Takuya Kimura

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Takuya Kimura
木村 拓哉
Kimura in 2018
Born (1972-11-13) November 13, 1972 (age 50)
Tokyo, Japan[1]
  • Singer
  • actor
Years active1987 (1987)–present
(m. 2000)
Musical career
Instrument(s)Vocals, Guitar, Harmonica
Formerly of

Takuya Kimura (Japanese: 木村 拓哉, Hepburn: Kimura Takuya, born November 13, 1972) is a Japanese actor, singer, and radio personality. He is regarded as a Japanese icon after achieving success as an actor. He was also a popular member of SMAP, one of the best-selling boy bands in Asia.

A 1996 television drama series, Long Vacation, in which he landed his first lead role, became a massive success, creating a phrase called the "Lon-bake phenomenon". He was given the title, "The King of Ratings", as his subsequent television series continued to generate high ratings and each show became a social phenomenon as it aired. Five of his works are ranked in the 10 best-viewed TV drama series in Japan, the highest of which is his 2001 drama series, Hero. He also starred in blockbuster films, including Love and Honor (2006), Hero (2007) and Howl's Moving Castle (as a voice actor, 2004).

Kimura is also known for his work in the video games Judgment and Lost Judgment, portraying Takayuki Yagami.



In 1987, at age 15, Kimura auditioned to enter Johnny & Associates, a talent agency that recruits and trains young boys to become singers and members of boy bands. In Autumn 1987, twenty young boys, including Kimura, were put together into a group called The Skate Boys, which was initially created as backup dancers for a famous boy band, Hikaru Genji.[2] In April 1988, producer Johnny Kitagawa chose six out of the twenty boys to create a new boy band; "SMAP."[3]

In 2020, Kimura released his first solo album, entitled "Go with the Flow". The album, which included songs written for Kimura by well-known bands and artists such as [ALEXANDROS], Superfly, Noriyuki Makihara, and Love Psychedelico, debuted at #1 on the Oricon Albums Chart on the week of its release.[4] A month later, he held a four-day tour in both Tokyo and Osaka entitled "TAKUYA KIMURA Live Tour 2020 Go with the Flow". The concert was released on Blu-Ray and DVD, on July 8, 2020, debuting at #1 as well on the Oricon Charts.[5]

On May 20, 2021, the Weibo Starlight Awards 2020 ceremony was held online. Kimura, alongside his two daughters, Cocomi and Kōki, were awarded alongside Western artists such as Katy Perry, Taylor Swift, and Louis Koo.[6]

A follow up to his solo album "Go with the Flow" was released on January 19, 2022, entitled "Next Destination". The album features the song entitled "Mojo Drive", a collaboration between Kimura and renowned city-pop artist Tatsuro Yamashita, who wanted to write a song to highlight Kimura's baritone voice after attending his solo concert in February.[7] Yamashita also composed two other tracks, namely "Good Luck, Good Time", and "Morning Dew" for the album. In addition to Yamashita, "Next Destination" also features songs written by Kyōka Suzuki, Sanma Akashiya, Man with a Mission, and Shigesato Itoi.[8]


In 1988, Kimura made his acting debut in a television series, Abunai Shonen III, along with his band members. After appearing in several television series, he first attracted attention after landing a role in a high-rated television series, Asunaro Hakusho, in 1993. The scene where he hugged his co-star Hikari Ishida from behind became popular in Japan and a man hugging a girl from behind was later named "asunaro daki", meaning "asunaro hug". From 1994, men in Japan started copying his fashion and style, as clothes and fashion items became instant hits, the thick, black-rimmed glasses he wore in Asunaro Hakusho, being one of them. The phenomenon was collectively called the "Kimutaku syndrome". He won the Ishihara Yujiro New Artist Award for his performance in Shoot, in which he made his screen debut.

He first landed the lead role in Long Vacation in 1996. The series, which aired every Monday night, saw massive success and was the highest-rated program that year, thus becoming a social phenomenon. Media stated that, "women disappear from the city on Mondays", pointing out the large viewership and how intoxicating the show was for women in Japan. After Kimura playing a young pianist, there was a rapid increase of young men who started taking piano lessons. The cultural impact and influences of the show is commonly referred to as the "Lonvaca (ron-bake) phenomenon". This was also a breakthrough for Kimura as an actor and helped him gain recognition and a more broad fan base.

