Kazunari Ninomiya (二宮 和也 Ninomiya Kazunari, born June 17, 1983), often called Nino (ニノ), is a Japanese singer, songwriter, actor, voice actor, presenter and radio host. He is a member of the boy band Arashi and portrayed Private Saigo in the 2006 Clint Eastwood war film Letters from Iwo Jima.
Ninomiya at the Berlin International Film Festival in 2007
|Also known as||Nino|
|Born||June 17, 1983|
Katsushika, Tokyo, Japan
Ninomiya began his career in the entertainment industry when he joined the Japanese talent agency Johnny & Associates in 1996 at the age of 13. Prior to his debut as a singer with Arashi in 1999, Ninomiya started an acting career when he was cast as Chris for the stage play Stand by Me, which was based on the film of the same name. Since then, he has gone on to appear in numerous television drama, movie and stage productions, making him known as the actor of Arashi. Described as an actor who can act with his mouth and eyes, Ninomiya has won a number of awards and nominations for his roles.
Ninomiya was born in Katsushika, Tokyo as the youngest child of his family. His father and mother were both working as chefs when they met and his sister is two years older than he is. When Ninomiya was born, his grandfather immediately came home and named him the heir to the family's windshield wiper factory since he was his grandfather's only grandson. However, when Ninomiya was twelve years old, his cousin sent in an application to Johnny & Associates without his knowledge. After attending and passing the auditions due to his mother's prodding, he joined the talent agency.
Ninomiya graduated from high school in March 2002 at the age of 18.
In 2004, Ninomiya penned and composed "Konseki" (痕跡) for his solo performance during Arashi's Iza, Now!! tour. Although Arashi's fifth studio album One was the first of their albums to feature solo songs of each member, Ninomiya did not provide lyrics or music for official release until the Time album almost two years later.
In 2007, the group's eighteenth single "Love So Sweet" was released with the limited edition containing the bonus song "Fight Song" (ファイトソング, "Faito Songu"), which was written by Arashi and composed by Ninomiya in 2006 for their variety show G no Arashi. On July 11, 2007, the Time album was released with the limited edition containing solo song of each member. Ninomiya wrote the lyrics to his solo song, "Niji" (虹, "Rainbow"), and played the piano portion of the song throughout Arashi's summer tour. He later reprised the performance throughout Arashi's second Asia Tour in 2008.
In 2008, Ninomiya composed, co-arranged and penned the lyrics for his solo "Gimmick Game". In 2010, Ninomiya also composed, co-arranged and penned the lyrics for his solo "1992*4##111". According to Ninomiya himself, the title is read as "arigatō" (ありがとう thank you).
Ninomiya began his acting career in a 1997 stage play based on the American coming of age film Stand by Me with future bandmates Masaki Aiba and Jun Matsumoto. He did not return to do any major stage productions for nearly seven years after Stand by Me, instead focusing on dramas. However, in 2004, Ninomiya appeared in his first lead role in the stage play Shibuya Kara Tooku Hanarete (シブヤから遠く離れて) directed by Yukio Ninagawa. From April 3, 2005 to May 4, 2005, he took up Rebel Without a Cause, playing the James Dean character Jim Stark.
From July 18, 2009 to August 11, 2009, Ninomiya appeared in his first stage play in four years. He starred as the psychopathic murderer Bruno in Mishiranu Jōkyaku (見知らぬ乗客 Strangers on a Train), which was based on the novel of the same name.
In 1998, he made his television debut as a fifteen-year-old runaway in the TBS television movie Amagi Goe (天城越え Crossing Mt. Amagi). Just a few months before his debut with Arashi, he was given his first lead role in the drama Abunai Hōkago (あぶない放課後 Dangerous After School) with Subaru Shibutani acting as his stepbrother. His schedule became packed, causing him to lose 7 kg in a month as a result. From October 11, 1999 to October 29, 1999, because Arashi were the main supporters for the 8th World Cup of Volleyball Championships, all five members co-starred together for the first time in the volleyball-centered short drama V no Arashi (Vの嵐).
