The Imperial House of Japan

Talking about famous people, those that comprise the very known Imperial House will surely be always on the list. The Imperial house of Japan, also known as the Imperial Family and the Yamato dynasty, is where the family of the reigning Emperor of Japan stays. The emperor has specific official and public duties that should benefit the state. In line with these duties, he as well has the obligation to stay as a credible symbol of the state and exemplify unity. Now, we wonder, why should all members of the family stay in Imperial House if the emperor is the one who is serving the people? This is because some members of the imperial family undertake ceremonial and social duties, those roles that are of course, have no relation to government affairs.

The emperor, after having successfully played his role, then passes down the line to no other than his children, then to the children of his children; this continues. More to the talk on passing the throne, Japanese monarchy is actually the oldest yet continuous hereditary monarchy. This rich history found its beginning with Emperor Jimmu to Akihito, the current emperor. To date, there are 125 monarchs since 660 BC.

At present, the Imperial Family comprises of 22 members. Emperor Akihito, reigning Emperor, is of course, first on the list. He succeeded his father back on January 7, 1989. Together with him will be his immediate family namely his wife Empress Michiko, his eldest son Crown Prince Naruhito, and second son Prince Askishino. Also on the list would be Prince Hitachi, second son and seventh child of Emperor Showa and Empress Kojun. Together with him is his branch which only involves his wife, now known to be as Princess Hitachi. They have no children to extend their branch. Crown Prince was then married to Masako Owada who is now the Crown Princess. They have one daughter who is now referred to as the Princess Toshi. Also comprising the Imperial House is the new branch started by Prince Akishino when he married Kiko Kawashima, now Princess Akishino. They have two daughters and a son namely Princess Mako of Akishino, Princess Kako of Akishino, and Prince Hisahito of Akishino. The list goes on involving Prince Mikasa and Princess Mikasa, the widow of their eldest son Princess Tomhito of Mikasa. Her two daughters namely Princess Akiko of MIkasa and Princess Yoko of Mikasa are as well part.  Prince Katsura, the second son of Prince and Princess Makasa, and Princess Takamado, widow of their third son are within the Imperial family as well, and lastly, the three daughters of Princess Takamado namely Princess Tsuguko, Princess Noriko, and Princess Ayako of Takamado.

Emperor Akihito and Immediate Family

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Mizushima Hiro and Ayaka

Mizushima Hiro, born on April 13, 1984, became an artist since 2005. He was first seen in his television appearance in the second season of Gokusen where he played a minor role named Hiro Misawa. Since then, he became prevalent in various Japanese TV dramas which include Mei-chan no Shitsuji and Zettai Kareshi. It was in 2006 that he was given a big break and offered to play a leading role in the series Kamen Rider Kabuto. Also, in the film version of this series, he was as well given the lead role. 2007 was even greater for him. It was in this year that he had the opportunity to take on bigger roles, those offered by high-profile productions. He was given a supporting role in Hanazakari no Kimitachi e and a main role in Zettai Kareshi, both great dramas. It was in September 2010 that Hiro Mizushima decided to take a new journey and left Ken-On, his talent agency for years. He decided to start his own independent agency which was referred to as the “A stAtion” which instantly gained popularity.

On the other hand, Ayaka is a known Japanese female singer who currently has a contract with Warner Music Japan. Ayaka was actually born in Osaka but decided to move to Tokyo, hoping to pursue a good singing career. She was in no doubt one of the best singers in Japan. In 2013, she was at her 11th single and still was very much supported by many. Her success was undeniable as she was given several distinctions namely Audience Request Award in 2006 at the 39th Yusen Taisho, Best New Artist and New Artist Award, both in 2006, at the 48th Japan Records Awards. She was as well recognized at the 49th Japan Record Awards in 2007 given the Gold Artist Award. Also in 2008, she was given the same award at Best Hit Kayousai. Lastly, Best Artist Award was given to her during the Japan NTV Awards in 2008.

