Tadanobu Asano

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In this Japanese name, the family name is Satō.
Tadanobu Asano
浅野 忠信
Tadanobu Asano 2011 (cropped).jpg
Asano at the world premiere of Thor
Born Tadanobu Satō
佐藤 忠信

(1973-11-27) November 27, 1973 (age 43)
Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan
Occupation Actor, musician
Years active 1988–present
Height 1.79 m (5 ft 10 12 in)
Spouse(s) Chara (1995–2009)
Website www.asanotadanobu.com

Tadanobu Satō (佐藤 忠信 Satō Tadanobu?, born November 27, 1973), better known by his stage name Tadanobu Asano (浅野 忠信 Asano Tadanobu?), is a Japanese actor and musician.

He is known for his roles as Dragon Eye Morrison in Electric Dragon 80.000 V, Kakihara in Ichi the Killer, Mamoru Arita in Bright Future, Hattori Genosuke in Zatoichi, Kenji in Last Life in the Universe, A man in Survive Style 5+, Ayano in The Taste of Tea, Temujin in Mongol, Captain Yugi Nagata in Battleship, Lord Kira Yoshinaka in the 47 Ronin,[1] and Hogun in Thor, based on the Marvel Comics character.

Early life[edit]

Asano was born in the Honmoku area[2] of Yokohama to artist Yukihisa Satō (佐藤 幸久 Satō Yukihisa?)[2] and mother Junko (順子) whose father was Willard Overing, a U.S. citizen, whom Asano never met.[2] He has Norwegian and Dutch ancestry through this maternal grandfather.[3] Asano has an older brother, Kujun Satō, born in 1971,[4] who is a musician and a partner in Anore Inc., a talent agency Asano and their father Yukihisa Satō founded.


His father, an actors' agent, suggested he take on his first acting role in the TV show Kinpachi Sensei at the age of 16. His film debut was in the 1990 Swimming Upstream (Bataashi Kingyo), though his first major critical success was in Shunji Iwai's Fried Dragon Fish (1993). His first critical success internationally was Hirokazu Koreeda's Maboroshi no Hikari (1995), in which he played a man who inexplicably throws himself in front of a train, widowing his wife and orphaning his infant son. He also worked with Koreeda in the pseudo-documentary Distance in 2001. His best known works internationally are the samurai films Gohatto (aka Taboo, 1999) and Zatoichi (2003), as well as the critically acclaimed Bright Future.

He acted in Katsuhito Ishii's 2003 film The Taste of Tea, which premiered at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival. He appeared as the lead actor in Last Life in the Universe (2003) by Thai director Pen-Ek Ratanaruang and starred in a follow-up film by Pen-Ek, Invisible Waves, in 2006. In 2007 he starred as the young Genghis Khan in Sergei Bodrov's Oscar-nominated film Mongol.[5] In Villon's Wife (2009), he played the part of an alcoholic writer; he has stated that since he doesn't drink alcohol, he based his performance on people he knows, a lot of whom drink.[6] In 2011, he starred in the Marvel Studios film Thor as the Asgardian warrior Hogun, a member of the Warriors Three and companion to Thor.[7] He reprised the role in 2013's Thor: The Dark World.[8]

In addition to his acting career, Asano directed commercial TV spots for his then-wife, Chara.[9] He is a musician; he formed the band MACH-1.67 with director Sogo Ishii in 1996 and, from time to time, plays in the bands Peace Pill and Safari.[10] He is an artist and a model, most notably for Japanese fashion designers Jun Takahashi and Takeo Kikuchi, for whom he filmed a series of commercial spots directed by Wong Kar-wai: one released under the name "wkw/tk/1996@7'55"hk.net".

Asano and his father run the actor's agency Anore Inc. which represents Japanese actors like Ryō Kase and Rinko Kikuchi.[11]

Personal life[edit]

Asano met J-Pop idol Chara on the set of Iwai's Picnic (1994). They were married in March 1995 and Chara became pregnant with their first child, Sumire, who was born on July 4.[12] In 1999, they also had a son. In July 2009, Chara announced on her website that the couple would be getting an amicable divorce. She received custody of both their children.[13]


He won the Most Popular Performer award at the 1997 Japanese Academy Awards for Acri and was nominated in the Best Supporting Actor category in 2004 for his performance in Zatôichi. He also received the Upstream Prize for Best Actor at the 2003 Venice Film Festival for his role in Last Life in the Universe.[14] In 2014 he won the award for Best Actor at the 36th Moscow International Film Festival for his role in My Man.[15]


