Kazunari Ninomiya

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Kazunari Ninomiya
二宮 和也
Kazunari Ninomiya.jpg
Ninomiya in November 2019
Born (1983-06-17) June 17, 1983 (age 38)
Other namesNino
  • Singer
  • actor
  • television presenter
Years active1996–present
Musical career
  • Vocals
  • guitar
  • piano
Associated actsArashi

Kazunari Ninomiya (二宮 和也, Ninomiya Kazunari, born June 17, 1983), often called Nino (ニノ), is a Japanese singer, songwriter, actor, voice actor, presenter and radio host. He is a member of the Japanese idol group Arashi.

His career began in the entertainment industry after joining the Japanese talent agency Johnny & Associates in 1996 aged 13. Prior to his debut as a member of Arashi, Ninomiya started an acting career when he was cast as Chris for the stage play Stand by Me, which was based on the film of the same name.

Apart from his group's activities, he starred in numerous television drama, movie and stage production, and has been regarded as the actor of Arashi.[1] Described as an actor who can act with his mouth and eyes,[1] Ninomiya has won a number of awards and nominations for his roles.

Early life[edit]

Ninomiya was born in Katsushika, Tokyo as the youngest child of his family.[2] His father and mother were both working as chefs when they met[3] and his sister is two years older than he is. When Ninomiya was born, his grandfather immediately came home and named him the heir to the family's windshield wiper factory since he was his grandfather's only grandson.[4] However, when Ninomiya was twelve years old, his cousin sent in an application to Johnny & Associates without his knowledge.[2] After attending and passing the auditions due to his mother's prodding, he joined the talent agency.[5][6]

Ninomiya graduated from high school in March 2002 at the age of 18.[7]

Music career[edit]

In 2004, Ninomiya penned and composed "Konseki" (痕跡)[8] for his solo performance during Arashi's Iza, Now!! tour. Although Arashi's fifth studio album One was the first of their albums to feature solo songs of each member, Ninomiya did not provide lyrics or music for official release until the Time album almost two years later.

In 2007, the group's eighteenth single "Love So Sweet" was released with the limited edition containing the bonus song "Fight Song" (ファイトソング, "Faito Songu"), which was written by Arashi and composed by Ninomiya in 2006 for their variety show G no Arashi.[9] On July 11, 2007, the Time album was released with the limited edition containing solo song of each member. Ninomiya wrote the lyrics to his solo song, "Niji" (, "Rainbow"),[10] and played the piano portion of the song throughout Arashi's summer tour.[11] He later reprised the performance throughout Arashi's second Asia Tour in 2008.[12]

In 2008, Ninomiya composed, co-arranged and penned the lyrics for his solo "Gimmick Game".[13] In 2010, Ninomiya also composed, co-arranged and penned the lyrics for his solo "1992*4##111".[14] According to Ninomiya himself, the title is read as "arigatō" (ありがとう, thank you).[15]

Acting career[edit]


Ninomiya began his acting career in a 1997 stage play based on the American coming of age film Stand by Me with future bandmates Masaki Aiba and Jun Matsumoto.[1][16] He did not return to do any major stage productions for nearly seven years after Stand by Me, instead focusing on dramas. However, in 2004, Ninomiya appeared in his first lead role in the stage play Shibuya Kara Tooku Hanarete (シブヤから遠く離れて) directed by Yukio Ninagawa. From April 3, 2005 to May 4, 2005, he took up Rebel Without a Cause, playing the James Dean character Jim Stark.

From July 18, 2009 to August 11, 2009, Ninomiya appeared in his first stage play in four years.[17] He starred as the psychopathic murderer Bruno in Mishiranu Jōkyaku (見知らぬ乗客, Strangers on a Train), which was based on the novel of the same name.


In 1998, he made his television debut as a fifteen-year-old runaway in the TBS television movie Amagi Goe (天城越え, Crossing Mt. Amagi).[1] Just a few months before his debut with Arashi, he was given his first lead role in the drama Abunai Hōkago (あぶない放課後, Dangerous After School) with Subaru Shibutani acting as his stepbrother. His schedule became packed, causing him to lose 7 kg in a month as a result.[18] From October 11, 1999 to October 29, 1999, because Arashi were the main supporters for the 8th World Cup of Volleyball Championships, all five members co-starred together for the first time in the volleyball-centered short drama V no Arashi (Vの嵐).

