Yu Shirota

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Yu Shirota (城田 優)
Born (1985-12-26) December 26, 1985 (age 28)
Tokyo, Japan
Occupation Actor, singer
Years active 2002–present
Agent Watanabe Entertainment
Website
Official website

Yu Shirota (城田 優 Shirota Yū?), born December 26, 1985, is a Japanese-Spanish actor, most known for his role as Kagurazaka Makoto in the Japanese television drama live-action adaption of Hana-Kimi, Kunimitsu Tezuka in the Prince of Tennis Musicals, Tuxedo Mask in the Sailor Moon Musicals, and as Kei Shinjo in Rookies. In 2009, he was named one of the most promising actors and actresses, placing 8th in a poll conducted by Oricon.[1] He is a former member of the Watanabe Entertainment group, D-BOYS.

Early life[edit]

Shirota was born on December 26, 1985 to a Japanese father (城田光男) and a Spanish mother.[2] Shirota lived in Barcelona, Spain from when he was three to about seven years. He returned to Japan for elementary school and can still speak Spanish in ordinary conversation. He attended high school at Horikoshi High along with NEWS member Yamashita Tomohisa, WaT's Teppei Koike, Japanese actor Ikuta Toma and KAT-TUN's Akanishi Jin and Tanaka Koki.

According to Shirota, when he was little, his family liked to sing songs, so he would borrow his older sister's keyboard, while his mother taught him piano. Thus spawned Shirota's love for composing. He composed his first piece when he was in the fourth grade, titled "The Tear".[3]

Career[edit]

Yu Shirota's acting career began from 2003 to 2004, when Shirota became the 7th actor to play Tuxedo Kamen (Tuxedo Mask) in the Sailor Moon Musicals. His first official performance as Tuxedo Kamen was on January 2, 2003, in the 2003 Winter Special Mugen Gakuen - Mistress Labyrinth (Kaiteiban). He also demonstrated his ability to play acoustic guitar on stage live, during the Starlights - Ryuusei Densetsu performances. The 2004 New Legend of Kaguya Island was Shirota's last performance as Tuxedo Kamen. That night, on September 5, 2004, after he performed his final rendition of "Prince of Earth", he announced his graduation from the role and received flowers from Kousei Amano who had previously played Tuxedo Kamen in the original 1999 Kaguya Island musical. He also began working for a year on the Japanese program, Hanamaru Cafe, as part of the Hanamaru apron team, often leaving set for locations and displaying prizes for viewers during game corners.

During this time, Shirota won the role of Kunimitsu Tezuka, the stoic captain of Seigaku Middle School's tennis club, in the Prince of Tennis musicals series, Tenimyu. From 2005 to 2006, he became the third actor to play Tezuka as a member of the second-generation Seigaku cast. He made his debut as Tezuka on January 8, 2005, in the Side Yamabuki performance in Osaka. That same year, his role as Tezuka was carried into the live adaptation film of the manga and marked his first major film appearance. He also released a Best Actor's album in 2005, for his role as Tezuka. On March 29, 2006, in the Dream Live 3rd Live concert, he along with the majority of the second generation Seigaku cast, graduated from their roles.

Through 2006, Shirota began appearing in a couple dramas and movies including the 2005 Watanabe net drama, Hice Cool,[4] the TV drama special, The Hit Parade,[5] portraying the real-life Mickey Curtis, and the June Bride[6] movie in which he played the title character, Natsumi, based on the original manga Jyun Bride by Satoshi Yoshida, resulted in a made for DVD release sequel, Zoku June Bride. In 2007, after nearly a year away from musicals, Shirota returned to stage and starred as Anthony Hope, the cheerful young sailor, in the Japanese stage production of Sweeney Todd.[7] The musical opened on January 5, 2007 and ran through January 29, 2007 at the Nissay Theatre with additional performances during February in Osaka. Shirota then began appearing in a string of dramas, the first being the TV drama, Dignity of Haken,[8] featured Shirota as the half-Spanish Ryuto Amaya, premiered on January 10, 2007, on NTV and ended its run on March 21, 2007. Shirota next appeared in his second TV drama appearance, in the April 2007 drama, Seito Shokun!,[9] which is an adaptation of the manga series, Seito Shokun. He played Ken Mizuhara, a physical education teacher. In his third TV drama role of the year, Shirota appeared in the popular adaptation of Hanazakari No Kimitachi e[10], which began on July 3, 2007, playing the character of Kagurazaka Makoto, a high-jumping rival to Sano Izumi.