Year Title Role Notes
1988 Kinpachi-sensei Satō Tadanobu TV series
1990 Bataashi kingyo Ushi
1991 Aitsu Sadahito Iwata
1992 Seishun Dendekedekedeke Seiichi Shirai
1993 Fried Dragon Fish Natsuro TV movie
Haru no Ichizoku TV series
Nemuranai Machi: Shinjuku Same Koichi Sunagami
1994 119 Satoshi Matsushita
1995 Yonshimai Monogatari Akira Higuchi
Maborosi Ikuo
1996 wkw/tk/1996@7'55"hk.net Man short film
Picnic Tsumuji
Helpless Kenji Shiraishi
Acri Hisoka
Swallowtail Butterfly Customer in club
Focus Kanemura
1997 Yume no Ginga Tatsuo Niitaka
Tokyo Biyori
1998 Love & Pop Captain XX
Screwed (Neji-shiki) Tsube
Shark Skin Man and Peach Hip Girl Kuroo Samehada
Rakka Suru Yugata
1999 Away with Words Asano
Gemini Revenger with Sword
Hakuchi Isawa
One Step on a Mine, It's All Over Taizo Ichinose
Gohatto (aka Taboo) Samurai Hyozo Tashiro
2000 Gojoe: Spirit War Chronicle Shanao
Kaza-hana Sawaki
Party 7 Okita Souji
2001 Electric Dragon 80.000 V Dragon Eye Morrison
Distance Sakata
Ichi the Killer Kakihara
2002 Woman of Water Yusaku
2003 Bright Future Mamoru Arita
My Grandpa S. Nakatoh
Last Life in the Universe Kenji
Zatoichi Hattori Gennosuke
Dead End Run
Café Lumière Hajime Takeuchi
2004 Tori short film
The Taste of Tea Ayano, the Uncle
Vital Hiroshi Takagi
The Face of Jizo Kinoshita
Survive Style 5+ Aman
2005 The Buried Forest San-chan
My God, My God, Why Hast Thou Forsaken Me? Mizui
Portrait of the Wind Tamio Murase
Funky Forest Masaru Tanaka
Rampo Noir Private detective Kogorô Akechi/A man/Masaki
Tokyo Zombie Fujio
2006 Invisible Waves Kyôji
Hana Jubei Kanazawa
2007 Mongol Temujin
Sad Vacation Kenji Shiraishi
2008 Kabei: Our Mother Yamazaki Toru
R246 Story
Yume no Mani Mani Black Marketeer
2009 42 One Dream Rush short film
Mt. Tsurugidake Shibasaki
Dumbeast Dekogawa
Redline Frisbee (voice)
Villon's Wife Otani
Snow Prince Haigo
2010 Wandering Home
Vengeance Can Wait Hidenori Yamane
2011 Gekkō no Kamen Okamoto
Thor Hogun
Korede Iinoda! Eiga Akatsuka Fujio Fujio Akatsuka
A Ghost of a Chance Ken'ichi Kido
Sutekina Kakushi Dori: Kanzen Muketsu no Concierge TV movie
Yonimo kimyô na Monogatari Killer TV movie
2012 Battleship Captain Yugi Nagata
Anata e
A Terminal Trust
Fly with the Gold Kitagawa
2013 Thor: The Dark World Hogun
47 Ronin[1] Lord Kira
Regular Boy Chris pre-production
The Kiyosu Conference Maeda Toshiie
2014 Lupin III Inspector Koichi Zenigata
Kiki's Delivery Service Dr. Ishi
Parasyte: Part 1 Goto
2015 Parasyte: Part 2 Goto
Grasshopper filming
Journey to the Shore
Haha to Kuraseba Kuroda
2016 Harmonium Yasaka
Silence Interpreter
The Wasted Times Watabe
2017 The Outsider Kiyoshi Filming
Osanago Warera ni Umare
Thor: Ragnarok Hogun Post-production
Shinjuku Swan 2 Masaki Taki
A Life: A Love Masao Danjō TV series


  1. ^ a b Keanu's 47 Ronin has A-List Japanese Cast Japan-Zone.com 2 March 2011
  2. ^ a b c "Tokyo Psycho". Time Magazine. October 21, 2002. Retrieved 2012-11-30. 
  3. ^ http://japancinema.net/2011/09/13/creative-spotlight-episode-54-tadanobu-asano/
  4. ^ "Profile: Kujun". anore Inc. Retrieved 2012-11-30.  External link in |publisher= (help)
  5. ^ Golovnina, Maria (January 25, 2008). "Mongol actress from soldier dreams to Oscar buzz". The San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved 10 November 2008. 
  6. ^ Hadfield, James (July 7, 2011). "Tadanobu Asano: The Interview". Time Out Tokyo. Retrieved 7 July 2011. 
  7. ^ "Thor Update: Warriors Three Cast". Marvel.com. 2009-11-16. Retrieved 2009-11-16. 
  8. ^ Clark, Noelene (2012-08-02). "'Thor: The Dark World': Christopher Eccleston is villain Malekith". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on 2012-08-22. Retrieved 2012-08-22. 
  9. ^ Donat, Begoña (January 30, 2004). "Johnny Depp tiene un primo japonés (Johnny Depp has a Japanese Cousin)" (in Spanish). El Mundo. Retrieved October 28, 2008. 
  10. ^ Mes, Tom (June 24, 2002). "Tadanobu Asano". Midnight Eye. Retrieved October 28, 2008. 
  11. ^ Wallace, Bruce (June 13, 2008). "12th century leader, 21st century ideas". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved October 28, 2008. 
  12. ^ http://web.archive.org/web/20001109192500/http://www.sonymusic.co.jp/Music/Info/chara/biof.html
  13. ^ "Tadanobu Asano, Chara divorce". Tokyograph. July 24, 2009. Retrieved 17 October 2009. 
  14. ^ Riggs, Thomas (2007). Contemporary Theatre, Film & Television. Gale Cengage Learning. p. 7. ISBN 0-7876-9050-3. 
  15. ^ "36 MIFF Prizes". MIFF. Retrieved 3 July 2014. 


  • Morris, Jerome C. "I’m Not as Whacked Out as Dragon Eye Morrison" (interview), in Asian Cult Cinema, #54.

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