is a young Japanese actor who plays in various movies, dramas, and stage events. He's most commonly referred to as "Yanagi", although he sometimes shortens it to "Yana" or "Nagi.". He is also part of a young men's stage acting troupe, D-BOYS, which perform in various skit-like performances, and is currently the group's sub-leader.
born on December 21 1985, in Berlin, Germany however he is ethnically 100% Japanese.
Yanagi stayed in Germany until he was 3 years old until he and his
family moved to Japan where he attended kindergarten, Yanagi stayed
in Japan until the first semester of elementary school, however,
due to his father's work, he and his family moved to India. Until
third grade, Yanagi stayed with his parents and attended a nearby
school. However, from fourth to sixth grade he attended an American
boarding school further away, which is where he learned English.
Yanagi's family moved back to Japan where he finished school.
He is fluent in both English
. Yanagi measures
approximately 165 cm tall and weighs 53 kg.
Yanagi is a member of the young men's stage acting troupe, D-BOYS,
which plays in various skit-like performances. He acted in the web
drama, Hice Cool!
『冲绳男孩 』, and had a supporting role in the
movie Aa~! Izakaya Puroresu
wrestling film, as well as the drama Rocket Boys
. He also
acted in his D-BOYS troupe's TV drama DD-Boys.
major film role is as the otaku lead character in Chikan Otoko
『痴漢男』, based on of a book by
the same name. He has also acted in a short drama in 2007 named
『パズル』, where he played a prominent role with a
couple of other D-boys.
At the beginning 2007 he appeared as the main character in the
musical Cooky Clown
(ミュージカル『Cooky Clown). In March of the
same year, he participated as a guest in "Out of Order".
His most famous role, however, was as the tennis
prodigy and lead protagonist Ryoma Echizen
in the Prince of Tennis
. During his run in the musicals, he
was able to work with fellow D-BOYS
(whom he shared the role with),
, Hiroki Suzuki
, Hirofumi Araki
, Masato Wada
, and former members Yuu Shirota
and Yamazaki Ichitaro
. After recovering from
his accident (see below), he continued to play his role along with
the second generation Seigaku cast, which featured most of the
D-BOYS members. On March 29, 2006, Yanagi graduated from the role
after his performance in Dream Live 3rd
and has so far
been the longest serving actor to play Echizen, as well the second
longest serving actor in Tenimyu. Since his graduation, the role of
Echizen has been played by Dori
, Shougo Sakamoto
currently by Ryuuki
Yanagi recently starred in the stage play 'Taikan Kisetsu'
(Cornflakes), alongside former Hyouteimyu cast member Kawaii
Ryunosuke. In January 2008 he also starred as one of the main
characters in the play 'Sohji'.
Yanagi can currently be seen as the lead character in the drama
'Tadashii Ouji no Tsukurikata' (How to Create the Ideal Prince),
shown on Tv Tokyo. His co-stars include Hiroki Aiba
, Takiguchi Yukihiro, Kiriyama Renn
and Takeda Kouhei. (Two D-BOYS members in the drama with smaller
roles, Kumai Kohei and Nakagawa Shingo).
After leaving a rehearsal for Remarkable 1st Match:
, less than two weeks before it was due to open,
Yanagi was hit by a car. He had extensive damage to his body and
vocal cords and was unconscious for two weeks. Doctors predicted he
would be bedridden for the rest of his life. After waking up,
Yanagi weighed around 30 kg and was unable to get up at all.
However, Yanagi was able to make a miraculous recovery and is
currently strong enough to act again, although he had difficulty
with his dancing and singing. His recovery time prevented him from
playing in Remarkable 1st
and the next two Prince of
musicals (in which he was replaced by J-pop
He was able to come back and star in the Side Fudomine
musical with his fellow first Seigaku cast members, as it was their
last show; he shared the role of Echizen with Endo, but he only
acted in stand still scenes while Endo did the dancing and tennis
match choreography. He did not appear in the Side Yamabuki
musical. After Endo graduated from the musicals after Dream
(in which he and Yanagi again shared the role),
Yanagi continued playing Echizen for three more shows; although he
played the tennis matches, his movements were still slow, and many
of the dancing skits he was in had limited choreography so he could
keep up with the rest of the cast, and vice versa for them.
Because of his accident, Yanagi wasn't able to join his fellow
castmates in the Prince
of Tennis live film adaptation
. At the same time, the
directors wanted to cast someone younger for the role, as Yanagi
was 20 years old at the time. Actor Kanata
was cast as the movie's Echizen.
Kimeru, who was close friends with Yanagi, was struck hard by the
accident that when he released his third single,
(a theme song for the anime
Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters
), he also dedicated
its coupling song, OATH IN THE STORM
Yanagi's hobbies are hanging with friends and karaoke. His major
skills, as he personally states, are "street dancing, lock dancing,
and pantomime." His dream was to become a professional dancer,
however his dancing skills were impeded by his injuries from his
Yanagi has an Idol DVD released called YA-NA-GI. Beforehand, he has
also released a photobook titled "20-2", shortly before he was
involved in the accident.
Also, Yanagi released his newest photobook/album titled "NAGILAND"
in September 2007.
TENIMYU: THE PRINCE OF TENNIS MUSICAL SERIES (as Ryoma
- The Prince of Tennis Musical (2003)
- The Prince of Tennis Musical: Side Fudomine ~Special
Match~ (alongside fellow D-Boy Yuya Endo, who also played Echizen)
(In Winter of 2004-2005)
- The Prince of Tennis Musical: Dream Live 2nd (he again
shared the role with Endo) (2005)
- The Prince of Tennis Musical: The Imperial Match
Hyotei Gakuen (2005)
- The Prince of Tennis Musical: The Imperial Match
Hyotei Gakuen in Winter (In Winter of 2005-2006)
- The Prince of Tennis Musical: Dream Live 3rd
- D-BOYS STAGE Musical - Guest Performer (on June 6 and
June 9, 2007)
- D-BOYS STAGE: The Last Game - Performer (June
||Aa~! Izakaya Puroresu
||Tadashii Oji no Tsukurikata