Birth Name - Audrie Kiko Daniel
Name in Japanese - 水原希子, Mizuhara (水原) Kiko (希子)
Birthday - October 15, 1990 (23 Years Old)
Birthplace - Dallas, Texas, United States
Hometown - Hyōgo, Kobe, Japan
Current Residence - Tokyo, Japan
Height - 168 cm (5' 6'') (allegedly 5'4")
Weight - 42 kg (92 lbs)
Shoe size - 23 cm (convert that depending on what country you are from)
Blood Type - A
She got her start modeling when she entered and won a model search contest for Seventeen Magazine (the Japanese version)
She moved to Japan as a toddler
She is half White & half Asian (Korean → Zainichi Korean )
NOTE: Many of these pictures are taken from various websites (including Kiko's instagram and twitter ), and magazines. If I scan/gif/edit something myself PLEASE use this blog as the SOURCE oustide of tumblr and DO NOT REPOST on tumblr. Also PLEASE if you're going to ask something about her, make sure it's not gossip AND check the FAQ & More Kiko page to make sure it's a question that hasn't already been asked.
Posts tagged text.
Written by Celine Wang. Translated by Mika/fuku-shuu, thank you so much!
She is the one foreign star GRAZIA has covered diligently, and we have crossed borders again and again for the opportunity to photograph her.
Because she really is “major” - even with no headlines or significant ambitions, her popularity never wanes, while both fashion and entertainment industries continue to adore her. If this isn’t the definition of noteworthy, then we’ll really have to modify its meaning in the dictionary. Yes, Mizuhara Kiko is officially posh.
First of all, GRAZIA must face the truth - that is, other than “silly” rumors, Mizuhara Kiko has not had much public exposure or discussion for the past six months. The closest she has been to her Chinese fans was when she attended the new Miu Miu store opening in Hong Kong earlier this year. Other than that, everyone has become dependent on her daily selfies on instagram to fulfill their curiosities. So, it’s a good thing that as soon as you meet her in person, the conversation topics surface automatically.
As usual, we meet up with Kiko herself at her agency. She dons a white sports jacket, American Apparel’s black jeans, and Saint Laurent’s mini motorcycle bag. Between a pair of casually-tied braids, she’s bareface and still as playful as ever, but with some additional degrees of elegance. After hair, makeup, and discussion on the day’s plans, Kiko quickly enters professional mode. The photographer asks, “Please run to a point 100 meters away.” - and she takes off without a single word; the editor requests, “Circle around twice with the bicycle.” - and Kiko rides along without shifting her expression towards the camera. No extra communications necessary, and no instances of her being flighty or playing coy. The whole photoshoot ends efficiently, professionally — what is going on? This seems to be quite a 180 from the vivacious, quirky young woman we saw the past two times!
“Maybe she really is too tired, especially after these past six months.” Her management team tells us. The topic of this shoot is “vacation,” but Kiko has not had a single night’s rest for a whole year. After filming “Trick the Movie: Last Stage” in 2013, she immediately went to work on the drama “Shitsuren Chocolatier.” Less than a month after that project wrapped, she already ventured into a new production. And this doesn’t even take into account her usual photoshoots and fashion endeavors. During February’s Milan Fashion Week, she was invited to walk for the brand Moschino. “It wasn’t really too complicated. One day we suddenly received the request from the designer’s staff via phone, and it’s a brand I love very much, so we agreed pretty quickly.” Kiko says. According to insiders, when it comes to accepting jobs in fashion, Kiko never overthinks - in her mind, it’s usually a “favor for a friend.” And in regards to the endless amount of complimentary, beautiful garb, she doesn’t attempt to hide anything, “I have quite a few friends who are designers or work in the business, so they just give me a lot of clothes.”
What deserves a mention is that in the primetime series “Shitsuren Chocolatier,” the young woman Kiko portrays happens to be a lively, straightforward model - Erena. Even though this series didn’t get an official braodcast in China, Kiko’s own appeal, on top of the immense popularity of Matsumoto Jun and Ishihara Satomi, cause it to swiftly became one of the hottest shows abroad. Erena’s relationship view of “Sex is separate from love, while confessions should be courageous” also inspired heated chatter among fans. The craziest ones even made a database of all her spoken lines and the individual pieces she wore throughout the show. “I really admire girls like Erena, and that was what attracted me to the series in the first place. In real life, I probably wouldn’t be so direct. My feelings are more slowburn, and I need ample time to understand or like someone. The most important quality I look for is a person who can give me comfort and happiness when we’re together. And if said person has good fashion sense, then it’s even better.” Says Kiko. As for all the love scenes with Matsumoto Jun, she admits she was quite nervous: “I felt quite shy, so I always asked Jun for advice. But he always told me, ‘Even if embarrassed, we have no choice, right?’ Ah! It was a revelation, and I realized that I had to be more professional.”
