Kamenashi Kazuya, better known as Kame, is a Japanese actor, singer and TV host. A member of uber-popular boyband KAT-TUN, he is also a drama actor, talkshow host, sports broadcaster, and in general one of the most widely known, admired, and successful Japanese performers of his day.
Kame’s first drama role was a minor one in 1999′s 3 nen B gumi Kinpachi Sensei 5. In 2001, he was signed by Johnny’s Entertainment, one of Japan’s top talent agencies, and joined a band called KAT-TUN. Between 2001-2004 the group became more and more popular, though it didn’t officially debut until 2006. Meanwhile, Kame was cast in his second drama (six years after the first) with Gokusen 2 in 2005, for which he won two best supporting actor awards. In 2005, he took the lead in a third drama, Nobuta wo Produce, which was a smash sensation and became an instant classic. Kame won a Best Actor award for his role and it earned him a place as one of the leading Jdrama actors.
Since then, he’s starred in a drama every year through 2010 except for 2007 (when he appeared in one episode of Tokkyu Tanaka San Go). He’s won three more Best Actor awards and is one of the few actors to have that rare combination of star power/mainstream appeal and genuine acting chops.
Six-member boyband KAT-TUN, which debuted in 2006, went on to become wildly popular. Kame is the “KA” part of the title (a conglomerate of the members’ initials). Almost all of KAT-TUN’s singles, albums and music DVDs have gone straight to #1 on the Oricon chart (Japan’s main musical chart). The band has toured both domestically and internationally and participated in everything from TV commercials to talkshows to dramas. They are currently one of Japan’s most successful bands (former member Akanashi Jin recently held a U.S. tour).
Recommended Dramas: Nobuta wo Produce, Tatta Hitotsu no Koi
-He formed a special two-member band with Yamashita Tomohisa, his Nobuta co-star, during the drama’s filming. It was called Shuji to Akira, after their drama characters, and the two performed together in order to promote the series.
-He’s also a gifted baseball player (pitcher and switch-hitter) and could have played professionally had he not chosen acting/music instead. He’s appeared on a number of shows/contests featuring baseball.