Misato Tanaka  Misato Tanaka (田中美里)
  Date of birth:
  February 9th, 1977
  Ishikawa, Japan
Acting Filmography


When budding actress Misato Tanaka won the Special Jury Prize at the 1996 Toho Cinderella Contest, producer Shogo Tomiyama knew from the start that he wanted to cast her in a Godzilla movie someday. “I was impressed by her physical proportions and believed she would be natural for an action film. I decided then and there to use her at some point in the Godzilla series.”

Unaware she’d caught the producer’s eye, Tanaka began her career playing timid, conflicted women in various films and television shows—most notably in the NHK series Aguri, about famed beautician Aguri Yoshiyuki. Then, in 2000, the twenty-three-year-old actress was selected to play Kiriko Tsujimori, a young soldier hell-bent on killing the King of the Monsters, in Masaaki Tezuka’s directorial debut Godzilla vs. Megaguirus.

Although she had never played an action heroine before and found some of the physical demands trying (“I had to hoist a heavy missile launcher up onto my shoulder […] I thought it was going to break my back.”), Tanaka willingly embraced the part. “I’m happy to play an atypical Japanese female character,” she described in an on-set interview with Norman England, “and am trying to imbue her with traits and qualities that women of Japan have but are not allowed to show for fear of being ostracized.” And funny enough, while her character possessed a deep hatred for Godzilla, Tanaka’s off-screen outlook on the monster was quite the opposite. “When I was young, my parents often took me to see Godzilla films. [E]ven when he was destroying buildings and stepping on people, I never thought he was a bad guy.”

To date, Tanaka’s only other association with Godzilla consists of a small cameo as a nurse in Godzilla Against MechaGodzilla (2002), also directed by Masaaki Tezuka. Although she severed ties with Toho in 2012, she remains active today as a stage, screen, voice, and television actress.

Acting Toho Filmography

Date      Title ROLE Type
2000 Godzilla vs. Megaguirus Kirko Tsujimori, G-Grasper Leader Produced
2002 Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla Tsujimori, Nurse Produced
2004 Crying Out Love, in the Center of the World Ritsuko's Mother Produced