Tatsuya Nakadai: biography, career, personal life

 Tatsuya Nakadai’s


grew up in a very poor family so couldn’t afford to get any education other than high school. His only chance to get knocked out in people was acting. Since childhood, Tatsuya admired American films and was a fan of John Wayne and Marlon Brando.


After graduation, Nakadai settled down to work as a clerk in a clothing store in Tokyo. Once quite by chance young Tatsuya met in director Masaki Kobayashi and this led to Nakadai being cast in the film “Room with Thick Walls”.

The following year, he had a brief unpaid role in “The Seven Samurai”, where Tatsuya swooped through the streets of the city for a few seconds as a true samurai. The role of the samurai is generally considered Nakadai’s technical acting debut, as the completion of the production of “Rooms with Thick Walls” was delayed for 3 years due to problems encountered.

Since then, Nakadai and Kobayashi have had many years of friendship and fruitful collaboration together, during which time they managed to work on 11th joint motion pictures. These included such famous films as “Harakiri” (1962), “Kaidan” (1964), “Samurai Riot” and “Conditions of Human Existence” trilogy.

A turning point in the actor’s career is the role of Joe, a young yakuza in the film “Black River” directed by Kobayashi. Nakanai continued to work under Kobayashi until the late 1960s and during this period of his career achieved the first significant award, the Blue Ribbon Award for his role as the aging Ronin Hanshiro Tsugumo in the film “Harakiri”.

In addition to films, Kobayashi Nakadai managed to play roles in 9 Hideo Tenya films, 6 Kon Ichikawa films, 6 films by Akira Kurosawa, in 5 films by Mikio Naruse and in 2 films by Hiroshi Teshigahara. In other words, Tatsuya managed to star with all famous film directors in Japan. This was mainly made possible by the fact that Tatsuya Nakadai did not enter into a long-term contract with any film company in Japan from the very beginning, so he could choose any one he liked. suggestions.

In the 1980s, Nakadai starred in two paintings directed by Akira Kurosawa. In the film “Kagemusha”, Tatsuya plays the titular thief who became the double of the famous daime Takeda Shingen, who according to the story is forced to impersonate both one and the other. This dual role allowed him to win his second Blue Ribbon Award for Best First Actor. In the film picture “Ran”, Nakadai plays another daime — Hidetor Ishimonji. The screenplay of “Rana” is influenced by the play “King Lear” by William Shakespeare and influenced by the biography of the historical daime Maury Motonari.

In the 1990s, he taught and trained promising young actors such as Koji Yakusho, Mayumi Waikamura, Toru Masuoka, Azusa Watanabe, Kenichi Takito and others.

Acting For the

period from 1954 to present, Tatsuya Nagai starred in dozens and hundreds of films. The most famous of these are as follows:

