Kazunari Ninomiya

Last updated
Kazunari Ninomiya
二宮 和也
Kazunari Ninomiya.jpg
Ninomiya in November 2019
Born (1983-06-17) June 17, 1983 (age 38)
Other namesNino
  • Singer
  • actor
  • television presenter
Years active1996–present
Musical career
Genres J-pop
  • Vocals
  • guitar
  • piano
Associated acts Arashi

Kazunari Ninomiya (二宮 和也, Ninomiya Kazunari, born June 17, 1983), often called Nino (ニノ), is a Japanese singer, songwriter, actor, voice actor, presenter and radio host. He is a member of the Japanese idol group Arashi.


His career began in the entertainment industry after joining the Japanese talent agency Johnny & Associates in 1996 aged 13. Prior to his debut as a member of Arashi, 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.

Apart from his group's activities, he starred in numerous television drama, movie and stage production, and has been regarded 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 he is. When Ninomiya was born, his grandfather immediately came home and named him the heir to the family's windshield wiper factory since he was his grandfather's only grandson. [4] 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 prodding, he joined the talent agency. [5] [6]

Ninomiya graduated from high school in March 2002 at the age of 18. [7]

Music career

In 2004, Ninomiya penned and composed "Konseki" (痕跡) [8] 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 . [9] 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"), [10] and played the piano portion of the song throughout Arashi's summer tour. [11] He later reprised the performance throughout Arashi's second Asia Tour in 2008. [12]

In 2008, Ninomiya composed, co-arranged and penned the lyrics for his solo "Gimmick Game". [13] In 2010, Ninomiya also composed, co-arranged and penned the lyrics for his solo "1992*4##111". [14] According to Ninomiya himself, the title is read as "arigatō" (ありがとう, thank you). [15]

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] [16] 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) directed by Yukio Ninagawa. 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. [17] 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. [18] 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 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. [19]

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 "流星の絆 with Ryo Nishikido and Erika Toda acting as his younger siblings. The three played the children of parents who were murdered long ago by a 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. [20] His Ryūsei no Kizuna role also earned him an Outstanding Actor nomination in the drama category in the 49th Monte-Carlo Television Festival. [21]

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. [22] 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. [23] 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. [24] 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 "最後の約束”. [25] [26] 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 made 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). [27]

Ninomiya starred 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, Ninomiya portrayed a freeter named Seiji Take (武 誠治, Take Seiji). [28] [29] The drama maintained steady viewership ratings throughout its airing, having an average rating of 17.14% overall. [30] [31] [32]


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 The Blue Light 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-winner Letters from Iwo Jima with Academy Award-nominated actor Ken Watanabe. His performance was praised by many film critics, some of which include RogerEbert.com editor Jim Emerson ("thoroughly winning"), [33] Claudia Puig of USA Today ("also superb"), [34] James Berardinelli ("another performer worth singling out") [35] and Kirk Honeycutt of The Hollywood Reporter ("just terrific"). [36] On January 7, 2007, New York Times film critic A. O. Scott listed Ninomiya as an ideal Oscar candidate for Best Supporting Actor. [37] On October 24, 2006, a couple months after returning from filming Letters from Iwo Jima in the United States, he debuted as a voice actor, lending his voice to main character Black in the Michael Arias animated film Tekkon Kinkreet . [38]

Clint Eastwood, Ken Watanabe, Kazunari Ninomiya and Tsuyoshi Ihara at the Berlin International Film Festival in 2007 Letters from Iwo Jima Berlinale 2007.jpg
Clint Eastwood, Ken Watanabe, Kazunari Ninomiya and Tsuyoshi Ihara at the Berlin International Film Festival in 2007

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 1, 2010, the live-action adaptation of Fumi Yoshinaga's award-winning Ōoku: The Inner Chambers manga, which starred Ninomiya and Kou Shibasaki, was released into theaters in Japan. [39] [40] Ninomiya played Yunoshin Mizuno (水野祐之進, Mizuno Yunoshin), a young man living in a matriarchal society due to a disease that killed most of the male population. [41]

Part one of the live-action adaptation of the manga Gantz , which starred Ninomiya and Kenichi Matsuyama, was released on January 20, 2011 in the United States and on January 29, 2011 in Japan. [42] [43] Ninomiya starred 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. [44] [45] Part two of Gantz, titled Gantz: Perfect Answer, hit theaters in Japan on April 23, 2011. [46]

In 2013, Ninomiya played the lead role in the film adaptation of Keigo Higashino's novel Platina Data, [Platinum Data (プラチナデータ)]. Ninomiya's 2008 drama series Ryūsei no Kizuna [Meteor Bonds (流星の絆)] was also based on a novel by Higashino.

