Kin'ya Kitaōji

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In this Japanese name, the family name is "Kitaōji".
Kin'ya Kitaōji
Born (1943-02-23) February 23, 1943 (age 72)
Kyoto, Japan
Occupation Actor
Years active 1956–present

Kin'ya Kitaōji (北大路 欣也 Kitaōji Kin'ya?, born February 23, 1943) is a Japanese actor.


Early life[edit]

He was born in Kyoto, son of famous jidaigeki film star Ichikawa Utaemon, and graduated from Waseda University School of Letters, Arts and Sciences Ⅱ in Tokyo.

Acting career[edit]

Kin'ya made his debut with his father in the 1956 Toei film Oyakodaka in the role of Katsu Kaishū. He is a contemporary of, and was taken to be a rival of, Hiroki Matsukata, who was also the son of a famous actor (Jūshirō Konoe). In 1964, Kin'ya made his first appearance on stage in Cyrano de Bergerac.

The 1960s and 1970s saw him in many contemporary roles. He appeared in Battles Without Honor and Humanity: Hiroshima Deathmatch and Battles Without Honor and Humanity: Final Episode as well as Karei naru Ichizoku. The title role in the 1975 film Takehisa Yumeji was his.

On television, Kitaōji portrayed Miyamoto Musashi in the Nippon Television show of the same name. A major historical role was Sakamoto Ryōma in the year-long prime-time NHK Taiga drama Ryōma ga Yuku (1968). He landed the title role in the long-running cop show Zenigata Heiji, set in the Edo period. In the 1985 twelve-hour New Year special Fūun Yagyū Bugeichō, he played Yagyū Jūbei, and in the following year's special, he portrayed both Tokugawa Yoshimune and Yagyū Shinrokurō. The role of another shogun fell to him in the following new year as TV Tokyo tapped him to play Tokugawa Iemitsu. Kin'ya returned to NHK for the 1987 Taiga drama Dokuganryū Masamune as Date Terumune, father of title character Date Masamune.

Another role he took had been created by his father. Saotome Mondonosuke was the title character in the series Gozonji! Hatamoto Taikutsu Otoko. It ran from 1988 to 1994 on TV Asahi. His father, Ichikawa Utaemon, had appeared in numerous films as Mondonosuke.

Kin'ya reprised the part of Miyamoto Musashi in the 1990 New Year's special. Toshirō Mifune had portrayed Musashi in the earlier film, also based on the Eiji Yoshikawa story, that had won an Academy Award. He returned to the New Year's special in 1996, again as the famous swordsman, in Tokugawa Kengōden Sore kara no Musashi.

His first portrayal of Ōishi Kuranosuke was in the 1996 Chūshingura. He took up the role again in 2004 for the NHK Saigo no Chūshingura and in 2007, in the New Year special Chūshingura Yōzei-in no Inbō. Other historical roles from the Sengoku period include Azai Nagamasa, Saitō Dōsan, and Yamamoto Kansuke. In addition to historical parts, he appeared in fictional series. His portrayal of Ogami Ittō in the Lone Wolf and Cub ( Kozure 2) Which was a series for Asahi TV in Japan is representative of these appearances.

In 2008, Kitaōji revisited the role of Katsu Kaishū in the Taiga drama Atsuhime. He had portrayed Katsu in his 1956 debut.

He won the award for best actor at the 10th Hochi Film Award for Fire Festival and Haru no kane.[1] Kitaōji played one of the lead role in Hideo Nakata's psychological thriller film The Incite Mill.

In recent times, Kitaōji voices the Hokkaido-inu character of "Father" in SoftBank Mobile's White Family advertising campaign.



Year Title Role Director Notes
1956 Oyakodaka Young Katsu Kaishū Sadatsugu Matsuda Debut role
1973 Battles Without Honor and Humanity: Hiroshima Deathmatch Shoji Yamanaka Kinji Fukasaku
1974 Battles Without Honor and Humanity: Final Episode Matsumura Kinji Fukasaku
1976 Fumō Chitai Kaifu Satsuo Yamamoto
1977 Mount Hakkoda Captain Kanda Shirō Moritani
1982 Future War 198X Mikumo Wataru Tomoharu Katsumata/Toshio Masuda Voice role
1982 The Highest Honor Tachibana Seiji Maruyama/Peter Maxwell
1985 Fire Festival Tatsuo Mitsuo Yanagimachi
2010 The Incite Mill Yoshiya Ando Hideo Nakata
2012 Asura Buddhist Monk Keiichi Sato Voice role


Year Title Role Network Notes
1968 Ryōma ga Yuku Sakamoto Ryōma NHK Taiga drama
1987 Dokuganryū Masamune Date Terumune NHK Taiga drama
2007 Liar Game Hasegawa Fuji TV
2008 Atsuhime Katsu Kaishū NHK Taiga drama
2010 Zettai Reido Hideo Nagashima Fuji TV
2011 Tokugawa Ieyasu NHK Taiga drama
2013 Hanzawa Naoki Ken Nakanowatari TBS
2014 Doctor X Yoshihito Tendō TV Asahi Taiga drama
2015 Hana Moyu Mōri Takachika NHK Taiga drama
2015 Massan Ryūnosuke Uesugi NHK Asadora


Year Title Role Director
1964 Cyrano de Bergerac Christian de Neuvillette Takeo Matsuura
1998 NINAGAWA Macbeth Macbeth Yukio Ninagawa
2009 Frost/Nixon Richard Nixon Katsuhide Suzuki

Video games[edit]

Year Title Role
2010 Yakuza 4 Seishiro Munakata

Dubbing roles[edit]

Year Title Role
2009 Hachi: A Dog's Tale Professor Parker Wilson (Richard Gere)



This article incorporates material from 北大路欣也 ("Kin'ya Kitaōji") in the Japanese Wikipedia, retrieved January 29, 2008.


  1. ^ 報知映画賞ヒストリー (in Japanese). Cinema Hochi. Retrieved 2010-01-24. 

External links[edit]