In 2000, he starred in a television series, Beautiful Life, which became a massive hit, with the final episode marking above the 40% household share rating and becoming the highest-rated program for that slot (Sunday 9:00pm).[9] In 2001, Kimura starred in Hero, which became the all-time highest-rated television series in Japan and the only program in history to have all episodes mark above the 30% household share rating.[10] Subsequent television series, such as Good Luck!!, Pride and Engine, also generated high-ratings.[11] Five of his most successful television series, Hero (2001), Beautiful Life (2000), Love Generation (1997), Good Luck!! (2003), and Long Vacation (1996) are ranked in the top ten highest-rated television series in Japanese history.

In 2004, he played a supporting role in a Cannes-nominated film 2046, and walked the red carpet of Cannes Festival for the first time.[12] Kimura also voiced Howl Pendragon, the titular character of Studio Ghibli's Howl's Moving Castle in 2004. He was the lead actor in Love and Honor (2006). Although he was nominated for numerous prestigious awards for Love and Honor, including the Japan Academy Award, his agency, Johnny & Associates, declined all nominations,[13] though some organizations still announced him as the winner, such as the Tokyo Sports Film Awards, headed by Takeshi Kitano and Cinema Junpo. Earning over 40.3 billion yen, the film became the biggest hit for director Yoji Yamada during his four-decade career, as well as becoming the biggest box-office earner in Shochiku's history.

In Blade of the Immortal (2017), Takashi Miike cast Kimura for the role as he found him fitting due to Kimura's personal life and the differences he has with the other members of the music group SMAP. Additionally, since Kimura was also popular within Japanese fandom for over two decades by the time the film was made, he felt that his appeal would attract a bigger audience.[14] When Miike asked his team about what they thought of Kimura playing the role of Manji, the team reacted negatively, believing that he would not be able to portray Manji. However, Miike still felt that due to Kimura's experience in films, he has suitable to play the leading role in the movie.[15]

He said that he personally selected Kimura, "a superstar who made the transition from the Showa era to the Heisei era," as "the world's strongest member of the Miike Gang, the Ittō-ryū fighting school of our film industry."[16] Kimura expressed multiple thoughts about his acting as Manji, such as how he deals with make up and action sequences.[17] However, Kimura suffered a major wound while filming, resulting in him not being able to walk for various days.[18] Blade of the Immortal was eventually screened out-of-competition at the Cannes Festival, making this Kimura's second appearance at the event.[19]

In 2021, it was announced that Kimura would be starring in the television adaption of German author Frank Schätzing's environmental thriller, The Swarm.[20] The series is now in post-production.

In 2022, Kimura was announced to star as historical figure Oda Nobunaga alongside Haruka Ayase as Nohime in THE LEGEND & BUTTERFLY, a film to commemorate TOEI's 70th Anniversary in 2023.[21] This is the first time Kimura has portrayed Nobunaga in 25 years, following his first appearance as the 16th century samurai in the 1998 historical drama "Nobunaga Oda: The Fool Who Takes The World" for TBS.[22] The film is scheduled released on January 27, 2023, and is directed by Keishi Otomo and written by Ryota Kosawa. On November 6, 2022, Kimura made an appearance dressed as Nobunaga at the annual Gifu Nobunaga Festival alongside fellow actor Hideaki Ito on horseback.[23] The festival drew in half-a-million people, more than the city's population, with many hoping to catch a glimpse of Kimura.[24][25]


As a member of the boy band SMAP, he used to co-host a weekly variety show SMAPxSMAP for 20 years until the group's dissolution on New Year's Eve 2016. They welcomed a number of international celebrities such as Michael Jackson,[26] Madonna and Lady Gaga[27] as well as Japanese guests. He has also occasionally made cameo appearances in other shows, such as on Netflix's Jimmy: The True Story of a True Idiot, and has been a guest on numerous variety shows.

Since 2003, Kimura hosts an annual variety show entitled Santaku alongside comedian Sanma Akashiya to commemorate the start of a New Year. However in 2017, it was broadcast in April due to the official disbanding of the SMAP on New Year's Eve of the previous year.


Early in the development of action game Judgment, the developers at Sega and Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio considered using a famous actor to portray the lead Takayuki Yagami.