Mizushima Hiro and Ayaka are known for being so talented that when people started to hear about them dating, many seem to think that they are just so fit for each other. True enough, these two are made for each other as they decided to settle down in February 2009. Fans are simply happy for them and surely, their similarities will surely make them more fit for each other.  Everyone hopes that their love story will continue to prosper just like how their careers continue to grow and inspire many.

Japanese power couple

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Ishii Momoka

Ishii Momoka

At 11 years old, surely, this child actress has achieved a lot. From television shows to movies, there is no doubt that Ishii Momoka is one talented child. Some of her shows include Hanayome wa Yakudoshi in 2006, Uruwashiki Oni and Papa to Musume no Nanokakan in 2007, 1 Pound no Fukuin, Hokaben, Shoni in Kyumei in 2008, and her best role in My Girl in 2009. Also in the same year, she was given a part in the movie “Kamen Rider Decade: All Riders vs. Dai-Shocker”. Not to mention, Momoka was as well given the distinction of Best Supporting Actress for My Girl at the 13th Nikkan Sports Drama Grand Pix in Fall 2009.

Her appearance in My Girl marked her career. In this show, she played as Kazama Koharu, Aiba’s daughter. She lived with her mother having no idea of who is father was. When her mom passed away, it was the only time that she got to meet him and even live with him. His father, when she met him, was only 23 years old and simply found such encounter life-changing. He never had even an idea that he, at a very young age, had a daughter hidden from him. Though this is the case, he didn’t forget his obligations and worked on raising his daughter as best as he can. This wasn’t at all familiar and easy for Masamune; he was simply helpless and stressed with all those instant changes in his life. Momoka was understanding and forgiving of his father even if at times, his helplessness led to him hurting her feelings. This made watchers appreciate her as her role was touching to parents, especially those who are experiencing something similar.

My Girl was a great opportunity for Momoka and she didn’t fail to make people see that she was indeed deserving of the role. She was able to touch lives and make people feel the emotions that the show was really hoping to direct to its viewers. She exemplified a role of a child that is loving, understanding, and forgiving; qualities that are simply admirable. We can say that the distinction given to her in this show is something she really deserved. This is not only because she’s great as a whole but she was a role model to the young ones. She showed the importance of being grateful to one’s parents and supporting them as much as they aim to support us.

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Kimura Takuya and Kudo Shizuka

 Takuya Kimura was a known singer and actor. Little do we know that this talented man started his career without really him taking the first step, as it was one of his relatives that sent his application in a talent agency. Johnny & Associates was his first talent agency; this specializes on training and forming male teen idols. He was as well part of the “Skate Boys”, a popular dance group back in 1987. The year 1993 marked Kimura’s career. It was when he was given several breaks in low-budget dramas. He was given a leading role in a teen drama entitled Asunaro hakusho which was, back then, a popular manga series that instantly got people’s attention; it was a big hit in Japan at that time. There is no doubt that he was a hit in Japan as he appeared in numerous television series and movies. To name a few, Sono toki Heartwa Nusumareta in 1992, The Dancing Girl of Izu and Asnuaro Hakusho in 1993, Wakamono no Subete in 1994, Beautiful Life and Food Fight in 2000, Hero in 2001, and many more.

Shizuka Kudo was as well known to be a good singer and actress. At an age of 14, she started a career with Seventeen Club.  Since then, the opportunities presented to her were continuous. In 1985, two singles by her were released on Sony Records. In 1985, Kudo became a member of the Onyanko Club’s Fuji TV variety show “Yuyake Nyan Nyan”. She became part of the group as member no.38. Being part of this club, for Kudo, was a great experience. At the same time though, the experience involved “bad and dirty things”. She even stated that she exerted much effort just to prevent having the same behavior of those girls around her. In 1987, Onyanko Club disbanded. Though, weeks prior to the final concert of the club, luckily, Kudo was given the opportunity to launch her first solo single entitle “Kindan no Telepathy”. This single was a success, reaching the top of music charts all over Asia.

Kimura Takuya and Kudo Shizuka

Back in 1999, Takuya Kimura ended a very long relationship with Kaori Ito, his girlfriend for about nine years. The following year, he announced his interest of marrying Shizuka Kudo. True enough, they got married on December 5, 2000. At present, these two, we may say, are happily married living with their two beautiful daughters namely Kokomi and Mitsuki.

