Japanese character actor Shunji Fujimura was born in Kamakura City, Japan, in the Kanagawa prefecture, as the son of a one-time head of the Subaru motor company. In terms of formal education, he attended the Gyosei Elementary, Middle, and High School. He briefly enrolled as a student in the Performing Arts department at Waseda University before dropping out, and -- growing dissatisfied -- re-enrolling in school, this time at the Toho Performing Arts School, graduating in 1957.
With regard to professional acting work, the thespian officially debuted on-screen in the early '70s in his native country -- and signed for a handful of roles in major features -- but subsequently remained off of the big screen for a lengthy period of time, (uniquely) opting to refocus his energies on television programs, televised commercial advertisements, and work as a radio DJ. In terms of features, Fujimura rebounded in the 1990s and generated his most prolific output during the 1990s and 2000s when he became more or less permanently associated with portrayals of distinguished, gray-haired older gentlemen in films from a broad swath of genres and always in indigenous Japanese features. Projects included the 1999 psychological drama Hakuchi, the 2006 crime thriller First Love, and the supernatural thrillers Death Note (2006) and Death Note: The Last Name (2007).