Birthplace: Taipei, Taiwan
Takeshi Kaneshiro (金城武; born October 11, 1973) is a Taiwanese-Japanese actor and singer. Kaneshiro has worked with some of the most renown directors in Asia, namely, Wong Kar Wai (Chungking Express and Fallen Angels), Peter Chan (Perhaps Love and Wuxia), Zhang Yimou (House of Flying Daggers) and John Woo (Red Cliff and The Crossing I and II).
Kaneshiro's mother is Taiwanese and his father is from Okinawa, Japan.[unreliable source?] 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, Japanese, and to lesser degrees in Cantonese and English. Taiwanese was the first language he spoke while growing up in Taiwan.
Kaneshiro (金城) is a common Okinawan surname, while his given name is Takeshi (武). He appears as Kaneshiro Takeshi (金城 武) in Japanese media.
Since personal names are commonly written in Chinese characters in both Chinese and Japanese naming conventions, following the Eastern name order, and in this particular case, the name, in its written form, appears native in both Japanese and Chinese, this gives Kaneshiro the freedom whether to distinguish himself as a Japanese when working in China by preserving or removing the space between his surname and given name.
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), Fallen Angels (1995) and a string of other Hong Kong films. It was Kaneshiro's collaboration with the auteur director, Wong Kar Wai, in Chungking Express where he played the lovelorn Hong Kong cop 223 that sparked his interest in acting and movie-making. Later, Kaneshiro starred in the Japanese Drama 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 2005, he sang his way through Perhaps Love, the first modern musical to be produced in China. It was the first of many collaborations with Hong Kong-based director Peter Chan. 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. He expressed excitement when he received news that he was going to have the opportunity to work with Director Zhang Yi Mou.
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.
In 2016, Kaneshiro was cast in another Wong Kar Wai production, See You Again Tomorrow (2016), making it the third film starring opposite Tony Leung Chiu Wai.
In 2018, he will be appearing in Juno Mak's Sons of the Neon Night with an all-star cast that includes Tony Leung Ka Fai, Louis Koo, and Sean Lau.
Kaneshiro is a practicing Buddhist, having converted in 1997, and has said his mother is also a devout Buddhist. He has been given titles such as "heartthrob," "dream guy," but he has through the years maintained a sense of humility. 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."
|Year||English title||Original title||Role||Notes|
|1993||Heroic Trio 2: Executioners||現代豪俠傳||Chong Hon|
|1994||Mermaid Got Married||人魚傳說||Kenji|
|1994||The Wrath of Silence||沉默的姑娘||Dr. Patrick Ko|
|1994||Chungking Express||重慶森林||Ho Chi-wu, Cop 223|
|1994||No, Sir!||報告班長3||Chin Tieh-sheng|
|1995||Don't Give a Damn||冇面俾 / 摩登笑探||Tang Chuen-shek|
|1995||Young Policemen in Love||新紮師兄追女仔 / 逃學戰警||Chin Ying-chun|
|1995||Fallen Angels||墮落天使||He Zhiwu|
|1995||China Dragon||中國龍||Tom Hao|
|1995||School Days||學校霸王 / 校園敢死隊||Eagle|
|1995||Trouble Maker||蠟筆小小生 / 臭屁王||A Miu|
|1996||The Feeling of Love||重慶愛情感覺 / 泡妞專家||Hing|
|1996||Lost and Found||天涯海角||Worm|
|1996||Forever Friends||四個不平凡的少年 / 號角響起||Li Ta-wei|
|1996||Dr. Wai in "The Scripture with No Words"||冒險王||Shing|
|1996||First Love: The Litter on the Breeze||初纏戀后的二人世界||Lin Chia-tung|
|1997||The Odd One Dies||兩個只能活一個||Mo|
|1997||The Jail In Burning Island||火燒島之橫行霸道||Yang Chung|
|1998||Too Tired to Die||N/A||Kenji|
|1998||Fuyajo||不夜城||Kenichi Ryuu||Also titled Sleepless Town|
|1998||Anna Magdalena||安娜瑪德蓮娜||Chan Kar-fu|
|1999||Tempting Heart||心動||Lin Ho-jun|
|1999||Tarzan||N/A||Tarzan| |Voice for Cantonese, Mandarin and Japanese versions|
|2003||Turn Left, Turn Right||向左走．向右走||John Liu|
|2004||House of Flying Daggers||十面埋伏||Jin||Titled Lovers for the Japanese release|
|2005||Perhaps Love||如果愛||Lin Jian-dong / Zhang Yang||Titled Winter Song for the Japanese release|
|2006||Confession of Pain||傷城||Yau Kin-bong|
|2007||The Warlords||投名狀||Jiang Wuyang|
|2008||Accuracy of Death||死神の精度||Chiba|
|2008||K-20: Legend of the Mask||K-20 怪人二十面相・伝||Heikichi Endo|||
|2008||Red Cliff Part I||赤壁||Zhuge Liang|
|2009||Red Cliff Part II||赤壁:決戰天下||Zhuge Liang|
|2011||Wu Xia||武俠||Xu Bai-jiu|
|2014||The Crossing||太平輪：亂世浮生||Yan Zekun|
|2015||The Crossing 2||太平輪：驚濤摯愛||Yan Zekun|
|2016||See You Tomorrow||擺渡人||Guan Chun|
|2017||This Is Not What I Expected||喜歡你||Lu Jin|
|2019||Sons of the Neon Night||風林火山|
|Year||English title||Original title||Role||Notes|
|1991||Grass Scholar||草地狀元||Chen Nai-chien|||
|1995||Colour Of Amour||富士彩色顯人生|
|1995||The Miracle on a Christmas Night||聖夜の奇跡||Mr. Bell|
|1998||God, Please Give Me More Time||神様、もう少しだけ||Keigo Ishikawa|
|2000||Love 2000||二千年の恋||The Assassin / Yurij Maroev|
|2002||Golden Bowl||ゴールデンボウル||Shu Akutagawa|
|2001||Onimusha: Warlords||Samanosuke Akechi||Voice, Japanese version|
|2004||Onimusha 3: Demon Siege||Samanosuke Akechi||Voice, Japanese version|
|2019||Onimusha: Warlords||Samanosuke Akechi||Voice, Japanese version / Guest creator|
|Album No.||Album details||Track listing|
|2nd||Just You And Me
|6th||Dear My Beloved
|8th||No Matter How Hard
|9th||Best Collection: Takeshi Kaneshiro's Best Songs
|2005||Perhaps Love||Track listing
No.4 Forgot Who I am (忘了我是誰)
(duet with Zhou Xun)
No.6 Beautiful Story (美麗故事)
(duet with Ji Jin-hee)
No.10 Crossroad (十字街頭)
(duet with Zhou Xun)
No.11 What If (假如)
Takeshi Kaneshiro is one of 10 recipients of the 2010 Green Planet Film Award for Ten Best International Actors of the Decade (Asia).
|1998||18th The Television Drama Academy Award||Best Actor||God, Please Give Me More Time||Won|
|2002||33rd The Television Drama Academy Award||Best Actor||Golden Bowl||Nominated|
|2006||43rd Golden Horse Awards||Best Original Film Song||Perhaps Love
|2017||54th Golden Horse Awards||Best Actor||See You Tomorrow||Nominated|
|2nd Golden Screen Awards||Best Actor||This Is Not What I Expected||Won|