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We'll always be brothers, Lee. In this life and the next.
~ Kenji to Chief Inspector Lee.
Goodbye, Lee.
~ Kenji's last words as he sacrifices himself to save Lee's life.

Kenji is the main antagonist of the 2007 action comedy film Rush Hour 3. He is the leader of the Triads who happens to be the adoptive brother of Chief Inspector Lee.

He was portrayed by Hiroyuki Sanada, who also played Shingen Yashida in The Wolverine and Akihiko in Avengers: Endgame.



After his family was killed by yakuza, Kenji was then sent to an orphanage in Chen Zhou where he became the foster brother of Lee and they grew up together right before Lee was adopted and moved to Hong Kong with his new family. They were like brothers as Lee called him "Shyong Dih (Pinyin: Xiong Di)". Kenji ended up on the streets and years later grew up to become an assassin in the leadership of a group of Triads. His first act was to assassinate Chinese Ambassador Solon Han. Ambassador Han and Lee were now working on a new case which was to investigate a triad leadership known as Shy Shen. They decide to discuss the meeting in Los Angeles at the World Criminal Court with help from Han's friend, French Ambassador and Chairman of the World Criminal Court named Varden Reynard.

Rush Hour 3

Upon arriving in Los Angeles from Paris, Kenji goes to the building across from the World Criminal Court and sets up a sniper rifle. While Han is making his speech about the importance of fighting the triads, he announces that he may have finally located Shy Shen. When he is asked what Shy Shen is. The Ambassador was about to answer when Kenji who is dressed in a black outfit from the top of the building aims his sniper rifle at Lee, but instead he aims at Han and shoots him in the shoulder. 

Kenji is spotted by Lee who pursues him all the way through the city until he corners him in an alley. Kenji turns around to reveal himself to Lee that he's the assassin that shot Ambassador Han. Lee orders Kenji to surrender, but when he encourages him to shoot him, Lee hesitates. Kenji pulls out his pistol and says to Lee that maybe this will help. Lee orders him to drop the gun or he will shoot, but Kenji tells him that he thinks they both know that is never going to happen. When he tries to escape Lee shouts out to him and fires his gun. Kenji turns around and tells Lee that he knows him too well. When Carter having heard of Han's incident on the police radio shows up driving towards the two, Kenji shoots at the car Carter is driving causing him to nearly hit Lee, but he jumps over the car and lands on the hood, thus allowing Kenji to escape.

Kenji then marks Lee and Carter for death along with Han and Han's daughter Soo-Yung sending a group of his assassins to the hospital that Han is recovering in to kill them. Lee and Carter with help from Soo-Yung dispatch the assassins and interrogate one of them only to find out that the assassin is speaking French. This leads them to go to Paris to investigate.

Kenji soon returns to Paris and learns that Lee and Carter were now on his trail. After Lee is attacked at a gentleman's club by Kenji's assassin, Jasmine the dragon lady, Carter rescues Lee and they are both forced out of the club. Following a harrowing car chase in which Kenji's men pursue them. They are finally captured and taken to see Kenji who tells Lee that he should've shot him in the alley back in Los Angeles but he could not do it as he can't escape his past. Lee tells Kenji that he is not his brother anymore and that he couldn't shoot him because he is not an assassin. Kenji says he will spare both Lee and Carter if they leave Paris at once. Carter happily agrees to it, but Lee says he will not leave until he figures out who Shy Shen is. Kenji orders his men to kill both Lee and Carter, but Lee provides a distraction allowing him and Carter to escape with their lives.

Kenji would later send his henchman after Han's informant Genevieve a French performer to acquire Shy-Shen from her. Kenji was aware that she had the list imprinted on the back of her head. Kenji's men attempt to kill Genevieve at her show but Lee and Carter rescue her in time. Kenji sends Jasmine again to kill her at Lee and Carter's hotel room. Lee saves Carter and Genevieve by fending off Jasmine with his pistol forcing her to escape but not before Lee accidentally shot Genevieve in the arm.

