With social media taking the world by storm, it is now possible to keep up with all that is happening in the lives of our favorite celebrities on and off screen. Last month, we introduced you to Japan’s most popular actresses on Instagram and this time we’re turning to the gents — who, as it turns out, are quite the competitors! From sharing rare off-screen shots at film sets to private workout sessions and casual snaps with friends, below are the top five most followed actors of Japan on the ‘gram.
1.Kento Yamazaki @kentooyamazaki 2.8 million followers
Back in the days when he was still a junior high school student (doesn’t feel that long ago) Yamazaki entered Japan’s showbiz world after he was scouted at Takeshita-dori, Harajuku’s notorious youth-fashion shopping street, while out with his mates. He began modeling in 2009 before venturing out into the world of acting, which he proudly debuted a year later.
Best known for playing “L” in the popular television series Death Note (2015), as well as starring in films L DK (2014), Heroine Shikkaku (2015), Orange (2015), and his latest release, A Forest of Wool and Steel (2018), in which he played a man devoted to becoming a piano tuner. Yamazaki is one busy man!
Also a popular TV series actor, 2018 has so far been one of his best years — his role on Good Doctor, where he plays a doctor who suffers from savant syndrome, has no doubt given him a few thousand extra likes on Instagram (we must say that he fits into scrub suits quite nicely).
Kento Yamazaki Behind the scenes of Good Doctor
In his private life, Yamazaki is a devoted soccer lover, manga reader and beach-goer. He is often quoted by the media as saying in interviews that if he were not an actor, he would have pursued a career in football, either as a professional player or coach of the national team. Until this happens, however, enjoy watching him on screen!
Kento Yamazaki serene at the beach, July 2016
2.Takayuki Yamada @takayukiyamadaphoto 2.7 million followers
Launching his acting career in 1999, Yamada co-starred in a handful of popular J-dramas before making his film debut in Joji Iida’s popular Sci-Fi Dragonhead (2003). Two years later, “train” was the theme of another milestone movie that made Yamada one of the most sought-after young Japanese talents: Train Man, the purest otaku (geek) love and compassion Japanese story to date. Since then, Yamada has starred in dozens of movies, including his latest release, 50 First Kisses (2018), Japan’s adaptation of Hollywood’s 50 First Dates. In 2017, he also starred in the unique comedy-documentary Yamada Takayuki 3D The Movie, where he was the only adult actor. This one is worth watching if you want to know everything about Yamada!
Yamada posing with a poster of his 2017 film “Yamada Takayuki 3D The Movie”
Besides being a brilliant actor, however, Yamada’s charm lies in him being an extremely fun, quirky and artistic man, and the reason why his ‘Gram is so popular is because it perfectly reflects that. From sneaky footages of his napping colleagues to snaps of his face half-shaved, to looking great in women’s clothes (and heels) to private shots of his wisdom teeth, his creativity never ends. Follow him if you need a solid amount of laughter and positive vibes.
As promised, Takayuki Yamada half-shaved.
3.Ryoma Takeuchi @takeuchi_ryoma 2 million followers
Breaking into the world of fashion at the age of 20, Takeuchi beat 2457 other candidates to win the Mina Kare Grand Prix, a fashion magazine model audition, which secured him a spot as a regular model for the magazine and simultaneously opened the doors for him into the Japanese showbiz world. From there, his acting career took off and he landed straight into the lead role of the popular animation hero series Kamen Rider Drive as Shinnosuke Tomari (2014-2015). Since then, he’s been a steady accomplice to a handful of television series and films. His latest film project, Sensei Kunshu (2018), a teen romance which won him the image of “everyone’s dream boyfriend,” was just released on the big screen in Japan.
From behind the scenes of Sensei Kunshu, with his co-star Minami Hamabe
A little known trivia about Takeuchi is that he is a massive fan of Marvel Comics and he loves English — although he’s still working on mastering it. He also plays soccer that well that he almost went pro — in fact, he was a member of a local soccer team before becoming a model and actor. Today he’s a face you’ll see on TV a minimum of five times a day (no exaggeration) and something tells us that the Ryoma fever won’t fade away soon.
Takeuchi cheering up with another soccer fan during the FIFA World Cup in 2018.
4.Mackenyu @mackenyu.1116 1.8 million followers
Born to Japanese parents in Los Angeles, Japanese-American actor Mackenyu Arata, commonly known as just Mackenyu, grew up watching his father, Sonny Chiba, act, produce, compete, direct and sing. But despite growing up as the son of a celebrity (and actually acting in one of his father’s movies as a kid), Mackenyu chose to focus his attention on his education and only fully launched his acting career in his late teens.
Starring both in several Hollywood productions and the Japanese big and small screen, Mackenyu has been mostly Japan-based since 2014, keeping his schedule — and Instagram account — fully loaded. In 2015 he starred as Eiji Tomari in the popular hero movie Kamen Rider Drive: Surprise Future (2015), and in 2016 launched a leading role in part one and part two of the youth sensation Chihayafuru, a high school story about friendship, competition and the game of karuta. In 2018, part three of the sequence was released, once again placing Mackenyu in the spotlight.
Mackenyu at the 21st Shanghai International Film Festival in June 2018
Off-screen, have a quick scroll through his Instagram page and you’ll quickly note that he is quite the social butterfly — most of his posts are with friends and co-stars ( our No.1 and 2 on this list Kento Yamazaki and Takayuki Yamada also make a presence) or taken during a busy day on the shoot. If you want to meet hundreds of other celebrities in addition to enjoying getting a sneak peak of Mackenyu’s work life, follow his account!
Mackenyu entertains his followers by posing with Kento Yamazaki during a TV series shoot in February.
5.Shohei Miura @shohei.63 1.7 million followers
Miura launched his acting career at the age of 18 at a popular idol TV show quickly establishing himself as one of Japan’s top TV series actors. Today, he has a long list of popular J-dramas behind, including big names such as Gokusen 3, a high school favorite, which in 2009 was also made into a movie. The proud winner of several interesting (and prestigious) awards — including an “Ideal Boyfriend Award” in 2007 and 2011’s Best New Actor Award for his role in the human drama Umizaru 3: The Last Message, Miura is now one of the most popular faces on Japanese TV and big screen. His cool looks certainly contribute to that — check his Instagram to know what we’re talking about.
Miura on the set of a popular TV series which aired in Japan in 2018.
But besides being a handsome actor and a top-notch fashion model, when perusing through Miura’s Instagram, it’s obvious that he is also a big foodie. With shots of large ramen bowls at annual Tokyo Ramen Show to freshly baked bread and a luxurious looking beef bowl topped with sea urchin, his choice of delectable dishes is enough to make you salivate. In 2018, Miura also made the news when he announced his marriage to Mirei Kiritani, also a popular actress and fellow Instagrammer.
Miura during a photoshoot, most probably imagining a bowl of noodles or freshly baked pancakes. We think.
Found your favorite Japanese actor on our list? Then pour yourself a nice cup of tea and start following them on Instagram now. You’ll find out much about them, Japan’s cinema world and celebrity off-the-screen fun. Enjoy!