From 2003 to 2005, Ninomiya continued to appear in a wide range of dramas. He played a student who found himself to be one of the last four virgins left at school in the comedy series Stand Up!!, a boyfriend of a girl who mysteriously shrunk into a size of merely sixteen centimeters tall in the romance series Minami-kun no Koibito (南くんの恋人, Minami's Girlfriend) and a young man who accidentally killed his mother and developed an estranged relationship with his father as a result in the human drama series Yasashii Jikan (優しい時間, Affectionate Time)

In 2006, Ninomiya starred in the drama special Sukoshi wa, Ongaeshi ga Dekitakana (少しは、恩返しができたかな, Have I Returned a Bit of My Gratitude?), which was based on the true story of young man diagnosed with Ewing's sarcoma. He went on to appear in two different films for the rest of 2006 before taking up Haikei, Chichiue-sama (拝啓、父上様, Dear Father) on January 11, 2007.

During the summer of 2007, he and fellow Arashi bandmate Sho Sakurai co-starred together in the manga-based comedy drama Yamada Tarō Monogatari. Ninomiya played the title character Tarō Yamada (山田 太郎, Yamada Tarō), an extremely poor student attending a school for the rich. Soon after—whilst juggling rehearsals for Arashi's upcoming concerts—he acted as the lead in the drama special Marathon (マラソン, Marason), which was based on the true story of an autistic young man training to become a marathon runner.[19]

After a year without any acting roles, other than a small guest appearance in bandmate Satoshi Ohno's first lead drama Maō, Ninomiya finally took up the main role in the drama Ryūsei no Kizuna "流星の絆 with Ryo Nishikido and Erika Toda acting as his younger siblings. The three played the children of parents who were murdered long ago by a nameless man. Readers, reporters and critics of the 59th Television Drama Academy Awards panel recognized his role as the oldest vengeful sibling and awarded him Best Actor.[20] His Ryūsei no Kizuna role also earned him an Outstanding Actor nomination in the drama category in the 49th Monte-Carlo Television Festival.[21]

In spring 2009, Ninomiya starred as the lead in the third and final of the TBS kandō (感動, "moving") drama special trilogy Door to Door, with the first and second being Sukoshi wa, Ongaeshi ga Dekitakana and Marathon respectively. The drama special was based on the true story of Bill Porter, an American door-to-door salesman who achieved the highest sales for his company despite suffering from cerebral palsy.[22] His roles in Door to Door and Ryūsei no Kizuna won him the Individual Award in the television category of the 46th Galaxy Awards, a first for a Johnny's talent and the first by an actor in his twenties.[23] Ninomiya began filming for the drama special Tengoku de Kimi ni Aetara (天国で君に逢えたら, If I Can Meet You in Heaven) in April 2009.[24] However, the special, which saw Ninomiya's first time playing a psychiatrist, did not air on television until September 24, 2009.

In January 2010, Ninomiya co-starred with the other members of Arashi in their first drama in nearly ten years in the human suspense drama special Saigo no Yakusoku "最後の約束”.[25][26] Ninomiya portrayed Shūji Yamagiwa (山際 修司, Yamagiwa Shūji), a 27-year-old temporary security center employee who is caught up in a building hijack. On September 20, 2010, he made a guest appearance on the last episode of bandmate Matsumoto and Yūko Takeuchi's getsuku drama Natsu no Koi wa Nijiiro ni Kagayaku (夏の恋は虹色に輝く, Summer Love Shines in Rainbow Colors).[27]

Ninomiya starred in the drama Freeter, Ie o Kau (フリーター、家を買う。, Part-time Worker, Buys a House), his first serial drama since Ryūsei no Kizuna (2008). With Karina as his co-star, Ninomiya portrayed a freeter named Seiji Take (武 誠治, Take Seiji).[28][29] The drama maintained steady viewership ratings throughout its airing, having an average rating of 17.14% overall.[30][31][32]


