Yamada came to prominence as a teen idol in 2007 following his role in the Japanese television series Tantei Gakuen Q. After launching his music career in 2007 as a member of Hey! Say! JUMP, he released his number one debut solo single, "Mystery Virgin" in 2013. The fact that Yamada was in his teens at the time the single reached number one helped the singer set several records in the Japanese music industry and Yamada achieved wide fame as a solo artist. He became the first teenage male artist in thirty three years to have a number one debut single as well as being one of the only two artists in history to achieve this milestone.
As an actor, he is best known for portraying Hajime Kindaichi in the Kindaichi Case Files live action drama franchise and Nagisa Shiota in the Assassination Classroom live action adaptation movie franchise. He has been cast to portray Edward Elric in the Fullmetal Alchemist live-action movie scheduled to be released in winter 2017.
Yamada's portrayal of Shiota Nagisa in Assassination Classroom (2015) earned him the Japan Academy Award for Newcomers of the Year in 2016 and his role as Semi in Grasshopper (2015) won him the Rookie Actor of the Year in Japan Film Critics Award 2016.
2004–05: Career beginnings
Yamada began his career as an entertainer after entering Johnny & Associates at the age of 10. His mother, who was a fan of KinKi Kids, sent an application for an audition which recruited trainees for future male idols. The audition took place during the summer of 2004 and was aired in a segment of a Japanese television program, Ya-Ya-yah. Yamada made his first television appearance in August.
2006–07: Tantei Gakuen Q and Hey! Say! JUMP
Following his success as a dancer, he began acting. In 2006, he made his acting debut in a 2-hour television live action drama, Tantei Gakuen Q SP, as Ryu Amakusa.
In April 2007, he was selected to be a member of a temporary group, Hey! Say! 7. The group made their CD debut on August 1, 2007, with a number-one single "Hey! Say!". The band was created by Johnny Kitagawa and it was stated at the time that it would be active for six months until September 2007.
From July 2007, a three-month series of Tantei Gakuen Q was launched and Yamada played Ryu Amakusa again as he did in the prequel. The series became a major hit, and Yamada came to prominence and began receiving wide fame as an actor.
In September 2007, Hey! Say! 7 expanded. Johnny & Associates announced that the new group, Hey! Say! JUMP, would be launched. Yamada was selected as one of the ten (now nine) members. He debuted on November 14, 2007 with a number one single "Ultra Music Power".
2008–09: Acting and NYC Boys
In 2008, Yamada furthered his acting career. From January to March 2008, he starred in a three-month long television drama series, One-Pound Gospel with Kazuya Kamenashi. On April 12, he played a main role in a two-hour drama episode, Sensei wa Erai, as Hayato Gunjou.
In June 2009, it was announced that Yamada would be working as the lead singer of temporary group, NYC Boys. The band debuted with a number one single, "NYC". On December 31, 2009, the band appeared on Kohaku Uta Gassen.
In the summer of 2009, Yamada returned to acting and starred in Niini no koto o Wasurenaide, a two-hour television drama episode aired as a segment of an annual television show, 24 Hour Television.
On October 3, 2009, he played the main role in Hidarime Tantei Eye SP.
2010–12: NYC, The Smurfs, Perfect Son and Johnny's World
From January 2010, Hidarime Tantei EYE became a three-month long television series and Yamada once again played the main role. His bandmate Yuma Nakayama guest starred in the first two episodes. Hey! Say! JUMP's sixth single "Hitomi no Screen" was used as the theme song for the series.
In March 2010, it was announced that Yamada and two other leading members of NYC boys would form a new group called NYC, leaving behind the remaining four members.NYC released a number one single "Yuuki 100%" on April 7, 2010. From this point on, Yamada began performing as a singer of two groups, Hey! Say! JUMP and NYC.
