That Time Shogun Star Hiroyuki Sanada Stole the Show in Lost’s Final Season

Prolific Japanese actor Hiroyuki Sanada brought real gravitas to the final season of Lost when it needed it the most.

Hiroyuki Sanada as Dogen on Lost
Photo: ABC

This article contains spoilers for the ending of Lost.

Hiroyuki Sanada, star and producer of FX’s excellent miniseries Shōgun, is one of the most successful Japanese actors working in Hollywood today. English-speaking audiences have to come to know and appreciate the Tokyo-born performer through his roles in films such as The Last Samurai, Speed Racer, The Wolverine, Army of the Dead, and John Wick: Chapter 4.

TV nerds (including yours truly) had an entirely different introduction to Hiroyuki Sanada, however. For us, Sanada’s Western pop culture career begins with the final season of classic ABC drama Lost.

Despite what you may have heard about its ending (if I ever have to explain that they weren’t “dead the whole time” again, I swear to God…) Lost is one of the best genre series to ever grace network television. It also, admittedly, wasn’t perfect. And its simultaneously ingenious and infuriating use of Sanada in its sixth and final season is a perfect microcosm of the show overall.


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