Upset over not getting to Shy Shen, Kenji goes back to Los Angeles to abduct Soo-Yung and takes her to Paris where he holds her hostage telling Lee by phone to bring him Shy Shen at the Jules Verne Restaurant with is situated atop the Eiffel Tower. Kenji warns Lee that if he sees Carter or any other cops with Lee he would execute Soo-Yung.

Lee would later follow Kenji's demands by going to the Eiffel Tower with what appears to be Genevieve. After they arrive at the restaurant, Kenji welcomes Lee to his party and demands Shy Shen but Lee demands for him to tell him where Soo-Yung was. Kenji instead produces two Japanese swords which he tells as a past revealing that a hundred cuts to a person's body with the sword would make the victim stay alive until they die of blood loss. He then slits Lee's arm with the sword and says he had just experience his first cut. Lee threatens him if anything happens to Soo-Yung. Kenji tells him that he has nothing. Carter suddenly appears after having been disguised as Genevieve and holds back Kenji's men at gunpoint saying to Kenji that Lee has him "his brother from another mother". Lee again demands to know where Soo-Yung is and Kenji boldly replied that she was "enjoying the view". Soo-Yung is then shown outside hand tied to a noose connected to a pulley system from a rotating crank, leaving Lee horrified. Carter demands that Kenji let Soo-Yung go or he'll shoot him but when one of the henchman outside pulls the rope, Lee orders Carter to drop the gun. Carter angrily does so. Kenji then tells Lee that tonight he loses a brother. A sword fight between the two of them then ensues with both men going blow after blow with both of their swords. Lee almost wins the fight by knocking Kenji out the window (losing his sword in the process) but Kenji pulls Lee out and takes Lee's sword. He then chases him outside leaving Carter to fight Kenji's remaining triad henchman inside the restaurant which he is later victorious with.

During the sword fight outside, Lee knocks down Kenji until both of them fall off the tower and get caught in a safety net. Unfortunately, Kenji holding Lee's sword cuts the safety net open and it collapses, leaving both men hanging on for dear life. Lee then grabs Kenji's arm, intending to save his life. Kenji tells Lee that if he holds on, both of them will die, but Lee is confident that he can still save him. Kenji sadly gives Lee a goodbye, then willingly lets go of Lee and falls to his death, landing in a tourist guide hut thus redeeming himself and saving Lee's life.


Kenji is a derisive person, mocking Lee because he knows Lee couldn't kill him even taunting him to shoot him. Despite his hatred towards Lee, he is willing to spare him if he and Carter leave Paris. When Lee attempts to save him when he knocks him out the window, Kenji pretends that he accepts Lee's offer, only so he could pull Lee out the window. He does have a sense of honor, as shown when Kenji sacrifices himself to save Lee instead of killing Lee to save himself.



  • Kenji is somewhat similar to Storm Shadow, who adopted a brother to Snake Eyes and was also an enemy to him. He also dresses in white, even when fighting.
  • Kenji is the first and only Rush Hour villain who had a redeemable quality.
  • Like Ricky Tan from the second film, Kenji is a personal villain from Lee's past, seeing as how they grew up as "brothers".
  • During the alley scene Kenji encourages Lee to shoot him with Lee hesitating, the scene references the beginning of the first film where Lee confronts Sang at the harbor.
  • Kenji is the first villain to never scream when falling to his death.


           RushHourTitle.png Villains

Rush Hour: Thomas Griffin | Sang | Clive Cobb
Rush Hour 2: Ricky Tan | Hu Li | Steven Reign | Zing
Rush Hour 3: Kenji | Varden Reynard | Dragon Lady Jasmine

TV Series
Yang Wei | Zhou Tu

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Rothbart | Bridget

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See Also
Austin Powers Villains | Blade Villains | Castle Rock Entertainment Villains | DC Extended Universe Villains | Farrelly Brothers Villains | Friday the 13th Villains | Horrible Bosses Villains | Middle-Earth Villains | Mortal Kombat Villains | Pink Flamingos Villains | Rush Hour Villains | SHAZAM Villains | Sony Pictures Villains | Spawn Villains | Stephen King Villains | The Conjuring Villains | The Mask Villains | The Sandlerverse Villains | TMNT Villains | Universal Studios Villains | Village Roadshow Pictures Villains | Warner Bros. Villains