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Kazunari Ninomiya

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Kazunari Ninomiya (二宮 和也 Ninomiya Kazunari?, born June 17, 1983)Script error, often called Nino, is a Japanese idol, singer, songwriter, award-winning actor, television personality, seiyū and radio host. Along with Masaki Aiba, Jun Matsumoto, Satoshi Ohno and Sho Sakurai, he is a member of the Japanese boy band Arashi, who is under the management of Johnny & Associates. He is best known to movie audiences for his portrayal as Private Saigo in the 2006 Clint Eastwood war film Letters from Iwo Jima.

Early lifeEdit

Born in Katsushika, Tokyo, Japan, Ninomiya is the youngest child to his parents.[1] His dream was to become a professional baseball player, but his cousin sent in an application to Johnny & Associates without his knowledge when he was 12 years old.[1] Although he received an invitation to audition in the mail, he only went to the auditions because his mother promised to give him money if he did.[2] He passed and joined the agency in June 1996 at the age of 13.[3]

Recording careerEdit

Pre-debutEdit

When Ninomiya joined Johnny & Associates, he was a member of temporary Johnny's Jr. units such as M.A.I.N. (which consisted of fellow Arashi members Jun Matsumoto and Masaki Aiba, as well as fellow "Johnny" Toma Ikuta), and B.A.D. before the formation of Arashi in 1999.

ArashiEdit

Arashi's debut single, "A・RA・SHI", reached number one on the charts and sold over 970,000 copies by the end of its chart-run, setting a new record for the highest first-week sales. However, Arashi's record was broken almost seven years later by the debut single of fellow Johnny & Associates group KAT-TUN in March 2006. Almost every one of Arashi's singles, albums and DVDs released were successful chart performers. In 2004, for the first time, a solo song that Ninomiya penned and composed himself was officially released in Arashi's 2004 Arashi! Iza, Now Tour!! DVD. Although the next album One was the first of Arashi's albums to feature solo songs of each member, Ninomiya did not compose or write his solos for official release until the Time album almost two years later. In 2007, he wrote the lyrics to his solo song entitled "Niji" and played the piano portion of the song throughout Arashi's summer tour (and later throughout Arashi's second Asia Tour in 2008).

In 2008, Ninomiya composed, co-arranged and penned the lyrics for his latest solo "Gimmick Game," which took on a different style compared to past solos. The song can be found in the album Dream"A"live, Arashi's third highest selling album to date.[4]

Acting careerEdit

Ninomiya began acting in a 1997, on stageplay based on an American coming of age film called Stand by Me with the other members of M.A.I.N.[5] In 1998, he made his television debut as a 15-year-old runaway in the TBS made-for-television movie Amagi Goe. Almost every year since then, he has been appearing in numerous productions. In 1999, because Arashi were image characters for the 8th World Cup of Volleyball, all five members starring together for the first time in the volleyball-centered short drama V no Arashi.

In 2002, he made his motion picture debut in Pika*nchi Life Is Hard Dakedo Happy, in which he acted with the rest of Arashi. Ninomiya starred in his second movie in 2003 called Ao no Honō playing a high school student who has an abusive stepfather living at home. In 2004, Arashi came together again to reprise their respective roles for the sequel of Pika*nchi Life Is Hard Dakedo Happy called Pika**nchi Life Is Hard Dakara Happy.

2006 proved to be a productive year for Ninomiya as he became the first person from Johnny's & Associates to debut in Hollywood. After taking up the main role in the special drama Sukoshi wa, Ongaeshi ga Dekitakana, which was based on the true story of young man diagnosed with Ewing's sarcoma, he played a reluctant soldier named Saigo in Clint Eastwood's Oscar-nominated Letters from Iwo Jima with Academy Award-nominated actor Ken Watanabe. His performance was praised by many film critics such as RogerEbert.com editor Jim Emerson singling out Ninomiya's performance as 'thoroughly winning,'[6] Claudia Puig—'also superb,'[7] James Berardinelli—'another performer worth singling out,'[8] and Kirk Honeycutt—'who is just terrific.'[9] Shortly after, he debuted as a seiyu and lent his voice to main character Kuro in the animated film Tekkon Kinkreet, which was directed by Michael Arias.[10]

In 2007, all the members of Arashi starred in their third movie together called Kiiroi Namida with Ninomiya playing the main role of an aspiring manga artist. During the summer of the same year, he and fellow Arashi bandmate Sakurai starred together in the manga-based comedy drama Yamada Tarō Monogatari. Soon after, whilst juggling rehearsals for Arashi's upcoming concert, he acted as the lead in the special drama, which was based on the true story of an autistic young man training to become a marathon runner, called Marathon.[11]

