Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa

Birthday: Sep 27, 1950
Birthplace: Not Available
Charismatic, muscular, handsome, and often exuding a dangerous sexuality, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa specializes in playing the evilest of vile villains, most of whom despite their exceptional martial arts skills, are skilled in spectacular manners. Tagawa's willingness to accept villainous roles such as that of the wicked sorcerer Shang Tsung in Mortal Combat (1995) has drawn criticism from certain Asian American groups, who fear that he is perpetuating negative stereotypes, but Tagawa offers an interesting perspective, citing the fact that the action film is the most popular genre worldwide. When Tagawa plays a bad guy, he plays it to the hilt, trying to imbue his villains with depth to demonstrate that in order to be so successful at being bad, they must possess a certain amount of positive qualities, including discipline, intelligence, and commitment. In his personal life, Tagawa is the antithesis of the characters he plays. He is known for his unusual courtesy, non-violent demeanor, his wisdom, and for his unflagging devotion to helping young people. A deeply spiritual man, Tagawa has developed a unique philosophical approach to martial arts, Chun Shin, which primarily centers on developing the inner state and spirituality of the practitioner rather than on the physical movements of fighting. The purpose of the exercises of Chun Shin is to release the energy centers within, creating a harmony between mind and body. Tagawa was born in Tokyo, Japan, the son of a Japanese American father and a Tokyo actress. His father, a native of Hawaii, worked for the U.S. military and when Tagawa was five, his family moved to Texas. This was during the 1950s, when racism was rampant throughout the South. For Tagawa, the change from a supportive environment to a hostile one was a great shock. As a young adult, Tagawa briefly attended the University of Southern California where he studied martial arts. The following year, he returned to Japan to further his studies at a prestigious school under the tutelage of master Nakayama, one of the most highly regarded fighters in Japan. But for Tagawa, there was a spiritual component missing from training -- that, and perhaps the feeling that he was not accepted into Japanese society, led him to return to the U.S.Although he had been interested in acting for many years, Tagawa did not become an actor until he was 36 years old. He made his feature film debut in The Last Emperor (1984) and went on to work steadily in feature films and on television. Many of his film appearances have been in the direct-to-video category. Still, Tagawa has managed to develop a devoted following and has at least one web site devoted to him on the Internet. As mentioned, Tagawa specializes in villains, but occasionally he plays different roles as he did in the much-honored independent drama Picture Bride (1994) in which he plays a sugar cane farmer who orders a Japanese mail-order bride 25 years younger than himself. The latter 1990s also found Tagawa's Hollywood work coming more frequently and in larger profile releases. After small roles in such films as Vampires (1998) and Snow Falling on Cedars (1999), Tagawa could be seen in such eagerly anticipated large-scale productions as Pearl Harbor and Planet of the Apes (both 2001).


Highest Rated Movies



0% Showdown in Manila Actor 2018
No Score Yet Diamond Cartel Actor 2017
No Score Yet Diamond Cartel Khazar 2017
97% Kubo and the Two Strings Hashi $48.1M 2016
23% Little Boy Hashimoto $5M 2015
No Score Yet L'homme aux poings de fer 2 The Mayor 2015
No Score Yet The Man with the Iron Fists 2 Lord Pi 2015
No Score Yet Ninja Apocalypse Fumitaka 2014
No Score Yet Tekken: A Man Called X (Tekken: Kazuya's Revenge) Heihachi Mishima 2014
15% 47 Ronin Shogun Tsunayoshi $20.6M 2013
No Score Yet Black Cobra Actor 2012
63% Hachi: A Dog's Tale Ken 2009
No Score Yet Tekken Heihachi Mishima 2009
No Score Yet By the Will of Genghis Khan Bodyguard 2009
No Score Yet Bodyguard: A New Beginning Kai 2008
No Score Yet The Tomb Len Burris 2008
22% Balls of Fury Mysterious Asian Man $32.9M 2007
No Score Yet Johnny Kapahala: Back on Board Actor 2007
No Score Yet Ichijiku no kao (Faces of a Fig Tree) Oto Kadowaki Jr. 2006
No Score Yet The Slanted Screen Actor 2006
35% Memoirs of a Geisha The Baron $57.1M 2005
No Score Yet Faith of My Fathers Cat 2005
11% Elektra Roshi $24.2M 2005
No Score Yet Baywatch Hawaiian Wedding Mason Sato 2003
40% The Last Warrior (Coastwatcher) Imperial Marine 2001
45% Planet of the Apes Krull $178.1M 2001
24% Pearl Harbor Minoru Genda $197.8M 2001
16% The Art of War David Chan $29.5M 2000
No Score Yet The Ghost Actor 2000
40% Snow Falling on Cedars Zenhichi Miyamoto 1999
No Score Yet Top of the World Capt. Heller 1999
No Score Yet Johnny Tsunami Johnny Tsunami 1999
No Score Yet Bridge of Dragons Ruechang 1999
No Score Yet Tom Clancy's 'Netforce' Leong Cheng 1999
39% John Carpenter's Vampires David Deyo 1998
No Score Yet The Provocatuer Actor 1998
No Score Yet Provocateur Actor 1998
42% The Phantom Kabai Sengh 1996
No Score Yet Danger Zone Chang 1996
No Score Yet White Tiger Chow 1996
No Score Yet Soldier Boyz Vinh Moc 1996
No Score Yet Natural Causes Somchai 1995
46% Mortal Kombat Shang Tsung 1995
82% Picture Bride Kanzaki 1995
No Score Yet Thunder in Paradise III Actor 1995
No Score Yet The Dangerous Kon 1994
33% Rising Sun Eddie Sakamura 1993
No Score Yet Nemesis Angie-Liv 1993
78% American Me El Japo 1992
No Score Yet Mission of the Shark Hashimoto 1991
45% The Perfect Weapon Kai 1991
No Score Yet Not of This World Yamamoto 1991
33% Showdown in Little Tokyo Funekei Yoshida 1991
20% Kickboxer 2: The Road Back Sangha 1990
No Score Yet L.A. Takedown Hugh Denny 1989
77% Licence To Kill Kwang 1989
44% Twins Oriental Man 1988
No Score Yet Spellbinder Lt. Lee 1988
No Score Yet Bulletproof Actor 1988
91% The Last Emperor Chang 1987
79% Big Trouble in Little China Actor 1986
No Score Yet Armed Response Toshi 1986


81% The Man in the High Castle
  • 2018
  • 2016
  • 2015
89% Grimm
  • 2016
69% Revenge
Takeda Tagawa
  • 2013
  • 2012
No Score Yet Hawaii Five-0
Hiro Noshimuri
  • 2011
No Score Yet Hawaii
Capt. Terry Harada
  • 2004
No Score Yet Walker, Texas Ranger
Master Ko
  • 2000
No Score Yet Nash Bridges
Lt. A.T. Shimamura
  • 2000
  • 1999
  • 1996
No Score Yet Seven Days
  • 1999
No Score Yet Stargate SG-1
  • 1997
No Score Yet Babylon 5
  • 1995
No Score Yet Baywatch
  • 1992
43% Alien Nation
  • 1989
97% Moonlighting
  • 1989
89% Star Trek: The Next Generation
Mandarin Bailiff
  • 1989
  • 1987
No Score Yet Miami Vice
Tegoro Fujitsu
  • 1989
  • 1987
  • 1986
0% Space Rangers