Despite her breakout role as Midori in “Norwegian Wood,” Kiko’s film and TV projects, or even her amount of screentime in each, aren’t actually too numerous. But each character is a new challenge: “Because I’m still a novice in terms of acting, I always want to try a lot of different roles. I’m never the main character, anyhow, so right now there wouldn’t be a case where a film’s box office tanked because of me alone. Even if that does happen eventually, I can’t really help the fact - I can only focus on how to portray my characters well.”
The latest news is that Kiko is going to have the starring role in an action film. “It really is a huge challenge, but I’ve wanted to be part of one for so long, and now I finally get the opportunity.” Right now, she has to undergo three to four hours of wire work and fight training on a daily basis. In addition, she also has to complete muscle-building routines at the gym. Even though the concealer hid much of it, during the photoshoot, we still saw hints of the bruises on her legs. “I don’t know if I’ve grown up - that’s probably better for others to judge. The director for every project is different, so every time I enter a production I start from a blank slate. What I can be certain is that I’m totally confident in memorizing lines now!”
Insiders of the Japanese entertainment industry tell GRAZIA that Kiko is already at the very top in terms of female entertainers in Japan. Even though she’s not a “Queen” yet, she definitely has the momentum of a successor. 1.2 million Instagram fans, appearances at all the major fashion events, designing for brands like Diesel, Reebok, and Opening Ceremony on the side, and those endless magazine covers month after month. With such a gigantic following propelling her, what does the 23-year-old Mizuhara Kiko have to worry about? Perhaps, doing what she wishes is the best choice for now, because anything is possible. Just as she says, “My job has a model helped me accumulate a lot of experience, but I can’t do it for my entire life. I must use whatever I’ve learned in other places. I don’t know what those are yet, but right now acting is making me very happy, so I’ll do this for now.”
Between the Chanel “Métiers d’Art” show in Dallas, her Japanese Shisheido campaign, and her photoshoots for Jalouse and Vogue Italia, Kiko Mizuhara, 23 years old, is on the starting blocks of being an it girl, with 740,000 followers on Instagram at the time of writing these lines. A return to the beginnings of a flawless path.
Born to an American father and a Japanese mother in Dallas on October 15th 1990, Kiko Mizuhara has an American nationality despite the fact that she only spent one year on the soil in question before moving to Kobe. She auditioned for Seventeen magazine in Tokyo and became its miss and exclusive model from 2003, and for the three years that followed. She was only 13 years old. One thing lead to another, and Vietnamese director Tran Anh Hung gave her first film role in 2011 with Norwegian Wood(ノルウェイの森), an adaptation of the novel with the same title by Haruki Murakami. In it she plays Midori beside Rinko Kikuchi. In the subsequent year, two films followed, Helter Skelter (へルタースケルター) as Kozue Yoshikawa and I’m Flash! directed by Toshiyaki Toyoda. It’s finally Kiko time now. Between her career as model and her ties with fashion and the cinema, her agenda was packed!
Kiko’s 700,000+ followers allow her to let people know who she is. Like she said: “It is easier to show one’s desires, one’s way of thinking, one’s lifestyle through images”. So she updates her social networks daily, always styled in Kenzo, Olympia Le-Tan, Kitsuné…
Sometimes in Miu Miu, trying on four pairs of heels, sometimes accompanied by Nicola Formichetti, the ex-designer of Mugler, who today is the new aristic director at Diesel, where she’s one of the faces of the new 2013 campaign. Kiko is occupying the net.
Kiko/Kitsuné: The Deciding Encounter
Kiko caught the eyes of the french-japanese duo; Gildas and Masaya Kuroki of Kitsuné, in 2011, when they saw her on the cover of Nylon Japan and in a clip of Japanese DJ star Towa Tei’s (ex member of the group Deee-Lite), The Burning Plain. She had a breakthrough into the fashion world of connections in 2013 with their advertising campaign at the side of Niels Schneider, the actor of Heartbeats (Amours Imainaires) by Xavier Dolan. The photo by Kotori Kawashima of Kiko in the washing machine, from this shoot, will stay in the annals of coolness and house one of Tumblr’s icons. “Thanks to her, our notoriety has increased in Japan and our business doubled at once. Kiko is the most European of the Japanese women. We are only at the beginning with Kiko.” said Gildas Loaëc.
Kiko/Olympia Le-Tan: Her First Stage
When we asked designer Olympia Le-Tan why she chose Kiko for her last show, her answer was simple, “I noticed her on Instagram, she has more than 700,000 followers. In the first image that I saw of her, Kiko was wearing the yellow and black Rosie skirt from my Spring/Summer 2012 collection, it then made me want to follow her on the internet. I asked my Japanese friends if they knew her, and everyone said yes. She is an icon in her country. I had the chance to meet her for the first time in Tokyo during the presentation of my collection, she was completely styled in Olympia Le-Tan. I didn’t need more to convince me. Kiko has a true personality. She is cool. With her baby doll side, she’s today’s doll, one who plays the game.”