Writer Toshihiro Nagoshi was afraid audiences would accuse them of toning down the character due to Kimura's popularity. However, Kimura was open to the team's suggestions and worked with the developers to hone the character. Sega was pleased with Kimura's performance, noting he needed far fewer retakes during recording than they anticipated. Some lines were rewritten to better fit Kimura's delivery, but the writers ensured these changes would not deviate from Yagami's personality. The game's dialogue was recorded in chronological order so players would feel Kimura's voice evolving as Yagami's character develops during the story. Kimura enjoyed his work on the game, and Nagoshi remarked on Kimura's quick response to his messages. In contrast with previous Yakuza titles, the game was not recorded until after the whole scenario was written, which helped Kimura and the other actors.[28]

Due to Kimura's popularity within Judgment, Japanese fans have often nicknamed the game Kimutaku ga Gotoku (キムタクが如く, lit. "Like KimuTaku") with "Kimutaku" being a short of Takuya Kimura while "Gotoku" ("Like a" Japanese) as a reference to the original Japanese title of Yakuza[29].

Kimura reprised his role as Yagami in the sequel to Judgment, entitled Lost Judgment released on September 24, 2021. He announced the sequel in an event entitled "Judgment Day" alongside series creator Toshihiro Nagoshi.[30]

Personal life[edit]

Kimura married singer Shizuka Kudo on December 5, 2000. They have two daughters: Cocomi, born on May 1, 2001; and Kõki, born on February 5, 2003.

Other ventures[edit]

Product endorsement[edit]

As a member of SMAP, Kimura alongside his fellow bandmates were former ambassadors for telecommunications conglomerate SoftBank. He is also well-known for being the previous brand ambassador for the Japanese men's grooming brand GATSBY, promoting its iconic Moving Rubber series.[31] Kimura has been the brand ambassador for several other well-known brands, such as Suntory, Levi's, LINE, and Nikon.[32][33][34] He is also known for starring in a series of ads for Toyota, alongside Takeshi Kitano and Hugh Jackman. Kimura and Kitano portray Oda Nobunaga and Toyotomi Hideyoshi, while Jackman portrays the sailor Marco Polo.[35] Together with Beyoncé, Kimura served as the brand ambassador for Japanese fashion brand Samantha Thavasa.[36]

As of 2021, Kimura is the current brand ambassador for McDonald's in Japan,[37] and car manufacturer Nissan.[38] In 2021, he partnered with Ray-Ban to produce two lines of special Ray-Ban Aviators and Wayfarers, with his initials engraved by hand.[39][40]


Kimura Takuya's costume in Hero


Year Title Role Notes Ref.
1994 Shoot! Yoshiharu Kubo Leading role
1995 Fly Boys, Fly Jyunichiro Ueda Leading role
2004 2046 Taku Hong Kong film
Howl's Moving Castle Howl (voice) Leading role
2006 Love and Honor Shinosuke Mimura Leading role
2007 Hero Kohei Kuryu Leading role
2009 I Come with the Rain Shitao French film
2010 Redline JP (voice) Leading role
Space Battleship Yamato Susumu Kodai Leading role
2015 Hero Kohei Kuryu Leading role
2017 Blade of the Immortal Manji Leading role
2018 Killing for the Prosecution Takeshi Mogami Leading role
2019 Masquerade Hotel Kōsuke Nitta Leading role [41]
2020 Doraemon: Nobita's New Dinosaur Jill (voice)
2021 Masquerade Night Kōsuke Nitta Leading role [41]
2023 The Legend and Butterfly Oda Nobunaga Leading role [42]

Television (as actor)[edit]

