What exactly is Takeshi Kaneshiro?

Yes, he is good-looking and he is an incredibly charismatic actor, but that’s not what I’m talking about. A commenter brought up an interesting tidbit, which is that Takeshi Kaneshiro (or in Chinese, Jingcheng Wu) is no longer nominated for the Taiwanese Filmmaker of the Year at the Golden Horse awards (In this instance, filmmaker means in general, not director if confused) because he does not hold a Taiwanese passport, but rather a Japanese one. As a Japanese citizen, despite growing up in Taiwan and making mostly Chinese-language films, he is not simply not eligible. Talking about ethnicities and nationalities and trying to somehow make sense of the two is tricky enough when you’re of Chinese heritage, but if you’ve got other Asian blood in the mix, then it’s downright frustratingly confusing.

Takeshi Kaneshiro disqualified from Taiwan film awards

Saturday 01st November, 04:53 AM

The organizers of Taiwan’s Golden Horse Film Awards on Friday disqualified actor Takeshi Kaneshiro from competing for a special prize recognizing local talent.

Kaneshiro, star of a string of successful Hong Kong movies including the critically acclaimed “Chungking Express” and more recently the epic “The Warlords,” had been nominated as Taiwanese filmmaker of the year.

But organizers of the awards said he was not eligible as he was a Japanese citizen.

“The jury is not sloppy in the nomination process … although we revoke Mr Kaneshiro’s nomination, we still acknowledge his achievement in Chinese cinema,” they said in a statement defending the move.

Kaneshiro was born to a Japanese father and a Taiwanese mother and raised in Taiwan, but is a Japanese citizen.

The decision left only two nominees—director We Te-sheng of the hit romance “Cape No. 7” and veteran lighting designer Li Long-yu—vying for the Taiwanese filmmaker of the year award.

The Golden Horse Awards are styled on the U.S. Academy Awards but are decided by a jury along the lines of the Cannes film festival.

Some of the commenters at Japan Today (the above link) have been giving their opinions, and seem to differ on what Takeshi is considered in Japan (The scientific correct answer above btw, is 3/4 Taiwanese and 1/4 Okinawan). While Takeshi does have that Japanese name he’s been mostly active in the Greater China region, especially Hong Kong and only occasionally has he made Japanese movies. So do they think he’s Japanese? Maybe, depending on who you ask. And what about Taiwan, which is the place that made him famous? How do they feel? I don’t think a snub by the Golden Horse Jury is personal. The award category is specifically for a Taiwanese, and if you’re not legally, then they really can’t say too much about that. But it does kind of suck that he was pulled after probably already hearing about the nomination.

5 thoughts on “What exactly is Takeshi Kaneshiro?

  1. How sad! TK seems to have the luck of my other favorite artists – American alternative rock band, the Goo Goo Dolls. They, too, seem to touch lives in a positive way, bringing joy and humor to the masses through their music, yet are repeatedly denied when it comes to awards. Despite this, they keep plugging away and are considered to be some of the kindest, most charitable, big-hearted musicians in the business. They enjoy an exceedingly loyal fan base around the globe. By all accounts, TK seems to share this same fortune which, to him, probably means more than a glorified hunk of metal on his mantle, or the recognition of an organization that has so callously brushed him aside.

  2. Oh you’re right, I should change the spacing in his name. His Chinese name actually does sound very Japanese. He’s lucky his parents didn’t give him a two-character first name or he’d be even more singled out.

  3. yeah, too bad. I like him. He’s a great actor. I dont feel its anything personal either. Its just that he cant really compete in that category if he doesnt hold a Taiwan passport. Actually I thought he was half and half at first before I did further research into it. BTY, JinCheng金城 is his surname( a very common Okinawan surname). I always thought it was just 金.

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