In 2012, Yamada returned to acting for the first time in two years. He played the main role in Yamada Akiyoshi Monogatari, which was aired on January 2. It was his first time to star in a period drama. From January to March, he starred in a 3-month long television series, Perfect Son, with actress Kyoka Suzuki. Hey! Say! JUMP's 9th single "SUPER DELICATE" was used as the theme song for the series.
From November 2012 to January 2013, he played the lead role in a musical, Johnny’s World. For the musical, Yamada performed tight-rope walking everyday for three months in each show.
2013–2014: "Mystery Virgin" and Kindaichi Case Files
On January 9, 2013, he made his solo debut with a number one single, "Mystery Virgin". The fact that Yamada was in his teens at the time when the single reached number one helped him set several new records in the Japanese music industry. The single debuted at number one in its debut week on the Oricon chart, making him the first teenage male artist in thirty-three years to have a number one debut single as well as being one of the only two artists in history to achieve this milestone.
On January 12, 2013, he starred in a two-hour television special for, Kinda'ichi Shōnen no Jikenbo titled Kindaichi Shonen no Jikenbo Hong Kong Kowloon Zaihou Satsujin Jiken (The Hong Kong Kowloon Treasure Murder Case). He played the main role as Hajime Kindaichi. The show was created to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Japanese broadcasting company, NTV. Yamada’s Mystery Virgin was used as the theme song for the show.
It was later revealed that Shin Kibayashi, writer of the Kindaichi series and Tantei Gakuen Q had envisioned creating a new Kindaichi series with Yamada as Hajime Kindaichi for almost five years. They met on set while filming Tantei Gakuen Q in 2006 and 2007. After filming the show, Kibayashi asked Yamada in person if he could play the role of Kindaichi in the future, for Yamada was only 14 years old at the time, too young to play the role of a high school student.
In early 2014, Ryosuke Yamada reprised his role as Kindaichi and starred in another special titled Kindaichi Shonen no Jiken bo Gokumonjuku Satsujin Jiken (The Prison School Murder Case)
After the specials, Ryosuke was then approached to continue starring as Kindaichi for a new serial drama for the Kindaichi series. The new series will be titled Kindaichi Shonen no Jikenbo N (neo) and started airing in July 2014.
2015: Movie debut and 24 Hour Television
In March 2015, Yamada made his movie debut as the hero, Shiota Nagisa, in the live-action movie adaptation of the popular manga, Assassination Classroom. The movie was a major hit, topping the box office of Japan on its first opening week.
In August 2015, Hey! Say! JUMP was chosen as the TV personality of NTV's annual 24 Hour Television, which was a program to raise awareness for all the people that are going through hard times, alongside another Johnny's group, V6. Yamada portrayed the hero, Ryohei Sasaki, in the 24 Hour Television drama special called Okaasan, Ore Wa Daijoubu, along with other Johnny's members Takahisa Masuda and Yoshihiko Inohara as cast members. He portrayed a high school student who's passionate about soccer, but suffers from a brain tumor. For the role, Yamada lost 6 kg within just a week.
Yamada was cast in another movie that was released on November 9 called Grasshopper along with Toma Ikuta. The movie was ranked number two on its opening week. Yamada received positive reviews due to his acting as a knife-wielding assassin in this movie, including from his veteran co-stars, Toma Ikuta, Tadanobu Asano, and Jun Murakami.
2016–present: Continuous Movie Successes & Acting Recognitions
Early 2016, Yamada won the Newcomer of the Year category in the 39th Japan Academy Prize for his portrayal of Nagisa Shiota in Assassination Classroom, and Rookie actor of the year in Japan Movie Critics Award for his portrayal of Semi in Grasshopper.
Yamada was cast as the lead to the fall drama of Fuji TV's getsu 9 (prime-time slot), Cain and Abel. It aired in October 2016. It is Yamada’s first drama with a romantic love angle, and he is also the first Heisei born from Johnny's to star in a getsu 9. The story is adapted from the Bible’s Old Testament, and it is also a remake of the US classic film, East of Eden starring James Dean. Yamada plays a salaryman who falls in love with his brother’s girlfriend and is hungry for the affection of his father. For his role in this drama, Yamada was a runner up of Best Leading Actor in the Autumn TV Drama Academy Award 2016. He was also the youngest person to be nominated in the lead actor category that season.