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Baseball Player Yu Darvish and Actress Saeko

 A starting pitcher of the Texas Rangers of Major League Baseball, Yu Darvish is surely a pride of Japan. Darvish is a mix of Iranian, coming from his father Farsad Darvishsefat, and Japanese, coming from her mother Ikuyo. It may be said that it was through his father that he realized his interest in sports, as his father was back then a soccer player in college. His grandfather, aside from being an owner of a travel agency in Iran, is also good in racing in motocross. With this, there is no doubt that Darvish will pursue a somewhat similar interest leading to a great career at present.

As early as second grade, he started playing baseball and even was believed to be the reason on to why his team reached quarter-finals in a national tournament. During this time as well, the team won third place finish in an international tournament. When he reached junior high, he was courted by over 50 high schools; this just shows how his skills are idolized by many. He decided to enter Tohoku High School which was known to produce the best players. The success of Darvish, since then, was simply overwhelming. Teams of all over Japan and the world have hoped to make him part of their team. His awards and championships are too much to mention but his success is something that everyone is a witness.

Saeko, on the other hand, is a known actress, model, and TV personality. Aside from being a natural artist, her interest in Fashion was one thing that she worked on pursuing, leading her to having her own “Saeko Design Dith No.1 Hit Original Carry” back in April 2013. She as well had the opportunity of introducing a cosmetics line in March 2012. Aside from these, simply, Saeko was considered to be one of the most beautiful artists in Japan, giving her the distinction of “Baseball’s Hottest Wife for 2010”, as she married Yu Darvish in November 2007.

It was in August 2007 that Darvish announced his plan of marrying Saeko. Even before marriage, Saeko was pregnant with their first child. They decided to push through with the wedding in November 2007. Their marriage lasted for about 5 year resulting to two loving sons. Unfortunately, things weren’t always good to them which led to their divorce in 2012. For some strange timing, the day that their divorced was finalized was also the same day that Darvish signed a contract with Texas Rangers. This led to controversies and doubts.

Darvish Yu & Saeko

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Kobayashi Seiran

Born on September 25, 2004, Seiran Kobayashi is a known Japanese child actress and probably one of the best. Her movies include Kimi ga Odoru, Natsu in 2010 and Spotlight in 2012. Some of her television shows include Samayoi Zakura and Challenged in 2009, Sotsu Uta, Yokame no semi, Rikon Syndrome in 2010, Wataru Seken wa Oni Bakari and Namae o Nakushita Megami in 2011, and Paji and Ikkyu-San 2 in 2013. More than being a known actress, she is as well blessed with good voice. She as well had the opportunity to have her own music singles together with Kanon Tani, her fellow child actress. These singles are Toshishita no Otokonoko in August 2012 and White Love in December of the same year. Aside are some of endorsements namely TelWel East Japan, Yamasa Corporation Konbu Ponzu, Studio Anne, AC Japan, Mr. Donut, Calpis, and P&G Gold.

Kobayashi Seiran

Probably, her role in Natsu no Koi wa Nijiiro ni Kagayaku made her known more in Japan. In this show, she played a role of a sweet and shy daughter of a widow. They lived happily but ended when a character named Taigi came into picture. Taigi is in a stage of depression. He developed an inferiority complex as he struggles to accept the extreme difference of his popularity to that of his father’s. Seiran’s mother in this show rescued Taigi and her cheerfulness slowly took away his worries. Basically, their normal day turned to something broken, unusual, and somewhat destroyed, as the focus of each day was to adjust on Taigi’s indifference.  For a child, such change can be traumatic and simply depressing knowing that their life, when it was just her and her mother, was full of enjoyment and free from worries. Viewers enjoyed the show and one reason is that they pity such adorable child who at an early age, had to suffer just to adjust to a person’s lack of confidence. Her acting in this show was simply natural and great.

