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.
Japanese kawaii metal sensation Suzuka Nakamoto is best known for being part of the band Babymetal. Also known as Su-metal, she entered the world of showbiz with Jewel Drop commercials and later won a kids’ audition. She has also been part of the idol girl group Sakura Gakuin.
Japanese actor Tadanobu Satō, better known as Tadanobu Asano, had begun his acting career at 16, with the show Kimpachi Sensei, at his father’s insistence. He later gained critical acclaim with roles in films such as Maborosi and Fried Dragon Fish. He has also sung for the band Mach 1.67.
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.
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.
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.
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.
13 Yui Hatano
14 Marica Hase
Japanese cultural icon and J-pop star Kyary Pamyu Pamyu soared to fame with singles such as PonPonPon and Candy Candy. She now promotes everything from soft drinks to fashion and make-up. Also dubbed as the Harajuku Girl, she is also known for her love for blonde wigs.
16 Issey Miyake
17 Namie Amuro
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.
18 Riyo Mori
19 Haruka Ayase
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.
20 Yuma Asami
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.
23 Yū Aoi
24 Kyoko Fukada
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.
25 Hotaru Akane
26 Aoi Miyazaki
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.
Yōsuke Kubozuka is a Japanese musician and actor who worked as a model for TV commercials and magazines before starting his career as an actor. He then went on to establish himself as a reggae musician. Over the years, Kubozuka has been honored with many prestigious awards like the Japan Academy Film Prize, Television Academy Award, and Kinema Junpo Award.
30 Yuko Oshima
Yuko Oshima is a Japanese actress and singer best known for her association with the popular idol girl group AKB48 where she captained Team K. Her contribution to the Japanese film and music industry since 1996 has earned her several prestigious awards like the Television Drama Academy Award, Japan Academy Prize, and Hochi Film Award.
Hiroshi Tamaki is a Japanese actor, model, and singer. He is best known for his portrayal of Sato in the 2001 Japanese comedy film Waterboys. Tamaki is also known for his contribution to video games and TV shows.
Rino Sashihara is a Japanese actress, singer, and producer best known for her association with the popular idol group HKT48 where she was an important member. Sashihara was also part of AKB48's sub-group Not Yet. Over the years, Rino Sashihara has contributed immensely to several Japanese TV dramas and films.