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Tokyo, Japan

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Hiroyuki Sanada


Hiroyuki Sanada (Sanada Hiroyuki, 12 October 1960) is a Japanese actor and martial artist. He is best known to international audiences for his roles as Genbu in Ninja in the Dragon's Den (1982), Ryuji Takayama in Ring (1998), Seibei Iguchi in The Twilight Samurai (2002), Ujio in The Last Samurai (2003), Kenji in Rush Hour 3 (2007), and Scorpion in Mortal Kombat (2021). His role as 'The Fool' in the Shakespeare play King Lear also gave him notable theatrical notice in the United Kingdom. In Japan, Sanada is also known for songs he recorded for movies he was in as well as songs he has performed for the public.

He made his first major Hollywood appearance portraying Ujio in The Last Samurai (2003), later appearing in such films as Sunshine (2007), Speed Racer (2008), The Wolverine, 47 Ronin (both 2013), Minions (2015), Life (2017), Avengers: Endgame (2019), Army of the Dead (2021), Bullet Train (2022), and John Wick: Chapter 4 (2023). He also had a recurring role on the HBO series Westworld (2018–2020).

Born in Tokyo, he was scouted by an entertainer while playing with the son of the actor Kokichi Takada who lived in the same condominium, and after working as a model for a magazine for young children, he joined the Himawari Theatre Group at the age of five. He made his film debut in 1966 in the ninkyo yakuza film Game of Chance starring Shinichi "Sonny" Chiba, reprising his role as Chiba's character's son in two sequels released the following year.

Originally planning to be an action movie star, he studied Shorinji Kempo and later took up Kyokushin kaikan karate. He began playing baseball at age 8 as a catcher,[6] and started training at the age of 11 with Chiba's Japan Action Club, where he developed good all-around martial arts ability and soon became Chiba's protégé. After entering high school, following Chiba's advice, he decided to devote himself to his studies and withdrew from performing arts activities. In 1978, he resumed his performing arts activities in earnest after passing the audition for the movie Shogun's Samurai. It was at this point that he changed his surname from Shimozawa to Sanada.



Known for

Rush Hour 3 as kenji