The success of Seiran is overwhelming and surely, her achievement will continue for a long time. Her cuteness is something that you’ll find engaging and lovable. She is definitely one blessed child as it is seldom that one could excel in acting and at the same time, even have this talent in singing. Now tell me, who wouldn’t find her lovable? Watch some of her shows and see how great she is!

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Sailor Moon

Sailor Moon

Available in different forms, from shows to games, to toys and dolls, Sailor Moon has always been admired and loved by the young generation, especially by girls. This pretty soldier was actually made possible in Japan and started as a Japanese multimedia franchise series. This was in fact illustrated by Naoko Takeuchi as a manga. Sailor Moon was a unique character for everyone as she showed a twist in the magical girl genre. Typically, girls back then are presented with shy and cute magical girl characters. When Sailor Moon came into picture, girls are presented with a different genre that is simply magical.

When I was young, I loved Sailor Moon and even hoped to be like her. Have you ever wondered how she became known as the Sailor Moon? Usagi or Serena was actually her original name. She was an ordinary teenage girl. One day, she had an encounter with a black cat. Naturally, people, when seeing one, would stay away. Instead, Usagi helped this black cat. Instantly, this cat started talking and then was known to be Luna. Luna gave Usagi special powers, tasking her to fight evil and undergo a quest aiming to find the Moon Princess. This magical power given to her by this strange cat made her transform to a “pretty soldier”, now known to be Sailor Moon. Since this beautiful change, Sailor Moon started her quest and was instantly loved by girls. From Magic to romance and even adventure, Sailor Moon surely portrayed successful adventures that captured the interest of many.

Her popularity, we may say, was infectious. Girls dream to be like her and even copies the way she dresses. During costume parties, surely, you will see even just one girl who dresses up as a Japanese junior high school student wearing a uniform with a navy blue sailor suit with a middy collar, bow, and pleated skirt. This character’s popularity was as well exhibited greatly through its various forms that have been continuously arising just to satisfy the demand for Sailor Moon. Aside from spanning to about 52 Acts and ten separate side-stories in Manga, it now as well has an anime television series, also based from Manga. Art books and stage musicals are as well based from this pretty soldier, and of course, numerous trading figures, twelve of which are expected to be released this year. Surely, these will be big hits again!

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Yoshido Riko

Hanada Shonenshi – Yuurei to Himitsu no Tunnel (2006), Sajuran (2007), Kurosagi (2008), and Himitsu no Akko-chan (2012) are just some of the films that the famous child actress Riko Yoshida became part of. Born on October 28, 1999, Riko was blessed with such talents in acting and simply is lovable on screen. Part of the Moon the Child Agency, Riko’s achievements go beyond the stated films as she as well appeared in various television series namely Oh! My Girl!, Hanayome to Papa, and Yamada Taro Monogatari. Some of her television dramas include Osen and Tomorrow in 2008, Gyne and Saka no Ue no Kumo in 2009, and Beautiful Rain in 2012.

“Oh! My Girl!” probably marked her career. In this series, she played a role of a spoiled daughter of a famous actress. Her mother, for some reason, disappeared and left her with her uncle, played by Hayami Mokomichi. She was taken cared by him but this is something that she found fun mainly because she enjoyed bossing him around. Basically, her role in this series was somewhat annoying. Naturally, viewers would find her annoying as well, but in her case, it was different, as watchers found her adorable still and even considered her role as something really believable and professional. At a young age, she was assured of fame and much support from hundreds of Japanese watchers, whether young or old.

Yoshida Riko in Oh! My Girl!

The series didn’t focus plainly on showing how spoiled she is. The show didn’t fail in showing that there is this deep and more serious side, a side that wonders why her mother left. She was longing to see her mother and in this search, she had nothing in mind but hoping to give answers to her confusions and questions. Why did her mother leave? Why is she left with her uncle? These doubts were with her every day but what made people love her more is that she exemplified strength. These feelings of doubt and loneliness didn’t control her and this is something admirable knowing that typically, a young girl who experiences the same would probably grow miserable. She, instead, found the need of moving on and though she’s still in question, she enjoyed her life and continued to do things that she found fun; one of which would be annoying her uncle, driving him insane.  She didn’t fail into showing that she’s very much capable and surely, have so much to offer at a very young age. What a great talent she is!