In 2002, he made his motion picture debut in Arashi's first movie together, Pikanchi Life Is Hard Dakedo Happy (ピカ☆ンチ Life is HardだけどHappy, Pikanchi Life is Hard But Happy).[1] Ninomiya next took to the screen as Shuichi, a high school student trying to get rid of his abusive stepfather, in the 2003 film The Blue Light with Aya Matsuura as his co-star. In 2004, Arashi came together again to reprise their respective roles for the sequel of Pikanchi Life Is Hard Dakedo Happy, Pikanchi Life Is Hard Dakara Happy (ピカ☆☆ンチ Life is HardだからHappy, Pikanchi Life is Hard Therefore Happy).

2006 proved to be a productive year for Ninomiya as he became the first artist from Johnny's & Associates to debut in Hollywood. He played a reluctant soldier called Saigo in Clint Eastwood's Academy Award-winner Letters from Iwo Jima with Academy Award-nominated actor Ken Watanabe. His performance was praised by many film critics, some of which include RogerEbert.com editor Jim Emerson ("thoroughly winning"),[33] Claudia Puig of USA Today ("also superb"),[34] James Berardinelli ("another performer worth singling out")[35] and Kirk Honeycutt of The Hollywood Reporter ("just terrific").[36] On January 7, 2007, New York Times film critic A. O. Scott listed Ninomiya as an ideal Oscar candidate for Best Supporting Actor.[37] On October 24, 2006, a couple months after returning from filming Letters from Iwo Jima in the United States, he debuted as a voice actor, lending his voice to main character Black in the Michael Arias animated film Tekkon Kinkreet.[38]

In 2007, all the members of Arashi co-starred in their third movie together, Kiiroi Namida (黄色い涙, Yellow Tears), with Ninomiya playing the main role of an aspiring manga artist.

On October 1, 2010, the live-action adaptation of Fumi Yoshinaga's award-winning Ōoku: The Inner Chambers manga, which starred Ninomiya and Kou Shibasaki, was released into theaters in Japan.[39][40] Ninomiya played Yunoshin Mizuno (水野祐之進, Mizuno Yunoshin), a young man living in a matriarchal society due to a disease that killed most of the male population.[41]

Part one of the live-action adaptation of the manga Gantz, which starred Ninomiya and Kenichi Matsuyama, was released on January 20, 2011 in the United States and on January 29, 2011 in Japan.[42][43] Ninomiya starred as Kei Kurono, a young man who is hit by a subway train and becomes part of a semi-posthumous "game" with other deceased people.[44][45] Part two of Gantz, titled Gantz: Perfect Answer, hit theaters in Japan on April 23, 2011.[46]

In 2013, Ninomiya played the lead role in the film adaptation of Keigo Higashino's novel Platina Data, [Platinum Data (プラチナデータ)]. Ninomiya's 2008 drama series Ryūsei no Kizuna [Meteor Bonds (流星の絆)] was also based on a novel by Higashino.

In the 17th issue of Weekly Shounen Jump magazine, it was revealed that Ninomiya would be the voice of Koro-sensei in the 2015 live-action film adaptation of Assassination Classroom.[47]

On 5 March 2016, Ninomiya won the 39th Japanese Academy Award for Best Actor, for his performance in Living with My Mother (Haha to Kuraseba), succeeding fellow Johnny & Associates colleague Okada Junichi.[48]

Other ventures[edit]


Ninomiya has his own radio show, Bay Storm, since October 4, 2002.[49] The show is currently airing every Sunday on Japan's BayFM, in which he often plays his own renditions of Arashi's songs as well as songs by other artists.


He used to write in MORE magazine a column with the title IT, until it ended in January 2019.

