Erika Sawajiri

 

(沢尻エリカ) Sawajiri Erika

Japanese (mix french) singer

 

Born in Tokyo (Japan) in 1986

Erika Sawajiri is a Japanese actress, model, and musician. Her alias in her music career was Kaoru Amane, but she has recently started her own project under the name Erika.

Erika was born to a Japanese father and mother who is of Algerian-French and Japanese descent and is the youngest of three brothers and sisters. Her father died of cancer when she was in her third year at junior high school. Her second eldest brother died in a car accident when she was in her first year at high school. Her mother managed a Mediterranean restaurant and Erika sometimes helped with it. Erika has been horseback riding since she was a child.

In 1999, Erika passed the Stardust audition after graduating from elementary school. She became part of the idol unit Angel Eyes and began modeling for junior fashion magazines such as CUTiE and nicola. She later won the grand prize for the 2001 Seikore and became a regular on the BS news program Harajuku Launchers. In 2002, Erika started her career in film as well as extending her modeling career as a gravure idol. Her first film was Mondai no nai Watashitachi.

She also became one of Fuji TV's Visual Queens in 2002. On the NTV variety show The Yoru mo Hit Parade, she became a regular from April till late June, shortly after leaving the program for the CX news program Chou VIP Fortune no Tobira from mid-June till late August.

                                            

In November, she was on the CBC variety show Bijou Dokyuu and TBS show B-1. She got her big break when she was cast in the TBS TV drama Hotman. Her most notable role was in 1 Litre of Tears in 2005 when she portrayed a girl with the degenerative disease spinocerebellar degeneration.

Erika first started her music career under the name "Kaoru Amane," the name of her character in her last drama, the TV adaptation of A Song to the Sun (Taiyou no Uta). The single went into number 1 in its second and fourth week. On 2007, Erika released her 'debut' single under only Erika entitled "Free". The single was immediately ranked on its first day as number one on the Oricon Charts. Oricon stated that she is the only artist in 39 years to get their first two single hit number one since Hiroko Yakushimaru in 1983.

She decided to enter the entertainment world because she wanted to meet singer Namie Amuro whom she idolizes.

On 2007, Sawajiri showed up at the Closed Note movie premiere and was visibly upset. Many people perceived this as a 'bad attitude'. She answered questions she was asked with very short, impolite answers. The Japanese press treated this issue as a very big deal. Later she posted an official apology on her website. She states that she regrets her attitude, and what she did was very unprofessional and she shouldn't have let her mood affect her job. A few days later she appeared on a TV Asahi's morning news show "Super Morning", and gave them an exclusive 120 minute interview. She said again that she was sorry for what she did, and she knew there was nothing she could do to change what happened, but she would try to make up for it. She also denied the rumors that she was being suspended by her management.

Following this issue, she was going to attend the 12th Pusan International Film Festival, which was held on 2007, but she announced she would not attend this.

What was later found out after the interview was that she had been seen in the club with a man who was said to be her lover Tsuyoshi Takashiro.

She has been rumoured to not have anything in her 2008 schedule and that she is staying in United Kingdom for a year and take a break in the entertainment industry. Stardust Promotion have confirmed to replace her during that time period with an actress Kaho.

Actress Erika Sawajiri returned to Japan on 2008 after nearly three months in London with her boyfriend, media creator Tsuyoshi Takashiro. While in London, Sawajiri attended a language school. Her familiarity with English became evident at the airport when several cosmetics items fell out of her bag, and she exclaimed, "Oh shit!" She continued to mostly use English while at the airport, and she reportedly has become fluent enough to handle ordinary conversation. 

She is also known as a fan of English rock band Led Zeppelin. In Led Zeppelin's reunion concert at The O2 in London, England on 2007, 3 seats for Japanese celebrities were prepared. Only she and her lover saw this concert as Japanese. (Another Japanese audience except them called Tomoaki Ogura refused to go to the concert because he worked on Japanese TV program.)

Erika Sawajiri's Official website: http://www.erika-web.com/ & http://erika-official.com/index.html

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