Japan has one of the world’s oldest and biggest movie industries. In the last five to ten years, the Japanese market has grown a lot, and more than half of the money made at the box office comes from Japanese films. So you want to know who the most well-known Japanese actor is. You can find the answer in the article below. Check out the list of the 9 most famous Japanese actors.
9 Most Famous Japanese Actors
Hiroyuki Sanada is one of the most famous Japanese actors in Hollywood. In 2003, he became well-known when he acted with Tom Cruise in the movie The Last Samurai. This role is a turning point in his career as an actor in Hollywood. Some of the movies he has been in our Shine (2007), Speed Racer (2008), The Wolverine (2013), 47 Ronin (2013), Minions (2015), Life (2017), Avengers: The Game Ending (2019), The Army of Death (2021), and most recently, Speedboat (2022).
Brian Tee – One of the most famous Japanese actors
Brian Tee is a Japanese-American actor. His role as Doctor Ethan Choi in the popular medical drama Chicago Med made him famous and well-known. He has also been in movies like The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006), The Wolverine (2013), Jurassic World (2015), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows (2016), and most recently Doraemon: Nobita’s Chronicle of the Moon Exploration (2019).
Ken Watanabe is a famous Japanese actor. In movies like “The Last Samurai” and “Godzilla,” he is known for playing sad heroes. He has won many prestigious awards for his acting, including the 11th Elan d’or Award, the Japan Academy Film Award for Best Actor, the Globe Award gold, and the Fujimoto Award.
There are a lot of movies he’s been in, so we’ll just name some of the most well-known ones. Some of the well-known movies he has been in are MacArthur’s Children (1984), Memoirs of a Geisha (2005), The Unbroken (2009), The Samurai of Tsushima (2018), and Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019).
See more: 9 Famous Actors Of The 50s
Masi Oka is one of the famous Japanese actors. He is known to everyone for playing the role of Hiro Nakamura in the superhero series Heroes. This role made him famous and helped him win awards like the Saturn Award and a nomination for an Emmy.
Masi Oka is not only good at acting, but he also speaks Japanese, English, and Spanish well. So, he worked as an English, Spanish, and Japanese interpreter at the 1992 Summer Olympics.
Kento Yamazaki is a model and famous Japanese actor. His most famous roles were in the TV show Death Note and Good Doctor. He has also been in Heroine Shikkaku (2015), Orange (2015), Kiss That Kills (2018), Kingdom (2019), and most recently in the Netflix-produced series Alice in Borderlands.
He is one of the few young Japanese actors to have won many prestigious awards, such as the Japan Academy Film Award for Newcomer of the Year and the Drama Academy Award for Best Actor, the Beijing IQiyi Screaming Night Awards, and Forbes magazine’s list of Asia’s Top 100 Digital Stars.
Toshiro Mifune is one of the famous Japanese actors in Hollywood. He is best known for his roles in Akira Kurosawa movies from 1948 to 1965. (Rashomon, Seven Samurai, The Hidden Fortress, Throne of Blood, and Yojimbo,…) The films in which he acted are considered classics of Japanese cinema. Toshiro Mifune was given the Medal of Honor in the year 1986. In 2016, he was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Pat Morita – One of the most famous Japanese actors
He is both American and Japanese. He is an American-Japanese actor. He is known to audiences for his roles in a number of films such as Happy Days, The Karate Kid series, sitcoms M*A*S*H, Sanford and Son, The Mysterious Records of Shelby Woo, and Mulan.
Pat Morita is also the star of Mr. T and Tina and Ohara, two well-known TV shows made by ABC. He plays the main roles in this movie, and because of these roles, he has been nominated for many prestigious awards, such as the Golden Globe Award and the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.
Takeshi Kitano is one of the most famous Japanese actors. People often know him through humorous roles that help bring laughter to the audience.
Kitano became well-known as one-half of the comedy duo Two Beat in 1970. Later, he started doing things on his own and became one of the top three comedians in the country. During his acting career, he has won many prestigious awards, such as the Golden Lion at the 54th Venice International Film Festival, the Lifetime Achievement Award, and the Golden Mulberry Lifetime Achievement Award. In addition, he was appointed Commander of the Order of French Arts and Literature.
Takeshi Kaneshiro is Taiwanese of Japanese descent. He is a singer and a famous actor. He started his entertainment career as a teen pop idol. After that, he turned his attention to the film industry. Currently, he is one of the most famous Japanese actors.
He has worked with many famous directors in East Asia in the films Chungking Express and Fallen Angels, Maybe Love and Wuxia, House of Flying Daggers, Red Bich, and The Crossing. In 1998, he won the 18th Drama Academy Award for Best Actor, and in 2007, he won the 2nd Golden Screen Award for Best Actor.
List of famous Japanese actors
We made the list above of the 9 most famous Japanese actors based on how well-known they are and what awards they have won during their careers. This list is for reference only. We hope you enjoy this ranked list.