In the 17th issue of Weekly Shounen Jump magazine, it was revealed that Ninomiya would be the voice of Koro-sensei in the 2015 live-action film adaptation of Assassination Classroom. [47]

On 5 March 2016, Ninomiya won the 39th Japanese Academy Award for Best Actor, for his performance in Living with My Mother (Haha to Kuraseba), succeeding fellow Johnny & Associates colleague Okada Junichi. [48]

Other ventures


Ninomiya has his own radio show, Bay Storm, since October 4, 2002. [49] 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.


He used to write in MORE magazine a column with the title IT, until it ended in January 2019.

Television variety show host


A new Johnny's YouTube channel called ジャにのちゃんねる (Janinochaneru), lead by Ninomiya himself, was opened. [53] [54] The channel is also run by KAT-TUN's Yuichi Nakamaru, Hey! Say! JUMP's Ryosuke Yamada, and Sexy Zone's Fuma Kikuchi. [55]

Personal life

On November 12, 2019, Ninomiya announced his marriage through a handwritten letter he released in their fan club website. [56] He announced the birth of his daughter through his agency on March 5, 2021. [57]



1998Amagi GoeTakichi Nishinōra (child)Television special
Nijuroku ya MairiAkimasa Okita (child)
AkimahendeTaiki Aoki
1999Nekketsu Ren'ai-dōToshiya KondōEpisode: "Iteza no O-gata BOY"
Abunai HoukagoKatsuyuki NatsukiLead role
Kowai NichiyōbiKazunari NinomiyaEpisode: "Koko Datta ka"
V no ArashiKazunari NinomiyaLead role with Arashi members
2000Namida o FuiteKenta Fuchigami
2001Handoku!!!Nobu Sakaguchi
2003Netsuretsu Teki Chūka HantenKenta Nanami
Stand Up!! Shōhei AsaiLead role with Anne Suzuki
2004 Minami-kun no Koibito Susumu MinamiLead role with Kyoko Fukada
2005Yasashii JikanTakuro WakuiLead role with Masami Nagasawa and Akira Terao
2006Sukoshi wa, Ongaeshi ga DekitakanaKazunori KitaharaLead role, Television special
2007Haikei, Chichiue-samaIppei TaharaLead role
MarathonShōtaro MiyataLead role, television special
Yamada Tarō Monogatari Taro YamadaLead role with Sho Sakurai
2008 Maō Masayoshi KumadaEpisode 1 guest appearance
Ryūsei no Kizuna Kōichi AriakeLead role
2009Door to DoorHideo KurasawaLead role, television special
Tengoku de Kimi ni AetaraJunichi NonogamiLead role with Mao Inoue, television special
2010 Saigo no Yakusoku Shūji YamagiwaLead role with Arashi members, television special
Natsu no Koi wa Nijiiro ni KagayakuHamlet stage lighting technicianEpisode 10 guest appearance
Freeter, Ie o Kau Seiji TakeLead role
2011Freeter, Ie o Kau SPSeiji TakeLead role
2012Kuruma Isu de Boku wa Sora wo TobuHasebe YasuyukiLead role, 24 Hour Television SP
2014 Yowakutemo Katemasu Aoshi TamoLead role
2015Murder on the Orient ExpressHeita MakuuchiTelevision special
Aka MedakaDanshun TatekawaLead role
2016 Botchan BotchanTelevision special
2018Black PeanSeishiro TokaiLead role


2002Pikanchi Life is Hard Dakedo HappyTakuma Onda
2003 The Blue Light Shuichi KushimoriLead role
2004Pikanchi Life Is Hard Dakara HappyTakuma Onda
2006 Letters from Iwo Jima SaigoLead role with Ken Watanabe, Hollywood debut
2006 Tekkon Kinkreet BlackVoice, lead role
2007Kiiroi NamidaEisuke MuraokaLead role with Arashi members
2009 Heaven's Door HostGuest appearance
2010 Ōoku Yunoshin MizunoLead role with Kou Shibasaki
2011 Gantz Kei Kurono Lead role with Kenichi Matsuyama
Gantz: Perfect Answer
2013Platinum DataRyuhei Kagura/ RyuLead role
2014Pikanchi Life is Hard Tabun HappyTakuma OndaLead role with Arashi members
2015 Assassination Classroom Koro-senseiLead role, voice
Nagasaki: Memories of My Son Koji FukuharaLead role
2016 Assassination Classroom: Graduation Koro-sensei, Grim ReaperLead role, voice
2017The Last RecipeSasakiLead role
2018Killing for the ProsecutionKeiichiro OkinoLead role with Takuya Kimura
2020 The Asadas Masashi AsadaLead role
2022TangKen KasugaiLead role [58]


