Hiroyuki Sanada

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Hiroyuki Sanada

Hiroyuki Sanada 2013 (cropped).jpg
Sanada in October 2013
Native name
真田 広之
Born
Hiroyuki Shimosawa

(1960-10-12) October 12, 1960 (age 58)
NationalityJapanese
OccupationActor
Years active1965–present
Spouse(s)Satomi Tezuka (1990–1997)
Children2

Hiroyuki Sanada, MBE (真田 広之, Sanada Hiroyuki, born Hiroyuki Shimosawa (下澤 廣之, Shimosawa Hiroyuki); 12 October 1960),[1] is a Japanese actor. In Asia, he is most famous for his martial arts roles, and historical films including Tasogare Seibei (The Twilight Samurai) and his role as 'The Fool' in the Shakespeare play King Lear gave him notable theatrical notice in the UK. Sanada is also known as a recording artist in Japan. He also is a stage actor, working in Japanese and British plays and theatre.

He became widely known with portraying Ujio in 2003's The Last Samurai and later was known for portraying Shingen Yashida in 2013's The Wolverine as well as in 2013's 47 Ronin in which he acted alongside Keanu Reeves. Additionally, he is currently set to portray the Mortal Kombat character Scorpion in the 2021 reboot film of the same name.[2][3][4]

Life and career[edit]

Sanada was born in Tokyo. Originally planning to be an action star, he studied Shorinji Kempo and later took up Kyokushin kaikan karate.[5] Sanada began training at the age of 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 introduced him to Michelle Yeoh, with whom he co-starred in Royal Warriors, and then later in Danny Boyle's Sunshine. He has a long-standing friendship with Jackie Chan, although he did not star in a film with him before Rush Hour 3 in 2007. Outside of Japan, Sanada was often credited in his younger days as Henry, Harry, or Duke Sanada.

Sanada received a bachelor of Arts from Nihon University.

From 1980 to 1991 Sanada released a series of albums and singles Japan as a singer; several of these were tied to films, TV shows or stage productions he was starring in. In 2010 and 2011 compilations were released covering his songs for movies and pop hits respectively.

Sanada has established himself as a character actor who is adept at playing a variety of roles. He was first noticed as a serious actor in the movie Mahjong Hourouki directed by Makoto Wada. Since then he has acted in every Wada movie — works filled with humor and a nostalgia for classic films.

In 1999 and 2000, he performed with the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) 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: Japanese actor Togo Igawa performed with the RSC in 1985 and joined the RSC in 1986.[6] Sanada received his honorary MBE for his "contribution to spreading British culture in Japan through his performance in a joint Shakespeare production."[7]

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's character, in the 2005 film The White Countess, directed by James Ivory. He starred in the Chinese film The Promise directed by Chen Kaige as General Guangming. Sanada has appeared in Rush Hour 3 with Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker and in 2007's The City of Your Final Destination, another James Ivory film, in which he plays the younger lover of Anthony Hopkins's character. He also starred in the movie Life with Ryan Reynolds.

Sanada joined the cast of the ABC TV series Lost in 2010 during its sixth and final season. He portrayed Dogen, a high-ranking member of "The Others".[8] In March 2011 appeared in the Keanu Reeves vehicle 47 Ronin, the first English-language adaptation of the Chushingura legend, Japan's most famous tale of samurai loyalty and revenge.[9] Sanada was a guest star as Takehaya, a former Japanese Navy officer and legendary pirate captain in post-plague Asia, in the apocalyptic drama The Last Ship.[10] He played a minor role of a Yakuza leader called Akihiko in the 2019 Marvel Cinematic Universe film Avengers: Endgame. In August 2019, Sanada was cast in the Mortal Kombat reboot as Scorpion.[11]

