Life is a game. So fight for survival and see if you're worth it.
~ Kitano explaining Battle Royale
Kitano (キタノ Kitano) is the main antagonist in the 2000 Japanese tragedy thriller film Battle Royale.

He is the teacher of the Shiroiwa Junior High School 7th Grade Class B group of students and administrator of the Battle Royale Program. He is played by Takeshi Kitano, who is credited as "Beat Takeshi". Kitano has the same surname as the Shiroiwa Junior High School 3-B student Yukiko Kitano, but is unrelated to Yukiko.

He is portrayed by japanese actor Takeshi Kitano (北野 武) who will later portray Chief Daisuke Aramaki in the 2017 american film adaptation of Ghost in the Shell.


Kitano, a less sadistic equivalent in certain form to the Kinpatsu Sakamochi character in the novel and the Yonemi Kamon character in the manga, leaves his job as a teacher at the fictional Shiroiwa Junior High School in Kanagawa Prefecture before becoming a Battle Royale instructor. Whereas the two previous characters took a certain amount of glee in the students' killing of each other, Kitano comes off as more apathetic to the deaths. The movie also paints him in a much more sympathetic light then his counterparts, with Noriko Nakagawa once even stating she believed Kitano was just "lonely". From his various conversations on the phone with his daughter, Shiori Kitano, Kitano reveals his trouble getting along with his family to the point Shiori tells him not to return home at the end of the film.

Role in Battle Royale

Kitano seems to have some sort of affection for Noriko, as he considered much unlike the rest of her class. At one point in the movie, he saves her life from Mitsuko Souma by scaring Mitsuko off (the only time he is shown entering the field of battle; exactly how he knew when to save Noriko is left unexplained). Afterwards, he then gives her his umbrella telling her "not to catch a cold". After Shogo Kawada is declared the winner, Kitano orders the military to leave the island and to not bother to check for the bodies of Shuya Nanahara and Noriko. When Shogo arrives to meet Kitano, Kitano reveals that he knew Shogo had deactivated Shuya's and Noriko's collars and then threatens to kill him.

Shuya and Noriko both burst into the classroom in time. Kitano then reveals a painting he had created with all the other students dead, and Noriko triumphant. Noriko, deeply emotionally hurt and angered by Kitano's murder of innocent boys and girls, rejects this and joins Shuya Nanahara in killing Kitano. Shuya promptly shoots him with a machine gun; Kitano rises and fires his gun (which turns out to be a harmless water gun). Shocked by the fake gun, Shuya accidentally lets loose another volley and supposedly kills him. Kitano rises again once more to answer his cell phone. After hanging up angrily on his daughter, tossing the phone to the floor, shooting it with a real gun and then eating the last of Noriko's cookies (complimenting the cookies while doing so) Kitano dies.


  • Kitano returns in the sequel Battle Royale II: Requiem in a flashback scene of his daughter Shiori Kitano.
  • The name of the character, Kitano, is an obvious reference to the name of the actor that portrays him, Takeshi Kitano. This may have been done in reference to the fact that the name of the Battle Royale instructor in the novel, Kinpatsu Sakamochi, is a warped reference to Kinpachi Sakamoto, the kind-hearted protagonist of the manga Kinpachi-sensei.
  • It seems that when a student dies in the program Kitano will eat a cookie representing each dead child. For instance at the start of the program we see him eating two cookies representing Kuninobu and Fumiyo. At the end when the trio confront him he eats the last cookie representing the last pupil to be killed in the program.