Takeshi Kaneshiro

Takeshi Kaneshiro

Born: October 11, 1973
Age: 44
Birthplace: Taipei, Taiwan
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Takeshi Kaneshiro (金城 武; born October 11, 1973) is a Taiwanese-Japanese actor and singer.


Early life

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, Chinese Hokkien, Japanese, and to lesser degrees in Cantonese and English.


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. 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 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.

Personal life

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.”



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 Downtown Torpedoes 神偷諜影 Jackal
1997 Hero 馬永貞 Ma Wing-ching
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
1997 Misty N/A Takehiro
1998 Too Tired to Die N/A Kenji
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
2000 Lavender 薰衣草 Angel
2000 Space Travelers スペーストラベラーズ Nishiyama
2002 Returner リターナー Miyamoto
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
2018 Sons of the Neon Night 風林火山

Television series

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

Video game

Year Title Role Notes
2001 Onimusha: Warlords Samanosuke Akechi Voice, Japanese version
2004 Onimusha 3: Demon Siege Samanosuke Akechi Voice, Japanese version


Studio albums

Album No. Album details Track listing
1st Heartbreaking Nights
  • Released: September 1992
  • Language: Mandarin
Track listing
  1. A Summer Affair
  2. Heartbreaking Night
  3. The unlicensed youth
  4. Still Love You
  5. Classmate
  6. Comfortable life away
  7. Tokyo Blues
  8. 108 Call Me
  9. I do not
  10. Distant cherry rain
2nd Just You And Me
  • Released: June 1993
  • Language: Mandarin
Track listing
  1. Just You And Me
  2. Because love you
  3. Looking back at you
  4. I etc.
  5. Be My Girl ...... Be My Girl....
  6. Love was not sure
  7. Kikuko girl
  8. Lying eyes
  9. Friends
  10. Good night to You
3rd Tender Superman
  • Released: February 1994
  • Language: Mandarin
Track listing
  1. Tender Superman
  2. Let's Fall In Love
  3. Love Me Once Again
  4. It is not known
  5. You Sweetheart
  6. Valentine's Day gift of flowers
  7. A Thousand Temptations
  8. The gray sky
  9. You
  10. Heart Pain Inside
4th Ideal Lover
  • Released: December 1994
  • Language: Mandarin
Track listing
  1. Standard lover
  2. The trouble is you do not want to
  3. Let me say to you
  4. Blue smile
  5. Deciduous season
  6. Pure tears
  7. I really treasure
  8. Courageous say goodbye
  9. No love pm
  10. Tell Laura I Love Her (remake)
5th Missed Date
  • Released: December 1994
  • Language: Cantonese
Track listing
  1. Scam
  2. Will love return
  3. Lonely and others
  4. Paranoia
  5. You want to ever
  6. Loving Heart
  7. Love Me Once Again
  8. I see the paradise
  9. Love
  10. Cover Girl
6th Dear My Beloved
  • Released: June 1995
  • Language: Cantonese
Track listing
  1. Who can
  2. The occasion
  3. Love me!
  4. Still love you like before
  5. Burning Passion
  6. Dear My Beloved
  7. Sunshine Lover
  8. I do not want to cry
  9. With your life
  10. Or are you lucky
7th Secretly Drunk
  • Released: October 1995
  • Language: Mandarin
Track listing
  1. I cried to stop carrying
  2. Love You Deeply
  3. Don't want to leave
  4. And I miss not meet
  5. Road Of The Heart
  6. Secretly Drunk
  7. In the summer of love burning
  8. Lonely people fear most crying
  9. That love
  10. Love Rhapsody
8th No Matter How Hard
  • Released: October 1996
  • Language: Mandarin
Track listing
  1. No Matter How Hard
  2. I love her with your shadow
  3. Green space
  4. Capricorn
  5. Happier
  6. A love so much
  7. Because of your
  8. My tears
  9. New Day Of The City
  10. Taipei Aniki
9th Best Collection: Takeshi Kaneshiro's Best Songs
  • Released: June 1998
  • Language: Mandarin
Track listing
  1. Ideal Lover
  2. No Matter How Hard
  3. Don't Gry Behind My Back
  4. Don't Wanna Be In Trouble
  5. Crazy Love Song
  6. Secretly Drunk
  7. Route To South
  8. Taipei Aniki
  9. Say Goodbye
  10. Love You Deeply
  11. Love Me
  12. Sunshine Lover
  13. Tender Superman
  14. Only You And Me
  15. Road Of The Heart
  16. Heartbreaking Night


Year Title Track listing Notes
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)
Mandarin album

Awards and nominations

Takeshi Kaneshiro is one of 10 recipients of the 2010 Green Planet Film Award for Ten Best International Actors of the Decade (Asia).

Year Award Category Nominated work Result
1998 18th The Television Drama Academy Award Best Actor God, Please Give Me More Time Won
2002 33th 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

[ Source: Wikipedia ]