Year Title Broadcasting station Role Notes Ref.
1988–1989 Abunai Shonen III TV Tokyo Himself Leading role
1990 Jikan Desuyo TBS
Ototo TBS Hekiro
1991 Rugby Yattete Yokatta TBS Masaki Hirai
Romeo and Juliet TV Tokyo Romeo Leading role; short drama
Sukinanoni TV Tokyo Eiichi Tamura
1992 Matenro wa Barairo ni TV Tokyo Noboru Misawa Short drama
Tales of the Unusual: season 3 Fuji TV Inakamono Leading role; short drama
Shojo Ijyou Shounen Miman TV Asahi Yuichi Konno
Motto, Tokimeki wo NTV Himself Guest appearance
Sono toki Heartwa Nusumareta Fuji TV Masato Katase
1993 Boku dake no Megami TBS Takeshi
Izu no Odoriko TV Tokyo Kawasaki Mini-series
Asunaro Hakusho Fuji TV Osamu Toride
1994 Kimi ni Tsutaetai TBS Toru Yamashita
Wakamono no Subete Fuji TV Takeshi Ueda
1995 Kimi wa Toki no Kanata e TV Asahi Motoyasu Matsudaira Leading role; television film
Jinsei wa Jyojyoda TBS Kazuma Ooue
Tales of the Unusual: Spring 1995 Fuji TV Oshimoto Leading role; short drama
1996 Furuhata Ninzaburo Fuji TV Isao Hayashi Episode 17
Long Vacation Fuji TV Hidetoshi Sena Leading role
Concerto TBS Kakeru Takakura
1997 Boku ga Boku de Arutame ni Fuji TV Riki Kurosawa Leading role
Gift Fuji TV Yukio Hayasaka Leading role
Ii Hito Fuji TV Yukio Hayasaka Guest appearance
Love Generation Fuji TV Teppei Katakiri Leading role
1998 Oda Nobunaga: Tenka wo Totta Baka TBS Nobunaga Oda Leading role; television film
Nemureru Mori Fuji TV Naoki Ito Leading role
1999 Furuhata Ninzaburo vs SMAP Fuji TV Himself
Tales of the Unusual: Spring 1999 Fuji TV Kimio Leading role; short drama
Konya wa Eigyouchu Fuji TV Himself Leading role
2000 Beautiful Life TBS Shuji Okishima Leading role
Densetsu no Kyoushi NTV Yoji Mizutani Guest appearance; episode 11
Food Fight NTV Kyutaro (voice)
2001 Hero Fuji TV Kohei Kuryu Leading role
Chūshingura 1/47 Fuji TV Yasube Horibe Leading role; television film
2001 Tales of the Unusual: SMAP Special Fuji TV Naoki Yunomoto Leading role; short drama
2002 Hundred Million Stars from the Sky Fuji TV Ryo Katase Leading role
2003 Good Luck!! TBS Hajime Shinkai Leading role
2004 Pride Fuji TV Haru Satonaka Leading role
X’smap Fuji TV Ajii Leading role
2005 Engine Fuji TV Jiro Shinzaki Leading role
2006 Saiyūki Fuji TV Genyokudaiou Guest appearance; episode 1
Hero SP Fuji TV Kohei Kuryu Leading role; television film
2007 The Family TBS Teppei Manpyo Leading role
2008 Change! Fuji TV Asakura Keita Leading role
2009 Goro's Bar TBS Takuya Cameo appearance
Mr. Brain TBS Ryusuke Tsukumo Leading role
Kochi Kame TBS Takubo Cameo appearance; episode 8
2010 Tsuki no Koibito Moon Lovers Fuji TV Rensuke Hazuki Leading role
Dokutomato Satsujin Jiken TV Asahi Himself Leading role
2011 Antartica TBS Takeshi Kuramochi Leading role
2012 Priceless Fuji TV Fumio Kindaichi Leading role
2013 Furuhata vs SMAP The Aftermath Fuji TV Himself Leading role
Andō Lloyd: A.I. knows Love? Fuji TV Ando Roido Leading role
2014 Oretachi ni Asu wa aru Fuji TV Himself Leading role
Sazae-san Fuji TV Himself (voice) Episode 7148: “Recipe for a Smile”
Miyamoto Musashi TV Asahi Musashi Miyamoto Leading role; mini-series
Gokuaku Gambo Fuji TV Kohei Kuryu Guest appearance; episode 11
Hero 2 Fuji TV Kohei Kuryu Leading role
2015 I'm Home TV Asahi Hisashi Ieji Leading role
2017 A Life: A Love TBS Kazuaki Okita Leading role
2018 BG Personal Bodyguard - Season 1 TV Asahi Akira Shimazaki Leading role
Jimmy: The True Story of a True Idiot Netflix Comedian Cameo appearance
2019 La Grand Maison Tokyo TBS Natsuki Obana Leading role
2020 BG Personal Bodyguard - Season 2 TV Asahi Akira Shimazaki Leading role
Kyojo Fuji TV Kimichika Kazama Leading role; mini-series
2021 Kyojo 2 Fuji TV Kimichika Kazama Leading role; mini-series
2022 10 Count to the Future TV Asahi Shōgo Kirisawa Leading role [43]