On December 2, 2016, Yamada was cast to lead a movie titled Miracles of the Namiya General Store based on the best-selling novel of the same name by an award-winning writer, Higashino Keigo. The novel was claimed to be one of Higashino's best works. It tells the story of two people living in different eras (1980 and 2012) which will be connected by a letter, a story depicting human bonds and miracles. Yamada will portray a delinquent who stumbles upon a mysterious store that leads to several events that changes his life. The movie will be directed by Ryuichi Hiroki, filming expected to start January 2017 and is slated for Autumn 2017 release.
|Release date||Title||Peak position||Sales||Certification|
|January 9, 2013||"Mystery Virgin"||1||219,871||RIAJ:Gold|
|2005||"Seishun Amigo"||Shuuji to Akira|
|2006||"Venus"||Tackey & Tsubasa|
|"Fever to Future"||Kitty GYM|
|2013||"Mystery Virgin"||Ryosuke Yamada|
|Year||Album / Song||Artist||Credit|
|2010||JUMP No. 1 / "Shinku"||Hey! Say! JUMP||Writer|
|2012||JUMP World / "Hana Egao"||Hey! Say! 7||Writer|
|2013||"Gin no Sekai ni Negai o Komete"||Ryosuke Yamada||Writer|
|2014||S3ART / "Candle"||Hey! Say! JUMP||Writer|
|2015||JUMPing CAR / "Sangatsu Juuyokka~Tokei"||Keito Okamoto, Ryosuke Yamada||Writer|
|2006||February 15||Endless Shock|
|June 28||DREAM BOYS|
|August 30||Takizawa Hideaki Arigato 2005 Sayonara|
|2007||July 18||Takizawa Enbujo|
|2008||January 23||One! The History of Tackey|
|September 3||One-Pound Gospel|
|December 3||Furuhata Chugakusei: Shogai Saisho no Jiken|
|2009||March 4||Tantei Gakuen Q|
|April 22||Scrap Teacher: Kyoshi Saisei|
|October 28||Niini no koto Wasurenaide|
|2010||March 17||Hidarime Tantei Eye SP|
|May 26||Hidarime Tantei Eye|
|2012||February 3||The Smurfs|
|July 18||Perfect Son|
|2013||March 13||Kindaichi Case Files Neo|
|2015||September 25||Assassination Classroom|
|December 23||Okaasan Ore wa Daijoubu|
|March 25||Assassination Classroom: Graduation|
|2017||May 10||Cain and Abel|
For Hey! Say! JUMP-related appearances, see Hey! Say! JUMP.