Olympia Le-Tan is the first designer to have given her a chance to walk on a runway. Dressed in white latex corset and a lavallière blouse with a sailor collar, the pretty Japanese woman resembled a little pin-up sailor taken straight out of a manga for her spring/summer 2014 collection. Since then, under her name she did fashion collaboration with Opening Ceremony, which she celebrated together with the launch of the Omotesando shop in Cats Alley, Tokyo’s Champs-Elysées, with Chloë Sevigny, Humberto Leon and Carol Lim and a giant Hello Kitty geisha.
From Chanel to Shisheido: The Consecration
Kiko was photographed by Karl Lagerfeld for his book The Little Black Jacket: Chanel’s Classic Revisited. The label fell in love with the young Japanese woman and invited her to their autumn/winter  haute couture show, then to their Métiers d’Art show in Dallas last December. In this rodeo girls atmosphere, Kiko confessed that she is “captivated by the mixture between the clothes, the decor, and the city”There, she met her friends- notably Soo Joo, Ming Xi- other Kikos in the making. She is so beautiful that one sees no one but her. The house of Chanel is fond of her and she returns the sentiment. Can we hope to see her in Paris for the fashion week? The rumours say yes. According to Shiseido Japan, Kiko seems to be following the path of another Japanese-American, the mythical Tina Chow, who also signed a contract with the label. oved by the Japanese fascinated by their faces with a sublime mixture, they are considered most European of the Japanese.
Kiko/Jalouse/Vogue Italia: In Shooting mode
At the same time, Kiko was featured in Vogue Italia photographed by Ellen Von Unwerth and for Jalouse by Nobuyoshi Araki. The first photoshoot has already been published, the second is on the way. It’s not the first time that Kiko has been photographed by Araki, and yet a very strange feeling came over her during the entire photoshoot. “I was nearly in tears, I had tears in my eyes even though they didn’t fall, I felt his love. This feeling lasted several hours after the shoot. It was magic, I wanted to thank Mr. Araki and Jalouse for this unreal moment”.
The projects are increasing in number. We’ll see her on Japanese television in the drama Shitsuren Chocolatier. The girl whose favourite film is Spirited Away by Hayao Miyazaki, who dreams of filming with Wong Kar-Wai, and whose dream is to play a role of a success story of a stripper, has no need to worry. We’ll bet on that!
I’m prone to hyperbole, and I tend to use words like “obsessed” more than I should. But believe me when I say I’m still O-B-S-E-S-S-E-D with the KIKO MIZUHARA FOR OPENING CEREMONY collection, and definitely still crazy about Kiko herself. I mean, this is the woman who brought a head-to-toe pizza outfit into my (and BEYONCÉ’S) life. Based in Tokyo, the actress-model-songstress has a growing influence on the fashion world, particularly now that her collection is available outside of Japan. So, much in the same way that you sing a song aloud to get it unstuck from your head, I thought if I asked Kiko some questions via e-mail I could focus my attention elsewhere. Of course, all it did was fuel the fire. Read on to get hooked yourself.
Dana Melanz: Hi Kiko! How did you and Opening Ceremony come together to create a collection?
Kiko Mizuhara: It started as a project for a Japanese fashion magazine, but ended up growing and eventually turned into a full collection.
What was your favorite part of the design process? The hardest part?
Since I hadn’t made any clothing until this project started, it was a difficult process in the beginning. I didn’t even know how to explain what I wanted to do. [But] I enjoyed sharing my ideas with the Opening Ceremony team. I have too many ideas! But, of course I’m also happy to see the actual results.
What interests you about Tokyo in the 90s, the inspiration for your collection?
There were a lot of my favorite things going on in the 90s, especially in fashion. Girls were extremely gorgeous with crazy styles, and I always dreamed that I would dress myself in those outfits. I’m really happy that those styles are being revived!
Was there any specific “bad girl” from the 90s who you were thinking of as you designed the collection? Who is your favorite 90s badass?
Actually, my inspiration source was not a specific bad girl from the 90s. I started with [the idea of] teenagers and schoolgirls, and added a bad girl element after. Those girls never go to class, but instead go out in town, dressed up in hip styles.
How would you describe your personal style?
It’s always different. I think I like to transform myself with new outfits a lot. However, I would rather wear simple clothes for daily life, with trashy looks sometimes, especially when I go clubbing. Also, I always love a skinny silhouette and vintage pieces.
What are your favorite neighborhoods to shop in Tokyo?
Shibuya, Harajuku, and Omotesando.
What else are you working on that you’re excited about?
Starting this month, I’m acting in a Japanese TV drama called Shitsuren Chocolatier. I haven’t acted in a major TV drama yet, and they’re very popular in Asia. It has lots of energy with young actors and actresses.
