Japan for the Uninvited

Japanese culture from a bemused foreign perspective

Ken Watanabe

Ken WatanabeKen (Kensuke) Watanabe, with his distinctive charm and physical presence, has been one of Japan’s top actors for over 20 years.

Although he’s played a range of characters, he’s most famous for his work with a sword, earning him a lead role alongside Tom Cruise in ‘The Last Samurai’.

His 2004 divorce case drew massive media attention, with Mrs Watanabe claiming in court that he had affairs with 15 other women, including ‘Last Samurai’ co-star Koyuki.

In 2005, Watanabe appeared opposite Christian Bale’s Batman in Christopher Nolan’s ‘Batman Begins’, as Ra’s al Ghul, a mysterious ninja cult leader.

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