The Japanese Entertainment Industry is more than 100 years old. In 2011, Japan produced 411 films earning 55% box office total. The Japanese film market has gained vigor over the last few decades, with domestic films occupying most of it.
Here we have the top 10 Japanese actors who won the most awards for their performance:
1. Ken Takakura
Ken Takakura was a Japanese singer and actor who died in 2014. He appeared in over 200 films and was referred to as "Ken-san" by audiences. He won the Japan Academy prize four times for Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role. He received the Japanese Medal of Order of Culture in 2013, Medal of Honor with purple ribbon in 1998, and Person of Cultural Merit Award in 2006. He performed in movies like Dearest (2012), Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles (2005), 47 Ronin (1994), Mr. Baseball (1992), Izakaya Choji (1983), and Station (1981), and many more.
2. Koji Yakusho
Koji Hashimoto, or Koji Yakusho, born in 1956, is a Japanese actor. He is well-known internationally for performing in Shohei Imamura's The Eel (1997), which won the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival, and Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's Babel (2006), which got nominated for Best Picture. Yakusho has won three awards in the Japanese Academy Awards for the movie Shall We Dance? (1996), The Blood Wolves (2018), and The Third Murder (2017). In 2009, Yakusho debuted as director and writer of Toad's Oil.
3. Ken Ogata
Akinobu Ogata was a Japanese actor who died in 2008(aged 71). He was known for his roles in The Pillow Book, Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters, and the Ballet of Narayama. He won a total of three Japan Academy Prizes for the Best Actor, including his performances in The Demon (1979), House on Fire (1987), and The Ballet of Narayama (1984). He won the award for best actor for Okinawan Boys at the 26th Blue Ribbon Awards. Ogata-san died on 5 October 2008 of liver cancer, just after finishing his role in the drama Kaze no Garden. His two sons, Naoto and Kanta, are also actors.
4. Koichi Sato
Koichi Sato, born in 1960, is a Japanese actor. He is the son of Rentaro Mikuni, a veteran Japanese actor. Koichi appeared in movies like Junji Sakamoto's Tokarev, Face, Human Trust, KT, and Children of the Dark. He also starred in Takashi Milke's Sukiyaki Western Django, Kamui Gaiden, and Takahisa Zeze's Heaven Story. He had won almost 11 Best actor awards for his performance and many Best Supporting actor awards too, which made him into this list.
5. Ken Watanabe
Ken Watanabe, born in 1959, is a Japanese actor. For the English audience, he is well-known for playing tragic hero roles, such as Lord Katsumoto in The Last Samurai and General Tadamichi Kuribayashi in Letters from Iwo Jima. He has won the Best Actor award twice at the Japan Academy Film Prize, in 2007 for Memories of Tomorrow and 2010 for Shizumanu Taiyo. He is also known for starring in Christopher Nolan's Inception and Batman Begins, as well as Memoirs of a Geisha and Pokemon Detective Pikachu.
6. Hiroyuki Sanada
Hiroyuki Sanada, born in 1960, is a Japanese actor. He gained fame after starring alongside Tom Cruise in The Last Samurai. He won the Japanese Academy Award for The Twilight Samurai.
7. Hidetaka Yoshioka
Hidetaka Yoshioka, born in 1970, is a Japanese actor. He is known for his performance in many movies as a child and lately in an award-winning drama Dr. Koto Shinryojo. He also starred in the series 'Otoko wa Tsurai yo,' Akira Kurosawa's Rapsody in August, and Madadayo. In 2006, he won the Best Actor award for Always- Sunset on Third Street. He divorced actress Yuki Uchida in 2005.
8. Brian Tee
Brian Tee, born in 1977, is a Japanese-American actor. He is known for playing Dr. Ethan Choi in the drama Chicago Med. He starred in films like The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006), Jurassic World (2015), The Wolverine (2013), and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows (2016).
9. Akira Terao
Akira Terao, born in 1947, is a Japanese singer, musician, and actor. He is the only male actor to receive the Japan Academy Award and the Japan Record Award for Outstanding Performance by an actor in a Leading Role. He debuted in 1966 as a member of a group sounds band called The Savage. He is known for his hit album Reflections (1981), which sold 1.6 million copies. He debuted as an actor in 1968 in Kei Kumai's The Sands of Kurobe.
10. Masi Oka
Masi Oka, born in 1974, is a Japanese producer, actor, and digital effects artist. He rose to fame for his role of Hiro Nakamura in the series Heroes, for which he was Emmy-nominated and won the Saturn Award. Masi Oka is a black belt in Japanese fencing and an avid chess player. He has been a translator at the 1992 Summer Olympics. He starred in movies like Jobs (2013), Death Note (2017), The Meg (2018, Bullet Train (2022), and many more.