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Year Title Role(s) Director(s) Notes
1966 Game of Chance Endo Kenichi Ryuichi Takamori Debut
1967 Game of Chance 2
Game of Chance 3: Lullaby for My Son
1969 Abashiri Prison: Drifter at Edge of World Shoichi Kiyoshi Saeki
1970 Yukyo Retsuden Shigehiro Ozawa
Brutal Tales of Chivalry 7 Akinori Matsuo
1974 The Executioner Young Koga Ryuichi Teruo Ishii
1978 Shogun's Samurai Hayate Kinji Fukasaku
Message from Space Shiro
1979 The Shogun Assassins Miyoshi Isa Sadao Nakajima
G.I. Samurai Takeda Katsuyori Kōsei Saitō
1980 Shogun's Ninja Momochi Takamaru Norifumi Suzuki Lead
Tonda Couple Isozaki Shinji Sōmai
1981 Samurai Reincarnation Kirimaru Iga Kinji Fukasaku
Roaring Fire Joji / Toru Norifumi Suzuki Lead
The Kamikaze Adventurers Akira Hoshino Tatsuichi Takamori
The Blazing Valiant Joe Tooru Dobashi Lead
1982 Ninja in the Dragon's Den Genbu Corey Yuen
Lovers Lost Kunihiko Yasuoka Kinji Fukasaku
Fall Guy Actor
Ninja Wars Jotaro Fuefuki Kōsei Saitō Lead
1983 Igano Kabamaru Shizune Norifumi Suzuki
Legend of the Eight Samurai Inue Shinbei Masashi Kinji Fukasaku Male Lead
1984 The Street of Desire Joji Tanaka Haruhiko Mimura
Kōtarō Makaritōru! Tatsuya Yoshioka Norifumi Suzuki
Mahjong hōrōki Bouya Tetsu Makoto Wada Lead
1985 The Dagger of Kamui Jirō / Jirōza Hattori / Jirōmu Kamui Rintaro Voice Lead
1986 House on Fire Chuya Nakahara Kinji Fukasaku
Inuji ni Seshi Mono Shigesa Kazuyuki Izutsu Lead
Cabaret Tanokura Haruki Kadokawa
In the Line of Duty: Royal Warriors Peter Yamamoto David Chung Male Lead
1987 Sure Death 4: Revenge Ukyonosuke Okuda Kinji Fukasaku
1988 Kaitō Ruby Toru Hayashi Makoto Wada Male Lead
1989 Who Do I Choose? Jun Yamamoto Shusuke Kaneko
1990 Yellow Fangs Haiyaku Eiji Sonny Chiba Lead
Let's Go to the Hospital Kohei Shintani Yōjirō Takita Lead
Tugumi Kyoichi Takahashi Jun Ichikawa
1992 Succession Masakazu Yoshinari Kazuki Ōmori Lead
Let's Go to the Hospital 2 Ichiro Katakura Yōjirō Takita
1993 We Are Not Alone Keiichi Takahashi Lead
The City That Never Sleeps: Shinjuku Shark Detective Same Lead
1994 Uneasy Encounters Man Makoto Wada Lead
Hero Interview Jinta Todoroki Michio Mitsuno Male Lead
Crest of Betrayal Takumi-no-kami Asano Kinji Fukasaku
1995 Sharaku Tonbo Masahiro Shinoda Lead
East Meets West Kamijo Kenkichi Kihachi Okamoto Lead
Emergency Call Hideyuki Harada Kazuki Ōmori Lead
1998 Ring Ryūji Takayama Hideo Nakata
Rasen George Iida
Murder on D Street Seiichiro Fukiya Akio Jissoji Lead
Tadon to Chikuwa Asami Jun Ichikawa Lead
1999 Ring 2 Ryūji Takayama Hideo Nakata
Round About Midnight Koji Makoto Wada Lead
2000 First Love Shin'ichirō Fujiki Tetsuo Shinohara
2001 Minna no Ie Bartender Kōki Mitani
Onmyōji Dōson Yōjirō Takita
2002 Vengeance for Sale Sukeroku Sukedachiya Kihachi Okamoto Lead
The Twilight Samurai Seibei Iguchi Yoji Yamada Lead
2003 The Last Samurai Ujio Edward Zwick
2005 Aegis Hisashi Sengoku Junji Sakamoto Lead
The White Countess Matsuda James Ivory
The Promise General Guangming Chen Kaige
2007 Sunshine Kaneda Danny Boyle
Rush Hour 3 Kenji Brett Ratner
2008 Speed Racer Mr. Musha The Wachowskis
2009 The City of Your Final Destination Pete James Ivory
2012 Tenchi: The Samurai Astronomer Narrator Yōjirō Takita
2013 The Wolverine Shingen Yashida James Mangold
The Railway Man Takashi Nagase Jonathan Teplitzky
47 Ronin Ôishi Carl Rinsch
2015 Mr. Holmes Tamiki Umezaki Bill Condon
Minions Dumo the Sumo Kyle Balda and Pierre Coffin Voice (Also the Narrator; Japanese Dub Only)
2017 Life Sho Murakami Daniel Espinosa
2018 The Catcher Was a Spy Kawabata Ben Lewin
2019 Avengers: Endgame Akihiko Russo brothers
Minamata Andrew Levitas Post-production
2020 Army of the Dead Hunter Bly Zack Snyder Filming
2021 Mortal Kombat Scorpion Simon McQuoid Filming