Finally, what’s on your dream pizza?
I would love a pizza full of truffles!
Interview by Dana Melanz
interview by gianni simone. i posted part of the interview before, this is the full interview, translated by staringelf. once again, thank you so much!
American dad, Korean mum, the Japanese ex teen model has started a brilliant career in asian cinema. her characters? she wears them and then takes them off as if they were clothes. but now she’s searching for an intense role, that remains under her skin.
It’s the dream of many men: I’m in a love hotel in Tokyo, in a Japanese style room. Bamboo curtains enclose a big double bed in which, reclining, there is a gorgeous girl who’s watching me with languid and curious eyes and a slight smile. She’s wearing a black kimono and, if it wasn’t for the very rare Dior shoes that she has on her feet, it would seem I’m in an old red light district of Yoshiwara. But Kiko Mizuhara, one of the most requested Japanese model and actress of recent years, is anything but a courtesan, and the magic does not last long: Ellen Von Unwerth’s assistants burst into the room to pick up the photographic equipment, and Kiko-san vanishes. After a while, I find her again seated next to a minibus which brings us back to Shibuya. Without make-up, she’s back to being a twenty three year old girl, lively and smiling. “It was really fun”, she says biting the collar of a turtleneck. “In Japan we have a habit of organizing everything to the smallest details, but with Ellen it was a continuous improvisation”. Kiko knows well what she’s talking about, considering it’s been ten years since she’s posing in front of a camera. “In third grade I decided that I wanted to be a model or stylist. My mother was always interested in fashion and perhaps she ended up influencing me a little bit. When I was in middle school, the monthly “Seventeen” (the main japanese magazine about teen fashion, ndr) was looking for a new model who would work as an exclusive for them. My mom sent immediately the question, and here I am”. Kiko admits to being a “half”, like you say in Japan, and it has been an advantage in her career: “My father is American and my mother is Korean, so my features and my height have helped”. However, according to the photographer and director Mika Ninagawa, who directed her in “Helter Skelter”, Kiko is much more than a pretty face. “Obviously presence is not enough”, she agrees. “At the same time, you have to abandon any inhibition, but most of all you have to constantly broaden your knowledge and your interest, whether it’s music, cinema… You have to be curious about everything. In this, I think I take after my father”. After three years at “Seventeen”, Kiko insured a contract with the magazine “ViVi”. “With “Seventeen” everything was like a game, but with “ViVi” the approach became much more professional. Every day I had to wear between sixty and seventy outfits and make them look as best as possible. I don’t know how much time I spent in front of a mirror to learn new poses and expressions.” “With ViVi the approach became more professional and it was a good school, but now I am free to choose which path I prefer. Above all, I want to grow as an actress. Up until now I have worked only in Japan”. In reality, Asia has already played an important role considering her cinematographic debut was directed by multi-award-winning Vietnamese director Tran Anh Hung. “I owe everything to him and to Norwegian Wood, the film based on the bestseller by Haruki Murakami”, confesses Kiko. “Every day was a challenge. To confront myself, after, with actors of the caliber as Kenichi Matsuyama and Rinko Kikuchi made the thing even more difficult. Everyone helped me a lot and gave me a lot of courage, but it was still hard. I remember that, at the end of the shooting, I told myself it was the last time I’d do a movie. Instead it was a big turn in my life, even as a person. To enter into the role, I had to emerge sensations that were hidden inside of me and that I wasn’t even sure I could feel. Until then I had tried to be nice to everyone, but during the shooting of the movie I understood that being nice and being a person worthy of respect are two completely different things. I learned that it is right to open up and show your emotions”. Since then, Kiko appeared in three other movies and has just finished working in a fourth one, but thinks she still has a lot to learn. “After ten years of being a model, by now I am not afraid of anything in that world. On the other hand, cinema has still a lot of mysteries for me and every time I start shooting a movie I become anxious”. Maybe it’s because at twenty-three years old she’s already a veteran, but Kiko seems to have an interior force and sensibility ahead of her age. You can see that even when she talks about her relationship with success: “In some way, becoming famous is not that difficult. The big problem is what to do after, how to handle that fame. Many things have changed around me, but I think I have remained the same. I tell myself that all of this will sooner or later end and I try to use the little free time I have the best I can“. Her secret is probably her optimism: “Let’s just say I don’t dwell too much on thinking about things, especially those negative ones. The same happens to the characters I interpret: I wear them and take them off as if they’re clothes. Sometimes though, I want to interpret a character that would remain under my skin even after the lights are off”. And for the future? “Up until now I have especially worked on fantasy movies and, consequently, my characters have been a bit out there. In future, I would like to put to test my versatility and confront myself with more realistic roles and closer to the public. It’s true that by nature I am really cautious in my choices, but I don’t want to do only what comes naturally to me. I love everything that stimulates and provokes me. I even accept challenges, especially if I feel they can bring me to great results”.
