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Kazunari Ninomiya (二宮 和也 Ninomiya Kazunari?) (born June 17, 1983), often called Nino (ニノ?), is a Japanese idol, singer, songwriter, actor, seiyū and radio host. He is a member of Japanese boy band Arashi and is best known to movie audiences for his portrayal as Private Saigo in the 2006 Clint Eastwood war film Letters from Iwo Jima.

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 went on to appear in numerous drama, movie and stage productions, making him known as the actor of Arashi.[1] Described as an actor who can act with his mouth and eyes,[1] Ninomiya has won a number of awards and nominations for his roles.

Early life

Ninomiya was born in Katsushika, Tokyo as the youngest child of his family.[2] His father and mother were both working as chefs when they met[3] and his sister is two years older than him. His parents divorced early in his life and his father left the family soon after.[4] When Ninomiya was born, his grandfather immediately came home and named him the heir to the family's windshield factory since he was his grandfather's only grandson.[5] However, when Ninomiya was twelve years old, his cousin sent in an application to Johnny & Associates without his knowledge.[2] After attending and passing the auditions due to his mother's bribery, he joined the talent agency.[6][7]

Ninomiya graduated from high school in March 2002 at the age of 18.[8]

Ninomiya's parents were Yukio Hattori's (of Iron Chef fame) teachers, and Ninomiya also mentioned that he has never tasted bad cooking from his mother.[citation needed]

Music career

For music-related releases and activities as a member of Arashi, see Arashi.

In 2004, Ninomiya penned and composed "Kako" (痕跡?)[9] 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.[10] 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" (?, "Rainbow"),[11] and played the piano portion of the song throughout Arashi's summer tour.[12] He later reprised the performance throughout Arashi's second Asia Tour in 2008.[13]

In 2008, Ninomiya composed, co-arranged and penned the lyrics for his solo "Gimmick Game".[14] In 2010, Ninomiya also composed, co-arranged and penned the lyrics for his solo "1992*4##111".[15] According to Ninomiya himself, the title is read as tokubetsu (特別?, "special").[16]

Acting career


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.[1][17] 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?). 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.[18] 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?).[1] 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.[19] 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 named 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.[20]

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 with Ryo Nishikido and Erika Toda acting as his younger siblings. The three played the children of parents who were murdered long ago by an 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.[21] His Ryūsei no Kizuna role also earned him an Outstanding Actor nomination in the drama category in the 49th Monte-Carlo Television Festival.[22]

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.[23] 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.[24] 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.[25] 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.[26][27] 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 will make 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?).[28]

Ninomiya will star 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. With Ninomiya portraying a freeter named Seiji Take (武 誠治 Take Seiji?), the drama will start airing in October 2010.[29][30]


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?).[1] Ninomiya next took to the screen as Shuichi, a high school student trying to get rid of his abusive stepfather, in the 2003 film Ao no Honō 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-nominated Letters from Iwo Jima with Academy Award-nominated actor Ken Watanabe. His performance was praised by many film critics, some of which include editor Jim Emerson ("thoroughly winning"),[31] Claudia Puig of USA Today ("also superb"),[32] James Berardinelli ("another performer worth singling out")[33] and Kirk Honeycutt of The Hollywood Reporter ("who is just terrific").[34] On January 7, 2007, New York Times film critic A. O. Scott listed Ninomiya as an ideal Oscar candidate for Best Supporting Actor.[35] On October 24, 2006, a couple months after returning from filming Letters from Iwo Jima in the United States, he debuted as a seiyū, lending his voice to main character Black in the Michael Arias animated film Tekkon Kinkreet.[36]

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 8, 2009, it was announced that Ninomiya is set to star in the two live-action adaptations of the manga Gantz. He will star 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. With Kenichi Matsuyama as his co-star, part one and two of the Gantz movies are expected to open in theaters in the winter and spring of 2011 respectively.[37][38] Months later, on December 23, 2009, it was announced that Ninomiya will star in another movie slated to open in theaters in Japan on October 1, 2010.[39] With Kou Shibasaki as his co-star, Ninomiya will play Hiroyuki Mizuno (水野祐之進 Mizuno Hiroyuki?), a young man living in a matriarchal society due to a disease that killed most of the male population, in the live-action adaptation of Fumi Yoshinaga's award-winning Ōoku: The Inner Chambers manga.[40][41]

Other ventures


Ninomiya has his own radio show, Bay Storm, since October 4, 2002.[42] 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.


