Famous Playwrights from Japan People

Famous Playwrights from Japan

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List of notable or famous playwrights from Japan, with bios and photos, including the top playwrights born in Japan and even some popular playwrights who immigrated to Japan. If you're trying to find out the names of famous Japanese playwrights then this list is the perfect resource for you. These playwrights are among the most prominent in their field, and information about each well-known playwright from Japan is included when available.

The list you're viewing is made up of people like Yukio Mishima and Toshio Furukawa.

This historic playwrights from Japan list can help answer the questions "Who are some Japanese playwrights of note?" and "Who are the most famous playwrights from Japan?" These prominent playwrights of Japan may or may not be currently alive, but what they all have in common is that they're all respected Japanese playwrights.

Use this list of renowned Japanese playwrights to discover some new playwrights that you aren't familiar with. Don't forget to share this list by clicking one of the social media icons at the top or bottom of the page. (21 items)



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  1. 1
    Ayumu Saito
    Photo: Freebase

    Ayumu Saito is an actor.more

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    • Age: age 51
    • Birthplace: Japan, Kushiro
    • Profession: Actor
    • Credits: 13 Assassins, Summer Wars, Ju-on: The Grudge 2, Marebito, Ju-on: The Curse 2, + more
  2. 2

    Ben Ousaka is a television director and playwright.more

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    • Birthplace: Manchuria, China
    • Profession: Television director, Playwright
  3. 3

    Hideki Noda is an acclaimed Japanese actor, playwright and theatre director who has written and directed more than forty plays in Japan, as well as working at bringing modern Japanese theatre to an international audience.more

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    • Age: age 60
    • Birthplace: East Asia, Asia, Japan, Nagasaki, Kyushu, + more
    • Profession: Theatre Director, Actor, Writer, Playwright
    • Credits: Tsuru
  4. 4

    Inoue Hisashi was a leading Japanese playwright and writer of comic fiction. From 1961 to 1986, he used the pen name of Uchiyama Hisashi.more

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    • Age: Died at 76 (1934-2010)
    • Birthplace: Kawanishi, Japan
    • Profession: Novelist, Screenwriter, Playwright
    • Credits: Final Take
  5. 5
    Kankurō Kudō
    Photo: Freebase/Fair use

    Kankurō Kudō is a Japanese screenwriter, dramatist, director, actor and member of the theater company Otona Keikaku. He won the 'Best Screenplay' award at the 2002 Japanese Academy Awards for Go, which explores problems faced by people of Korean-heritage living in Japan. He acted in Crying Out Love, In ...more

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    • Age: age 45
    • Birthplace: Wakayanagi, Japan
    • Profession: Screenwriter, Actor, Film Director, Playwright
    • Credits: Tekkonkinkreet, Ping-Pong, Welcome to the Quiet Room, Dragon Princess, Kamui Gaiden, + more
  6. 6

    Kenji Yamauchi is an actor and playwright.more

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    • Age: age 57
    • Birthplace: East Asia, Tokyo, Asia, Japan
    • Profession: Theatre Director, Actor, Playwright
    • Credits: Naruto Shippūden, Looking for a True Fiancee, Hospitalité, Being Mitsuko, Moratorium Tamako
  7. 7

    Kōbō Abe, pseudonym of Kimifusa Abe, was a Japanese writer, playwright, photographer and inventor. Abe has been often compared to Franz Kafka and Alberto Moravia for his surreal, often nightmarish explorations of individuals in contemporary society and his modernist sensibilities.more

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    • Age: Died at 69 (1924-1993)
    • Birthplace: Kita, Tokyo, Japan
    • Profession: Screenwriter, Writer, Photographer, Playwright
    • Credits: Woman in the Dunes, The Face of Another, Pitfall, The Box Man, A Poet's Life
  8. 8

    Kōki Mitani is a Japanese playwright, screenwriter, actor and film director and was previously married to Japanese actress Satomi Kobayashi. He was named after Taihō Kōki, a sumo wrestler who became yokozuna a few months after his birth. He studied dramatics at Nihon University. In an attempt to add his ...more

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    • Age: age 54
    • Birthplace: Setagaya, Japan
    • Profession: Screenwriter, Actor, Film Director, Playwright
    • Credits: Welcome Back, Mr. McDonald, A Ghost of a Chance, The Uchōten Hotel, The Magic Hour, + more
  9. 9

    Kunio Kishida was one of the most prominent Japanese dramatist and writer of the early 20th century and is regarded as one of the founders of modern Japanese drama. He served in the army but, with aspirations of studying literature, entered the Tokyo Imperial University to study French literature and ...more

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    • Age: Died at 64 (1890-1954)
    • Birthplace: Yotsuya, Tokyo
    • Profession: Novelist, Translator, Playwright
  10. 10

