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Ryan Higa

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Ryan Higa
Ryan Higa by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Ryan Higa at the 2012 VidCon in June 2012.
Born (1990-06-06) June 6, 1990 (age 24)
Hilo, Hawaii, United States
Residence Las Vegas, Nevada
Nationality American
Ethnicity Japanese
Education Waiakea High School
Alma mater University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Occupation YouTube personality
Years active 2006 (2006)–present
Home town Hilo, Hawaii
Internet information
Web alias(es) nigahiga
Web hosting service(s) YouTube
Signature phrase "Teehee"

Ryan Higa (also known by his YouTube username Nigahiga /ˈnɡhɡ/) is an American YouTube personality and actor of Japanese descent. He is known for his YouTube comedy videos, which have been viewed over 2.0 billion times. As of March 2015, Higa's YouTube channel, nigahiga, has over 14 million subscribers.[1]


Higa was born in Hilo, Hawaii on June 6, 1990.[2] He competed in Judo and holds a black belt rank.[3][4] He also wrestled, and graduated from Waiakea High School in 2008.[5][6]

YouTube videos[edit]

Higa and Sean Fujiyoshi started posting YouTube videos of themselves lip-synching to songs in mid-2006 while attending Waiakea High School.[7] They quickly expanded beyond songs, with a variety of other comedic pieces. Occasional guest appearances were made by Tim Enos, Ryan Villaruel, Kyle Chun, and Tarynn Nago.[8]

On Christmas Eve of 2008, Higa and Fujiyoshi's two most popular videos, How To Be Gangster and How To Be Emo, were removed due to copyright violations.[9] On January 21, 2009, the nigahiga account was temporarily suspended and was required to remove more copyrighted videos. Because of this, nigahiga's lip synching videos were all removed (with the exception of You're Beautiful, which was audio swapped),[10] along with most of his other videos that included copyrighted music. Since then, Higa started composing the music himself. How to be Gangster and How to be Emo were put back on nigahiga's channel in late August 2009, only to be removed a few days later, along with How to be Ninja and How to be Nerd. In Spring 2010, How to be Ninja, How to be Gangster and How to be Emo were made public once more.[11]

After Ryan Higa moved to Las Vegas to study filmmaking at University of Nevada, Las Vegas,[12] most of the Nigahiga videos were solo efforts, usually featuring collaborations with other YouTube users. However, since 2012 Higa has put together a production company, Ryan Higa Production Company (RHPC), which includes Sean Fujiyoshi, that works together to make content for the nigahiga channel.[13]


Web address
Created by
  • Ryan Higa
  • Sean Fujiyoshi
  • Tim Enos
  • Tarynn Nago
Launched July 20, 2006; 8 years ago (2006-07-20)
Current status Online

The nigahiga YouTube channel was created on July 20, 2006 by Ryan Higa, Sean Fujiyoshi, Tim Enos, and Tarynn Nago (known collectively as "The Yabo Crew"). By December 21, 2010, it had reached 3 million subscribers, the first channel to do so.[14] According to Higa,[15] his channel name is a combination of "Niga", which means "rant" in Japanese, and his last name, "Higa".

He created a second channel, under the name HigaTV, in 2011, where he posts video blogs and behind the scenes videos. In March 2015, it had over 3.0 million subscribers.[13]

In 2012, Higa helped form the YOMYOMF Network, which hosts the online video-making talent competition, Internet Icon, of which he served alongside Christine Lakin and Timothy DeLaGhetto as main judges.[16]


In 2008, Los Angeles producer Richard Van Vleet offered to help them create their first feature-length film. The resulting film, Ryan and Sean's Not So Excellent Adventure, was directed by Richard Van Vleet and released on November 14, 2008.[17] It was shown in sold out theaters in Hawaii and California.[18] The DVD was released on July 14, 2009 in the USA.[19]

Ryan and Sean's Not So Excellent Adventure is about a down on his luck movie producer, played by Michael Buckley, who is seeking out famous celebrities in order to make a hit movie in 30 days or risk being fired. He chooses Ryan Higa and Sean Fujiyoshi after discovering the popularity of their YouTube videos. He invites them to Hollywood to make a movie. They accept the offer, and run into some amusing situations on the way.[20]

