Born to a Japanese mother and a French-Canadian father, Maria Ozawa was raised in Japan and began her career in adult films at age 19. Also known as Miyabi, she has worked on Japanese TV shows and has also worked as a model. She is also known as an AV Idol.
Rinko Kikuchi is a Japanese actress who received an Academy Award nomination for her portrayal of Chieko Wataya in the 2006 psychological drama film Babel. Rinko is the first Japanese actress to receive an Oscar nomination in five decades. Her work in Babel also earned her several awards, such as Gotham Awards and a Chicago Film Critics Association Award.
Daughter of Hollywood actor Steven Seagal and Japanese aikido specialist Miyako Fujitani, Ayako Fujitani appeared as a lead actor in Man from Reno. A skilled writer, she has also released several books, both fiction and non-fiction. She has also directed a short play and performed as part of a band.
Born to a Korean-Japanese mother and an American father, Kiko Mizuhara plunged into modeling after winning a Seventeen Japan contest. After winning hearts in the Japanese modeling circuit, she became a Chanel ambassador. Her designs, made in collaboration with Opening Ceremony, have been worn by artists such as Beyoncé.
Japanese pop icon Ayumi Hamasaki had started a TV career after moving to Tokyo at 14. She later gained fame with her dance hits and ballads. Also known for her dramatic costumes and videos, The Empress of J-pop has been rendered totally deaf in one ear, owing to a ear infection.
Tokyo-born Rila Fukushima initially wished to be a model agent but ended up being one of Japan’s most popular models, walking the ramp for Louis Vuitton and gracing magazines such as Vogue Japan. She later appeared in The Wolverine and the series Arrow and Gunshi Kanbei.
Best known as an anime voice actor, Kana Hanazawa began her career at 14, voicing Holly Mad-thane in Last Exile. She was also seen as a child actor in programs such as Yappari Sanma Daisensei. Known by many nicknames such as KanaHana and Zaa-san, she has also released several albums.
Koyuki is a Japanese actress and model best known for her portrayal of Hiromi Ishizaki in the 2005 film Always: Sunset on Third Street, for which she received a nomination for Best Actress at the 29th Japan Academy Film Prize in 2006. Over the course of her career, Koyuki has also won awards, such as the Nikkan Sports Film Award.
Though Chiaki Kuriyama gained immense fame as a child model, especially for her photos in the bestselling book Shinwa-Shojo, the book was banned for child pornography later. Now an actor-singer, too, she is known for her roles in films such as Battle Royale and Kill Bill: Volume 1.
One of the best-known Japanese voice actors, Maaya Sakamoto soared to fame with her performances as Kiyomi Takada in Death Note and Lunamaria Hawke in Gundam Seed Destiny. She is also a successful singer and a sociology major. She has also dubbed for films such as the Star Wars trilogy.
J-pop icon Namie Amuro has started her career as an adolescent, with the group Super Monkey’s. Her singing and dancing talent soon made her go solo, with hit tracks such as Body Feels EXIT. She later experimented by mingling pop and hip-hop, and also collaborated with many American artists.
Following her debut with the film My Grandpa, Japanese actor Satomi Ishihara became a star both in films and on TV. She has been involved in charitable activities in Africa and was also chosen as a torchbearer for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, before the event was postponed due to COVID-19.
Seiyu Award-winning voice actor Maaya Uchida is the sister of fellow voice actor Yuma Uchida. Initially interested in gaming, she later aspired to be a voice actor for gaming characters and thus ventured into voice acting. She owns a fan club named LIFE IS LIKE A SUNNY DAY.
Japanese voice actor Ayana Taketatsu is known for her work in anime/manga series such as Sword Art Online and Guilty Crown. She has also dubbed for movies such as The Angry Birds Movie 2 and is part of the band Hokago Tea Time. She is married to fellow voice actor Yûki Kaji.
Haruka Ayase is a Japanese actress, singer, and model. After starting out as a gravure idol, Ayase went on to become a much sought-after model, appearing in commercials for brands like KFC, Coca-Cola, and SK-II. She then went on to become a prominent actress, winning several prestigious awards for her work in film as well as Japanese TV.
With her film Sayonara, Miyoshi Umeki became the first Asian actress to win an Academy Award. Initially a night-club singer, she was later known for playing docile and submissive characters in most of her films. She also earned a Golden Globe nomination for playing Mei Li in Flower Drum Song.
Born in Japan, Naoko Mori moved to the U.S. with her parents at 4 and then returned to Japan later, only to move to the UK at 12. She is best known as Toshiko Sato from Torchwood. Fans also loved her as Yoko Ono in the TV film Lennon Naked.
Born to a Portuguese mother and a Japanese father, adult star Tina Yuzuki rose to be an AV idol and later worked under the pseudonym Rio. She later stepped into the mainstream film industy and also tried her luck in singing. She is known for erotic movies such as Stop the Bitch Campaign.
One of Japan’s most well-known adult stars, Yuma Asami had begun her career at age 18. She mostly worked with studios that specialized in soft porn. The Grand Prix award-winning actor was later diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Post-recovery, she ditched the adult industry and began working as a singer.
Mamiko Noto is a Japanese film actress, singer, and voice actress. Noto is renowned for her contribution to anime and video games in Japan. She has also released many songs and albums that have been featured in music charts like Oricon.
Kyoko Fukada, also known as Fukakyon, is best known for her award-winning lead role of Momoko Ryugasaki in Kamikaze Girls. She has also appeared in countless series and experimented with J-pop, too. In 2021, she went on an indefinite hiatus after being diagnosed with adjustment disorder.
Tura Satana was a Japanese American vedette, exotic dancer, and actress. She achieved popularity after the release of her 1965 American exploitation film Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! where she portrayed the role of Varla. Satana's career took a backseat in 1981 when she met with an accident. She then made a comeback in 2002 and remained active until her death.
Meiko Kaji is a Japanese singer and actress best known for playing outlaw characters in movies like Stray Cat Rock, Female Prisoner 701: Scorpion, and Wandering Ginza Butterfly. She has appeared in more than 100 television series and films so far. Meiko Kaji was honored with the prestigious Kinuyo Tanaka Award at the 75th Mainichi Film Awards.
Masako Natsume was a Japanese actress who achieved worldwide fame after playing Tripitaka in the popular Japanese television series Monkey. Throughout her brief career, Natsume won several awards like the Elan d'or Awards. Masako Natsume remains a household name in Japan; calendars and picture books featuring pictures of Masako Natsume are still popular today.
Yukie Nakama is a Japanese singer, actress, and former idol. Nakama, who has contributed immensely to anime, video games, TV, and film industry, has been honored with several prestigious awards like the Japanese Drama Academy Awards and the Japan Academy Prize.