Japanese movie stars are in demand around the world for acting in movies that go beyond typecasting to depict characters that audiences can identify with. Japan is finally sharing her thespian treasures with the world. 

  1. Mifune Toshiro Toshiro was not only known as an acclaimed actor in Japan, but around the world. Toshiro had starring roles in many movies directed by the famous Japanese director Akira Kurosawa, the two most noted movies being “Seven Samurai” and “Rashomon.” 

  2. Ken Watanabe Outside of Japan, Watanabe is most known for his starring role of Katsumoto in “The Last Samurai,” a movie shared with Tom Cruise. After his stellar performance in “The Last Samurai,” his other roles in Hollywood productions include “Batman Begins,” “Memoirs of a Geisha,” ”Letters From Iwo Jima” and “Inception.” 

  3. Hiroyuki Sanada Sanada is in demand in Japan, Europe and the United States. Sanada starred alongside Tom Cruise and Ken Watanabe in “The Last Samurai,” but he was already known in acting circles outside Japan as a fine actor featured in favorably reviewed productions like "Tasogare Seibei" and "Ring Rasen."

  4. Ken Takakura Takakura is a versatile Japanese movie star famous for his portrayal of characters with a conscious. Takakura was introduced for the first time to the United States for his feature role in “Black Rain,” which starred Michael Douglas and Andy Garcia. 

  5. Sonny Chiba (Shinichi Chiba) Chiba is known around the world as an accomplished actor in martial arts films. Some of his films familiar to United States audiences include “Street Fighter," "Message from Space,” “The Killing Machine” and “Soul of Bruce Lee.” 

There you have it. A short list of some of the best known and talented Japanese movie stars in the world.