Takeshi Kaneshiro (Japanese, Okinawan and Chinese: 金城 武, romaji: Kaneshiro Takeshi, Pinyin: Jīnchéng Wǔ, pronounced, born October 11, 1973) is a Taiwanese-Japanese actor and singer.
Kaneshiro is a common Okinawan name. In kanji, 金城 is Kaneshiro and 武 is Takeshi (given name), with Japanese readings. He appears as 金城 武 (Kaneshiro Takeshi) in Japanese media.
Since personal names are commonly written in Chinese characters in both Chinese and Japanese naming conventions, with surnames before given names, this gives Kaneshiro the freedom whether to distinguish himself as a Japanese or not when working in Chinese-speaking countries by preserving or removing the space between his surname and given name.
Kaneshiro's mother is Taiwanese and his father is from Okinawa, Japan. He was born and raised in Taipei but also holds Japanese citizenship.
The son of a Japanese businessman and a Taiwanese homemaker, he has two elder brothers; one is his senior by seven years, the other just by one. After graduating from Taipei Japanese Junior High School, he enrolled at English-based Taipei American School, which enabled him to converse in English. While he was studying there, he began doing television commercials and decided to quit school to pursue a singing and acting career. He is multilingual, fluent in Mandarin, Taiwanese Hokkien and Japanese, and to lesser degrees in English and Cantonese.
In 1992, Kaneshiro made his singing debut, entering the business with the nickname Aniki, meaning 'older brother' in Japanese. His debut album was Heartbreaking Night (1992). Contracted to EMI, he wrote many of his own Mandarin and Cantonese songs. The following year, his popularity propelled him into acting and he no longer produces any commercial music.
His film debut was Executioners (1993) and this was followed by Wong Kar-wai's Chungking Express (1994) and a string of other Hong Kong films. Later, Kaneshiro starred in the Japanese television mini-series God, Please Give Me More Time (1998), allowing him to branch into Japanese films such as Returner (2002).
Kaneshiro's work, however, is more heavily concentrated in China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. In 2008 and 2009 he starred in Red Cliff, a high budget film by Hong Kong director John Woo. He has also played the romantic lead in Zhang Yimou's House of Flying Daggers, and starred alongside Jet Li and Andy Lau in The Warlords. Kaneshiro has also become well known in the video game industry portraying the samurai warrior Samanosuke in Capcom's Onimusha. In a June 2007 article on the film site Ain't It Cool News, it was revealed that Kaneshiro was going to be in the Onimusha film, reprising his role as Samanosuke and for a 2011 release, but that project was derailed. The producer Samuel Hadida had to delay the filming of Onimusha, which has resulted in the film's Japanese cast working on other film projects during the delay, and being unavailable to start filming. These factors were enough that French director Christophe Gans will now direct an adaptation of Leo Perutz's novel The Swedish Cavalier first, taking over the reins from Gilles Mimouni. Satomi Ishihara and Tsuyoshi Ihara remain attached to the project.
In 2003, Kaneshiro was featured in the magazine Time and was coined as becoming the Asian film industry's Johnny Depp. Moreover, Kaneshiro was interviewed by CNN in the TalkAsia segment in 2006.
Outside of the entertainment business, Kaneshiro has acted as a spokesperson and model for Emporio Armani (2008) as well as, Prada (1998), Lifecard credit card company, VAIO personal computer, Honda, Lipice lips moisturizer, SonyEricsson, Pocari Sweat soft drink, Morinaga chocolate, Volvic, GEOS (eikaiwa) (language school), Petronas oil company, Japan Asia Airways, Hyundai Motor Company, Toyota MarkX ZiO, Mitsubishi Galant, NTT docomo the predominant mobile phone operator in Japan, NTT Yellow Pages, Shiseido, Lycos, UCC Ueshima Coffee Co., Kadokawa Shoten a well-known Japanese publisher based in Tokyo, Rice Burger, Roasted barley tea, One2Free (HK), and Kiwi cold drink, and the most recent Biotherm Homme since 2005.