Television[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1977 J.A.K.Q. Dengekitai Katsuya Nakayama Guest star (episode 9)
1978 The Yagyu Conspiracy Sasuke Also played Hattori Hyoma in episode 1
Seven Detectives
1979 Abarenbo Shogun Guest star (episode 58)
Uchu Kara no Messeji: Ginga Taisen – (Message from Space: Galactic Battle) Hayato Gen/Maboroshi Lead
1980 Yagyu Abaretabi Matahei
1981 Kage no Gundan II – (Shadow Warriors II) Hayate Kozo
1982 Kage no Gundan III – (Shadow Warriors III) Abaregoma no Sasuke
Yagyu Jubei Abaretabi Matahei
1984 Subarashiki Sakasu Yaro – (What a Wonderful Circus Guy)
Chodenshi Bioman – (Super Electronic Bioman)
1985 Kage no Gundan IV – (Shadow Warriors IV) Katsu Rintaro
And Then, War is Over
Kamen no Ninja Akakage Tsumujikaze no Genji TV movie
1987 Dokuganryu Masamune – (One-Eyed Dragon Masamune) Matsudaira Tadateru Taiga drama
Sweet Memories
Dokyusei wa 13 sai
Ore to Aneki – (Me and Sister) Lead
1988 Tokugawa Ieyasu Ishida Mitsunari
NY Love Story
Anata ga daisuki – (I Love You So Much) Lead
1989 Sakamoto Ryoma Sakamoto Ryōma Lead
Oda Nobunaga Matsudaira Motoyasu TV movie
1990 Shingo Juban Shobu – (Shingo's Ten Duels) Aoi Shingo TV movie - Lead
1991 Taiheiki Ashikaga Takauji Taiga drama - Lead
1992 Seiteki Mokushi Roku Lead
Shimizu Jirocho
1993 Koko Kyoshi – (High School Teacher) Takao Hamura Lead
Toyotomi Hideyoshi Azai Nagamasa
1994 The Reason I Owed to Her TV series - Lead
1995 Abe Ichizoku – (The Abe Clan) Emoto Matashichiro TV movie
Seiya no Kiseki – (Miracles in the Holy Night) Lead
1996 Hideyoshi Ishida Mitsunari Taiga drama
1997 Kon'na Koi no Hanashi – (The Story of Love) Shuichiro Harashima TV movie - Lead
Shin Hanshichi Torimonocho Hanshichi Lead
1998 Tabuloido – (Tabloid) Toshihito Manabe
Sono Otoko no Kyofu – (That Man's Fear) Lead
1999 Furuhata Ninzaburō
Summer of Detectives
Kujira o Mita hi Lead
2001 Hikon Kazoku – (Unmarried Family) Yousuke Matoba Lead
2004 Locked-in Shokogun – (Locked-in Syndrome) Lead
2010 Lost Dogen 5 episodes
2011 Revenge Satoshi Takeda 4 episodes
2014 Helix Dr. Hiroshi Hatake 15 episodes
Extant Hideki Yasumoto 13 episodes (season 1)
2016 The Last Ship Takehaya 9 episodes
2018 Westworld Musashi 2 episodes

Theater[edit]

Year Title (Japanese/English) Role
1981 Yagyu Jubei Makai Tensho Kirimaru Iga
1984 Yukai na Kaizoku Daiboken
1985 Tenshu Story
1986 Stuntman Story
Romeo and Juliet
1987 Little Shop of Horrors
1988 Big River
1989 Broadway Bound
1993 Moonlit Club
1994 Paper Moon
1998 Hamlet
1999 King Lear
2000 Okepi! – (The Orchestra Pit)

Honours[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Hiroyuki Sanada Profile axon entertainment inc". March 5, 2018.
  2. ^ Kroll, Justin; Kroll, Justin (2019-08-27). "'Mortal Kombat' Reboot Finds Its Shang Tsung and Scorpion (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved 2019-08-30.
  3. ^ "Chin Han & Hiroyuki Sanada join Mortal Kombat as Shang Tsung and Scorpion". www.joblo.com. 2019-08-27. Retrieved 2019-08-30.
  4. ^ Games", Mark Cassidy | 8/27/2019 Filed Under: "Video. "MORTAL KOMBAT Reboot Casts Hiroyuki Sanada As Scorpion And Chin Han As Shang Tsung". www.comicbookmovie.com. Retrieved 2019-08-30.
  5. ^ Kungfu Magazine: E-Zine Feature Article. Ezine.kungfumagazine.com. Retrieved on 2011-11-21.
  6. ^ "Togo Igawa's biography". Archived from the original on 2012-01-31.
  7. ^ "Japanese actor gets British award for Shakespeare performance". September 5, 2011.
  8. ^ "Hiroyuki Sanada to appear in final season of 'Lost'". Japan Today. October 19, 2009.
  9. ^ "Keanu's "47 Ronin" has A-List Japanese Cast". japan-zone.com. March 2, 2011.
  10. ^ Wagner, Curt (August 9, 2016). "BRIDGET REGAN: 'LAST SHIP' GETS MORE INTENSE". TVShowPatrol. Retrieved January 3, 2017.
  11. ^ Kroll, Justin (August 27, 2019). "'Mortal Kombat' Reboot Finds Its Shang Tsung and Scorpion (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved August 27, 2019.

External links[edit]