Sanada in October 2013
|Native name||真田 広之|
October 12, 1960
|Spouse(s)||Satomi Tezuka (1990–1997; 2 children)|
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. 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 later starred 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. Sanada was often credited in his younger days as Henry, Harry, or Duke Sanada.
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.
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 he joined the cast of 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.
|1974||Chokugeki Jigokuhen – (Executioner/Direct Hit/Hell Fist)|
|1978||Uchu kara no Messeji – (Message from Space/Message from Space: Galactic War)|
|1979||Sanada Yukimura no Boryaku – (Renegade Ninjas/Death of the Shogun/The Shogun Assassins)|
|Sengoku Jieitai – (minor role in G.I. Samurai/Time Slip)|
|1980||Bugeicho-Momochi Sandayu – (Shogun's Ninja)|
|Tonda Kappuru – (The Terrible Couple)|
|1981||Hoero! Takken – (Roaring Fire)|
|Moeru Yusha – (Burning Brave)|
|Samurai Reincarnation – (Makai Tensho)|
|Uchu kara no Messeji – (Swords of the Space Ark/Message from Outer Space)|
|1982||Kamata Koshinkyoku – (Fall Guy)|
|Dotonboringawa – (Lovers Lost)|
|Iga Ninpocho – (Ninja Wars/Black Magic Wars/Iga Magic Story)|
|Long Zhi Ren Zhe – (Ninja in the Dragon's Den)|
|1983||Satomi Hakkenden – (Legend of the Eight Samurai)|
|Iga No Kabamaru|
|1984||Mahjong Horoki – (Mahjong Vagrant Life)|
|1984||Kotaro Makaritoru – (There Goes Kotaro)|
|Irodori-gawa – (The Street of Desire)|
|1985||Kamui no Ken – (Blade of Kamui/Dagger of Kamui/Revenge of the Ninja Warrior)|
|1986||Wong Ga Jin Si – (Royal Warriors)|
|Kataku no Hito – (Man of Desire)|
|Inujini seshi mono – (One Who Died in Vain)|
|1987||Hissatsu 4: Urami Harashimasu – (Sure Fire Death 4: We Will Avenge You)|
|1988||Kaito Ruby – (Funny Robber Ruby)|
|Wong ga Jin si – (Royal Warriors/Line of Duty/Police Assassins/Ultra Force)|
|1989||Dotchi ni Suruno – (Which Do You Choose)|
|1990||Byoin e Iko – (Let's Go To the Hospital)|
|Rimeinzu - Utsukushiki Yushatachi – (Remains: Beautiful Heroes/Yellow Fangs)|
|1992||Keisho Sakazuki – (Succession Sake-saucer)|
|Byoin e Iko 2 – (Let's Go To the Hospital 2)|
|1993||Nemuranai Machi: Shinjuku Same – (Sleepless City – Shinjuku Shark)||Detective Same|
|Bokura wa Minna Ikiteiru – (We Are Not Alone/Made in Japan)|
|1994||Hero Interview||Jinta Todoroki|
|Kowagaru Hitobito – (Uneasy Encounters)|
|Chushingura Gaiden – Yotsuya Kaidan (Crest of Betrayal)||Takuminokami Asano|
|Kikyu Yobidashi – (Emergency Doctor/Emergency Call)||Hideyuki Harada|
|East Meets West||Kamijo Kenkichi|
|Sigaw ng Puso - (Shout of the Heart)|
|1998||Tadon to Chikuwa – (Charcoal and Fishcake)|
|Rasen – (The Spiral)||Ryûji Takayama|
|D-Zaka no Satsujin Jiken – (D-Slope Murder Case)|
|1999||Ring 2||Ryûji Takayama|
|2000||Hatsukoi – (First Love)||Shinichirô Fujiki|
|2001||Minna no Ie – (All About Our House)||Bartender|
|Onmyoji – (Yin Yang Master)||Douson|
|Mayonaka made – (Round About Midnight)||Koji|
|2002||Tasogare Seibei – (The Twilight Samurai)||Seibei Iguchi|
|Sukedachiya Sukeroku – (Vengeance for Sale)||Sukeroku Sukedachiya|
|2003||The Last Samurai||Ujio|
|2005||The White Countess||Matsuda|
|Bokoku no Aegis – (Aimless Aegis)||Hisashi Sengoku|
|Wuji – (The Promise)||General Guangming|
|2007||Rush Hour 3||Kenji|
|The City of Your Final Destination||Pete|
|2008||Speed Racer||Mr. Musha|
|The Railway Man||Takeshi Nagase|
|2015||Mr. Holmes||Tamiki Umezaki|
|Minions||Dumo the Sumo (voice)|
|1978||Yagyu Clan Conspiracy|
|1984||Yukai na Kaizoku Daiboken|
|Romeo and Juliet|
|1987||Little Shop of Horrors|
|2000||Okepi! – (The Orchestra Pit)|
- Kungfu Magazine: E-Zine Feature Article. Ezine.kungfumagazine.com. Retrieved on 2011-11-21.
- "Togo Igawa's biography".
- "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.