Born: 15 May 1982
Birthplace: Saitama, Japan
Blood Type: A
Height: 178cm (5' 10")
Tatsuya was born on the 15th May 1982, in Saitama Prefecture (Japan) and began his acting career as a stage actor.
His first performance, at the age of 15, was in Yukio Ninagawa's production of Shintokumaru (1997), where Tatsuya was chosen as the lead part after auditions were held earlier in the year. His part was previously played by Shinji Takeda (Gohatto, The Happiness of the Katakuris), but when the play was brought to the Barbican Theatre in London (October 1997), and Takeda could not perform, it was decided that there would be an audition for the role.
From a total of 40 applicants who each went forward for the role, Tatsuya was outstanding. Each hurdle that was thrown at him, he overcame and even when he fell ill before the performance, ignoring Ninagawa's attempts to make him stay in bed and recover, he insisted that he played his part.
Ninagawa chose Tatsuya for the lead role because he stated that even though Tatsuya was very young and new to acting, he brought a fresh approach to everything, his accuracy and enormous concentration when acting is something that was very rare in young actors at that time, and still is.
Many fans of Tatsuya & critics alike are drawn to his ability to create an intensity, that when you are watching him perform (in theatre, dramas, movies ...etc) you cannot help but watch his every move. Almost always, audiences are amazed that he is so complex and mature in his performances, and yet so young.
Since Shintokumaru, Tatsuya has worked with Ninagawa on many more occasions, as well as acting in a collection of TV dramas and movies. Perhaps his most recognisable character internationally is Shuya Nanahara in Fukasaku Kinji's film adaption of the cult novel Battle Royale. (Sidenote from Pan: This was the film that first introduced me to Tatsuya. I remember very well watching it and being very moved not only by the message the film projects - but also by the sensitive nature that Tatsuya brought to his character. Having now read both the novel and also the manga adaptation, I still feel that the movie will always be very special to me!)
Currently Tatsuya is gaining alot of fans through the movie adaptions of the popular manga 'Death Note' also, in the live action versions of popular manga series 'Kaiji' and 'Rurouni Kenshin'.
In 2007, for 5 months, Tatsuya moved to England to study the English Language and attend various Stage Productions around the United Kingdom. Upon arriving back to Japan it was announced that Tatsuya was going to be part of Gregory Doran's (The Royal Shakespeare Company) production of 'The Merchant of Venice' (playing the character Bassanio) touring in Japan. Tatsuya, although feeling slightly rusty due to the time away, expressed an eagerness to play his part and felt tremendous tension and expectations. When asked to comment on the reason for his break, he replied "it was something I needed to do to grow as an actor."
In 2009, Tatsuya returned for a stay in London, England prior to the rehearsals of a second collaberation with Gregory Doran (RSC) of a production of 'ANJIN: The English Samurai'. A role in which Tatsuya's hard work pays off as he portrays a young (English speaking) Christian called Dominic, the production was set to tour around Japan, England and feature in the New York Lincoln Festival in 2010.
In 2013, Tatsuya held a press conference to announce his engagement to his (now) wife. When asked why he was announcing the engagement, he said "Though this is a private matter, I would like to make an announcement to the fans that I am getting married this year to a woman who I've been dating for 9 years." Reportedly, Tatsuya met his wife through a common acquaintance back in the summer of 2004, and they began dating shortly after. Tatsuya said, "It's good timing as this year would be the 10th year since we started dating. She supported me during my hard times with acting and filming, so I thought it is the time (for marriage)." He also spoke about the past 9 years, "For me, it was a blink of the eye. I'm grateful to her for staying with somebody like me for this long." He also stated that they had already been living together for the past 6 years, and, when asked what she is like, he answered, "She is a modest and kind person. She is a woman who has always stayed by my side, and supported me. I can't think of anybody who resembles her. She is more like a small animal, kind of like a meerkat. I wonder if she would get angry that I said that(!)"
In June 2016, Tatsuya's fanclub announced the birth of his first child. The gender and exact birthday of the child have not been shared due to respect for Tatsuya and his wife's privacy. Fujiwara wrote, “This is a personal matter, but I have been blessed with a healthy child. The members of my family that I need to protect have increased, so I will need to work even harder than before to remain focused in my work. Please continue to cheer me on.”
Written by Pan