Hiroyuki Sanada

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Hiroyuki Sanada
Hiroyuki Sanada 2013 (cropped).jpg
Born Hiroyuki Shimosawa
(1960-10-12) October 12, 1960 (age 53)
Tokyo, Japan
Occupation Actor
Years active 1968–present
Spouse(s) Satomi Tezuka (1990–1997; 2 children)

Hiroyuki Sanada, MBE (真田 広之 Sanada Hiroyuki?, born Hiroyuki Shimosawa (下澤 廣之 Shimosawa Hiroyuki?) on October 12, 1960) is a Japanese actor.

Life and career[edit]

Sanada was born in Tokyo. Originally aiming to be an action star, starting with Shorinji Kempo, he eventually took up Kyokushin kaikan.[1] Sanada began training at age 11 with actor and martial arts star Sonny Chiba's Japan Action Club where he developed good all-round martial arts ability, and soon became Chiba's protégé. Sanada's martial arts film career led him in contact with Michelle Yeoh, whom he later starred with in Danny Boyle's Sunshine. He also has a long-standing friendship with Jackie Chan, although he did not star in a film with him before Rush Hour 3 in 2007. Sanada has often been credited, in his younger days, as either Henry, Harry or Duke Sanada.

Sanada has established himself as a character actor who is adept at playing a variety of roles. Sanada was first noticed as a serious actor in the movie Mahjong Hourouki directed by Makoto Wada, and since then has acted in every one of Wada's movies—works filled with humor and a nostalgic attachment for classic movies.

In 1999 and 2000, he performed with the Royal Shakespeare Company in their production of King Lear, which earned him an honorary MBE in 2002. Many media reports erroneously stated that Sanada received the honorary MBE for being the first Japanese actor to perform with the RSC. This is not correct as Japanese actor Togo Igawa had performed with the RSC in 1985 and joined as a RSC member in 1986.[2] Rather, Sanada received his honorary MBE award for his "contribution to spreading British culture in Japan through his performance in a joint Shakespeare production."[3]

Some of Sanada's more famous movies are: Tasogare Seibei (The Twilight Samurai), Ring, Kaitō Ruby, and The Last Samurai. Sanada played Matsuda, the Japanese imperialist who befriends Ralph Fiennes' character in the 2005 film The White Countess, directed by James Ivory. He also made an appearance in the Chinese film The Promise directed by Chen Kaige. Sanada has also been seen in Rush Hour 3 with Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker and starred in 2007's The City of Your Final Destination, another James Ivory film, where he plays the younger lover of Anthony Hopkins's character.

Sanada joined the cast of the ABC show Lost in 2010 during its sixth and final season. He portrayed Dogen, a high-ranking member of "The Others".[4] In March 2011 he was named to the Keanu Reeves–lead cast of 47 Ronin, the first English-language adaptation of the Chushingura legend, Japan's most famous tale of samurai loyalty and revenge.[5]