Kaneshiro is a practicing Buddhist, having converted in 1997, and has said his mother is also a devout Buddhist. Kaneshiro is known for trying to avoid the media spotlight. He has been quoted as saying “If one day I get married and have kids, I will probably be one of those men who really care for the family. I will eat at home every day, and help with the chores and take care of the children.”
- Heroic Trio 2: Executioners (1993)
- Chungking Express (1994) - as He Zhiwu, Cop 223
- Mermaid Got Married (1994)
- Don't Give a Damn (1994)
- The Wrath of Silence (1994)
- No Sir (1994)
- Young Policemen In Love (1995)
- Fallen Angels (1995) - as He Zhiwu
- Forever Friends (1995)
- China Dragon (1995)
- School Days (1995)
- Trouble Maker (1995)
- The Feeling of Love (1996)
- Forever Friends (1996)
- Lost and Found (1996)
- Dr. Wai in "The Scripture with No Words" (1996)
- Misty (1996)
- The Jail In Burning Island (1997)
- Hero (1997)
- Downtown Torpedoes (1997)
- The Odd One Dies (1997)
- First Love: The Litter on the Breeze (1997)
- Too Tired to Die (1998)
- Anna Magdalena (1998)
- Sleepless Town (1998)
- Tempting Heart (1999)
- Space Travelers (2000)
- Lavender (2000)
- Returner (2002)
- Turn Left, Turn Right (2003)
- House of Flying Daggers (2004) (Titled Lovers for the Japanese release)
- Perhaps Love (2005) (Titled Winter Song for the Japanese release)
- Confession of Pain (2006) as Bong
- The Warlords (2007) as Jiang Wuyang
- Accuracy of Death / Suwito rein: Shinigami no seido (2008) as Chiba
- Red Cliff Part I (2008) as Zhuge Liang
- K-20: Legend of the Mask (2008)
- Red Cliff Part II (2009) as Zhuge Liang
- Wu Xia (2011)
- The Crossing (2014) as Yan Zenkun
- The Crossing 2 (2015)
- The Ferryman (2016)
- Tarzan (1999) as Tarzan (Voice for Cantonese, Mandarin and Japanese versions)
- The Miracle on a Christmas Night (1995) (Japanese: 聖夜の奇跡)
- God, Please Give Me More Time (1998) Kamisama, Mou Sukoshi Dake (Japanese: 神様、もう少しだけ) (English: Precious Time) (Thai: อยู่เพื่อรัก)
- Love 2000 (2000) (Japanese: 二千年の恋)
- Golden Bowl (2002) (Japanese: ゴールデンボウル)
- Colour Of Amour (1995)
- Grass Scholar (1992)
- Onimusha: Warlords (2001) (VG) (voice: Japanese version) Samanosuke Akechi
- Onimusha 3: Demon Siege (2004) - (VG) (voice: Japanese version) Samanosuke Akechi
Takeshi Kaneshiro is one of 10 recipients of the Green Planet Film Award (23 March 2010) in the category "10 Best International Actors of the Decade (Asia)".
|Album No.||Album information||Track listing||Notes|
|2nd||Just You And Me
||*Love Me Once Again was also sung in Japanese|
|6th||Dear My Beloved
||Track 10 was used in Troublemaker|
|8th||No Matter How Hard
|9th||Best Collection: Takeshi Kaneshiro's Best Songs
|Year||Title||Track Featuring Kaneshiro||Notes|
|2005||Perhaps Love (如果愛)||No.4 Forgot Who I am (忘了我是誰)
(duet with Zhou Xun 周迅),
No.6 Beautiful Story (美麗故事)
(duet with Ji Jin-hee 池珍熙),
No.10 Crossroad (十字街頭)
(duet with Zhou Xun 周迅),
No.11 What If (假如)
|Mandarin album (Release date: 2005)|