Nagase, Masatoshi
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Masatoshi Nagase

[ Nagase, Masatoshi ]
Profile and general info
Name in native language: 永瀬正敏 (ながせ まさとし)
Family name: Nagase
Country: Japan
Birth date: Friday, July 15, [50 years old]
Birth place: Miyazaki, Japan
Nagase Masatoshi is perhaps 'the' Japanese indie actor. Best known abroad for his role in Jim Jarmusch's 1989 cult movie Mystery Train, Nagase has appeared in many popular Japanese movies and dramas but at home his face is maybe most associated with the humorous TV commercials he has appeared in. The best of these was the series for cup noodles in which Nagase was placed, a la Forest Gump or Woody Allen's Zelig, in famous scenes from the 20th century, noodles in hand. He has also released two albums and is an active artist and photographer. He married former aidoru (idol) Koizumi Kyoko in 1995 after the two met on one of Nagase's photo shoots. Their marriage lasted until early in 2004, not a bad run for such a high-profile couple.

Nagase dropped out of high school and moved to Tokyo to start his acting career in the movie Shonben Rider in 1983. His ambition was to be a film actor but he repeatedly failed to pass auditions and worked almost entirely in television during the '80s. His encounter with Jarmusch and the confidence he gained through his work on Mystery Train led to more successful international film work. The Asian Beat Project was an ambitious series of six movies produced by Hayashi Kaizo made in six different Asian countries in 1991-2, each starring Nagase. The last in the series Autumn Moon, set in Hong Kong, won the Grand Prize at the Locarno International Film Festival in 1992. The 1996 Icelandic "journey of self-discovery" movie Cold Fever was also a critical success.

Among his movies well received in Japan were Yamada Yoji's Musuko (My Sons, 1991) and Yukai (Abduction, 1997), in which Nagase was delighted to have a chance to star alongside veteran actor Watari Tetsuya. He has also starred in a series of movies, also produced by Hayashi, in which he plays private eye Hama Maiku (Mike Hammer). Nagase won the Japan Academy Award for best supporting actor three years running 1997-9.

In 2004, he teamed up with Yamada again in the director's second samurai pic "Kakushi Ken, Oni no Tsume" (Hidden Sword, Demon's Claw), which opened the 17th Tokyo International Film Festival. With almost 20 movies under his belt and a solid acting reputation, Nagase will probably continue to be one of the faces of Japan in the international movie scene for some time.

Source: Japan Zone
As an actor:
  • 2011 Smuggler
  • 2011 Bokura no jidai
  • 2011 Mainichi kâsan
  • 2009 Zerachin shirubâ love
  • 2008 Yume no mani mani
  • 2008 R246 Story
  • 2007 Funuke domo, kanashimi no ai wo misero
  • 2006 Sakuran
  • 2006 Kamiya Etsuko no seishun
  • 2005 Tenshi
  • 2005 Ubume no natsu
  • 2005 Gina K
  • 2004 Kakushi ken oni no tsume
  • 2004 Rabudo gan
  • 2003 Dead End Run
  • 2003 Guuzen nimo saiaku na shounen
  • 2002 Shiritsu tantei Hama Maiku: Namae no nai mori as Mike Yokohama
  • 2002 Aiki
  • 2002 Umi wa miteita
  • 2002 Shiritsu tantei Hama Maiku as Mike Yokahama
  • 2001 Jisatsu sâkuru
  • 2001 Pisutoru opera
  • 2001 Zeitaku na hone
  • 2001 Stereo Future
  • 2001 Kuroe
  • 2001 Electric Dragon 80.000 V
  • 2000 Tojiru hi
  • 2000 Party 7
  • 2000 Gojo reisenki: Gojoe as Tetsukichi
  • 1999 Hakuchi
  • 1998 Three Businessmen
  • 1998 Beautiful Sunday
  • 1997 Yukai
  • 1996 Niji o tsukamu otoko
  • 1996 Gakko II
  • 1996 Yûri
  • 1996 Wana
  • 1995 Flirt
  • 1995 Harukana jidai no kaidan o as Mike Hama
  • 1995 Á köldum klaka
  • 1995 Berlin
  • 1994 Waga jinsei saiaku no toki
  • 1994 Ôtobai shôjo
  • 1992 Otoko wa tsurai yo: Torajiro no seishun
  • 1992 Shinde mo ii
  • 1992 Qiu yue
  • 1991 Musuko
  • 1991 Asian Beat: I Love Nippon
  • 1991 Mo no shigoto
  • 1990 Bakayarô! 3: Henna yatsura
  • 1990 Yonimo kimyô na monogatari
  • 1989 Mystery Train
  • 1983 Miyuki
  • 1983 Shonben Rider
  • 2003 Lost in Translation
  • 2011 Bokura no jidai
  • 2011 Bokura no jidai


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