From 2003 to 2005, Ninomiya continued to appear in a wide range of dramas. He played a student who found himself to be one of the last four virgins left at school in the comedy series Stand Up!!, a boyfriend of a girl who mysteriously shrunk into a size of merely sixteen centimeters tall in the romance series Minami-kun no Koibito (南くんの恋人 Minami's Girlfriend) and a young man who accidentally killed his mother and developed an estranged relationship with his father as a result in the human drama series Yasashii Jikan (優しい時間 Affectionate Time)
In 2006, Ninomiya starred in the drama special Sukoshi wa, Ongaeshi ga Dekitakana (少しは、恩返しができたかな Have I Returned a Bit of My Gratitude?), which was based on the true story of young man diagnosed with Ewing's sarcoma. He went on to appear in two different films for the rest of 2006 before taking up Haikei, Chichiue-sama (拝啓、父上様 Dear Father) on January 11, 2007.
During the summer of 2007, he and fellow Arashi bandmate Sho Sakurai co-starred together in the manga-based comedy drama Yamada Tarō Monogatari. Ninomiya played the title character Tarō Yamada (山田 太郎 Yamada Tarō), an extremely poor student attending a school for the rich. Soon after—whilst juggling rehearsals for Arashi's upcoming concerts—he acted as the lead in the drama special Marathon (マラソン Marason), which was based on the true story of an autistic young man training to become a marathon runner.
After a year without any acting roles, other than a small guest appearance in bandmate Satoshi Ohno's first lead drama Maō, Ninomiya finally took up the main role in the drama Ryūsei no Kizuna "流星の絆 with Ryo Nishikido and Erika Toda acting as his younger siblings. The three played the children of parents who were murdered long ago by a nameless man. Readers, reporters and critics of the 59th Television Drama Academy Awards panel recognized his role as the oldest vengeful sibling and awarded him Best Actor. His Ryūsei no Kizuna role also earned him an Outstanding Actor nomination in the drama category in the 49th Monte-Carlo Television Festival.
In spring 2009, Ninomiya starred as the lead in the third and final of the TBS kandō (感動, "moving") drama special trilogy Door to Door, with the first and second being Sukoshi wa, Ongaeshi ga Dekitakana and Marathon respectively. The drama special was based on the true story of Bill Porter, an American door-to-door salesman who achieved the highest sales for his company despite suffering from cerebral palsy. His roles in Door to Door and Ryūsei no Kizuna won him the Individual Award in the television category of the 46th Galaxy Awards, a first for a Johnny's talent and the first by an actor in his twenties. Ninomiya began filming for the drama special Tengoku de Kimi ni Aetara (天国で君に逢えたら If I Can Meet You in Heaven) in April 2009. However, the special, which saw Ninomiya's first time playing a psychiatrist, did not air on television until September 24, 2009.
In January 2010, Ninomiya co-starred with the other members of Arashi in their first drama in nearly ten years in the human suspense drama special Saigo no Yakusoku "最後の約束”. Ninomiya portrayed Shūji Yamagiwa (山際 修司 Yamagiwa Shūji), a 27-year-old temporary security center employee who is caught up in a building hijack. On September 20, 2010, he made a guest appearance on the last episode of bandmate Matsumoto and Yūko Takeuchi's getsuku drama Natsu no Koi wa Nijiiro ni Kagayaku (夏の恋は虹色に輝く Summer Love Shines in Rainbow Colors).
Ninomiya starred in the drama Freeter, Ie o Kau (フリーター、家を買う。 Part-time Worker, Buys a House), his first serial drama since Ryūsei no Kizuna (2008). With Karina as his co-star, Ninomiya portrayed a freeter named Seiji Take (武 誠治 Take Seiji). The drama maintained steady viewership ratings throughout its airing, having an average rating of 17.14% overall.
In 2002, he made his motion picture debut in Arashi's first movie together, Pikanchi Life Is Hard Dakedo Happy (ピカ☆ンチ Life is HardだけどHappy Pikanchi Life is Hard But Happy). Ninomiya next took to the screen as Shuichi, a high school student trying to get rid of his abusive stepfather, in the 2003 film The Blue Light with Aya Matsuura as his co-star. In 2004, Arashi came together again to reprise their respective roles for the sequel of Pikanchi Life Is Hard Dakedo Happy, Pikanchi Life Is Hard Dakara Happy (ピカ☆☆ンチ Life is HardだからHappy Pikanchi Life is Hard Therefore Happy).
