Japan, an island country on the east coast of Asia, is well known and renowned for its tourist attractions, Japanese cuisine, and pop cultures like manga, anime, and video games. Japan is also famous for its movies and dramas, You may not know this, but many of our favorite celebrities are Japanese, whether they are actors residing in Japan or of Japanese descent. Considering the US stereotypes and racism against Asians, there are a bunch of actors who survived all this pressure and racism and bloomed as talented artists in Hollywood. Here is a list of our favorite actors who are of Japanese descent in the USA.
1. Darren Barnet
Darren Charles Barnet is an American actor who has acted in one of the leading roles in the famous teenage show Never Have I Ever and has gained recognition as Paxton Hall-Yoshida from the same. Darren’s father is of German and Cherokee descent his mother is of Japanese descent. He has publicly stated that he is proud of his heritage, but when Darren shifted to Florida, he got bullied for being Asian. As a result of his rising fame, he is now the first male ambassador of Victoria’s Secret PINK and also starred as a voice artist for a Netflix movie.
2. Keiko Agena
Christine Keiko Agena was born on October 3, 1973, in Honolulu. After passing out of college as a drama major, Keiko is an actor by profession. You might recognize her as Lane Kim in the famous comedy-drama Gilmore Girls, a Netflix original series. Agena played this role even though she was considerably older than the sixteen-year-old Lane Kim in the show.
3. Anna Akana
Anna Kay Napualani Akana specializes in comedy skits and vlogs that she posts on Youtube. Having come a long way in her journey as a Youtuber, actress, musician, and filmmaker, she has starred in movies, shows, and music videos like Ant-Man and Awkward. Her heritage mixes Japanese, Hawaiian, Filipino, and some White countries. She is proud of being Asian but had her struggles to get roles that were not Asian stereotypes.
4. Karen Fukuhara
Karen Fukuhara was born to Japanese parents in Los Angeles on February 10, 1992. Fukuhara attended a Japanese language school for eleven years and had her first language as Japanese. She made her debut as an actress in 2016 in Suicide Squad as Katana after training for two months for that role and is a martial artist and a voice artist for many movies.
5. Conan Grey
Conan Lee Gray is a well-known American songwriter and singer born on December 5, 1998, in Lemon Grove, California. His father has Irish descent, whereas his mother is Japanese. He faced a lot of racism and bullying throughout his childhood for being Asian never knew who he was and where he fit in society since there were no Asian kids in school with whom he could connect.
6. Judith Glory Hill
Judith Glory Hill is the daughter of Michiko Hill, who is Japanese, and Robert Lee, who is African- American. She grew up speaking fluent Japanese, English, Spanish, and French and lives in Los Angeles, California. Being an American singer-songwriter, Judith was selected by Michael Jackson to be his duet partner for his song I Just Can’t Stop Loving You in 2009 and has sung back vocals for Michael Jackson and Josh Groban. Judith loves her Japanese side and takes pride in being Asian.
7. Hayley Kiyoko
Hayley Kiyoko Alcroft was born in Los Angeles, California, on April 3, 1991. Being a singer, dancer, and actress by profession, Hayley has starred in films like Scooby-Doo! series and Jem and the Hologram. Her mother is Sarah Kawahara, a Canadian figure skater of Japanese origin, and her father is Jamia Alcroft, an actor and comedian of Scottish and English ancestry. It took a while for Hayley to accept her Asian identity as she felt like she was never entirely White nor fully Asian, but she is grateful to have the energy to explore her Asian identity.
8. Booboo Stewert
Nils Allen Booboo Stewart Jr. is a visual artist, singer, and American actor known for his roles as Jay in Descendents and Wille in Julie and the Phantoms and The Twilight Saga film series. Booboo’s mother has Chinese, Korean, and Japanese descent, whereas his father has Scottish, Russian, and Native American descent.
9. Steve Aoki
Steve Aoki, born in Miami, Florida, is a music producer, DJ artist, record producer, and record executive. He has several Billboard-charting studios, notably Wonderland, that have been nominated many times for Grammy awards. Steve is of Japanese descent, the third child of Rocky Aoki, a former wrestler, and Chizuru Koyabashi. He is proud to be Japanese-American and states that it is essential to have Asian role models growing up.
10. Mike Shinoda
Michael Kenji Shinoda was born on February 11th, 1977, in Panorama City, Los Angeles, California. He co-founded Linken Park in 1996 and is the lead vocalist for the band. Not only that, but Mike is a talented musician, rapper, singer, songwriter, record producer, and graphic designer. His father is Japanese-American, and when he toured Japan with his band, he felt such a familiarity with Japan and felt an instant connection to Japan, even though it was his first time there.