Year Title – (Japanese/English) Film Type
1974 Chokugeki Jigokuhen – (Executioner/Direct Hit/Hell Fist) Movie
1978 Uchu kara no Messeji – (Message from Space/Message from Space: Galactic War) Movie
Yagyu Clan Conspiracy Theater
Yagyu Clan Conspiracy TV
Yagyu Ichizoku no Inbo – (Yagyu Clan Conspiracy) Movie
Abarenbo Shogun TV
Seven Detectives TV
1979 Sanada Yukimura no Boryaku – (Renegade Ninjas/Death of the Shogun/The Shogun Assassins) Movie
Sengoku Jieitai – (minor role in G.I. Samurai/Time Slip) Movie
Uchu Kara no Messeji: Ginga Taisen – (Message from Space: Galactic Battle) TV
1980 Bugeicho-Momochi Sandayu – (Shogun's Ninja) Movie
Tonda Kappuru – (The Terrible Couple) Movie
Yagyu Abare Tabi TV
1981 Hoero! Takken – (Roaring Fire) Movie
Moeru Yusha – (Burning Brave) Movie
Bokensha Kamikaze Movie
Samurai Reincarnation – (Makai Tensho) Movie
Kage no Gundan II – (Shadow Warriors II) TV
Yagyu Jyube Theater
Uchu kara no Messeji – (Swords of the Space Ark/Message from Outer Space) Movie
1982 Kamata Koshinkyoku – (Fall Guy) Movie
Dotonboringawa – (Lovers Lost) Movie
Iga Ninpocho – (Ninja Wars/Black Magic Wars/Iga Magic Story) Movie
Long Zhi Ren Zhe – (Ninja in the Dragon's Den) Movie
Kage no Gundan III – (Shadow Warriors III) TV
Yagyu Jyube Abare Tabi TV
1983 Satomi Hakkenden – (Legend of the Eight Samurai) Movie
Iga No Kabamaru Movie
1984 Mahjong Horoki – (Mahjong Vagrant Life) Movie
Kotaro Makaritoru – (There Goes Kotaro) Movie
Irodori-gawa – (The Street of Desire) Movie
Sabarashiki Sakasu Yaro TV
Chodenshi Bioman TV
Yukai na Kaizoku Daiboken Theater
1985 Kamui no Ken – (Blade of Kamui/Dagger of Kamui/Revenge of the Ninja Warrior) Movie
Kage no Gundan IV – (Shadow Warriors IV) TV
And Then, War is Over TV
Ninja Akakage TV
Tenshu Story Theater
1986 Wong Ga Jin Si – (Royal Warriors) Movie
Kataku no Hito – (Man of Desire) Movie
Inujini seshi mono – (One Who Died in Vain) Movie
Stuntman Story Theater
Romeo and Juliet Theater
1987 Hissatsu 4: Urami Harashimasu – (Sure Fire Death 4: We Will Avenge You) Movie
Dokuganryu Masamune – (One-Eyed Dragon Masamune) TV
Sweet Memories TV
Dokyusei wa 13 sai TV
Ore to Aneki – (Me and Sister) TV
Little Shop of Horrors Theater
1988 Kaito Ruby – (Funny Robber Ruby) Movie
Wong ga Jin si – (Royal Warriors/Line of Duty/Police Assassins/Ultra Force) Movie
Tokugawa Ieyasu/Ieyasu Tokunaga TV
NY Love Story TV
I Love You So Much TV
Big River Theater
1989 Docchi ni Suruno – (Which Do You Choose) Movie
Sakamoto Ryoma TV
Oda Nobunaga TV
Broadway Bound Theater
1990 Byoin e Iko – (Let's Go To the Hospital) Movie
Tsugumi Movie
Rimeinzu - Utsukushiki Yushatachi – (Remains: Beautiful Heroes/Yellow Fangs) Movie
Shingo Jyuban Shobu TV
1991 Taiheiki TV
1992 Keisho Sakazuki – (Succession Sake-saucer) Movie
Byoin e Iko 2 – (Let's Go To the Hospital 2) Movie
Seiteki Mokushi Roku TV
Shimizu Jirocho TV
1993 Nemuranai Machi: Shinjuku Same – (Sleepless City – Shinjuku Shark) Movie
Bokura wa Minna Ikiteiru – (We Are Not Alone/Made in Japan) Movie
Koko Kyoshi – (High School Teacher) TV
Toyotomi Hideyoshi TV
Moonlit Club Theater
1994 Hero Interview Movie
Kowagaru Hitobito – (Uneasy Encounters) Movie
Chushingura Gaiden – Yotsuya Kaidan Movie
The Reason I Owed to Her TV
Paper Moon Theater
1995 Sharaku Movie
Kikyu Yobidashi – (Emergency Doctor/Emergency Call) Movie
East Meets West Movie
Sigaw ng Puso - (Shout of the Heart) Movie
Abe Ichizoku – (Abe Clan) TV
Seiya no Kiseki – (Miracles in the Holy Night) TV
1996 Hideyoshi TV
1997 Kon'na Koi no Hanashi – (The Story of Love) TV
Shin Hanshichi Torimonocho TV
1998 Tadon to Chikuwa – (Charcoal and Fishcake) Movie
Rasen – (The Spiral) Movie
Ring Movie
D-Zaka no Satsujin Jiken – (D-Slope Murder Case) Movie
Tabloid TV
Sono Otoko no Kyofu – (That Man's Fear) TV
Hamlet Theater
1999 Ring 2 Movie
Furuhata Ninzaburō TV
Summer of Detectives TV
Kujira wo Mita hi TV
King Lear Theater
2000 Hatsukoi – (First Love) Movie
Okepi! – (The Orchestra Pit) Theater
2001 Minna no lye Movie
Onmyoji – (Yin Yang Master) Movie
Mayonaka made – (Round About Midnight) Movie
Hikon Kazoku – (Unmarried Family) TV
2002 Tasogare Seibei – (The Twilight Samurai) Movie
Sukedachiya Sukeroku – (Vengeance for Sale) Movie
2003 The Last Samurai Movie
2004 Locked-in Shokogun – (Locked-in Syndrome) TV
2005 The White Countess Movie
Bokoku no Aegis – (Aimless Aegis) Movie
Wuji – (The Promise) Movie
2007 Rush Hour 3 Movie
The City of Your Final Destination Movie
Sunshine Movie
2008 Speed Racer Movie
2010 Lost TV series
2011 Revenge TV series
2013 The Wolverine Movie
47 Ronin Movie
The Railway Man Movie
2014 Helix TV series
2015 Minions Movie


  1. ^ Kungfu Magazine: E-Zine Feature Article. Ezine.kungfumagazine.com. Retrieved on 2011-11-21.
  2. ^ "Togo Igawa's biography". 
  3. ^ "Japanese actor gets British award for Shakespeare performance". September 5, 2011. 
  4. ^ "Hiroyuki Sanada to appear in final season of 'Lost'". Japan Today. October 19, 2009. 
  5. ^ "Keanu's "47 Ronin" has A-List Japanese Cast". japan-zone.com. March 2, 2011. 

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