  • “The Seven Samurai” (1954) — the role of a samurai roaming the city;
  • “The Black River” (1957) — the role of Joe;
  • “The Indomitable” (1957) — the role of Kimura;
  • “To Go and Get It” (1958) — the role of Naga;
  • “Enjo” (1958) — the role of Togari;
  • “The Naked Sun” (1958) — the role of Jiro Maeda;
  • “The State of Man: No Great Love” (1959 film series) — the title role of Kaji;
  • “Strange Obsession” (1959) — the role of Kimura;
  • “The Human Condition: The Road to Eternity” (1959 film series) — the title role of Kaji;
  • “When a Woman Rises Up Ladder” (1960) was the role of Kenichi Komatsu;
  • “The Blue Beast” (1960) was the role of Yasuhiko Kuroki;
  • “The Bodyguard” (1961) was the role of Unosuke;
  • “The Human Condition: A Soldier’s Prayer” (1961 film series of the year) — the role of Kaji;
  • “Eternal Love” (1961) — the role of Heibey;
  • “Sanjuro” (1962) — the role of Muroto Hanbey;
  • “Harakiri” (1962) — the title role of Tsugumo Hanshiro;
  • “The High and the Low” (1963) — the role of Chief Detective Tokura;
  • “The Pressure of Guilt” (1963) — the title role of Ichiro Hamano;
  • “The Life of a Woman” (1963) — the role of Takashi Akimoto;
  • “Kwaidan” (1964) — the title role of Minokichi;
  • “ Illusion of Blood” (1965) was the title role of Iemon;
  • “The Sword of Fate” (1966) was the title role of Ryunosuke Tsukue;
  • “The Face of Another” (1966) was the title role of Mr. Okuyama;
  • “The Age of Assassins” (1967) — the title role of Shinji Kikyo;
  • “The Samurai Rise” (1967) was the role of Asano Tatewaki;
  • “The Longest Day in Japan” (1967) was as the narrator;
  • “Today we kill, tomorrow we die!” (1968) was the role of James Elfego;
  • “Murder!” (1968) — role of Gent;
  • “The Human Bullet” (1968) — as narrator;
  • “Goyokin” (1969) — title role of Magobei;
  • “Hitokiri” (1969) — role of Takechi Hanpeit;
  • “Portrait of Hell” (1969) — starring Yoshihide;
  • “Bakumatsu” (1970) — role of Nakaoka Shintaro;
  • “The Scandal Adventures of Buraikan” (1970) — role of Kataoka Naojiro;
  • “Zatoichi Goes to Fire Festival” (1970) — role of ronin;
  • “Hotel of Evil” (1971) — title role of Sadashichi;
  • “Battle of Okinawa” (1971) — title role of Colonel Hiromichi Yahara;
  • “Wolves” (1971) — title role of Seji Iwahashi;
  • “ The Human Revolution” (1973) was the role of Nichiren;
  • “Sunrise, the Beautiful Sun” (1973) was the role of Sakuzo;
  • “Karei-Naru Ichizoku” (1974) was the role of Teppei Manpyu;
  • “The Gate of Youth” (1975) — the role of Yuzu Ibuka;
  • “Fumo Chitai” (1976) was the title role of Tadashi Iki;
  • “Blue Kinship” (1978) was the role of Minami;
  • “Revenge Rhyme” (1978) was the role of Ginzo Maidoji;
  • “Bandits vs. Samurai Squadron” (1978) was the role of Kumokiri Nizaemon;
  • “Hello Not Tori” (1978) was the role of Niniga;
  • “Hunter in Temonot” (1979) was the role of Gome Kiemon;
  • “Kagemusha” (1980) was the title role of Takeda Shingen and Kagemusha;
  • “Battle for Port Arthur” (1980) is the title role of General Noga Maresuke;
  • “Premeditated Murder” (1981) is the title role of Yashiro;
  • “Onimasa” (1982) is the title role Masagoro Kiryuina;
  • “Fireflies in the North” (1984) is the title role of Takesha Tsukigata;
  • “Ran” (1985) is the title role of Lord Hidetor Ishimonji; “Hachiko Monogatari
  • ” (1987) is the title role Hijiro Ueno;
  • “Return from the Kwai River” (1988) was the role of Major Harada;
  • “Evil City” (1992) was the role of Daishu (Yuen Tai Chung);
  • “Toki Rakujutsu” (1992) was the role of Sakaz Kobayashi;
  • ” Lone Wolf and Cubs: The Final Conflict” (1993) — the role of Yapo Retsudo;
  • “East Meets the West” (1995) — the role of Katsu Rintaro;
  • “After the Rain” (1999) — the role of Tsuji Gettan;
  • ” Charmed” (1999) — role of Hideaki Sasaki;
  • “Liking Asura” (2003) — role of Kotaro Takezawa;
  • “Yamato” (2005) — role of Katsumi Kamio (75);
  • “Inugamis” (2006) — role of Sahei Inugami;
  • “ Listen to My Heart” (2009) — role of Chioso Naiami;
  • “Haaru’s Journey” (2010) — role of Tadao Nakai;
  • “The Last Zatoichi” (2010) — role of Tendo;
  • “Human Trust” (2013) — role of Tendo Nobuhiko Sasakura;
  • “Tauge is the Last Samurai” (2020) is the role of Makino Tadayuki.


Tatsuya Nakadai was awarded the Order of Arts and Lethres in 1992, the Medal of Honor with Purple Ribbon in 1996, the Order of the Rising Sun 4th Class in 2003 and the Order of Culture in 2015.

Nakadai awarded the title “Man of Cultural Dignity” in 2007.

The actor was the recipient of the Asahi Award in 2013, the Kawakita Award in 2014, the Toshiro Mifune Award in 2015.

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