Tokyo Hotlist part II
Now for the top 10 ‘sparkly’ stars of CNN’s “Tokyo Hotlist.”
10. Shogen: a.k.a ‘Shogenism’, 31 and still upcoming. He is a model who is on every Seven Stars cigarette vending machine poster. James Dean of Japan, he has a cool stare and a “come-hither smile.” He also has a credit of 10 full length feature films like “Seven Samurai.”
9. Exile: “Like the mochi in your bowl sticking to everything, this macho singing group has latched onto every branch of the pop-culture tree. The seven-member bad-boy R&B dance and vocal troupe spawned 34 hit singles, seven best-of albums, a lifestyle magazine, several acting careers, and, oh yeah, they recently announced their 2010 tour taking in 22 cities that is expected to sell 1.1 million tickets, setting a new Japan record. Success of course, means expansion, so earlier last year they upped the number of members to 14. Now even if they stop producing hit records, fans will still spend years trying to remember them all.”
8. Meisa Kuroki: the dark star. This starlet is an actress, model and singer and snagged the role of Moriyuki in “Space Battleship Yamato” from Erika Sawajiri. She is a JJ model and currently is the Japanese representative for Giorgio Armani.
7. Hisako Nakajo: a hostess helper. She’s head of the (arguably) the most influential magazine in Japan right now, Koakuma Ageha. It’s a ‘cabaret club hostess’ fashion magazine. Koakuma Ageha’s ‘extreme sparkle-graphics’ are so awesome they’ve spread over to Popteen and Non no (the ultimate ‘good girl ‘ magazine). Without this hostess star editor, where would everyone get their hostess information from?
6. Alan Dawa Dolma: Tibetan Wailer. Not Japanese but a Tokyo resident. She debut under the name Alan, and made waves when she sang the theme song to John Woo’s Red Cliff saga. She had her solo debut in January 2010 and sang a mix of ballads, J-pop and traditional Tibetan tunes.
5. Ryo Ishikawa: the club heartthrob. He’s the youngest golfer (at 15 years-old) to win the Japan Golf Tour. Now 18, he’s ranked 51 on the Official World Golf Ranking (as of July 2010) and no.1 in Japan. He set the lowest record ever carded in the Japanese tour, 58. Ryo is becoming a prince for commercial work, he has ads for ANA, Toyota and Lotte. He’s also received the nicknames “Hanikami Oji” aka ‘Bashful Prince’.
4. Tsubasa Masuwaka: a beloved underdog. She’s a hot gyaru mama who became the ‘It Girl’ when she modeled for Popteen. She became the magazine’s top model, product endorsed that generated up to Y100M worth of economic activity. She married Men’s Egg model Naoki Umeda in 2007 and retired to become a fulltime mom. She recently returned and is the model for PopSister and owns the ever-so-popular fake eyelash brand, Dolly Wink.
3.Tadashi Yanai: the brains behind Uniqlo. Fast Retailing (FR), was a family owned business that sold cheap casuals to dads in backwater locales. After Tadashi took the reins, he turned FR’s brand, Uniqlo into the best-selling fashion brand in Japan. He’s no.1 on Forbes’ Japan rich list in 2009. He has plans to turn FR into a Y5 trillion revenue global empire by 2020. In order to do this, he’s making the entire company staff learn English; it’s a requirement, so if you don’t speak English you better learn worker-bees.
2. Mademoiselle Yulia: the Color wheel. She is the most-sought after DJ for VIP event all around Tokyo’s chic clubs. This mademoiselle is known as “The Lady Gaga of Japan.” She’s only 22 and performed with M.I.A., Steve Aoki and Will.i.am. Yulia’s released two secone remix albums and has her own accessory line, GIZA.
And now for number one…. If you’re surprised by the result, then maybe you need to pay more attention to Japan’s popular stars, cause this lady, made a comeback like no other and deserves to be in the top three.
She’s known as the “Comeback Queen” of 2010, is an actress, model and singer and makes headlines like no other. She’s the center of the controversy of Japanese entertainment with her head held high. She’s Erika Sawajiri and if it’ not Erika’s way, it’s the highway.
1. Erika Sawajiri: Comeback Queen. The 24-year-old diva made the most amazing comeback in Japanese entertainment. After being scrutinized and being let go by her company, Erika left Japan with her husband and moved to Spain. She set up her own management in Spain, then faxed Japanese media outlets that she’s coming back and doing everything her way (she’s a female Johnny Kitagawa). She’s done comeback performances, appeared semi-nude in a salon poster, took if off with a foreigner and to top it all, divorced her husband. This single lady is raising her hand up and is on (almost) everyone’s lips. Don’t deny it, as bitchy as she is, she can back her shit like no other female in Japan. You either love her, hate her or love-to-hate her. It doesn’t matter as this is one diva that will be in the industry for the long haul.