Television variety show host[edit]

  • Nino san (NTV, April 25, 2013 – present)[50]
  • Ninomiyanchi (Special New Year's program substituting Aratsubo, hosted by Arashi, held every January 3, from 2017) (Fuji TV, January 3, 2021)[51][52]


A new Johnny's YouTube channel called ジャにのちゃんねる (Janinochaneru), lead by Ninomiya himself, was opened.[53][54] The channel is also run by KAT-TUN's Yuichi Nakamaru, Hey! Say! JUMP's Ryosuke Yamada, and Sexy Zone's Fuma Kikuchi.[55]

Personal life[edit]

On November 12, 2019, Ninomiya announced his marriage through a handwritten letter he released in their fan club website.[56] He announced the birth of his daughter through his agency on March 5, 2021.[57]



Year Title Role Notes
1998 Amagi Goe Takichi Nishinōra (child) Television special
Nijuroku ya Mairi Akimasa Okita (child)
Akimahende Taiki Aoki
1999 Nekketsu Ren'ai-dō Toshiya Kondō Episode: "Iteza no O-gata BOY"
Abunai Houkago Katsuyuki Natsuki Lead role
Kowai Nichiyōbi Kazunari Ninomiya Episode: "Koko Datta ka"
V no Arashi Kazunari Ninomiya Lead role with Arashi members
2000 Namida o Fuite Kenta Fuchigami
2001 Handoku!!! Nobu Sakaguchi
2003 Netsuretsu Teki Chūka Hanten Kenta Nanami
Stand Up!! Shōhei Asai Lead role with Anne Suzuki
2004 Minami-kun no Koibito Susumu Minami Lead role with Kyoko Fukada
2005 Yasashii Jikan Takuro Wakui Lead role with Masami Nagasawa and Akira Terao
2006 Sukoshi wa, Ongaeshi ga Dekitakana Kazunori Kitahara Lead role, Television special
2007 Haikei, Chichiue-sama Ippei Tahara Lead role
Marathon Shōtaro Miyata Lead role, television special
Yamada Tarō Monogatari Taro Yamada Lead role with Sho Sakurai
2008 Maō Masayoshi Kumada Episode 1 guest appearance
Ryūsei no Kizuna Kōichi Ariake Lead role
2009 Door to Door Hideo Kurasawa Lead role, television special
Tengoku de Kimi ni Aetara Junichi Nonogami Lead role with Mao Inoue, television special
2010 Saigo no Yakusoku Shūji Yamagiwa Lead role with Arashi members, television special
Natsu no Koi wa Nijiiro ni Kagayaku Hamlet stage lighting technician Episode 10 guest appearance
Freeter, Ie o Kau Seiji Take Lead role
2011 Freeter, Ie o Kau SP Seiji Take Lead role
2012 Kuruma Isu de Boku wa Sora wo Tobu Hasebe Yasuyuki Lead role, 24 Hour Television SP
2014 Yowakutemo Katemasu Aoshi Tamo Lead role
2015 Murder on the Orient Express Heita Makuuchi Television special
Aka Medaka Danshun Tatekawa Lead role
2016 Botchan Botchan Television special
2018 Black Pean Seishiro Tokai Lead role


Year Title Role Notes Ref
2002 Pikanchi Life is Hard Dakedo Happy Takuma Onda
2003 The Blue Light Shuichi Kushimori Lead role
2004 Pikanchi Life Is Hard Dakara Happy Takuma Onda
2006 Letters from Iwo Jima Saigo Lead role with Ken Watanabe, Hollywood debut
2006 Tekkon Kinkreet Black Voice, lead role
2007 Kiiroi Namida Eisuke Muraoka Lead role with Arashi members
2009 Heaven's Door Host Guest appearance
2010 Ōoku Yunoshin Mizuno Lead role with Kou Shibasaki
2011 Gantz Kei Kurono Lead role with Kenichi Matsuyama
Gantz: Perfect Answer
2013 Platinum Data Ryuhei Kagura/ Ryu Lead role
2014 Pikanchi Life is Hard Tabun Happy Takuma Onda Lead role with Arashi members
2015 Assassination Classroom Koro-sensei Lead role, voice
Nagasaki: Memories of My Son Koji Fukuhara Lead role
2016 Assassination Classroom: Graduation Koro-sensei, Grim Reaper Lead role, voice
2017 The Last Recipe Sasaki Lead role
2018 Killing for the Prosecution Keiichiro Okino Lead role with Takuya Kimura
2020 The Asadas Masashi Asada Lead role
2022 Tang Ken Kasugai Lead role [58]
Farewell Notes from a Prison Camp Hatao Yamamoto Lead role [59]