Year Title Role Notes
1998 Amagi Goe Takichi Nishinōra (child) Television special
1998 Nijuroku ya Mairi
1998 Akimahende Taiki Aoki
1999 Abunai Houkago Katsuyuki Natsuki Lead role
1999 Kowai Nichiyoubi
1999 V no Arashi Kazunari Ninomiya Lead role with other members of Arashi
2000 Namida o Fuite Kenta Fuchigami
2001 Handoku Nobu Sakaguchi
2003 Netsuretsu Teki Chūka Hanten Kenta Nanami
2003 Stand Up!! Shōhei Asai Lead role
2004 Minami-kun no Koibito Susumu Minami
2005 Yasashii Jikan Takuro Wakui
2006 Sukoshi wa, Ongaeshi ga Dekitakana Kazunori Kitahara Television special, lead role
2007 Haikei, Chichiue-sama Ippei Tahara Lead role
2007 Marathon Shōtaro Miyata Lead role, television special
2007 Yamada Tarō Monogatari Taro Yamada Lead role
2008 Maō Masayoshi Kumada Episode 1 guest appearance
2008 Ryūsei no Kizuna Kōichi Ariake Lead role
2009 Door to Door Hideo Kurasawa Lead role, television special
2009 Tengoku de Kimi ni Aetara Junichi Nonogami Lead role, television special
2010 Saigo no Yakusoku Shūji Yamagiwa Lead role with other members of Arashi, television special
2010 Natsu no Koi wa Nijiiro ni Kagayaku Episode 10 guest appearance
2010 Freeter, Ie o Kau Seiji Take Lead role
Year Title Role Notes
2002 Pikanchi Life is Hard Dakedo Happy Takuma Onda
2003 Ao no Honō Shuichi Kushimori Lead role
2004 Pikanchi Life Is Hard Dakara Happy Takuma Onda
2006 Letters from Iwo Jima Saigo Hollywood debut
2006 Tekkon Kinkreet Black Voice, lead role
2007 Kiiroi Namida Eisuke Muraoka Lead role
2009 Heaven's Door Host Guest appearance
2010 Ōoku Hiroyuki Mizuno Lead role with Kou Shibasaki
2011 Gantz Kei Kurono Lead role with Kenichi Matsuyama


Year Title Role Notes
1997 Stand By Me Chris
2004 Shibuya Kara Tooku Hanarete Naoya Lead role
2005 Rebel Without a Cause Jim Stark Lead role
2009 Mishiranu Jōkyaku Bruno Lead role