Television (as personality)[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1995–2015 Sanma&SMAP Himself (host) TV special; 21 episodes
1996–2016 SMAPxSMAP Himself (host, chef, performer)
2000–2001 TV's High Himself Host
2001–2015 SmaStation Himself Guest appearance
2003–present SanTaku Himself (host) TV special; 13 episodes
2007–2016 Baby Smap Himself (host)


Year Title Role Notes
1995–2018 What's Up SMAP Himself (host) [44]
2018–present Kimura Takuya: FLOW Himself (host) [44][45]


Year Title Role Notes
1989 Modoken
1991 Saint Seiya Kaio Poseidon / Julian Solo Main role
1992 Dragon Quest Main role
Hanakage no Hana
1993 Another Main role
1994 Shareo-Tachi

Video games[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2018 Judgment Takayuki Yagami Main role[46]
2021 Lost Judgment Takayuki Yagami Main role[47]


  • Go with the Flow (2020)
  • Next Destination (2022)


Institution Year Award Work Result Ref.
Blue Ribbon Awards 2006 Best Actor Love and Honor Declined nomination
Broadcasting Culture Fund Award 2000 Best Actor Beautiful Life Won [48]
Elan d'Or Award 1994 Newcomer of the Year Shoot! Won
Galaxy Award 1995 Individual Performance Wakamono no Subete Won
Japanese Academy Awards for Best Actor Award 2006 Best Actor Love and Honor Declined nomination
Hochi Film Award 2021 Best Actor Masquerade Night Won
Japan Film Awards 2006 Best Actor Love and Honor Nominated [49]
2011 Best Actor Nankyoku Tairiku Won
Japan Jeans Makers Association 1994 Best Jeanist Won [50]
1995 Best Jeanist Won
1996 Best Jeanist Won
1997 Best Jeanist Won
1998 Best Jeanist (Hall of Fame) Won
Nikkan Sports Drama Grand Prix 1998 Best Actor Love Generation Won
1999 Best Actor Beautiful Life Won
2001 Best Actor Hero Won
2003 Best Actor Good Luck!! Won
2008 Best Actor Change! Won
2012 Best Actor Priceless Won
2013 Best Actor Ando Lloyd: A.I. knows Love? Won
Nikkan Sports Film Awards 1994 Ishihara Yujiro New Artist Shoot! Won [51]
2006 Best Actor Love and Honor Won [52]
Seoul Drama Awards 2007 Best performance (Leading role) Karei naru Ichizoku Won
Television Drama Academy Awards 1994 Best Outfit Wakamono no Subete Won [53]
1995 Best Outfit Jinsei wa Jojo da Won
1996 Best Actor Long Vacation Won
1996 Best Actor Concerto Won
1997 Best Cast Gift Won
1997 Best Actor Love Generation Won
1998 Best Actor Nemureru Mori Won
1999 Best Actor Beautiful Life Won
2001 Best Actor Hero Won
2002 Best Actor Sora Kara Furu Ichioku no Hoshi Won
2005 Best Actor Engine Nominated
2007 Best Actor Karei naru Ichizoku Won
2008 Best Actor Change! Won
2009 Best Actor Mr. Brain Nominated
2012 Best Actor Priceless Won
2014 Best Actor Hero 2 Won
2019 Best Actor Grand Maison Tokyo Won [54]
Tokyo Sports Film Awards 2006 Best Actor Love and Honor Won
TV Life Annual Drama Grand Prix 1996 Best Actor Long Vacation Won
1997 Best Actor Gift Won
1997 Best Actor Love Generation Won
2000 Best Actor Beautiful Life Won
2001 Best Actor Hero Won
TV Navi Drama of the Year 2007 Best performance (Leading role) Karei naru Ichizoku Won
2013 Best performance (Leading role) Ando Lloyd: A.I. knows Love? Won
TV Station Drama Awards 2000 Best Actor Beautiful Life Won
2001 Best Actor Hero Won
NAVGTR Awards 2019 NAVGTR Performance in a Drama, Lead Judgment Nominated [55]
Famitsu Dengeki Game Awards 2021 Best Actor Lost Judgment Won [56]


  • Kai-Ho-Ku (April 24, 2003) ISBN 978-4087803778
  • Kai-Ho-Ku 2 (September 30, 2011) ISBN 978-4087806137
  • Kimura Takuya (1996) ISBN 978-4533026430
  • Percentage (November 11, 2006) ISBN 978-4838717262
  • Kimura Takuya x Men's Non-No Endless (September 30, 2011) ISBN 978-4087806144


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External links[edit]