Year Title Role Notes
1997 Stand By Me Chris
Kyo to Kyo
2004 Shibuya Kara Tooku Hanarete Naoya Lead role
2005 Rebel Without a Cause Jim Stark Lead role
2009 Strangers on a Train Bruno Lead role

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Organization Award Work Result
2001 5th Nikkan Sports Drama Grand Prix (Fall) Best Supporting Actor Handoku!!! Won
2003 6th Nikkan Sports Drama Grand Prix (Winter) Best Supporting Actor Netsuretsu Teki Chuka Hanten Won
10th Rendora 110Award Best Actor Stand Up!! Won
2004 8th Nikkan Sports Drama Grand Prix (Summer) Best Supporting Actor Minami-kun no Koibito Won
2005 60th Japan Broadcast Film Arts Award Outstanding Supporting Actor Yasashii Jikan Won
8th Nikkan Sports Drama Grand Prix (Winter) Best Supporting Actor Nominated
16th Rendora 110Award Best Supporting Actor Won
2006 61st Japan Broadcast Film Arts Award Outstanding Supporting Actor Sukoshi wa, Ongaeshi ga Dekitakana Won
15th Hashida Awards Individual Award Won[60]
2007 10th Nikkan Sports Drama Grand Prix (Winter) Best Actor Haikei, Chichiue-sama Won[61]
10th Nikkan Sports Drama Grand Prix Best Actor Won[62]
52nd Television Drama Academy Awards Best Actor Nominated[63]
62nd Japan Broadcast Film Arts Award Excellence Best Actor Won
11th Nikkan Sports Drama Grand Prix (Summer) Best Actor Yamada Tarō Monogatari Won[64]
54th Television Drama Academy Awards Best Actor Nominated[65]
Monthly Galaxy Awards (September) Galaxy Award Marathon Won[66]
62nd Cultural Affairs Award Hōsō Kojin Award Won[67]
2008 12th Nikkan Sports Drama Grand Prix (Fall) Best Actor Ryūsei no Kizuna Won[68]
63rd Japan Broadcast Film Arts Award Outstanding Lead Actor Won
59th Television Drama Academy Awards Best Actor Won[20]
49th Monte-Carlo Television Festival Outstanding Actor (Drama) Nominated[21][69]
2009 46th Galaxy Awards Individual Award Ryūsei no Kizuna, Door to Door Won[23]
2011 14th Nikkan Sports Drama Grand Prix (Fall) Best Actor Freeter, Ie o Kau Won[70]
65th Japan Broadcast Film Award Outstanding Lead Actor Won
67th Television Drama Academy Awards Best Actor Won[71]
4th International Drama Festival in Tokyo Individual Award Won[72]
Best Actor Award Won[72]
2016 89th Kinema Junpo Award Best Actor Haha to Kuraseba Won[73]
39th Japan Academy Film Prize Best Actor Won[74]
41st Hochi Film Award Best Actor Nominated[75]
2017 42nd Hochi Film Award Best Actor The Last Recipe Nominated[76]
2018 22nd Nikkan Sports Drama Grand Prix (Spring) Best Actor Black Pean Won[77]
97th Television Drama Academy Awards Best Actor Nominated[78]
43rd Hochi Film Award Best Supporting Actor Killing for the Prosecution Won[79]
2019 73rd Mainichi Film Awards Best Supporting Actor Nominated[80]
61st Blue Ribbon Awards Best Supporting Actor Nominated[81]
42nd Japan Academy Prize Best Supporting Actor Nominated[82]
2021 42nd Yokohama Film Festival Best Actor The Asadas Won[83]
63rd Blue Ribbon Awards Best Actor Nominated[84]
44th Japan Academy Film Prize Best Actor Nominated [85]


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