1997 Stand By Me Chris
Kyo to Kyo
2004Shibuya Kara Tooku HanareteNaoyaLead role
2005 Rebel Without a Cause Jim StarkLead role
2009 Strangers on a Train BrunoLead role

Awards and nominations

20015th Nikkan Sports Drama Grand Prix (Fall)Best Supporting ActorHandoku!!!Won
20036th Nikkan Sports Drama Grand Prix (Winter)Best Supporting ActorNetsuretsu Teki Chuka HantenWon
10th Rendora 110AwardBest ActorStand Up!!Won
20048th Nikkan Sports Drama Grand Prix (Summer)Best Supporting ActorMinami-kun no KoibitoWon
200560th Japan Broadcast Film Arts AwardOutstanding Supporting ActorYasashii JikanWon
8th Nikkan Sports Drama Grand Prix (Winter)Best Supporting ActorNominated
16th Rendora 110AwardBest Supporting ActorWon
200661st Japan Broadcast Film Arts AwardOutstanding Supporting ActorSukoshi wa, Ongaeshi ga DekitakanaWon
15th Hashida AwardsIndividual AwardWon [59]
200710th Nikkan Sports Drama Grand Prix (Winter)Best ActorHaikei, Chichiue-samaWon [60]
10th Nikkan Sports Drama Grand PrixBest ActorWon [61]
52nd Television Drama Academy AwardsBest ActorNominated [62]
62nd Japan Broadcast Film Arts AwardExcellence Best ActorWon
11th Nikkan Sports Drama Grand Prix (Summer)Best ActorYamada Tarō MonogatariWon [63]
54th Television Drama Academy AwardsBest ActorNominated [64]
Monthly Galaxy Awards (September)Galaxy AwardMarathonWon [65]
62nd Cultural Affairs AwardHōsō Kojin AwardWon [66]
200812th Nikkan Sports Drama Grand Prix (Fall)Best ActorRyūsei no KizunaWon [67]
63rd Japan Broadcast Film Arts AwardOutstanding Lead ActorWon
59th Television Drama Academy AwardsBest ActorWon [20]
49th Monte-Carlo Television Festival Outstanding Actor (Drama)Nominated [21] [68]
200946th Galaxy AwardsIndividual AwardRyūsei no Kizuna, Door to DoorWon [23]
201114th Nikkan Sports Drama Grand Prix (Fall)Best ActorFreeter, Ie o KauWon [69]
65th Japan Broadcast Film AwardOutstanding Lead ActorWon
67th Television Drama Academy AwardsBest ActorWon [70]
4th International Drama Festival in Tokyo Individual AwardWon [71]
Best Actor AwardWon [71]
201689th Kinema Junpo Award Best ActorHaha to KurasebaWon [72]
39th Japan Academy Film Prize Best Actor Won [73]
41st Hochi Film Award Best ActorNominated [74]
201742nd Hochi Film AwardBest ActorThe Last RecipeNominated [75]
201822nd Nikkan Sports Drama Grand Prix (Spring)Best ActorBlack PeanWon [76]
97th Television Drama Academy AwardsBest ActorNominated [77]
43rd Hochi Film AwardBest Supporting ActorKilling for the ProsecutionWon [78]
201973rd Mainichi Film Awards Best Supporting Actor Nominated [79]
61st Blue Ribbon Awards Best Supporting Actor Nominated [80]
42nd Japan Academy Prize Best Supporting Actor Nominated [81]
2021 42nd Yokohama Film Festival Best ActorThe AsadasWon [82]
63rd Blue Ribbon Awards Best ActorNominated [83]
44th Japan Academy Film Prize Best ActorNominated [84]

Related Research Articles

Arashi Japanese idol group (1999—)

Arashi is a Japanese boy band consisting of five members formed under the Johnny & Associates talent agency. The members are Satoshi Ohno, Sho Sakurai, Masaki Aiba, Kazunari Ninomiya, and Jun Matsumoto. Arashi officially formed on September 15, 1999, in Honolulu, Hawaii, and made their debut CD on November 3, 1999. The group was initially signed to Pony Canyon and released one studio album and six singles—beginning with their 1999 eponymous debut single before moving to the Johnny's subsidiary label J Storm in 2001, which was initially set up for their succeeding releases. While their debut single sold close to a million copies, the group took a mixture of pop and alternate/contemporary approach to its music which attracted core followers, but subsequently faced commercially slow sales.

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