Takeshi Kaneshiro

Takeshi Kaneshiro
Background information
Chinese name 金城武
Pinyin Jīnchéng Wǔ (Mandarin)
Jyutping Gam1sing4 Mou5 (Cantonese)
Pe̍h-ōe-jī Kim-siânn Bú (Hokkien)
Birth name Kaneshiro Takeshi
Born (1973-10-11) October 11, 1973
Taipei, Taiwan
Other name(s) Aniki
Occupation Actor, singer
Genre(s) Mandopop, Cantopop
Instrument(s) Vocals, guitar
Years active 1992present
Ancestry Okinawan, Taiwanese

Takeshi Kaneshiro (Japanese, Okinawan and Chinese: 金城 武, romaji: Kaneshiro Takeshi, Pinyin: Jīnchéng Wǔ, pronounced [tɕíntʂ͡ʰə̌ŋ ù], born October 11, 1973) is a Taiwanese-Japanese actor and singer.


Kaneshiro is a common Okinawan name.[1] In kanji, 金城 is Kaneshiro and is Takeshi (given name), with Japanese readings. He appears as 金城 武 (Kaneshiro Takeshi) in Japanese media.

Since personal names are commonly written in Chinese characters in both Chinese and Japanese naming conventions, with surnames before given names, and the name sounds native in both Japanese and Chinese, this gives Kaneshiro the freedom whether to distinguish himself as a Japanese or not when working in Chinese-speaking countries by preserving or removing the space between his surname and given name.

Early life

Kaneshiro's mother is Taiwanese and his father is from Okinawa, Japan.[2][3] He was born and raised in Taipei but also holds Japanese citizenship.[4][5]

The son of a Japanese businessman and a Taiwanese homemaker,[6] he has two elder brothers; one is his senior by seven years, the other just by one.[7] 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, Taiwanese Hokkien Japanese and Cantonese, and to lesser degrees in English.


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.[8][9][10] 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.[6] Moreover, Kaneshiro was interviewed by CNN in the TalkAsia segment in 2006.[11]

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.[12]

Personal life

Kaneshiro is a practicing Buddhist, having converted in 1997, and has said his mother is also a devout Buddhist.[13] 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.”[14]



Voice Acting

Television dramas


Hong Kong


Video games


Takeshi Kaneshiro is one of 10 recipients of the Green Planet Film Award (23 March 2010) in the category "10 Best International Actors of the Decade (Asia)".[18]



Album No. Album information Track listing Notes
1st Heartbreaking Nights
  • Released: September 1992
  • Language: Mandarin
  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
  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
  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
*Love Me Once Again was also sung in Japanese
4th Ideal Lover
  • Released: December 1994
  • Language: Mandarin
  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
  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
  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
  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
Track 10 was used in Troublemaker
8th No Matter How Hard
  • Released: October 1996
  • Language: Mandarin
  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
  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

Movie soundtracks

Year Title Track Featuring Kaneshiro Notes
2005 Perhaps Love (如果愛) No.4 Forgot Who I am (忘了我是誰)
(duet with Zhou Xun 周迅),
No.6 Beautiful Story (美麗故事)
(duet with Ji Jin-hee 池珍熙),
No.10 Crossroad (十字街頭)
(duet with Zhou Xun 周迅),
No.11 What If (假如)
Mandarin album (Release date: 2005)


  1. George H. Kerr. Okinawa, the History of an Island People. Books.google.com. p. xvii; "the character , very commonly found in surnames and place names *snip* Thus Kaneshiro can also be read Kinjo.". Retrieved 2012-11-02.
  2. "Takeshi Kaneshiro An An Magazine - Gaki n Me - 無名小站". Wretch.cc. 1998-07-07. Retrieved 2012-11-02.
  3. "mikomijade |". Freewebs.com. 2009-08-03. Retrieved 2012-11-02.
  4. Archived December 21, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  5. "yam蕃薯藤 NEWS". N.yam.com. Retrieved 2012-11-02.
  6. 1 2 Drake, Kate (2003-09-29). "Movies: The versatile Takeshi Kaneshiro". TIME. Retrieved 2012-11-02.
  7. Archived July 23, 2015, at the Wayback Machine.
  8. "Ain't It Cool News: The best in movie, TV, DVD, and comic book news". Aintitcool.com. Retrieved 2012-11-02.
  9. Archived December 18, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  10. Archived December 18, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  11. "CNN.com - Takeshi Kaneshiro Talkasia Transcript - Feb 10, 2006". Edition.cnn.com. 2006-02-10. Retrieved 2012-11-02.
  12. "Biotherm". Biotherm. Retrieved 2012-11-02.
  13. "组图:娱乐圈明星信佛知多少". QQ News. 27 February 2007. Retrieved 21 May 2012.
  14. in TOUCH magazine (Hong Kong) Issue 46 Nov, 05
  15. "映画「K-20 怪人二十面相・伝」アウトラインと全体概要|今、よみがえる〜映画「K-20 怪人二十面相・伝」". K-20.jp. Retrieved 2012-11-02.
  16. "Takeshi Kaneshiro". imdb.com. Retrieved April 12, 2010.
  17. "Takeshi Kaneshiro". chinesemov.com. Retrieved April 12, 2010.
  18. "Green Planet Movie Awards Award Categories". Movie-voters.com. Retrieved 2012-11-02.
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