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Shogun star Hiroyuki Sanada is grabbing attention with his groundbreaking performance.

As big business bros run streaming services into the ground or sell off treasured IPs for quick cash, FX actually cares about storytelling. Actually cares about television.

It is no surprise that Shogun, a spectacular historical drama set near the end of Japan’s Sengoku jidai, is already one of 2024’s most critically acclaimed productions.

Actor Hiroyuki Sanada portrays daimyo Yoshii Toranaga on the hit series. But fans are also curious about his personal life.

Hiroyuki Sanada attends the Shogun premiere.
Hiroyuki Sanada attends the red carpet event for FX’s “Shogun” at the Academy theater in Los Angeles, February 13, 2024. (Photo Credit: MICHAEL TRAN/AFP via Getty Images)

Who is Hiroyuki Sanada?

Hiroyuki Sanada is an actor and a martial artist.

He boasts a lengthy film career that even less adventurous American audiences might recognize, including work on franchises like the Rush Hour films and Mortal Kombat.

Sanada began his career at the tender age of six. From there, he acted in Japanese and Hong Kong action films before taking on more dramatic roles. He is, truly, a well-rounded actor.

Hiroyuki Sanada speaks on a stage in 2024.
Hiroyuki Sanada speaks onstage during the 2024 Astra Film Awards at Biltmore Los Angeles on January 06, 2024. (Photo Credit: Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

In 2021, the world learned that Sanada would be both a star in and a producer for Shogun, the FX limited series.

He plays Lord Toranaga, a character from the James Clavell novel. Toranaga is fictional, but takes heavy inspiration from the actual historical figure, Tokugawa Ieyasu.

If you are unfamiliar with that name, the Tokugawa Shogunate ruled in real life Japan from 1603 to 1868. Sanada is, in essence, portraying the historical figure that brought an end to Japan’s Warring States era.

The cast of Shogun and some FX higher ups attend the premiere.
Takehiro Hira, Tokuma Nishioka, Tadanobu Asano, Eriko Miyagawa, Dana Walden, Co-Chairman, Disney Entertainment, John Landgraf, Chairman of FX Content & FX Productions, Justin Marks, Rachel Kondo, Anna Sawai, Hiroyuki Sanada, Cosmo Jarvis, Michaela Clavell, Gina Balian, Co-President, FX Entertainment, and Nick Grad, Co-President, FX Entertainment attend the Los Angeles premiere of FX’s “SHOGUN.” (Photo Credit: Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images)

Is Hiroyuki Sanada married?

In 1990, Sanada married his wife, Satomi Tezuka.

She is a Japanese actress with her own established career, though one that’s less recognizable to most American audiences.

Sanada and Tezuka went on to welcome two children together.

Hiroyuki Sanada in early 2024.
Hiroyuki Sanada attends Cast Of “John Wick: Chapter 4” SAG Nom Com Q&A And Reception at The London West Hollywood at Beverly Hills on January 05, 2024. (Photo Credit: Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images for Lionsgate)

However, their marriage did not last. Sanada and Tezuka broke things off in July of 1997, divorcing after seven years together.

Following their divorce, Tezuka gained custody of their children. We should note that some countries do not carry a legal or cultural expectation of shared custody following divorce, and that is the case for Japan. (There have been efforts to reform this system, however)

Sanada has not remarried since parting ways with Tezuka. He is reportedly single at the moment.

Hiroyuki Sanada in March of 2023.
Hiroyuki Sanada attends the Los Angeles Premiere of Lionsgate’s “John Wick: Chapter 4” at TCL Chinese Theatre on March 20, 2023. (Photo Credit: Monica Schipper/Getty Images)

However, Hiroyuki Sanada values his privacy

Despite being a public figure through his acting career, Sanada has been keeping details of his personal life under wraps. For example, it’s not entirely clear where his ex-wife and sons live.

By that note, it is entirely possible that Sanada has privately had personal relationships. Until someone reaches an intrusive level of mega-fame, it is often possible to hide a romance — so long as you don’t bring a plus one to any premieres.

We can totally respect Sanada’s desire for privacy. Though a lot more people will be paying attention to his personal life as Shogun, which is Certified Fresh at 100% on Rotten Tomatoes, takes viewers by storm.