Shirota also appeared in a string of films in 2007. The first being Arakure KNIGHT,[11] the live-action movie adaptation of the 1982 to 1988 manga series, Aratanaru Shobaku by Satosi Yoshida. The film opened in limited release, premiering at Cinema GAGA on April 28, 2007. The second of his three films, Shirota played a main supporting actor in the film adaptation of Gettsu Itaya's semi-autobiographical novel, Waruboro and was released on September 8, 2007[12] as principle filmography began on September 20, 2006. Before October 2006, Shirota finished filming for his third movie, Heat Island,[13] which was released on October 20, 2007 and is based on the book of the same title written by Kakine Ryuosuke. Shirota played Aki, a street gangster who moves around Shibuya (a district in Tokyo) causing trouble and accidentally obtains a large sum of money that belongs to a crime group; however, the money once belonged to an illegal casino operated by the Yakuza and both groups are after the money.

After Shirota's run as Charles Lindbergh in the 2007 year-end Japanese production of the Take Flight[14] musical, Shirota starred in the January 2008 TV drama, Koshonin - The Negotiator,[15] portraying Mariya Kyousuke, a condemned criminal. Next, Shirota starred in Rookies, the successful baseball drama based on the manga of the same name by Morita Masanori, playing Kei Shinjo. The series first aired on April 19, 2008 and ended July 26, 2008 after 11 episodes. He would reprise his role as Kagurazaka Makoto in the 2008 Hana Kimi special episode. In 2009, Shirota starred in the made for television movie, Go Ape, reprised his role as Shinjo Kei in the feature film for Rookies - Sotsugyou, and co-starred with Haruma Miura in Samurai High School as the soft-spoken, Nakamura Tsuyoshi. He also reprised his role as Mariya Kyousuke for the second season of Koshonin - The Negotiator and the 2010 feature film release of Koshonin - The Movie. He is also set to be in the Japanese stage production of Elisabeth as Der Tod from August 2010 to October 2010.

He also plays Ryuji Danma in the 2012 live-action version of Great Teacher Onizuka.

Shirota makes his solo singing debut as "U" in May 2011 under Avex Trax, releasing his debut triple A-side single, "U/Heart of glass/Sisyphus".[16] His first album is called UNO.

For the Japanese edition of his solo debut album, BACK TO ME, Backstreet Boys member Howie D (aka Howard Dorough) sought out Japanese idol Shirota for one of the bonus tracks, "If I Say" which was digitally released as a single on October 12, 2011.[17]

With the D-BOYS[edit]

Shirota joined the Watanabe Entertainment group, the D-BOYS in October 2004. As a member, he participated in photobook releases, stage performances, radio show hosting, event and meeting greetings, and filming variety shows.

With the D-BoYS, he was featured in their first two photobooks, the self-titled D-Boys and the second called Start. He hosted a radio show called "Marvelous Radio Vibration" with fellow D-BOYS member, Kotaro Yanagi and Yukki. The show aired on May 5, 2005 and ended its run on April 1, 2006. The D-BOYS then starred in their own drama documentary variety show called, DD-Boys[18] in which Shirota's appeared in multiple episodes as himself. The show was 23 episodes long and ran from April 10 to September 25, 2006.

In June 2007, the D-BOYS starred in their first musical together called, D-BOYS STAGE,[19] which ran from June 3 to June 10 at the Space Zero theater in Tokyo. Shirota appeared in the musical only as a guest performer, making select appearances on June 3, June 8 and June 10, due to his busy schedule. The D-BOYS then starred in their 2nd musical, The Last Game to which on June 27, 2008, Shirota announced his graduation during the encore of the play while assuring the media that he would still remain under the Watanabe Entertainment management and still participate in certain D-BOYS projects and events. He officially graduated from the group on July 6, 2008.

Despite having graduated from the D-BOYS, in December 2009, he was featured in both the sixth DVD release of the D-BOYS' Boy Friend series, called YU Channel and their "Kotoshi no Natsu wa Mainichi Dokoka de D-BOYS ☆Uki-uki♪Yatta♪Hohohoy♪" performance events, resulting in appearances in all three Natsu Doko 2009 CD and DVD releases, as well as appearances for promoting their second tour, Fuyu Doko 2009.

Personal life[edit]

In April 2006, Shirota experienced language study studying abroad for 1 week in the Australian gold coast. His experiences were recorded in the Language Study studying abroad 2007 journal series and covered in detail over 13 pages of his thoughts after the experience and the return home. In June 2006, he then visited New York to see five Broadway musicals: The Producers, Rent, Spelling Bee, Sweeney Todd, and The Phantom of the Opera. Shirota appears regularly in many magazines and journals. In January 2007, Wink up Magazine (Wanibooks) started a monthly column written by Shirota. This column is titled "How are you?" and usually features one picture taken by Shirota.