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The Famous Pikachu

Pikachu

Who doesn’t find Pikachu cute and adorable? There is no doubt that Pikachu is probably one of the most sought after, probably the cutest, cartoon character that Japan has made. Pikachu actually revolves from “Pichu” when “leveled up with high friendship” and then to “Raichi” when “Pichu” is exposed to a thunder stone. The existence of Pikachu will always go in-hand with the making of the Pokemon, which is part of Nintendo’s collective mascots. Pokemon, on the other hand, is a shorter version of “Pocket Monster”.  Now, Pikachu often appear with Ash, a boy who simply dreams to be the greatest Pokemon trainer. Pikachu, a Pokemon who is known for its electric personality and power, was given to him by Professor Oak. Ash and Pikachu travels the Pokemon world aiming to capture more Pokemon and fights in battles.

If you’re a solid fan of this popular TV cartoon, then you would probably know every aspect of it including the fact that Pikachu is actually of various appearances. We can say that his cuteness goes beyond him being known as that yellow character but these appearances make children look forward to him more. These appearances vary depending on who handles it. His major appearance would be that handled by Ash, there is as well Ritchie’s Pikachu named Sparky. Sparky, as compared to the original Pikachu, has a fur on top of its head. In Hocus Pokemon, Ash was transformed into a Pikachu by Lily, a magician. Ash, being Pikachu, was referred to as Ashachu. Puka is another appearance and this time, owned by Victor on Seafoam Island. In comparison, Puka is a blue-eyed Pikachu and has the ability to sense approaching tidal waves. Last on the list of Pikachu’s major appearances would be Pikachutwo who appeared in Mewto Strikes Black. In here, Ash’s Pikachu was cloned by a character named Mewtwo and appeared to be having spikes at the tips of its ears. Pikachutwo is more aggressive though has this speech problem, as an effect of the cloning process.

Pikachu will surely remain wanted by almost every Japanese child and children all over the world. I, personally, didn’t know much about the Pokemon craze before, but the idea of Pikachu got me inclined to knowing what this craze is about. Pikachu, well for me, remains the cutest and bravest of all Pokemon. Without him, Pokemon wouldn’t have reached its undeniable popularity at present.

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Becoming famous in Japan

In Japan, there seems to be this degree of importance given to television and shows, more specifically, there is a quite a number of historical places in Japan that still don’t have a corresponding foreign version. As the demand for these versions arises, there will always be a need for foreign artists and extras to play various roles. This is definitely a great opportunity to get seen in the big screen and be known in Japan and maybe around the world. Now, the question really is, what do you get from playing such roles?

Auditioning for a role

Aside from instant fame, you will in no doubt earn more than the usual. The pay, though, highly depends on your look and performance. This look doesn’t simply pertain to having that beautiful face because sometimes, that kind face is not always needed. Directors often base their choice on the way the applicant appears on screen; this is why, usually, aspiring artists are asked to smile and say a few lines while facing the camera. This is simply a way to know if one is photogenic and more importantly, telegenic. Now, getting that wanted role goes with benefits and these include of course, that overwhelming pay. Talent fees are as well dependent on your accepted role. Usually, if one is just asked to appear his foreign face in the background, he gets paid with around 15,000 YEN a day. This is not at all bad mainly because one can just pass by the camera and instantly get paid fairly. On the other hand, if your presence is just wanted leading to a primarily role, then you might just get more lucky and earn 150,000 YEN per day. These rates, take note, are always dependent not only on the role but on the length of one’s exposure on screen.

Most often than not, these role auditions are conducted and headed by various talent agencies. With this, it is often a dilemma on whether or not, a talent should join an agency or just be a freelance talent. There are actually pros and cons for each. Being handled by an agency makes you a priority talent but being accepted in a role means sharing a part of your earnings to your manager or agency. Being a freelance talent, on the other hand, is advantageous, as one is free to enter any agency and try out any auditions, not worrying about minuses on fees or bridge on contract issues. It’s a matter of knowing where to hold on to: higher pay or wider opportunities?

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