Sanada in October 2013
October 12, 1960
|Spouse(s)||Satomi Tezuka (1990–1997)|
Hiroyuki Sanada, MBE (真田 広之 Sanada Hiroyuki, born Hiroyuki Shimosawa (下澤 廣之 Shimosawa Hiroyuki); 12 October 1960), 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.
Life and career
Sanada was born in Tokyo. Originally planning to be an action star, he studied Shorinji Kempo and later took up Kyokushin kaikan karate. 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. Sanada received his honorary MBE for his "contribution to spreading British culture in Japan through his performance in a joint Shakespeare production."
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". 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. 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. 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.
|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|
|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|
|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|
|East Meets West||Kamijo Kenkichi||Kihachi Okamoto||Lead|
|Emergency Call||Hideyuki Harada||Kazuki Ōmori||Lead|
|1998||Ring||Ryūji Takayama||Hideo Nakata|
|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|
|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|
|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|
|2020||Army of the Dead||Hunter Bly||Zack Snyder||Filming|
|2021||Mortal Kombat||Scorpion||Simon McQuoid||Filming|
|1977||J.A.K.Q. Dengekitai||Katsuya Nakayama||Guest star (episode 9)|
|1978||The Yagyu Conspiracy||Sasuke||Also played Hattori Hyoma in episode 1|
|1979||Abarenbo Shogun||Guest star (episode 58)|
|Uchu Kara no Messeji: Ginga Taisen – (Message from Space: Galactic Battle)||Hayato Gen/Maboroshi||Lead|
|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|
|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|
|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|
|Summer of Detectives|
|Kujira o Mita hi||Lead|
|2001||Hikon Kazoku – (Unmarried Family)||Yousuke Matoba||Lead|
|2004||Locked-in Shokogun – (Locked-in Syndrome)||Lead|
|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|
|1981||Yagyu Jubei Makai Tensho||Kirimaru Iga|
|1984||Yukai na Kaizoku Daiboken|
|Romeo and Juliet|
|1987||Little Shop of Horrors|
|2000||Okepi! – (The Orchestra Pit)|
- Medal with Purple Ribbon (2018)
- "Hiroyuki Sanada Profile axon entertainment inc". March 5, 2018.
- Kroll, Justin; Kroll, Justin (2019-08-27). "'Mortal Kombat' Reboot Finds Its Shang Tsung and Scorpion (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved 2019-08-30.
- "Chin Han & Hiroyuki Sanada join Mortal Kombat as Shang Tsung and Scorpion". www.joblo.com. 2019-08-27. Retrieved 2019-08-30.
- 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.
- Kungfu Magazine: E-Zine Feature Article. Ezine.kungfumagazine.com. Retrieved on 2011-11-21.
- "Togo Igawa's biography". Archived from the original on 2012-01-31.
- "Japanese actor gets British award for Shakespeare performance". September 5, 2011.
- "Hiroyuki Sanada to appear in final season of 'Lost'". Japan Today. October 19, 2009.
- "Keanu's "47 Ronin" has A-List Japanese Cast". japan-zone.com. March 2, 2011.
- Wagner, Curt (August 9, 2016). "BRIDGET REGAN: 'LAST SHIP' GETS MORE INTENSE". TVShowPatrol. Retrieved January 3, 2017.
- Kroll, Justin (August 27, 2019). "'Mortal Kombat' Reboot Finds Its Shang Tsung and Scorpion (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved August 27, 2019.
- Media related to Hiroyuki Sanada at Wikimedia Commons
- Hiroyuki Sanada on IMDb