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Nijiro Murakami Facts Only Huge Fans Know About The Japanese Actor

Nijiro Murakami is an up-and-coming actor who is best known for his role as Shuntaro Chishiya in "Alice in Borderland," the Japanese sci-fi series based on Haro Aso's manga of the same name. The Netflix show is a big hit with critics and viewers alike, and Murakami has emerged as the breakout star. It's still early days for the Tokyo native in terms of his acting career, but it seems clear from his growing fanbase that he is someone to keep an eye on going forward.

Since he's still relatively obscure to those outside of his home country, there's probably a lot you don't know about this exciting youngster. While his official website gives you the basics, such as his height, weight, and various size measurements, there's a lot more to him than just stats. Read on to find out all the Nijiro Murakami facts that only huge fans know about the Japanese actor.

He's a Pisces

Nijiro Murakami was born on March 17, 1997, which makes him a Pisces. As those who are into astrology will know, this water sign is represented by two fish swimming in opposite directions, which encapsulates the dual nature of Pisces. They are often ambitious, sensitive, emotional, and compassionate, which makes them fantastic artists. The twelfth and final sign of the zodiac, Pisces encapsulates all the traits of the signs that come before it.

The more we learn about Nijiro Murakami, the more Pisces he sounds. "Don't kill your own curiosity," the actor said during an interview with Elle Japan. "I wouldn't say I'm greedy but, regarding interests and things I like, when it comes to the things I want, I have to make it happen. And that's the way I've lived my life up until right now." The actor went on to say that he's always been fascinated by people and "how many layers" everyone has.

He's a nepo baby

While there's no doubting the talents of the likes of Zoë Kravitz, Maya Hawke, John David Washington, and Jack Quaid, the fact that they all have parents in the entertainment industry no doubt gave them an extra edge as they set about trying to make it in Hollywood. The children of stars — or "nepo babies," as they've come to be known as — are often painted as having an unfair advantage over those trying to make it on their own. This isn't unique to Hollywood, either.

Nijiro Murakami is a nepo baby, the son of two well-established Japanese artists in different fields. His father is Jun Murakami, a popular actor with a huge filmography under his belt going all the way back to the 1990s, with features such as "Heaven's Story," "The Land of Hope," and "Isn't Anyone Alive?" being major highlights. Nijiro's mother Ua (real name Kaori Hasegawa) is an iconic singer who made waves with her beloved single "Horizon" in 1995. Although his parents did end up splitting in 2006, their reputations likely gave him a significant career boost.

His debut film was nominated for the Palme d'Or

Nijiro Murakami made his big screen debut in a film alongside his father. He played a leading role in Naomi Kawase's 2014 romantic drama "Still the Water," which would go on to compete for the Palme d'Or at Cannes. Kawase had already scooped the Camera D'Or and the Grand Prix at the prestigious film festival, and she felt like "Still the Water" was her chance to take home the big prize.

"There is no doubt that this is my masterpiece, this is the first time that I have said this about a film," the decorated auteur told The Korea Herald. "After the Camera d'Or and the Grand Prix, there is nothing I want more than the Palme d'Or. I have my eyes on nothing else." The award went to another film, but "Still the Water" served as a major calling card for Nijiro Murakami nonetheless.

The film follows teenagers Kaito (Murakami) and Kyoko (Junko Abe) and is about their budding relationship on the Japanese island of Amami-Oshima. Kaito's fear of the ocean begins to take over his life after he discovers a dead body in the water. His tattoo artist father Atsushi is played by Murakami's real-life father. Murakami won the award for best new actor at the 29th Takasaki Film Festival for his performance in the film.

He studied in Canada

Murakami was nine when his mother and father divorced. He moved to Okinawa with his mother and step-father, a southern island region that's a far cry from Tokyo when it comes to pace of life. This no doubt helped him greatly when it came to starring in his first film (the Okinawa-set "Still the Water"), but he didn't stay in Okinawa until his adulthood: Murakami moved to Montreal for his studies.

Montreal is a gorgeous and sprawling metropolis in Quebec which would be a thrilling place to experience for any young artist thanks to its vibrant artistic community. As one interview posted on Twitter reveals, Nijiro is open about what his experiences were like in Montreal and how it related to his Japanese background. He said, "I studied abroad in Canada for a year when I was a student, and I had a strong image of manga and ninja when I thought of Japanese." He revealed that he got the nickname Ninja "because [Nijiro] looked like [Ninja] when written in Roman letters."

He's worked with Wes Anderson

When it comes to quirky filmmakers, few are as adored as Wes Anderson. The eccentric director has built a career with strange, gorgeous, and wonderfully absurd cinematic masterpieces which have been nominated for numerous awards over the years. Some of his most notable movies include "The Royal Tenenbaums," "Moonrise Kingdom," and "The Grand Budapest Hotel," which scooped four Oscars. Anderson often utilizes the same group of critically acclaimed actors for each of his projects, but he isn't against bringing in new talent.