He, with Hirofumi Araki, also attended the opening night for the Advancement Side Rokkaku feat. Hyotei Gakuen of Tenimyu on August 3, 2006, to support Hiroki Aiba and Kousuke Kujirai.

Shirota has already dated "Seventeen" model Keiko Kitagawa and actress Misako Yasuda.

In October 2011, he became an honorary fan of FC Barcelona.[20]

Shirota has an older brother named Jun Shirota, who is also an actor and a singer.


Selected filmography[edit]

Year Title Role Other notes
2002 Stay With You Himself Music Video (Mai Hoshimura)
2003 In My Soul Himself Music Video (Misia)
2004 Hanamaru Cafe Himself Variety TV Program
2005 Tokimeki Memorial Girl's Side Johnny Garland Commercial Web Episodes
Shadow Hearts From the New World N/A Commercial Video
Hice Cool Makoto Net Drama
Pink no Idenshi Nakajo TV Drama (Episode 12)
2006 Kimi no Tame ni Boku ga Tate ni Naro Himself Music Video (RAG FAIR)
Kami wa Saikoro wo Furanai Ayase TV Drama (Episode 7)
DD-BOYS Shirotan Episodes 1-3, 5, 8, 9, 12, 14, 16, 18-20, 22, 23
The Hit Parade Mickey Curtis TV Drama
Shoujo ni wa Mukanai Shokugyou (A Business Unfit for a Young Lady)[21] Tatsukawa Ryo Net Drama
The Prince of Tennis Kunimitsu Tezuka Movie
Jun Bride Natsumi Movie (Leading Role)
Zoku Jun Bride Natsumi V-Cinema (Leading Role)
2007 Dignity of Haken Ryuto Amaya TV Drama
Arakure KNIGHT Naito Zenba Movie (Leading Role)
Seito Shokun Ken Mizuhara TV Drama
Hanazakari no Kimitachi e Kagurazaka Makoto TV Drama
Waruboro Takemi Movie
Heat Island Aki Movie (Leading Role)
2008 Koshonin - The Negotiator Mariya Kyousuke TV Drama
Rookies Shinjo Kei TV Drama
Shinizokonai no Ao Haneda Mitsunori Movie
Hanazakari no Kimitachi e SP Kagurazaka Makoto TV Drama
Team Batista no Eiko Himuro Koichiro TV Drama
Nagaiki Kyousou Shimoda Takeshi TV Drama
2009 Tenchijin Sanada Yukimura Taiga drama
Koshonin SP Mariya Kyousuke TV Drama
Go Ape Yukio TV Movie
Rookies - Sotsugyou Shinjo Kei Movie
Samurai High School Nakamura Tsuyoshi TV Drama
Koshonin - The Negotiator (season 2) Mariya Kyousuke TV Drama
2010 Kondo wa Aisaika Nishida Ken Movie
Koshonin The Movie: Time Limit Kodo 10,000m no Zunosen Mariya Kyousuke Movie
Iris Sau Ching / Chung Joon (Japanese dub) Korean TV Drama
Keizoku 2: SPEC Chii Satoshi TBS TV Drama
2011 Shitsuren Hoken Katsuki Ayumu NTV TV Drama
Arakawa Under the Bridge Sister TV Drama
Jiu: Keishichou Tokushuhan Sousagakari Amamiya Takashi TV Drama
2012 GTO Ryuji Danma Fuji TV Drama
Jun to Ai Mizuno Yasuzaku NHK Asadora
GTOSP Ryuji Danma Fuji TV Drama
2013 GTOSP 2 Ryuji Danma Fuji TV Drama
GTOGraduate SP Ryuji Danma Fuji TV Drama
2014 Ashita, Mama ga Inai Yuuki Toujyou NTV TV Drama
GTOIn Taiwan Ryuji Danma Fuji TV Drama
GTO2014 Ryuji Danma Fuji TV Drama

Stage[edit]

  • March 22 and 23, 2007 as a guest performer in the Out of Order Live Entertainment Show

Musicals[edit]

SAILOR MOON MUSICALS (as Tuxedo Kamen)