“I’m interested in fashion, but I’m not bothered by what they wear. I’m more interested in the woman underneath.” Nobuyoshi Araki is a superstar in Japan. Confronting taboo subjects such as sex, female nudity and death head on, his photographs are at once erotic, intimate, challenging, confrontational and beautiful and Kiko Mizuhara is his ideal subject.
Kiko Mizuhara steps up and Araki, purring, is clearly enamoured by his new subject. Pumping his fists and spinning on the heels of his New Balance trainers, Araki lunges forward to give her a cuddle. It’s the first time they have met and the reaction is genuine. Like the cat who’s got the cream, you get the feeling he’s in for a treat. She’s giggling, nervous – his reputation, as ever, truly precedes him – yet all smiles.
A model since she was 12, Kiko made her film debut as Midori in Norwegian Wood, the outgoing girlfriend that reinvigorates a boy’s lust for life after the suicide of a friend. The casting is perfect, and the contrast between the two actresses pronounced. Araki sets her nerves at ease by cracking a joke. He calls her “Oishi” [delicious] and smacks his lips before letting out one of his trademark belly laughs.
Araki flirts with Kiko as she positions herself in a corner decorated with a giant bouquet of flowers. He makes her laugh by asking, “What do you love more, money or love?” Kiko answers, “Love” as she plays with a flower between her lips, her teeth gripping its stem, trying to suppress the laughs created by his constant joshing – she can barely keep a straight face. Today’s shoot is tame compared to his famous kinbaku rope bondage photographs of naked girls tied from the rafters – not to mention the candid graphic black and white photographs of Araki and friends frequenting Tokyo sex clubs in the 1970s – but even still the charisma that creates these possibilities to push the boundaries is evident. He wants “more skin” from Kiko. She kills the request with kindness. He then asks whether she has a boyfriend. “I don’t,” Kiko replies. When the shoot is over, “Shall I kiss you?” he asks. “No, no thank you, it’s okay!” Kiko blushes, laughing. As the team pack up the clothes and equipment, I retire with Araki, his agent Natsuko – who acts as our translator throughout – and to Araki’s delight, Kiko, to Hanaguruma, the nearby 6th floor karaoke bar he visits every night.
Translated to English, the bar’s name means ‘The Flower Wheel’, a fitting title if we consider the connection between blooming fertility and death that appear so often in Araki’s photographs. The walls are covered with prints and posters of his work and what gaps remain are occupied by Polaroids recording past escapes in this secret den – French fashion editors topless, pillow fighting models, Lady Gaga, Harmony Korine and his wife Rachel, and a portrait of Araki sketched by Nan Goldin. In every Polaroid on the wall, Araki appears wearing a T-shirt with Kaori’s face on his chest, “Because if I don’t wear her near my heart, she’s going to escape,” he says. Shifting in his seat with a glass of shochu in hand, he cannot hide his excitement towards Kiko. It’s quite clear which one out of the two of us he would rather be spending the evening with.
I ask the half-American, half-Korean Kiko whether she was scared to be photographed by Araki. “Yes! Everybody had been giving me so much pressure leading up to the shoot…” she says, whispering “Araki Araki Araki” as if he was a Ghostbusters gremlin. “My manager was like, ‘Are you sure?’ but of course I wanted to.” Araki bursts out, “Everyone says so! But Kiko, there’s no need to worry. I don’t just suck on your nipples, but blow them too!” It makes no sense, but everyone laughs. The two endearing 60 something women who run the bar, old friends and former subjects of Araki, don’t bat an eyelid. Later, they point out naked photos of their younger selves on the wall.
Did Kiko tell her parents she was going to be photographed by Araki today, I ask, wondering how her mother would react? “No, not yet,” Kiko replies. “She’s going to be excited, but worried. I know she’s going to ask whether I was naked.”
Earlier in the day, while photographing club kids on location in the Golden Gai bar district of Tokyo, Araki complemented one of the girls by saying she looked like a “streetwalker”. In 40 years of photographing Japanese women, how have they changed, I ask? “It’s not so much that they’re getting dirtier, but they’re getting less, let’s say, innocent,” he replies. “The club kids aren’t really ideal subjects, because they’re so… knowing, they know how to be separate from normal society. So they’re maybe much cleverer in a way, but they’re less innocent. Kiko on the other hand is much purer, polite, she looks innocent. She’s the perfect subject.”