    Masatsune Nakamura

    Masatsune Nakamura was a writer and playwright.more

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    • Age: Died at 80 (1901-1981)
    • Birthplace: Koishikawa, Tokyo
    • Profession: Writer, Playwright
  11. 11

    Miri Yu is a Zainichi Korean playwright, novelist, and essayist. Yu writes in Japanese, her native language, but is a citizen of South Korea. Yu was born in Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan, to Korean parents. After dropping out of the Kanagawa Kyoritsu Gakuen high school, she joined the Tokyo Kid ...more

    more ABOUT
    • Age: age 47
    • Birthplace: Yokohama, Kantō region, East Asia, Honshu, Asia, + more
    • Profession: Novelist, Playwright
  12. 12

    Seiichi Yashiro

    Seiichi Yashiro was a playwright.more

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    • Age: Died at 71 (1927-1998)
    • Birthplace: Ginza, Japan
    • Profession: Playwright
    • Credits: Edo Porn, The Tale of the White Serpent
  13. 13
    Shūji Terayama
    Photo: Freebase/Fair use

    Shūji Terayama was an avant-garde Japanese poet, dramatist, writer, film director, and photographer. According to many critics and supporters, he was one of the most productive and provocative creative artists to come out of Japan. He was born December 10, 1935, the only son of Hachiro and Hatsu ...more

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    • Age: Died at 48 (1935-1983)
    • Birthplace: Hirosaki, Japan
    • Profession: Poet, Screenwriter, Writer, Film Director, Photographer, + more
    • Credits: The Scandalous Adventures of Buraikan, Grass Labyrinth, Private Collections, Pastoral: To Die in the Country, Tears on the Lion’s Mane, + more
  14. 14

    Takuo Endo

    Takuo Endo is a playwright and theatre director.more

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    • Age: age 87
    • Birthplace: Hiratsuka, Japan
    • Profession: Theatre Director, Playwright
  15. 15
    Toru Emori
    Photo: Freebase

    Toru Emori is an actor.more

    more ABOUT
    • Age: age 71
    • Birthplace: Japan, Tokyo
    • Profession: Theatre Director, Actor, Translator, Voice acting, Playwright
    • Credits: Tokyo Godfathers, Paprika, Woman in Witness Protection, Hinotori, O-Roshiya-koku suimu-tan, + more
  16. 16

    Toshiki Okada

    Toshiki Okada is a Japanese playwright, theater director, and novelist, founder of the theatrical company chelfitsch. He was awarded the 2008 Kenzaburō Ōe Prize for The end of the special time we were allowed, a book consisting of two novels. He is known for "his use of hyper-colloquial Japanese and his ...more

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    • Age: age 42
    • Birthplace: Yokohama, Japan
    • Profession: Playwright
  17. 17

    Toshio Furukawa is a Japanese voice actor affiliated with Aoni Production and is married to fellow voice actress Shino Kakinuma. In July 2011, Furukawa appeared at Anime Expo as a guest.more

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    • Age: age 69
    • Birthplace: Ohira, Japan
    • Profession: Guitarist, Musician, Actor, Voice acting, Playwright
    • Credits: Dragon Ball Z, Dragon Ball, Metropolis, Mobile Suit Gundam, Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam, + more
  18. 18

    Tsuneari Fukuda was a Japanese dramatist, translator, and literary critic. In the 1950s he became known for his satirical play Kitty Typhoon and also The Man Who Stroked a Dragon. He was linked to Shingeki and in 1955 he did a production of Hamlet with Hiroshi Akutagawa, son of Ryūnosuke Akutagawa, ...more

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    • Age: Died at 82 (1912-1994)
    • Birthplace: Hongō, Japan
    • Profession: Theatre Director, Translator, Writer, Playwright
  19. 19
    Yoshii Isamu
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    Count Isamu Yoshii was a Japanese tanka poet and playwright writer active in Taishō and Shōwa period Japan. Attracted to European romanticism in his youth, his later works were more subdued.more

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    • Age: Died at 74 (1886-1960)
    • Birthplace: Tokyo, Japan
    • Profession: Writer, Playwright
  20. 20
    Yukio Mishima
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    Mishima Yukio is the pen name of Kimitake Hiraoka, a Japanese author, poet, playwright, actor, and film director. Mishima is considered one of the most important Japanese authors of the 20th century; he was nominated three times for the Nobel Prize in Literature and was poised to win the prize in 1968 ...more

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    • Age: Died at 45 (1925-1970)
    • Birthplace: Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan
    • Profession: Poet, Novelist, Author, Essayist, Writer, + more
    • Credits: Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters, The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea, The School of Flesh, Patriotism, Black Lizard, + more
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