  • Musical Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon Aki no Fan Kansha Event (2002)
  • Winter Special Musical Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon Mugen Gakuen - Mistress Labyrinth (Kaiteiban) (2003)
  • Musical Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon GW Fan Kansha Event (2003)
  • Summer Special Musical Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon Starlights * Ryuusei Densetsu (2003)
  • Musical Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon Aki no Fan Kansha Event (2003)
  • Winter Special Musical Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon Kakyuu-Ouhi Kourin THE SECOND STAGE FINAL (2004)
  • Summer Special Musical Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon Shin - Kaguya Shima Densetsu Golden Week Fan Kansha Event (2004)
  • Summer Special Musical Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon Shin - Kaguya Shima Densetsu NEW LEGEND OF KAGUYA ISLAND (2004)

TENIMYU: THE PRINCE OF TENNIS MUSICAL SERIES (as Kunimitsu Tezuka)

  • The Prince of Tennis Musical: Side Yamabuki feat. St Rudolph (In Winter of 2004-2005)
  • The Prince of Tennis Musical: Dream Live 2nd (2005)
  • The Prince of Tennis Musical: The Imperial Match Hyotei Gakuen (In Winter of 2005-2006)
  • The Prince of Tennis Musical: The Imperial Match Hyotei Gakuen in Winter (2006)
  • The Prince of Tennis Musical: Dream Live 3rd (2006)
  • The Prince of Tennis Musical: Dream Live 7th (2010, guest appearance)

OTHER MUSICALS

  • Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (Japanese Production) - Anthony Hope (January 5 to January 29, 2007)
  • D-BOYS STAGE - Guest Performer (on June 6 and June 9, 2007)
  • Take Flight (Japanese Production) - Charles Lindbergh (November 24, 2007 to January 5, 2008)
  • D-BOYS STAGE: The Last Game - Performer (June 2008)
  • Elisabeth (Japanese Production) - Der Tod (August 2010 to October 2010)
  • Roméo & Juliette (Japanese Production) - (2011)

Discography[edit]

Yu Shirota
Also known as U
Born (1985-12-26) December 26, 1985 (age 28)
Tokyo
Occupations Singer, actor, songwriter
Instruments Singing
Years active 2011–present
Labels Avex Trax
(2011–present)
Associated acts Howie Dorough
Website avexnet.or.jp/U/

Shirota has currently released two solo EP albums with Avex Trax, one solo album for the Prince of Tennis musical and three with the D-BOYS in Japan (JPN), only.

Year Cover Info Chart positions Track Listings
JPN[22]
2005 Musical Tennis no Ohjisama (The Prince of Tennis)
Imperial Match Hyotei Gakuen Best Actor's Series 001
Yu Shirota as Kunimitsu Tezuka
  • Release date: December 19, 2005
  • 1st Studio album
  • Formats: CD
N/A
  1. "Owarinaki Stage"
  2. "Ashita Fuku Kaze"
  3. "Tachitsukusu Kanata"
  4. "Instrumental - Tezuka vs Inui"
  5. "Yudan Sezu ni Ikou - Kunimitsu Solo Edition"
  6. "Instrumental - Kikumaru/Momoshiro vs Oshitari/Mukahi"
  7. "Semero, Tsuyoku Nare"
  8. "Instrumental - Fuji vs Akutagawa"
  9. "Omae wa Seigaku no Hashira ni Nare - Kunimitsu Solo Edition"
  10. "Yuu Shirota Message for you"
2011 U 17
  1. "Sisyphus"
  2. "U"
  3. "Heart of Glass"
  4. "Ama Se Cuando"
  5. "Instrumental - Sisyphus"
  6. "Instrumental - U"
  7. "Instrumental - Heart of Glass"
2011 Setsuna ~ A Sandglass of Fate (Type C)
  • Release date: September 7, 2011
  • 2nd Extended play album
  • Formats: CD
43
  1. "Setsuna ~ A Sandglass of Fate"
  2. "La Flor Abandonada"
  3. "Love & Peace"
  4. "Instrumental - Setsuna ~ A Sandglass of Fate"
  5. "Instrumental - La Flor Abandonada"
  6. "Instrumental - Love & Peace"
Year Title CD Info Track List
2003 Seramyu - Starlights - Ryuusei Densetsu OST of the Musical as Tuxedo Kamen
  • Kaze no Shijin
  • Prince of the Earth
  • Get Across the Moon
  • What For!? Shinjitsu no Kajitsu
2004 Seramyu - New Legend of Kaguya Island OST of the Musical as Tuxedo Kamen
  • Dark Menorah
  • Moonlight Justice
  • What is a Mother?
  • And Believe In All (2004 summers Ver.)
  • Everyone is Loved by Someone
Seramyu - Marinamoon Special Edition OST of the Musical as Tuxedo Kamen
  • Moonlight Justice
2005 Tenimyu - Side Yamabuki Feat. St. Rudolph Gakuen in Winter OST of the Musical as Kunimitsu Tezuka Track List
Tenimyu - Dream Live 2nd OST of the Musical as Kunimitsu Tezuka Track List
Tenimyu - The Imperial Match Hyoutei Gakuen OST of the Musical as Kunimitsu Tezuka Track List
2006 Tenimyu - Dream Live 3rd OST of the Musical as Kunimitsu Tezuka Track List
Musical Tennis no Ohjisama Complete CD Box OST of the Musical as Kunimitsu Tezuka Track List