Ninja Melk, a 26 minute short film about ninjas, was released in August 2009. The plot revolves around a ninja master named Master Ching Ching sending his student Lapchung (played by Bryson Murata) to find a replacement, finding Ryan and Sean to catch the evil Bokchoy (played by Tim Enos) and his henchwoman, Gina (played by Tarynn Nago).[21]

An independent 35 minute film he created with Wong Fu Productions called "Agents of Secret Stuff" was uploaded on Ryan's channel on November 24, 2010. It features some other popular YouTube users as well as actors such as Aki Aleong. "Agents of Secret Stuff" is about a teenage A.S.S. (Agent of Secret Stuff) (Higa) who is sent undercover to a high school to protect one of the students, a girl named Taylor (Arden Cho) from the A.S.S.'s enemy, the S.I.N.S. (Society Involving Not-So-Good Stuff). It included guest appearances from Ian and Anthony of Smosh, D-Trix, KassemG and Hiimrawn. Higa has also starred on an episode of Supah Ninjas, playing DJ Elephant Head, a master plotter who uses his hypnotizing electronic music to make people fall asleep to commit robberies.


  1. ^ "nigahiga". YouTube. Retrieved March 2, 2015. 
  2. ^ " About". HigaTv Productions. Retrieved December 29, 2011. 
  3. ^ Ko, Nalea J. (September 16, 2009). "Ryan Higa Snatches No.1 Spot on YouTube". New America Media. Retrieved July 1, 2013. 
  4. ^ "HHSAA JUDO: 2007 HHSAA Judo State Championships". The Hawaii High School Athletic Association. May 19, 2007. Retrieved July 1, 2013. 
  5. ^ "Ryan Higa". NNDB. Retrieved October 18, 2012. 
  6. ^ "State Wrestling Results". Honolulu Advertiser. March 2, 2008. Retrieved July 1, 2013. 
  7. ^ "Hilo teens become a Web video sensation. Higa and Fujiyoshi have made numerous amounts of videos like rants, lip singing, and short films". The Honolulu Advertiser. July 27, 2008. Retrieved August 21, 2009. 
  8. ^ " | Features | /2008/01/11/". January 11, 2008. Retrieved July 13, 2010. 
  9. ^ Higa, Ryan (February 23, 2009). "Copyrighted". YouTube. Retrieved December 11, 2009. 
  10. ^ Higa, Ryan (June 27, 2008). "You're Beautiful". YouTube. Retrieved November 29, 2009. 
  11. ^ Higa, Ryan. "Uploads". YouTube. Retrieved October 21, 2012. 
  12. ^ "from archives > hi1,500". West Hawaii Today. May 25, 2008. Retrieved July 13, 2010. 
  13. ^ a b "HigaTV". YouTube. Retrieved March 2, 2015. 
  14. ^ Ryan Higa Hits 3 Million YouTube Subscribers
  15. ^ Tko, Tonya (November 30, 2008). "NigaHiga Explains Name, Happy Slip, Kev Jumba & TonyaTko -Amazing Asians vol 1.". YouTube. Retrieved February 27, 2012. 
  16. ^ Jeff Sneider (May 28, 2012). "'Internet Icon' aims for virality". Variety. Retrieved December 10, 2012. 
  17. ^ "Ryan and Sean's Not So Excellent Adventure". Retrieved November 15, 2009. 
  18. ^ Associated Press. "YouTube was very good to this pair". Daily Herald. Retrieved September 19, 2010. [dead link]
  19. ^ "Ryan and Sean's Not So Excellent Adventure (2008)". Retrieved November 15, 2009. 
  20. ^ "Ryan and Sean's Not So Excellent Adventure". Retrieved November 15, 2009. 
  21. ^ Higa, Ryan; Fujiyoshi, Sean (August 24, 2009). "Ninja Melk". Video. YouTube. Retrieved November 29, 2009. 

External links[edit]