He played Daigo Kobayashi in the 2008 film, Departures, which won an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. His performance earned him the Japan Academy Prize.
He started his career in 1982 when he was part of the boy band, Shibugaki Tai, which became popular during the 1980s.
He was part of the famous agency, Johnny & Associates, and won the Best Actor Award at the 2009 Asia Pacific Screen Award ceremony.
He married Yayako Uchida in 1995 and the couple had three children together.
He is a contemporary of Japanese movie actor Arai Hirofumi.