Official DVDs[edit]

On November 16, 2005, Shirota released an Idol DVD called With U.[23] The DVD includes an acoustic performance for the song "Natsu no Owari ~ Mou Kako no Koi", for which he had composed and written lyrics. Despite having graduated from the D-BOYS, in December 2009, he was featured in both the sixth DVD release of the D-BOYS' Boy Friend series, called YU Channel and their "Kotoshi no Natsu wa Mainichi Dokoka de D-BOYS Ukiuki Yatta Hohhohoi" event, resulting in appearances in all three Natsu Doko CD and DVD releases.

Year Series DVD Title DVD Cover DVD Info Release Date Label / Distributor
2005 Men's DVD Series With U First Solo DVD November 16, 2005 MMV
2009 Natsu Doko 2009 Natsu Doko 2009 Kaze - Team Wind version Memorial Footage December 16, 2009 SonyMusic
Natsu Doko 2009 Natsu Doko 2009 Yama - Team Mountain version Memorial Footage December 16, 2009 SonyMusic
Natsu Doko 2009 Natsu Doko 2009 Kawa - Team River version Memorial Footage December 16, 2009 SonyMusic
D-BOYS Boy Friend Series YU Channel Vol 6. December 23, 2009 Geneon

Official Photobooks[edit]

Besides appearing in the first two photobooks with the D-BOYS, on September 26, 2007, he released his first solo photobook collection.[24] This included childhood pictures of him as well as photos taken by Shirota himself.

Year Photobook Title Description Release Date Publisher ISBN
2005 D-BOYS D-BOYS First Photobook April 27, 2005 Tokyo News Agency ISBN 4-924566-42-X
2006 START D-BOYS Second Photobook March 15, 2006 Gakken Co., Ltd. ISBN 4-05-403035-1
2007 Yu Shirota Yu Shirota First Solo Photobook September 26, 2007 Wani Books Co., Ltd. ISBN 978-4-8470-4020-7
2009 Rookies - Sotsugyo - Perfect Book Rookies Cast Photobook May 28, 2009 Shueisha Publishing Co., Ltd.
2009 Sugao Yu Shirota Second Solo Photobook June 27, 2009 Kodansha, Ltd. ISBN 978-4-06-353711-6

References[edit]

  1. ^ Oricon: Promising Actors and Actresses for 2009
  2. ^ http://www.ac-news.es/la-madre-de-shirota-yu-saca-su-primera-autobiografia-pepi-fue-buena-madre/ La madre de Shirota Yu saca su primera autobiografía, AC News
  3. ^ Prince of Tennis Musical Interview
  4. ^ Hice Cool Official Site
  5. ^ Hit Parade Official Site
  6. ^ June Bride Official Site
  7. ^ Japanese Sweeney Todd Official Site
  8. ^ Haken no Hinkaku Official Site
  9. ^ Seito Shokun Official Site
  10. ^ Hana-Kimi Official Site
  11. ^ Arakure Knight Official Site
  12. ^ Waruboro Official Website
  13. ^ Heat Island Official Site
  14. ^ Take Flight Site
  15. ^ Koshonin - The Negotiator Site
  16. ^ "Yu Shirota makes singing debut under the name "U"". Asia Pacific Arts. 2011-02-22. 
  17. ^ "Backstreet Boy Howie D and Yuu Shirota collaborate for "If I Say"". Asia Pacific Arts. 2011-10-13. 
  18. ^ DD-Boys Official Site
  19. ^ D-BOYS STAGE Official Website
  20. ^ FC Barcelona Official Site
  21. ^ Shoujo ni wa Mukanai Shokugyou Official Site
  22. ^ http://www.oricon.co.jp/prof/artist/324232/
  23. ^ With U Official Site
  24. ^ Wanibooks Official Site

External links[edit]

See also[edit]

Preceded by
Kenji Urai
Mamoru Chiba/Tuxedo Mask in the Sailor Moon Musicals
2003-2004
Succeeded by
Gyo Miyamoto
Preceded by
Eiji Takigawa
Kunimitsu Tezuka in the Prince of Tennis Musicals
2005-2006
Succeeded by
Keisuke Minami