It’s a much less backhanded complement than before, and I ask Araki what photography has in common with sex. “Photographs are sex, it’s like making love with the shutter, it’s pillow talk.” He continues, “Say with Rinko, her reaction was good, she’s quite sensitive in that way, it was more like dancing. The camera is a love machine!” Kiko, returning to a question I asked before the conversation meandered, describes auditioning for Norwegian Wood, “It was my first time acting. I didn’t know it was that big a deal, I thought it might be a little part or not that big a story. So I was really relaxed when I went to audition. I was like, [waving] ‘Hiiiii I’m Kiko!’ But then I started and I felt awkward.” Araki, frustrated by not being able to follow us in English – and perhaps a touch jealous at the shift in Kiko’s attention – suddenly shouts out in Japanese, “Congratulations on your pregnancy!” Laughing, they toss up their glasses; Kiko cheers “Kampai!”
Kiko gained a sizeable following online, posting photographs of herself in various outfits and YouTube videos of her modelling. “Everyone in Japan seems to record everything they do, like, [in a sarcastic voice] ‘I ate this today, and look at this, I’ve been hanging out with this girl today.’ And I wanted to do something different, more about what I’m interested in rather than how I spend my days.” She is, like a lot of other Japanese girls her age, a dedicated follower of fashion. I ask what her fashion favourites are. “I really like Miu Miu,” she answers. “Because… it’s really Lolita!” Araki’s ears prick up as they recognise this English word. He pipes up in heavily accented English, “Rurita?” Kiko corrects him, they laugh. Araki takes out a book of photographs of his naked girlfriend Kaori and puts it on the table. The four of us looking at these black and white photographs, with purple and blue brushstrokes painted on top of Kaori in compromising positions, forms quite a surreal scene. Does Araki ever get jealous of others ogling his girlfriend? “I’m a photography fan so I like sharing my work,” he says, “and the work of others. I’m ready to share everything with everybody.” Does Kaori get jealous? “No, not so much.” He mimes getting a slap across his face when he gets home. “Once upon a time she did, but now she’s much more mature.” Another book comes out on to the table. Black and white photographs with brushstrokes on top, this time though there’s no naked Kaori, or any other women for that matter. Instead, page after page is filled with sunsets. The book, his 452nd, is his most recent. A diary of sorts, there are no entries between the 18th and 27th of January, 2009. He tells me the reason those dates are missing is that he underwent an operation for prostrate cancer, from which he has now recovered. Called Testament, the book deliberately mirrors Skyscrapes, another collection of sunsets taken the year after his wife Yoko died in 1990 – the only photographs he took in that time of mourning. Though he spent much of his childhood playing in a cemetery amongst the anonymous graves of courtesans from the Yoshiwara red light district – the only green space in an otherwise poor, crowded area of Tokyo – and making a connection between sex, death and flowers at a young age, Araki doesn’t believe it’s necessary to visit Yoko’s grave. “Because whenever I think about her, or death, I can just look at the sky instead,” he explains. “I haven’t been thinking about death recently, but there is always a grim reaper stalking me. But then I get days like this where two beautiful young girls come to visit me, and they make me feel alive again.”
Araki tells me he has only two regrets, for not taking any photographs of Yoko’s body in her coffin. Because he organised the funeral himself he was “too busy to take any pictures.” The other is “failing to take photos of the nostrils of a girl who acted perfectly during sex. I said to her, ‘Come on, look this way!’ but she refused. I’m still powerful in bed you see, I can keep going for a while,” he says in the direction of Kiko, never missing an opportunity for innuendo. Continuing, he lets it be known that even though he’s having a great time, he’s feeling tired and can’t stay out drinking as late as he once did. Also, meeting Kiko might have worn him out.
I ask Araki – whose work in the 1970s, with its slapstick black spot censorship is often credited with overturning the Japanese ban on pubic hair – whether he enjoyed pushing the boundaries of what is accepted in this generally conformist society. “Do you mean enjoy or enjoyed? Because I did enjoy it. But now, it’s more accepted,” he replies. “I still feel like a little boy, in the way that if someone tells me not to do something, I will do it. It may be provocative, but it’s in more of a boyish way. Not in a violent way, it’s the act of doing it, the reaction pushes the boundaries.” His answer brings to mind a scene from earlier that day. At a zebra crossing stood dozens of salary men and shoppers waiting for the red light to change on an otherwise empty street – Araki might just be the only person who would dare cross while everyone else waits until they are told. Since a series of large exhibitions in Europe and America alerted mainstream Japan to his talent in the 1980s, he has held countless exhibitions at museums across the country and is regarded alongside Yayoi Kusama and Haruki and Takashi Murakami as a national treasure. Street sweepers high five him in the street. When did Araki realise he was accepted by mainstream Japanese society? “I don’t think it’s happened yet. Perhaps not in my lifetime. I will turn 70 this year but I have only just started running.” At least in this day and age, he won’t be running alone.
Text by Xerxes Cook
(Source: Vice Magazine)
Kiko Mizuhara is the 23 year old model and actress who started her accent to the stars in her teens by spending three shiny, happy years as Miss Seventeen Magazine. Fastforward to 2010 where she shot to fame as Midori in the dark and beautiful Norwegian Wood and the world fell for her spellbinding charm. Having wowed us all as the face of Philip Lim’s AW13 collection, she’s currently starring in a Japanese series and living the dream in her Tokyo apartment full of cats, plants and telescopes. We love our little Kiko-chan!
