Through the years, a lot of young Japanese actors have been gaining popularity and recognition among fans. Popular actors such as Yamazaki Kento, Satoh Takeru, and Miura Haruma have made a mark and became known for their respective roles. And adding to the growing list is another young man who has caught the attention of many because of his good looks and acting skills. Get to know Arata Mackenyu!
Maeda Mackenyu (前田 真剣佑), or better known by his stage name Arata Mackenyu (新田 真剣佑), was born on November 16, 1996, in Los Angeles, California. His father is the legendary Japanese actor, film producer, and martial artist Shinichi Chiba (Sonny Chiba).
Mackenyu spent his childhood and finished his high school studies in the US. Growing up, he learned how to play musical instruments such as the piano, the flute, and the saxophone. He also trained in karate, wrestling, and sword fighting due to the influence of his father. He also does other sports like horseback riding and swimming.
Adding to Mackenyu’s impressive talents is that he is fluent both in English and Japanese. Little Mackenyu spent five days a week studying in an English school, while also attending a Japanese school on Saturdays.
Mackenyu’s first TV appearance was in Team Astro in 2005, followed by a movie called Oyaji in 2007. Seven years later, he decided to pursue his career in acting and appeared in several movies and TV dramas. He had his first two lead roles in the American-produced movies Take a Chance and Tadaima, both of which were shown in 2015. He also showed his singing skills in Hana Yori Dango: The Musical and played as one of the F4 members.
Mackenyu rose to fame when he was cast to play Arata Wataya in the live-action adaptation of the hit manga series Chihayafuru. The story tells about the lives of three childhood friends, Chihaya Ayase (Hirose Suzu), Taichi Mashima (Nomura Shuhei), and Arata Wataya, and their passion for playing “karuta.” The adaptation was divided into three parts, with the first two movies shown in 2016. This role led Mackenyu to bag the “Newcomer of the Year” award at the 40th Japan Academy Prize in 2017.
Chihayafuru: Musubi is the third movie installment of the popular manga. The sequel picks up two years after the second movie, with the addition of new characters. It will hit Japanese cinemas on March 17, 2018.
Mackenyu will once again portray Arata Wataya in this movie, and fans are looking forward to seeing his karuta skills again. He once said that he went to Fukui to practice karuta with professionals.
The anticipated Hollywood movie Pacific Rim Uprising will make its way to Japanese theaters on April 13, 2018, starring John Boyega, Scott Eastwood, and Cailee Spaeny.
Mackenyu takes on the role of Ryoichi, one of the cadets in this sci-fi action movie. In preparation for this role, Mackenyu underwent rigorous training and diet and gained 16 kilograms. Production and filming took place in Australia and China.
In another movie called Over Drive, Mackenyu plays as one of the male leads alongside Masahiro Higashide. Scheduled for release in June 2018, it tells the story of two brothers in the world of car racing.
With various acting projects and endorsements, Mackenyu’s career continues to grow as he takes on various challenging roles. Expect to see more of this versatile American-Japanese actor on your screen this 2018!