Kamenashi Kazuya, also known as Kame, is a Japanese idol, singer, actor, songwriter, producer, sports caster, radio host, and occasional model.
He was born and raised in Edogawa, Tokyo and joined the Japanese talent agency, Johnny & Associates when he was 12. In 2002 him and five others we put together to form the group KAT-TUN. First KAT-TUN was to only to be used as backing dancers however due to their growing popularity they debuted in 2006 with the single 'Real Face' which that year broke one million sales.
Kamenashi has acted in a number of dramas with his band mates from KAT-TUN. Most notably 'Gokusen 2' (2005) with Akanashi Jin and 'Tatta Hitotsu no Koi' (2006) with Tanaka Koki.
Both Akanashi and Tanaka have now left KAT-TUN. Akanashi in 2010 and Tanaka in 2013. KAT-TUN now exists as a quartet with the members being: Kamenashi Kazuya, Taguchi Junnosuke, Ueda Tatsuya, and Nakamaru Yuichi. They still have considerable success with every single released reaching number one on the Oricon charts.
Before his debut Kamenashi had acted in several dramas perhaps most notably 'Nobuta wo Produce' (2005). Him and Yamashita (Yamapi) Tomohisa formed the temporary duo 'Shūji to Akira' to sing the theme song "Seishun Amigo" for 'Nobuta wo Produce'. The single was a massive success and broke one million sales in 2005. Kamenashi won 47th Television Drama Academy Awards: Best Actor for 'Nobuta wo Produce' and "Seishun Amigo" won the Japan Gold Disc Awards: Song Of The Year.
Aside from acting and various TV Shows with KAT-TUN Kamenashi is kept very busy. He hosts his own weekly radio show "Kamenashi Kazuya no Hang Out" and has a regular column called "Kame Camera" in MAQUIA monthly magazine. As an avid baseball fan he also works on 'Going! Sports & News' as a baseball reporter/MC and 'Dramatic Game' as a commentator.
Kamenashi also has appeared in several stage productions. He was a dancer or had a supporting role in 'Dream Boys' from 2000 to 2004 and then had the lead role from 2007 to 2009 and then 2011 and 2012. In 2015 he starred in the stage production “Aoi Shushi wa Taiyo no Naka ni Aru” by acclaimed theatre director Ninagawa Yukio.
Many of Kamenashi's dramas and films use KAT-TUN's songs as their theme song. Kamenashi himself wrote his solo "Kizuna" which is the theme song for 'Gokusen 2'. Tamaki Koji and Kamenashi teamed up as temporary duo 'Hottake BAND' to create the theme song "Sayonara☆Arigato" for 'Tokyo Bandwagon' (2013) which topped Oricon Weekly chart.
Kamenashi made his cinematic debut reprising his role as Odagiri Ryu from 'Gokusen 2' (2005) in 'Gokusen: The Movie' (2009). Another popular drama he starred in 'Yokai Ningen Bem' (2011) was also adapted into a film in 2012.
In 2013 Kamenashi turned heads when he stared as 33 characters in bizarre Fantasy/Thriller 'Ore, Ore' by famous outlandish writer/director Satoshi Miki. Kamenashi was quoted in saying that his job his an idol/actor/sports caster/model helped him assume the different identities needed to play the role. The film premiered at the Udine, Italy for Far East Film Festival in April 2013 and won the “My Audience Award”.
Kamenashi's baseball skills led him to play the role of 'Naganiash Roy' in 'Vancouver no Asahi' (2014). He is said to have pitched over 100 balls a day and drank pain medication during the filming. He won an award for this role at the Vancouver International Film Festival.
Playing the role of Kato in 'Joker Game' (2015) was Kamenashi's first time acting with actress Fukada Kyoko. They then worked together again on 'Second Love' (2015) which with it's steamy love scenes got Kamenashi the nickname “Johnny’s Sex Symbol” which he finds amusing and commented “I want to work hard to get used being Johnny’s sex symbol”.
Kamenashi is known for being a very respectful to his industry senpais and a very kind senpai himself to younger actors. Shohei Miura (whom he worked with on ‘Gokusen: The Movie’) praises him highly and even told a story of how Kamenashi gave him his 700,000 yen jacket. Also he is very good with child actors as can be seen in the press tour for 'Yokai Ningen Bem' with child actor Suzuki Fuku.
In KAT-TUN during their live shows he is known for talking a lot, telling adult jokes, and performing ‘fan-service’ which other Johnny’s idols say they wouldn’t be able to get away with; e.g. wearing sunglasses, licking his lips, or winking. Kamenashi even says that once he didn’t wear sunglasses and their fans complained. KAT-TUN are said to be the least 'Johnny's like idol group' due to their delinquent like image during their debut and their adult topics during their MCs.