Which do you prefer, modeling or acting?
I like both. I am more into acting at this moment.
What was filming Norwegian Wood like?
It was my very first film. I had to do so much and every experience was a first for me. The director, Trần Anh Hùng, taught me so many things.
What would be your dream role in a film?
I wanna play a teenager in a highschool movie.
What do you think you would be doing if you weren’t modeling/acting?
Who do you think are the biggest Harajuku icons right now?
DETTO.K and Hirari Ikeda
Who are your best friends in the fashion industry and what are they like?
All Japanase fasion kids are my friends. My best friend is Yoon. She inspires me a lots and I love her because she gets crazy when we go out together. Also Nicola Formichetti. He speaks Japanese and we always go to a club called NiChome in Shinjuku when he is in Japan. Junsuke Yamazaki too - he is like my family.
What was it like working with Nicola Formichetti?
I was very happy when he asked me to work with him because we met as friends in the first place. His rader is all over to catch the young energy and exciting new things, so I did my best for what he wanted.
Where is the best place to go to see interesting fashion on the street in Tokyo?
Harajuku. There are so many different styles and fashions there. Trump Room is a really cool club that all the Tokyo fashion kids go to.
If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you choose?
Well, Tokyo for now…
Are you in love?
The character I play in a TV series is in love right now, but I’m not in real life….. :(((
What would you do on your dream date?
Just normal things like walking and holding hands, stopping at cute shops, eating in the street, just hunting around the city for nothing in particular. Also going to the movies and concerts. I wanna go to Golden Street at night time in Shinjuku too!
Where do you see yourself in five years time?
I will be still an actress and hopefully in a movie that makes me proud of myself.
Text by Francesca Dunn
(Source: Vice Magazine)
interview by gianni simone. this is part of the interview, i’ll re-blog it again in the future once i find the full interview.
american dad, korean mum, the japanese ex teen model has started a brilliant career in asian cinema. her characters? she wears them and then takes them off as if they were clothes. but now she’s searching for an intense role, that remains under her skin.
It’s the dream of many men: I’m in a love hotel in Tokyo, in a japanese style room. Bamboo curtains enclose a big double bed in which, reclining, there is a gorgeous girl who’s watching me with languid and curious eyes and a slight smile. She’s wearing a black kimono and, if it wasn’t for the very rare Dior shoes that she has on her feet, it would seem I’m in an old red light district of Yoshiwara. But Kiko Mizuhara, one of the most requested Japanese model and actress of recent years, is anything but a courtesan, and the magic does not last long: Ellen Von Unwerth’s assistants burst into the room to pick up the photographic equipment, and Kiko-san vanishes. After a while, I find her again seated next to a minibus which brings us back to Shibuya. Without make-up, she’s back to being a twenty three year old girl, lively and smiling. “It was really fun”, she says biting the collar of a turtleneck. “In Japan we have a habit of organizing everything to the smallest details, but with Ellen it was a continuous improvisation”. Kiko knows well what she’s talking about, considering it’s been ten years since she’s posing in front of a camera. “In third grade I decided that I wanted to be a model or stylist. My mother was always interested in fashion and perhaps she ended up influencing me a little bit. When I was in middle school, the monthly “Seventeen” (the main japanese magazine about teen fashion, ndr) was looking for a new model who would work as an exclusive for them. My mom sent immediately the question, and here I am”. Kiko admits to being a “half”, like you say in Japan, and it has been an advantage in her career: “My father is American and my mother is Korean, so my features and my height have helped”. However, according to the photographer and director Mika Ninagawa, who directed her in “Helter Skelter”, Kiko is much more than a pretty face. “Obviously presence is not enough”, she agrees. “At the same time, you have to abandon any inhibition, but most of all you have to constantly broaden your knowledge and your interest, whether it’s music, cinema… You have to be curious about everything. In this, I think I take after my father”. After three years at “Seventeen”, Kiko insured a contract with the magazine “ViVi”. “With “Seventeen” everything was like a game, but with “ViVi” the approach became much more professional. Every day I had to wear between sixty and seventy outfits and make them look as best as possible. I don’t know how much time I spent in front of a mirror to learn new poses and expressions.”
translated by staringelf, thank you so much!
Fresh-faced Kiko Mizuhara lets loose to the 50s doo-wop rock’n’roll of Danny & the Juniors’ “At the Hop” in this playful short by George Harvey. “I had developed these crazy concepts for the shoot that went out the window as soon as I realized nothing could be more interesting than letting Kiko be herself,” says the London-based filmmaker and i-D contributor. A star of the recent film adaption of Haruki Murakami’s Norwegian Wood, this year the American-born, Japanese-raised model, actress and muse has collaborated with Opening Ceremony, Olympia Le-Tan and 3.1 Phillip Lim.