2006 proved to be a productive year for Ninomiya as he became the first artist from Johnny's & Associates to debut in Hollywood. He played a reluctant soldier called Saigo in Clint Eastwood's Academy Award-winner Letters from Iwo Jima with Academy Award-nominated actor Ken Watanabe. His performance was praised by many film critics, some of which include RogerEbert.com editor Jim Emerson ("thoroughly winning"), Claudia Puig of USA Today ("also superb"), James Berardinelli ("another performer worth singling out") and Kirk Honeycutt of The Hollywood Reporter ("who is just terrific"). On January 7, 2007, New York Times film critic A. O. Scott listed Ninomiya as an ideal Oscar candidate for Best Supporting Actor. On October 24, 2006, a couple months after returning from filming Letters from Iwo Jima in the United States, he debuted as a voice actor, lending his voice to main character Black in the Michael Arias animated film Tekkon Kinkreet.
In 2007, all the members of Arashi co-starred in their third movie together, Kiiroi Namida (黄色い涙 Yellow Tears), with Ninomiya playing the main role of an aspiring manga artist.
On October 1, 2010, the live-action adaptation of Fumi Yoshinaga's award-winning Ōoku: The Inner Chambers manga, which starred Ninomiya and Kou Shibasaki, was released into theaters in Japan. Ninomiya played Yunoshin Mizuno (水野祐之進 Mizuno Yunoshin), a young man living in a matriarchal society due to a disease that killed most of the male population.
Part one of the live-action adaptation of the manga Gantz, which starred Ninomiya and Kenichi Matsuyama, was released on January 20, 2011 in the United States and on January 29, 2011 in Japan. Ninomiya starred as Kei Kurono, a young man who is hit by a subway train and becomes part of a semi-posthumous "game" with other deceased people. Part two of Gantz, titled Gantz: Perfect Answer, hit theaters in Japan on April 23, 2011. Currently, black leather spandex suits, worn during the filming by two leading actors, Ninomiya and Kenichi Matsuyama, has become rare collectibles and is trading at a very expensive price in the black market.
In 2013, Ninomiya played the lead role in the film adaptation of Keigo Higashino's novel Platina Data, [Platinum Data (プラチナデータ)]. Ninomiya's 2008 drama series Ryūsei no Kizuna [Meteor Bonds (流星の絆)] was also based on a novel by Higashino.
On 5 March 2016, Ninomiya won the 39th Japanese Academy Award for Best Actor, for his performance in Living with My Mother (Haha to Kuraseba), succeeding fellow Johnny & Associates colleague Okada Junichi.
Ninomiya has his own radio show, Bay Storm, since October 4, 2002. The show is currently airing every Sunday on Japan's BayFM, in which he often plays his own renditions of Arashi's songs as well as songs by other artists.
He used to write in MORE magazine column with the title IT, until it ended in January 2019.
|1998||Amagi Goe||Takichi Nishinōra (child)||Television special|
|Nijuroku ya Mairi||Akimasa Okita (child)|
|1999||Nekketsu Ren'ai-dō||Toshiya Kondō||Episode: "Iteza no O-gata BOY"|
|Abunai Houkago||Katsuyuki Natsuki||Lead role|
|Kowai Nichiyōbi||Kazunari Ninomiya||Episode: "Koko Datta ka"|
|V no Arashi||Kazunari Ninomiya||Lead role with Arashi members|
|2000||Namida o Fuite||Kenta Fuchigami|
|2003||Netsuretsu Teki Chūka Hanten||Kenta Nanami|
|Stand Up!!||Shōhei Asai||Lead role with Anne Suzuki|