Awards and nominations

Year Organization Award Work Result
2003 10th Rendora 110Award Best Actor Stand Up!! Won
2005 8th Nikkan Sports Drama Grand Prix (Winter) Best Supprting Actor Yasashii Jikan Nominated
16th Rendora 110Award Best Supporting Actor Won
2007 15th Hashida Awards Hashida Award Sukoshi wa, Ongaeshi ga Dekitakana Won[43]
10th Nikkan Sports Drama Grand Prix (Winter) Best Actor Haikei, Chichiue-sama Won[44]
52nd Television Drama Academy Awards Best Actor Nominated[45]
11th Nikkan Sports Drama Grand Prix (Summer) Best Actor Yamada Taro Monogatari Won[46]
54th Television Drama Academy Awards Best Actor Nominated[47]
Monthly Galaxy Awards (September) Galaxy Award Marathon Won[48]
62nd Cultural Affairs Award Hōsō Kojin Award Won[49]
2008 12th Nikkan Sports Drama Grand Prix (Fall) Best Actor Ryūsei no Kizuna Won[50]
59th Television Drama Academy Awards Best Actor Won[21]
49th Monte-Carlo Television Festival Outstanding Actor (Drama) Nominated[22][51]
2009 46th Galaxy Awards Individual Award Ryūsei no Kizuna, Door to Door Won[24]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Wallace, Bruce (2007-01-28). "The story is written on this actor's face". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2009-11-17. [dead link]
  2. 2.0 2.1 Jōnetsu Tairiku. Mainichi Broadcasting System. 2007-05-06.
  3. Ninomiya, Kazunari. Interview with Hitomi Okamura. Channel Rock. 2008-11-01. Retrieved on 2009-12-05.
  4. Ninomiya, Kazunari. Interview with Shōfukutei Tsurube. Tsurube no Main Cast. 2008-10-03. Retrieved on 2009-12-05.
  5. Ninomiya, Kazunari. Interview with Tunnels. 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?). 2007-03-08. Retrieved on 2009-12-24.
  6. Hey! Hey! Hey! Music Champ. NTV. 2004-02-23.
  7. Shōnen Club Premium. NHK. 2009-01-18.
  8. "そして僕らは嵐になった Arashi Story 1980–2009". Pia: 10–22. August 27, 2009. 
  9. Baystorm. Kazunari Ninomiya. Bay FM, Chiba. 2005-05-29.
  10. "Love so sweet (First Press Limited Edition) (Japan Version)" (in Japanese). YesAsia. Retrieved 2010-06-30. 
  11. "Time" (in Japanese). J Storm. Retrieved 2010-06-30. 
  12. Kazunari Ninomiya (Singer). (2008-04-16) (in Japanese). Summer Tour 2007 Final Time – Kotoba no Chikara. [DVD]. Japan: J Storm.
  13. Kazunari Ninomiya (Singer). (2009-03-25) (in Japanese). Arashi Around Asia 2008 in Tokyo. [DVD]. Japan: J Storm.
  14. "Dream "A" Live" (in Japanese). J Storm. Retrieved 2010-06-30. 
  15. "僕の見ている風景" (in Japanese). Johnny & Associates. Retrieved 2010-08-06. 
  16. Bay Storm. Kazunari Ninomiya. Bay FM, Chiba, Japan. 2010-08-01.
  17. Shōnen Club Premium. NHK. 2009-07-19.
  18. "Ninomiya plays killer in "Strangers on a Train"". Tokyograph. 2009-06-12. Retrieved 2009-12-23. 
  19. "二宮和也 1万字インタビュー". アラシゴト. 2005-07-25. ISBN 40-87804-16-X. 
  20. "Ninomiya stars in 'Marathon' remake". Tokyograph. 2007-04-16. Retrieved 2009-03-20. 
  21. 21.0 21.1 "ザテレビジョン ドラマアカデミー賞: 第59回 主演男優賞 二宮和也" (in Japanese). Television Drama Academy Awards. 2009-02-18. Retrieved 2009-02-18. 
  22. 22.0 22.1 "Competition: Nominees - Actors". 49th Monte-Carlo Television Festival. Retrieved 2009-11-17. 
  23. "Ninomiya goes 'Door to Door'". Tokyograph. 2009-02-01. Retrieved 2009-03-20. 
