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Why Jojima From Netflix's Kate Looks So Familiar

Netflix's latest woman-led action thriller "Kate" is a dynamic, fast-paced film full of unexpected twists. It stars Mary Elizabeth Winstead as the titular assassin, who works under her mentor Varrick (Woody Harrelson). While on a mission in Japan, Kate is instructed to kill a high-ranking Yakuza official — though she doesn't realize he has an innocent child with him until it's too late to turn back. Traumatized by the experience, Kate vows to retire after one final mission, but her plans are changed after she meets an attractive stranger named Stephen (Michiel Huisman) at a bar. The two hook up, and later, Kate realizes she's been poisoned and only has 24 hours left to live.

Kate decides to use her last hours on Earth to hunt down the person — or people? — who poisoned her, and she kicks tons of butt along the way. Among the powerful bad guys are the crime boss Kijima (Jun Kunimura), his advisor Renji (Tadanobu Asano), and Renji's partner Jojima, who's played by Miyavi.

If you're familiar with Japanese music, you've likely heard of Miyavi — also stylized as MIYAVI — before. He has over 10 studio albums, world tours, and a Japanese MTV Video Music Awards nomination for the Best Male Video under his belt, per Pop-Japan. However, you may have also seen him in a number of projects he's been in as an actor.

Miyavi made his international film debut in Unbroken

In 2014, Miyavi was in his first international film, which also happened to be Angelina Jolie's second directorial project. He played an Imperial Japanese Army seargeant named Mutsuhiro Watanabe in the American war film "Unbroken," which is based on the true story of U.S. Army officer Louis "Louie" Zamperini (Jack O'Connell). After crash-landing in the ocean during World War II, Zamperini spent 47 days in a raft before he was found and imprisoned in a Japanese prisoner of war camp. Miyavi's character, who was known as "The Bird," was also a real historical figure and known war criminal.

Before joining the film, Miyavi hesitated — the second World War is still a sensitive topic in Japan and the book that "Unbroken" was based on is a touchy subject as well. "'Unbroken' is not even translated there," Miyavi told the Los Angeles Times. "It's pretty controversial. I was thinking, should I try this or not? It was a huge responsibility."

Miyavi eventually decided to take on the challenge, as he felt the message behind the project was too important not to share. "In the end, Louis forgave everything and he came back to Japan," he explained. "He showed his love and his heart to Japanese people. There are negative comments toward this film in Japan from people who only know the book. But I strongly feel they're going to receive the message from Louis. Louis Zamperini is not an American hero — he's an international hero."

Miyavi starred in the live-action adaptation of Bleach

After his international debut, Miyavi went on to star in the 2018 film adaptation of the popular manga series "Bleach." He played the role of Byakuya Kuchiki, a captain of the Soul Reapers, whose job is to lead souls to the afterlife. "Bleach" earned a 76% Audience Score on Rotten Tomatoes, and Miyavi's performance was dubbed "eerily calm" by film critic Kayla Cobb of Decider, who also praised him for "channeling the creepiness of [his] powerful [character] without diving into caricature territory."

Miyavi spoke to Anime News Network about playing Byakuya, and when asked if he sees himself in the character, he replied, "Especially when I need to lead people – I find time to be alone. Even on tour, I always just keep focusing on my purpose, which is to do our best performance for the fans and the audience who bought a ticket and came to MIYAVI's show. [...] Sometimes people might think I'm too strict but this is my process, and Byakuya has that vibe as well I think. Gotta be strong enough to be alone, to take a risk, and lead people."

Since anime has gotten increasingly popular in recent years, it'll be interesting to see if Miyavi tries his hand at playing any other iconic roles from anime series.

Miyavi was in two huge blockbuster films

There's also a highly likely chance you've seen Miyavi in one of his two blockbuster cameo roles. He was in the 2017 "King Kong" reboot "Kong: Skull Island" as a Japanese WWII pilot named Gunpei Ikari, who crash-lands on the infamous Skull Island with Hank Marlow (John C. Reilly). Miyavi shared his excitement over the film to Arama Japan, saying that he was "honored" to have a chance to star in the same film as Reilly and Samuel L. Jackson.

In 2019, he appeared in "Maleficent: Mistress of Evil" as Udo, a humanoid fairy (known as a fey) from the tundra, with big white wings. He spoke about his role to Candid Magazine, and how his experience was working with Jolie again. "It's not a key role but Angelina made the role. It was a great experience, especially Disney. The professional team, special effects, make-up every day. It's a great creation with a good message. Working with Angie is always fascinating. She's like my big sister. I have been learning a lot from her."