|2006||Tantei Gakuen Q SP||NTV||Ryu Amakusa||Supporting role; TV movie|
|2007||Tantei Gakuen Q||NTV||Ryu Amakusa||Supporting role; 3-month long series; sequel to the TV movie|
|2008||One-Pound Gospel||NTV||Katsumi Mukoda||Supporting role; 3-month long series|
|Sensei wa Erai!||NTV||Hayato Gunjou||Main role; TV movie|
|Furuhata Chugakusei||Fuji TV||Ninzaburo Furuhata||Main role; TV movie|
|Scrap Teacher: Kyoushi Saisei||NTV||Toichi Takasugi||Main role; 3-month long series|
|2009||Niini no koto Wasurenaide||NTV||Yuji Kawai||Supporting role; TV movie|
|Hidarime Tantei EYE SP||NTV||Ainosuke Tanaka||Main role; TV movie|
|2010||Hidarime Tantei Eye||NTV||Ainosuke Tanaka||Main role; 3-month long series; sequel|
|2012||Yamada Akiyoshi Monogatari||TBS||Akiyoshi Yamada||Main role; TV movie|
|Perfect Son||NTV||Daichi Suzuki||Main role; 3-month long series|
|2013||Kindaichi Case Files SP 1||NTV||Hajime Kindaichi||Main role; TV movie|
|Kyou no hi wa Sayonara||NTV||Nobuo Harada||Supporting role; TV movie|
|2014||Kindaichi Case Files SP 2||NTV||Hajime Kindaichi||Main role; TV movie; sequel|
|Kindaichi Case Files Neo||NTV||Hajime Kindaichi||Main role; 3-month long series; sequel|
|Hell Teacher Nube||NTV||Zekki||Guest appearance; episode 9|
|2015||Okaasan, Ore wa Daijoubu||NTV||Sasaki Ryohei||Main role; TV movie|
|2016||Cain and Abel||Fuji TV||Yū Takada||Main role; 3-month long series|
|2011||The Smurfs||Clumsy (Voice)||Japanese-dubbed version|
|2015||Assassination Classroom||Nagisa Shiota||Main role|
|2016||Assassination Classroom: Graduation||Nagisa Shiota||Main role|
|2017||Miracles of the Namiya General Store||Atsuya||Main role|
|Fullmetal Alchemist||Edward Elric||Main role (in post-production)|
|2004 - 2007||Ya-Ya-yah||TV Tokyo|
|2004–2013||The Shounen Club||NHK|
|2006 - 2007||You Tachi!||NTV|
|2007 - 2008||Heisei Families||NTV|
|2008 - 2009||Show wa Heisei||NTV|
|2011–2013||Yan Yan JUMP||TV Tokyo|
|2015-present||Little Tokyo Life||TV Tokyo|
|2015-present||Itadaki High JUMP||Fuji TV|
For post-debut tours, see Hey! Say! JUMP.
|2004||August||NEWS, KAT-TUN||Summary of Johnny's World|
|December - January 2005||KAT-TUN||Live Kaizokuban Tour|
|2005||March||KAT-TUN||Spring 05 Looking Concert|
|March||Ya-Ya-yah||Spring Yokohama Arena Concert|
|May - June||KAT-TUN||Looking 05 Tour|
|July - September||NEWS, Ya-Ya-yah||Johnny's Theater Summary Digest|
|August||KAT-TUN||Looking 2005ing Concert|
|December||Hideaki Takizawa||Arigato 2005 Sayonara Concert|
|2006||August||Johnny's Jr.||Daiboken Concert|
|September - October||Johnny's Jr.||You-tachi no Ongaku Daiundokai Tour|
|December||Tackey & Tsubasa||Christmas Concert|
|2007||January||Johnny's Jr.||Kingashinnen Johnny's Jr. Daishugo Concert|
|February - April||NEWS||Concert Tour|
|April - June||KAT-TUN||cartoon KAT-TUN II You Tour|
|August||Johnny's Jr.||Daiboken Concert|
|September||Johnny's Jr.||Hey Say 07 in Yokohama Arena Concert|
|2005||January - February||Koichi Domoto||Endless Shock|
|2006||January||KAT-TUN, Kanjani8||DREAM BOYS|
|March - April||Hideaki Takizawa||Takizawa Enbujyo|
|September||Hideaki Takizawa||One!-the history of Tackey-|
|2010||April - May||Hideaki Takizawa||Takizawa Kabuki||Guest appearance|
|2012-2013||November–January||Hey! Say! JUMP||Johnny's World||Lead role|
|2016||40th Hochi Film Awards||Best New Artist||Assassination Classroom and Grasshopper||Nominated|
|39th Japan Academy Prize||Newcomers of the Year||Assassination Classroom||Won|
|25th Japan Movie Critics Award||Rookie Actor of the Year||Grasshopper||Won|
|2017||91st Television Drama Academy Award||Best Actor in a Leading Role||Cain and Abel||Nominated|