After a year without any acting roles, other than a small guest appearance in fellow bandmate Satoshi Ohno's first leading role drama called Maō, Ninomiya finally took up the main role in the popular drama Ryūsei no Kizuna with junior 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."[12]

In spring 2009, Ninomiya starred as the lead in the third and final of TBS's kandō (感動?)Script error drama series (the first and second being Sukoshi wa, Ongaeshi ga Dekitakana and Marathon respectively) called Door to Door. The special drama 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.[13] 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.[14]

Other venturesEdit

Ninomiya has his own radio show called Bay Storm since October 4, 2002.[15] 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.

Filmography Edit

Dramas Edit

Year Broadcast Title Role
1998 TBS Amagi Goe Takichi Nishinōra
TBS Nijuroku ya Mairi
TBS Akimahende Taiki Aoki
1999 NTV Nekketsu Ren-ai Dō Toshiya Kondo (Episode 01)
TV Asahi Abunai Houkago Katsuyuki Natsuki
NTV Kowai Nichiyoubi
Fuji TV V no Arashi Kazunari Ninomiya
2000 Fuji TV Namida o Fuite Kenta Fuchigami
2001 TBS Handoku Nobu Sakaguchi
2003 Fuji TV Netsuretsu Teki Chūka Hanten Kenta Nanami
TBS Stand Up!! Shōhei Asai
2004 TV Asahi Minami-kun no Koibito Susumu Minami
2005 Fuji TV Yasashii Jikan Takuro Wakui
2006 TBS Sukoshi wa, Ongaeshi ga Dekitakana Kazunori Kitahara
2007 Fuji TV Haikei, Chichiue-sama Ippei Tahara
TBS Marathon Shōtaro Miyata
TBS Yamada Tarō Monogatari Taro Yamada
2008 TBS Maō Masayoshi Kumada (guest, ep 1)
TBS Ryūsei no Kizuna Kōichi Ariake
2009 TBS Door to Door Hideo Kurasawa
TBS Tengoku de Kimi ni Aetara Junichi Nonogami

MoviesEdit

Year Title Role
2002 Pika*nchi Life is Hard Dakedo Happy Takuma Onda
2003 Ao no Honō Shuichi Kushimori
2004 Pika**nchi Life Is Hard Dakara Happy Takuma Onda
2006 Letters from Iwo Jima Saigo
Tekkon Kinkreet Black (voice)
2007 Kiiroi Namida Eisuke Muraoka
2009 Heaven's Door Host (guest)
2011 Gantz[16][17] Kei Kurono

StageEdit

Year Title Role
1997 Stand By Me Chris
2004 Shibuya Kara Tooku Hanarete Naoya
2005 Rebel Without a Cause Jim Stark
2009 Strangers On a Train Charles Bruno

CommercialsEdit

  • Pino
  • O'Zack
  • McDonald's
  • Coca Cola
  • Parco
  • Petit
  • HOUSE Soup de Okoge (solo)
  • HOUSE Shirataki Noodle containing soy milk (solo)
  • WFP Biscuit - voice only (solo)
  • Japan Post (solo)
  • AU KDDI
  • Kirin's Shava Dava (solo)
  • Wii

AwardsEdit

  • 2003: 10th Rendora 110Award: Best Actor for Stand Up
  • 2005: 16th Rendora 110Award: Best Supporting Actor for Yasashii Jikan
  • 2006: Hashida award: Sukoshi wa, Ongaeshi ga Dekitakana[18]
  • 2007: 10th Nikkan Sports Drama Grand Prix (Winter): Best Actor for Haikei, Chichiue-sama[19]
  • 2007: 11th Nikkan Sports Drama Grand Prix (Summer): Best Actor for Yamada Taro Monogatari
  • 2007: 62nd Cultural Affairs Award: Marathon[20]
  • 2008: 12th Nikkan Sports Drama Grand Prix (Fall): Best Actor for Ryūsei no Kizuna[21]
  • 2008: 59th Television Drama Academy Awards: Best Actor for Ryūsei no Kizuna[12]
  • 2009: 46th Galaxy Awards: Individual Award[22]

BibliographyEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 (Japanese)Script error Jounetsu Tairiku (情熱大陸?)Script error May 6, 2007.
  2. (Japanese)Script error Hey! Hey! Hey! Music Champ February 23, 2004.
  3. (Japanese)Script error Shōnen Club Premium (ザ少年倶楽部 プレミアム?)Script error January 18, 2009.
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External linksEdit

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