  24. 24.0 24.1 "Ninomiya earns Galaxy Award". Tokyograph. 2009-04-28. Retrieved 2009-04-28. 
  25. "Kazunari Ninomiya, Mao Inoue play couple in drama special". Tokyograph. 2009-04-11. Retrieved 2009-12-23. 
  26. "嵐が10年ぶりにメンバー5人全員でドラマ出演! フジ新春ドラマ『最後の約束』" (in Japanese). Oricon. 2009-11-11. Retrieved 2009-11-11. 
  27. "新春スペシャルドラマ『最後の約束』" (in Japanese). Fuji Television News. 2009-11-11. Retrieved 2009-11-11. 
  28. "松潤"月9"最終回にニノら豪華ゲスト!" (in Japanese). Sanspo. 2010-09-17. Archived from the original on 2010-09-19. Retrieved 2010-09-17. 
  29. "嵐・二宮、フリーターで主演!フジ系火9" (in Japanese). Sanspo. 2010-08-15. Archived from the original on 2010-08-16. Retrieved 2010-08-15. 
  30. "二宮和也がフリーター役で 2年ぶりの連ドラ主演!"人生の再生"テーマのホームドラマ". Oricon. 2010-08-15. Retrieved 2010-08-15. 
  31. Emerson, Jim (2007-01-12). "Reviews: Letters from Iwo Jima". Retrieved 2008-04-25. 
  32. Puig, Claudia (2006-12-19). "Searing 'Letters From Iwo Jima". USA Today. Retrieved 2009-06-25. 
  33. "Letter from Iwo Jima". Retrieved 2009-10-08.  Text "publisher Reelviews" ignored (help)
  34. "Letters from Iwo Jima". Hollywood Reporter. 2006-12-08. Archived from the original on 2006-12-13. Retrieved 2009-06-25. [dead link]
  35. "THE OSCARS; And the Nominees Should Be". The New York Times. 2007-01-07. Retrieved 2009-11-17.  Cite uses deprecated parameter |coauthors= (help); |coauthors= requires |author= (help)
  36. "Arashi's Ninomiya makes debut as seiyuu". Tokyograph. 2006-10-24. Retrieved 2008-04-25. 
  37. "二宮和也&松山ケンイチ映画でダブル主演" (in Japanese). Nikkan Sports. 2009-10-08. Retrieved 2009-10-08. 
  38. "Nino, MatsuKen star in live-action "Gantz" movies". Tokyograph. 2009-10-08. Retrieved 2009-10-12. 
  39. "Ōoku: The Inner Chamber Manga Gets Live-Action Film". Anime News Network. 2009-04-09. Retrieved 2009-12-23. 
  40. "Arashi's Kazunari Ninomiya, Kou Shibasaki Star in Ōoku Film". Anime News Network. 2009-12-23. Retrieved 2009-12-23. 
  41. "人気コミック『大奥』、時代劇初挑戦の嵐・二宮和也&柴咲コウで映画化" (in Japanese). Oricon. 2009-12-24. Retrieved 2009-12-24. 
  42. "Arashi Biography 2002". Johnny's net. Retrieved 2009-09-18. 
  43. "Shida becomes youngest winner of Hashida newcomer award". Tokyograph. 2007-02-13. Retrieved 2009-01-19. 
  44. "Winners of 10th Nikkan Sports Drama Grand Prix". Tokyograph. 2007-05-05. Retrieved 2009-01-19.  Text "Tokyograph" ignored (help)
  45. "主演男優賞" (in Japanese). Television Drama Academy Awards. 2007-05-02. Retrieved 2009-11-18. 
  46. "第11回日刊スポーツ・ドラマグランプリ" (in Japanese). Nikkan Sports. Retrieved 2009-11-17. [dead link]
  47. "主演男優賞" (in Japanese). Television Drama Academy Awards. 2007-10-24. Retrieved 2009-11-18. 
  48. "二宮和也の感動ドラマ、視聴率はイマイチでも専門家は大絶賛" (in Japanese). Livedoor. 2009-04-07. Retrieved 2009-11-17. 
  49. "二宮和也、文化庁芸術祭賞で放送個人賞を受賞!" (in Japanese). TBS. 2007-12-21. Retrieved 2009-03-20. 
  50. "Drama Grand Prix: "Ryusei no Kizuna" dominates". Tokyograph. 2009-01-20. Retrieved 2009-01-20. 
  51. "49th Monte-Carlo Television Festival - Official Selection - 'Drama' TV Series". Biosstars. Retrieved 2009-11-17. 

External links


ca:Kazunari Ninomiya ko:니노미야 가즈나리 ms:Kazunari Ninomiya pt:Kazunari Ninomiya fi:Kazunari Ninomiya sv:Kazunari Ninomiya tl:Kazunari Ninomiya th:นิโนะมิยะ คาซึนาริ vi:Ninomiya Kazunari zh:二宮和也