What is your biggest fashion inspiration?
Kiko Mizuhara: I’m often inspired by kids, so I would say ‘street.’ They dress purely with their own instincts, which is always cool.
What is the story behind your recent Miley Cyrus and Britney Spears costumes?
KM: Britney was for my birthday party because I have loved her for a long time, and Miley was for Halloween! I dressed up like Madonna last year for Halloween, so maybe it will be another pop icon next year. I remember she performed and sang “Vogue” while dressed up as Marie Antoinette in the 90s, so that might be a good idea!
Who is the first person you would thank in your Oscar speech, and why?
KM: There are too many people to name!
It will be a live action adaptation of the popular manga. She will star alongside Arashi member and actor, Jun Matsumoto and actress, Ishihara Satomi. Here’s a summary:
20-year-old Koyurugi Sota (Matsumoto Jun) who attends a confectionary school fell in love at first sight with his senior Takahashi Saeko (Ishihara Satomi) during high school days. Like a wish come true, he is in a relationship with her now. After a lot of effort, they started dating right before Christmas. However, Saeko says she cannot meet Sota on Valentine’s Day which they should have commemorated together. He manages to see her on the eve of Valentine’s Day, but she will not accept the chocolates he has made for her with all his heart, knowing that she loves them. In addition, he is even told that she did not mean to date him. However, the single-minded Sota is not discouraged. Resolving to become a chocolatier to make Saeko pay attention to him again, he goes over to France alone. After training for five years, he returns to Japan and gains popularity as the “Chocolate Prince”. Saeko has married another man by this time. Even so, Sota does not give up. On the other hand, he meets a model Kato Erena (Mizuhara Kiko) who also has a one-sided love for another man. They identify with each other due to their similar circumstances, get physically involved and become sex friends. (source)
The drama will start airing sometime around January of next year on Mondays at 9:00 p.m. on Fuji TV
Kiko is known as a great model and actress. That is true. However, more than that, she is purely a great person with a sense of humor and a warm heart. We have traveled to L.A., London, and NYC for photo shoots, and I was always fascinated by her personality. I can’t believe journalists and editors always throw her questions only about fashion and beauty. She always meditates on each thing and has many philosophies that should be shared with the world.
Where did you finally find Game Boy Color?
In Akihabara! It was brand-new and ¥2,000. I also got Nintendo 64, which was ¥6,000. During the twelve-hour flight to Paris, I was playing Pokémon for eight hours with my new Game Boy Color. I won eight badges!
Well, I don’t know the Pokémon rules. Is that good?
Yes, quite good. I’ve got a Rainbow Badge, too.
Did you play the same Pokémon game when you were younger?
I did, but I was not that good at the time. It’s much more fun to play now, because I understand more about its theory. Fire Pokémon beats grass Pokémon, for example.
Why did you buy old Game Boy Color? Why not new ones?
I have Nintendo 3DS. I have most of them all!
Are you a serious gamer?
Not really…I just like something new.
Wait, but your new game is for old Game Boy…
I know, but old ones could be totally fresh sometimes. New games are sometimes way too complicated.
What are you working on recently?
I had a film shooting and had to speak in Malay for it. I received the script but didn’t read it for a while. One day, I started to work on it, and then realized that I had to speak in Malay…. However, without listening to real Malay, you can’t train or do anything. I received a sample tape two weeks before filming started. It was so hard, and I was even depressed with the situation…. But after a while, it’s getting fun, little by little. Now I feel confident after finishing this. I’m a beginner as an actress but found my own way to memorize lines through this new film, gradually. When I acted for Norwegian Wood, I memorized everything perfectly before but forgot every single line when I got to the set.
Your Malay must be really good. I think your English skills have improved a lot since we met the first time.
I have more chances to work with English-speakers. I watch English movies and listen to English music. Also, I’m not afraid of making any mistakes while communicating in English. I think those things improved my English skills a lot.
Do you want to do more acting jobs than modeling jobs from now on?
Yes, I do. I think I want to be an actress who can also model with a great sense of style. So, I mean, I want to do both jobs.
What else do you want to do?
You don’t know when you could lose your job, so I want to save money for my mom. My further goal is to maintain my grandparents’ beautiful house in Dallas, Texas. After my acting and modeling career, I might live there and start a production company based in Dallas. There are so many great farms, wide roads, et cetera for photo shoots.
Have you ever imagined that you might die earlier than your mom and grandparents?
Yes, so that’s why I want to save some money for them. You never know what will happen. For example, during a flight, I often imagine what I would do if this plane has an accident. I want to prepare myself for that sort of case, and what I would do in the last moment is just listen to my favorite music rather than get panicked.
What’s the most important thing in your life, then?
To work hard and enjoy a lot. I want to balance myself between both.