsuke Santamaria), Arifureta Kisho (Genki Sudo), Dead Noise (Verbal).|
Viyon no Tsuma
|Kichitaro Negishi||Based on Osamu Dazai's 1947 semi-autobiographical short story.|
|2009||Mt. Tsurugidake||劒岳 点の記
Tsurugidake Ten no Ki
|Daisaku Kimura||Based on Jirō Nitta's historical novel.|
|2010||Douki (TV movie)||同期 (Synchronization)||Yu Irie||Detective Ryouta Udagawa (Ryuhei Matsuda) searches for his rival colleague Kazuhiko Soga (Hirofumi Arai) who went missing after a murder.|
|2010||Love & Loathing & Lulu & Ayano||(名前のない女たち
Namae no Nai Onnatachi (Nameless Women)
|Hisayasu Satō||Based on Atsuhiko Nakamura's memoir on how she was roped into working in Japan's porn industry.|
|2010||A Yakuza's Daughter Never Cries||Doch yakudzy
|Tetsuya Nakashima||Based on Kanae Minato's 2008 novel.|
|2010||All Around Us||ぐるりのこと
Gururi no Koto (What's All Round Us)
|2010||BOX: The Hakamada Case - What's Life?||BOX 袴田事件 命とは
BOX: Hakamada jiken - inochi towa
|Banmei Takahashi||Based on the Hakamada Incident, a real-life event that inspires former magistrate Norimichi Kumamoto's nationwide campaign to save a man who was sentenced to Japan's Death Row for murdering a family of four in 1966.|
|2011||That's the Way!! A Film Starring Fujio Akatsuka||これでいいのだ!! 映画★赤塚不二夫
Korede iinoda!! Eiga★Akatsuka Fujio
|Hideaki Sato||Based on the life of manga artist Fujio Akatsuka.|
Manzai gyangu (Manzai Gang)
|2011||Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai||一命
Ichimei (one life)
|Takashi Miike||A 3D remake of Masaki Kobayashi's 1962 film Harakiri.|
|2011||Seiji: House 475||セイジ 陸の魚
Seiji: Riku no Sakana
|Yûsuke Iseya||Based on Tomoki Tsujiuchi's novel, Seiji. In 2012, House 475 was retitled and re-released as Seiji: Riku no Uo (Seiji: Fish on Land).|
|Hitoshi Ohne||Based on Mitsuro Kubo's romantic comedy manga. Set a year after the ending of the 2010 TV series Moteki with Mirai Moriyama reviving his leading role as Yukiyo Fujimoto. Arai appears as Yuichi Shimada, Fujimoto's long-suffering friend.|
|2011||The Eclipse's Shadow||Shiro Tokiwa||(short film) Three couples meet during the afternoon of a total solar eclipse.|
|2012||Liar Game: Reborn||Hiroaki Matsuyama||Based on Shinobu Kaitani's manga Liar Game.|
|2012||Space Brothers||Yoshitaka Mori||Based on Chūya Koyama's 2008 drama-comedy manga Uchu Kyodai.|
|2012||House of Quilt||キルトの家
Quilt no ie
|Two-part NHK TV drama. Broadcast in January, 2012. After an earthquake, a young couple moves to a residential complex in Tokyo where they meet residents and learn about life from them.|
|Mika Ninagawa||Based on Kyoko Okazaki's manga that revolves around a superstar whose mind and life rapidly unravel.|
|2012||Ushijima the Loan Shark||闇金ウシジマくん
|Masatoshi Yamaguchi||Based on Shohei Manabe's manga series.|
|2012||Outrage Beyond||アウトレイジ ビヨンド
|Takeshi Kitano||A sequel to Kitano's 2010 film Outrage.|
Bakugeki Kazoku (Bakugyaku Family)
|Kazuyoshi Kumakiri||Based on Hiroshi Tanaka's 11-volume manga series.|
|2012||The Samurai That Night||その夜の侍
Sono Yoru no Samurai
|Masaaki Akahori||Based on director Akahori's stage play.|
|2013||The Ravine of Goodbye|
- Dean Bowman. "Midnight Eye review: The Matsugane Potshot Affair". Midnight Eye. Retrieved 2012-07-08.
- "Profile: Hirofumi Arai". anore Inc. Retrieved 2012-07-08.
- "Drawing The Future of Manga by Inoue Takehiko – A Switch Magazine Special". Halcyon Realms. Retrieved 2012-07-08.
- "10 Manga Masterpieces That Teach The Ways Of Love: Picks from creative Japanese people for Switch magazine". Crunchyroll Anime News. Retrieved 2012-07-08.
- "Tokyo Psycho". Time Magazine. 2002-10-21. Retrieved 2012-11-30.
- "Profile: Kujun". anore Inc. Retrieved 2012-11-30.
- "Profile: Hirofumi Arai" (in Japanese). anore Inc. Retrieved 2012-07-08.
- "Hirofumi Arai, Miu Sakamoto dating". Tokyograph. Retrieved 2013-06-10.
- "Kumamoto & Ogawa, "The Iwao Hakamada Case"". The Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan. Tue, 2007-10-23. Retrieved 2012-08-09.
- "Shiro Tokiwa | Pacific Voice Inc. | Management Division". Pacvoice.com. Retrieved 2012-07-09.
- "Play of the Month: The Samurai That Night by Masaaki Akahori". performingarts.jp. 2008-04-28. Retrieved 2012-08-09.
- "Hakuba no Ōji-sama Manga Series Gets Live-Action Drama". Anime News Network. 2013-09-03. Retrieved 2013-09-07.
- Hirofumi Arai at the Internet Movie Database
- Hirofumi Arai at the Japanese Movie Database (Japanese)