That's where Nijiro Murakami comes: He became the latest addition to the Wes Anderson universe when he was cast in the stop-motion film "Isle of Dogs." The story of a little boy trying to reunite with his dog after his uncle, the mayor, banishes all canines to a trash island off the coast, "Isle of Dogs" features an impressive ensemble cast that includes the likes of Bill Murray, Bryan Cranston, Scarlett Johansson, Edward Norton, Jeff Goldblum, Tilda Swinton, F. Murray Abraham, Frances McDormand, Harvey Keitel, and even Yoko Ono. Murakami provides the voice of Editor Hiroshi, a small but notable character at the news station.

He's probably single

Although it's not really any of our business, it's natural to wonder about the relationship statuses of our favorite celebrities. When it comes to heartthrob actors like Nijiro Murakami, there is always going to be speculation with regards to romance. Fans are bound to wonder if they are anything like the people they play on the big screen in real life. In the case of Murakami, there's nothing concrete out there, though sources suggest that the up-and-comer is single as of 2023.

Unlike some famous artists who flaunt their personal lives for all to see, Murakami is reserved when it comes to relationships. In 2021 he was rumored to be dating Ikeda Elaiza, a model and actor. Like Murakami, she had a small role in "Isle of Dogs," voicing the character Punk Girl. The agencies of both stars were quick to pour water on the rumors, however, denying that there was any truth to them. At the time of this writing, the "Alice in Borderland" star is reportedly unattached.

He has over a million followers on Instagram despite never posting anything

It's totally normal for celebrities to have huge followings on social media, as fans like to see what they get up to in their day-to-day lives. The amount of followers and engagement that your average actor maintains differs depending on lots of factors, but, typically, having over a million followers on Instagram is reserved for more mainstream actors, singers, and influencers. That's why it may come as a surprise to learn about Nijiro Murakami's large social media presence.

Murakami has over 1.4 million followers on his certified Instagram account at the time of this writing. This feat is even more impressive when you consider the fact that he doesn't follow anybody else and he hasn't made a single post since opening his account. His huge number of followers is based entirely on name recognition and fan appreciation of his work.

He's a man of many talents

If you've seen Nijiro Murakami in "Alice in Borderland," or anything else for that matter, then you'll know that the young man is a talented actor who no doubt has a very bright future in the industry. What you might not know is that his talents go way beyond just acting. The Tokyo native has many strings to his bow, some of which he has demonstrated on the big screen.

Murakami is a strong swimmer, a skill he showed off in his debut film "Still the Water." Swimming is just one of the things listed under the "special skills" section on the actor's official website. It turns out that he's also great at kendo, which he learned for the 2017 action drama film "Mukoku." Murakami also shows off his musical chops in the film — his character is a rapper who finds inner peace through kendo. The actor is also a gifted guitarist, according to his website, and he's comfortable with horseback riding, too. It seems there's nothing he can't turn his hand to.

He's done some anime voice acting

Nijiro Murakami has only been an active performer in movies and television since 2014, but he has managed to notch a lot of credits in that time since. The actor has plied his trade in a number of different genres over the years. His second film was the gory horror comedy "As the Gods Will," for example, and he followed that up with the romantic drama "Forget Me Not," which came out in 2015. That same year, he made his debut as an anime voice actor, playing the character Jinta "Jintan" Yadomi in "Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day."

Created by the artist collective Super Peace Busters, the critically acclaimed series "Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day" is known for having one of the saddest storylines in the history of anime. It follows a group of close friends who sadly lose touch with one another after one of them passes away. It has an impressive rating of 8.32 on My Anime List and remains in the website's top 100 in terms of popularity.

Murakami's best-known anime project came out in 2017, the series "Inuyashiki: Last Hero." Beautifully rendered by MAPPA (the studio behind the likes of "Dorohedoro," "Jujutsu Kaisen," and "Attack on Titan: The Final Season"), it's the story of an ailing older man who gets supernatural powers following an extraterrestrial explosion. Murakami voices Hiro Shishigami, the main villain of the series. Hiro gets the same powers as Inuyashiki following the explosion, but he decides to use them for evil.

He's the face of Chicken McNuggets in Japan

It's not unusual for working actors to dip their toes into commercial work to help pay the bills. There's a long list of household performers who you may not realize appeared in commercials for everything from fast food to cars as they attempted to make their way in the industry. Ben Affleck once showed up in a Burger King TV spot, Courteney Cox was in a Tampax commercial, and Bryan Cranston appeared in a number of Preparation H ads throughout the 1980s. So, it should come as no surprise to learn that Nijiro Murakami has also done his fair share of commercial work.

According to his website, Murakami has been acting in various commercials since at least 2014, when he was in a piece for the East Japan Railway Company. He continued putting his talents to use for the benefit of various corporate entities, including NTT Docomo and Otsuka Pharmaceutical. He then expanded into global brands with an advertisement for Spotify and multiple spots on behalf of McDonald's in 2022. He's become the face of the fast food chain's Black Pepper Garlic Chicken McNuggets in Japan. You can't blame the guy for wanting a big McPaycheck, can you?