|2004||Minami-kun no Koibito||Susumu Minami||Lead role with Kyoko Fukada|
|2005||Yasashii Jikan||Takuro Wakui||Lead role with Masami Nagasawa and Akira Terao|
|2006||Sukoshi wa, Ongaeshi ga Dekitakana||Kazunori Kitahara||Lead role, Television special|
|2007||Haikei, Chichiue-sama||Ippei Tahara||Lead role|
|Marathon||Shōtaro Miyata||Lead role, television special|
|Yamada Tarō Monogatari||Taro Yamada||Lead role with Sho Sakurai|
|2008||Maō||Masayoshi Kumada||Episode 1 guest appearance|
|Ryūsei no Kizuna||Kōichi Ariake||Lead role|
|2009||Door to Door||Hideo Kurasawa||Lead role, television special|
|Tengoku de Kimi ni Aetara||Junichi Nonogami||Lead role with Mao Inoue, television special|
|2010||Saigo no Yakusoku||Shūji Yamagiwa||Lead role with Arashi members, television special|
|Natsu no Koi wa Nijiiro ni Kagayaku||Hamlet stage lighting technician||Episode 10 guest appearance|
|Freeter, Ie o Kau||Seiji Take||Lead role|
|2011||Freeter, Ie o Kau SP||Seiji Take||Lead role|
|2012||Kuruma Isu de Boku wa Sora wo Tobu||Hasebe Yasuyuki||Lead role, 24 Hour Television SP|
|2014||Yowakutemo Katemasu||Aoshi Tamo||Lead role|
|2015||Murder on the Orient Express||Heita Makuuchi||Television special|
|Aka Medaka||Danshun Tatekawa||Lead role|
|2018||Black Pean||Seishiro Tokai||Lead role|
|2002||Pikanchi Life is Hard Dakedo Happy||Takuma Onda|
|2003||The Blue Light||Shuichi Kushimori||Lead role|
|2004||Pikanchi Life Is Hard Dakara Happy||Takuma Onda|
|2006||Letters from Iwo Jima||Saigo||Lead role with Ken Watanabe, Hollywood debut|
|2006||Tekkon Kinkreet||Black||Voice, lead role|
|2007||Kiiroi Namida||Eisuke Muraoka||Lead role with Arashi members|
|2009||Heaven's Door||Host||Guest appearance|
|2010||Ōoku||Yunoshin Mizuno||Lead role with Kou Shibasaki|
|2011||Gantz||Kei Kurono||Lead role with Kenichi Matsuyama|
|Gantz: Perfect Answer|
|2013||Platinum Data||Ryuhei Kagura/ Ryu||Lead role|
|2014||Pikanchi Life is Hard Tabun Happy||Takuma Onda||Lead role with Arashi members|
|2015||Assassination Classroom||Koro-sensei||Lead role, voice|
|Nagasaki: Memories of My Son||Koji Fukuhara||Lead role|
|2016||Assassination Classroom: Graduation||Koro-sensei, Grim Reaper||Lead role, voice|
|2017||The Last Recipe||Sasaki||Lead role|
|2018||Killing For The Prosecution||Keiichiro Okino||Lead role with Takuya Kimura|
|1997||Stand By Me||Chris|
|Kyo to Kyo|
|2004||Shibuya Kara Tooku Hanarete||Naoya||Lead role|
|2005||Rebel Without a Cause||Jim Stark||Lead role|
|2009||Strangers on a Train||Bruno||Lead role|
Awards and nominationsEdit
|2001||5th Nikkan Sports Drama Grand Prix (Fall)||Best Supporting Actor||Handoku!!!||Won|
|2003||6th Nikkan Sports Drama Grand Prix (Winter)||Best Supporting Actor||Netsuretsu Teki Chuka Hanten||Won|
|10th Rendora 110Award||Best Actor||Stand Up!!||Won|
|2004||8th Nikkan Sports Drama Grand Prix (Summer)||Best Supporting Actor||Minami-kun no Koibito||Won|
|2005||60th Japan Broadcast Film Arts Award||Outstanding Supporting Actor||Yasashii Jikan||Won|
|8th Nikkan Sports Drama Grand Prix (Winter)||Best Supporting Actor||Nominated|
|16th Rendora 110Award||Best Supporting Actor||Won|
|2006||61st Japan Broadcast Film Arts Award||Outstanding Supporting Actor||Sukoshi wa, Ongaeshi ga Dekitakana||Won|
|15th Hashida Awards||Individual Award||Won|
|2007||10th Nikkan Sports Drama Grand Prix (Winter)||Best Actor||Haikei, Chichiue-sama||Won|
|10th Nikkan Sports Drama Grand Prix||Best Actor||Won|
