Koji Yakusho - Rotten Tomatoes

Koji Yakusho

Highest Rated:   100% Oh Lucy! (2017)
Lowest Rated:   7% Silk (2007)
Birthday:   Not Available
Birthplace:   Isahaya, Nagasaki, Japan
Koji Yakusho is one of Japan's most gifted and popular leading men. Whether playing a befuddled white-collar worker struggling to master the two-step or a burned-out police detective trying to unlock a series of bizarre murders, Yakusho's combination of handsome "everyman" looks and natural screen presence make him the actor of choice for many of Japan's leading directors, including Juzo Itami, Kiyoshi Kurosawa, and Shohei Imamura.Born Koji Hashimoto, Yakusho graduated from a technical high school in Nagasaki and got a job as a civil servant in the Chiyoda ward of Tokyo. In 1976, he became obsessed with theater after his friend gave him a ticket to see Donzoko by Maxim Gorky. His first big break was being chosen out of 800 applicants to study at the Mumei-juku (Studio for Unknown Performers) run by noted actor and '60s icon Tatsuya Nakadai. Because of his experience as a civil servant, Nakadai gave him the stage name Yakusho, which can mean either "municipal office" or "acting versatility." In 1983, he got a major role as feudal warrior Oda Nobunaga in a TV miniseries about the life of the first Shogun, Ieyasu Tokugawa. Later, he played the Man in the White Suit, who gleefully transgresses all social norms involving food and sex in some of the most memorable scenes of Juzo Itami's Tampopo (1986). For much of the '80s and early '90s, Yakusho appeared in a handful of films, along with a number of television shows, until he landed the lead in Shall We Dance? (1996), in which his awkward missteps on the dance floor and shy attempts at getting to know the object of his affection seemed to embody the typical Tokyo office worker. His performance clearly struck a chord with audiences, as it was the biggest film of the year in Japan and one of the highest-grossing Japanese movies abroad. In 1997, he solidified his standing as a leading man in three of that year's most popular and talked-about films. As Yamashita in Shohei Imamura's prize-winning Unagi, Yakusho delivered a masterfully deadpan performance as an ex-con trying to reconstruct his life after murdering his wife. In Yoshimitsu Morita's popular Shitsurakuen, the second-highest grossing film of the year after the record-breaking Mononoke Hime (1997), Yakusho played a middle-aged editor who falls into a passionate, self-destructive relationship with a married woman. Finally, in cult favorite Cure, directed by maverick auteur Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Yakusho brilliantly played a cop pushed to the edge of the abyss by his search for a string of seemingly unconnected murders. Since then, Yakusho has teamed up with Kurosawa for License to Live (1998) and Charisma (1999).

Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT BOX OFFICE YEAR
88% The Third Murder (Sandome no satsujin)
  • Actor
2017
No Score Yet Sekigahara
  • Ieyasu
2017
No Score Yet Oh Lucy!
  • Komori
2017
100% Oh Lucy!
  • Actor
2017
82% Mifune: The Last Samurai
  • Actor
$62.2k 2016
72% The World Of Kanako (Kawaki)
  • Akikazu Fujishima
2015
No Score Yet The Emperor in August
  • Actor
2015
No Score Yet Higurashi no ki (A Samurai Chronicle)
  • Actor
2014
No Score Yet Kiyosu kaigi (The Kiyosu Conference)
  • Actor
2013
79% Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai
  • Kageyu
$60.7k 2012
No Score Yet Shabu Gokudo
  • Actor
2012
No Score Yet Isoroku Yamamoto, the Commander-in-Chief of the Combined Fleet (Rengô kantai shirei chôkan: Yamamoto Isoroku)
  • Actor
2011
96% 13 Assassins
  • Shinzaemon Shimada
$0.9M 2011
No Score Yet Saigo no chuushingura (The Last Chushingura)
  • Senoo Magozaemon
2011
No Score Yet Waga haha no ki (Chronicle of My Mother)
  • Actor
2011
94% Tokyo Sonata (Tokyo Sonata)
  • Dorobo
$0.2M 2009
No Score Yet Gelatin Silver, Love (Zerachin shirubâ love)
  • Actor
2009
No Score Yet Toad's Oil
  • Actor
  • Screenwriter
  • Director
2009
No Score Yet Toad's Oil (Gama no abura)
  • Screenwriter
  • Director
  • Actor
2009
No Score Yet Pako to mahô no ehon (Paco and the Magical Picture Book)
  • Actor
2008
7% Silk
  • Hara Jubei
$1.1M 2007
No Score Yet Sakebi (Retribution)
  • Actor
2007
No Score Yet I Just Didn't Do It (Soredemo boku wa yattenai)
  • Mr. Arakawa
2006
69% Babel
  • Yasujiro
$34.3M 2006
No Score Yet Uchôten hoteru (Suite Dreams)
  • Actor
2006
35% Memoirs of a Geisha
  • Nobu
$57M 2005
74% Pulse (Kairo)
  • Boat Captain
2005
No Score Yet Lorelei, (Lorelei: The Witch of the Pacific Ocean)
  • Actor
2005
No Score Yet Warai no daigaku (University of Laughs)
  • Actor
2004
No Score Yet Hotaru no hoshi (Fireflies: River of Light )
  • Actor
2004
56% Doppelganger (Dopperugengâ)
  • Actor
2003
79% Akai Hashi No Shita Noo Nurui Mizu
  • Yosuke Sasano
2002
No Score Yet Totsunyûseyo! Asama sansô jiken (The Choice of Hercules)
  • Actor
2002
90% Eureka
  • Actor
2001
No Score Yet Dora-Heita (Alley Cat) (Playboy)
  • Koheita Mochizuki (Dora-Heita)
2001
No Score Yet Charisma
  • Goro Yabuike
2000
80% Seance
  • Katsuhiko
2000
No Score Yet Retribution
  • Actor
1999
No Score Yet Ningen gokaku (License to Live)
  • Fujimori
1999
77% The Eel (Unagi)
  • Takuro Yamashita
1998
91% Cure
  • Ken-ichi Takabe
1998
No Score Yet Tadon to chikuwa
  • Actor
1998
53% Baunsu ko gaurusu (Bounce KO Gals)
  • Oshima
1997
No Score Yet Lost Paradise
  • Actor
1997
91% Shall We Dance? (Shall We Dansu?)
  • Shohei Sugiyama
1996
No Score Yet Kamikaze Taxi
  • Kazumasa Kantake
1995
100% Tampopo
  • Man in White Suit
$0.3M 1985

Quotes from Koji Yakusho's Characters