|52nd Television Drama Academy Awards||Best Actor||Nominated|
|62nd Japan Broadcast Film Arts Award||Excellence Best Actor||Won|
|11th Nikkan Sports Drama Grand Prix (Summer)||Best Actor||Yamada Tarō Monogatari||Won|
|54th Television Drama Academy Awards||Best Actor||Nominated|
|Monthly Galaxy Awards (September)||Galaxy Award||Marathon||Won|
|62nd Cultural Affairs Award||Hōsō Kojin Award||Won|
|2008||12th Nikkan Sports Drama Grand Prix (Fall)||Best Actor||Ryūsei no Kizuna||Won|
|63rd Japan Broadcast Film Arts Award||Outstanding Lead Actor||Won|
|59th Television Drama Academy Awards||Best Actor||Won|
|49th Monte-Carlo Television Festival||Outstanding Actor (Drama)||Nominated|
|2009||46th Galaxy Awards||Individual Award||Ryūsei no Kizuna, Door to Door||Won|
|2011||14th Nikkan Sports Drama Grand Prix (Fall)||Best Actor||Freeter, Ie o Kau||Won|
|65th Japan Broadcast Film Award||Outstanding Lead Actor||Won|
|67th Television Drama Academy Awards||Best Actor||Won|
|4th International Drama Festival in Tokyo||Individual Award||Won|
|Best Actor Award||Won|
|2016||89th Kinema Junpo Award||Best Actor||Haha to Kuraseba||Won|
|39th Japan Academy Prize||Best Actor||Won|
|41st Hochi Film Award||Best Actor||Nominated|
|2017||42nd Hochi Film Award||Best Actor||The Last Recipe||Nominated|
|2018||22nd Nikkan Sports Drama Grand Prix (Spring)||Best Actor||Black Pean||Won|
|97th Television Drama Academy Awards||Best Actor||Nominated|
|43rd Hochi Film Award||Best Supporting Actor||Killing for the Prosecution||Won|
|2019||73rd Mainichi Film Awards||Best Supporting Actor||Nominated|
|63rd Blue Ribbon Awards||Best Supporting Actor||Nominated|
|42nd Japan Academy Prize||Best Supporting Actor||Nominated|
- Wallace, Bruce (2007-01-28). "The story is written on this actor's face". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2011-09-30.
- "Jōnetsu Tairiku". 2007-05-06. Mainichi Broadcasting System. Missing or empty
- Ninomiya, Kazunari (2008-11-01). Channel Rock (Interview). Interviewed by Hitomi Okamura. Missing or empty
- Ninomiya, Kazunari (2007-03-08). Tunnels no Minasan no Okage Deshita (とんねるずのみなさんのおかげでした lit. Tunnels' Thanks to Everyone) (Interview). Interviewed by Tunnels. Missing or empty
- "Hey! Hey! Hey! Music Champ". 2004-02-23. NTV. Missing or empty
- "Shounen Club Premium". 2009-01-18. NHK. Missing or empty
- "そして僕らは嵐になった Arashi Story 1980–2009". Pia: 10–22. August 27, 2009.
- Kazunari Ninomiya (2005-05-29). "Baystorm". Chiba. Bay FM. Missing or empty
- "Love so sweet (First Press Limited Edition) (Japan Version)" (in Japanese). YesAsia. Retrieved 2010-06-30.
- "Time" (in Japanese). J Storm. Archived from the original on 2010-07-22. Retrieved 2010-06-30.
- Kazunari Ninomiya (Singer) (2008-04-16). Summer Tour 2007 Final Time – Kotoba no Chikara (DVD) (in Japanese). Japan: J Storm.
- Kazunari Ninomiya (Singer) (2009-03-25). Arashi Around Asia 2008 in Tokyo (DVD) (in Japanese). Japan: J Storm.
- "Dream "A" Live" (in Japanese). J Storm. Archived from the original on 2010-07-22. Retrieved 2010-06-30.
- 僕の見ている風景 (in Japanese). Johnny & Associates. Retrieved 2010-08-06.
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- "Shounen Club Premium". 2009-07-19. NHK. Missing or empty
- "Ninomiya plays killer in "Strangers on a Train"". Tokyograph. 2009-06-12. Retrieved 2009-12-23.
- "二宮和也 1万字インタビュー". アラシゴト. 2005-07-25. ISBN 4-08-780416-X.
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