Private Eyes: Capturing the Charisma of Ayaka Miyoshi. In an interview with DEW, the Japanese starlet opens up and gets honest on her journey so far and she wants next.

This article was originally published in DEW Magazine #47 The Green Issue Summer 2023

Oozing cool girl charisma in every move she makes, Ayaka Miyoshi is the Japanese actress on the tip of everyone’s tongue. Although you might’ve gotten familiar with her after her role in Alice in Borderland, the star has started her career in the entertainment industry much longer and more widespread than expected. With a long history in acting, modeling, and even being an idol, Miyoshi was destined for stardom.

The star’s first film credit traces back to 2008 when the star played the role of Kasumi in Sing, Salmon Sing! when she was merely twelve years old. At that age, the actress has also featured in specials like Yume no Mitsuke Kata Oshietaru! and Pocky 4 Sisters: Dasenai Tegami. Aside from these roles, she also passed the auditions for being a “Nico Petit” model, a fashion magazine aimed at tween and teen girls. If that wasn’t impressive enough, Miyoshi even had a few years of experience being an idol in Sakura Gakuin.

Private Eyes: Capturing the Charisma of Ayaka Miyoshi

Left page, Ayaka wears one-piece Comme des Garçons. Shoes OAO. Right page, Ayaka wears coat and turtleneck Dolce & Gabbana.

But despite the many experiences she’s had at this early age, she shares with DEW that she still felt like she was still lacking at the time, “As far as I can remember, there’s a time when I felt my determination was poor because I entered the entertainment industry so soon.” Of course, starting a career when you’re just a child always comes with risks. From the child star’s point of view, they are simply just given the opportunity to live their dreams, with the consequences only being felt after time passes.

With most of their youth spent on projects and sets, many child stars aren’t able to experience things most kids their age do. Miyoshi even shares that part of her wants to try working a part-time job as she’s never experienced it. However, ultimately, the star doesn’t regret the path she has chosen, as all her experiences in the early days of her career have shaped her into the woman she is now. “I ended my childhood without knowing how reality is and whether it’s a right or bad thing. Still, to be able to interact with adults, watching over and learn from others,” she elaborates, “If you see it objectively, I think it’s the right thing. Experiences are precious as I grow older.”

Private Eyes: Capturing the Charisma of Ayaka Miyoshi

Right page, Ayaka wears top and bottom Jil Sander. Object Minji Kim.

In a video interview with Armani, the star shared that her vision for the future wasn’t so clear as a teenager and felt a lot of confusion about what lies ahead for her. “It was the moment when I got lost while thinking ‘Is this really destined for me?’ ‘Is this really something that I wanted to do?’” she says vulnerably, opening up about some thoughts she had during her days. However, she found clarity as time passed, and if she were to give advice to fellow young girls trying to make it in the industry, “Rather than living without knowing the answer, live while making decisions after knowing it. By doing so, it’ll improve your life better – that’s what I always think.”

Although she’s been around for years, the Netflix series Alice in Borderland was the project that catapulted her into global stardom. The show follows a gamer in Tokyo who end up in a dystopian version of the city where he and his friends have to compete in various tortuous games in order to stay alive. Miyoshi plays Ann Rizuna, the ensemble’s cool girl who helps the group using her intelligence, boldness and cool-headedness.

Private Eyes: Capturing the Charisma of Ayaka Miyoshi

Left page, Ayaka wears top and bottom UNDERCOVER at ÉCRU. Leather top SANKUANZ.

“I was glad that the impact was so great, and I’m proud of it. It was adapted from manga, after all, and I feel honoured to be known as Ann by people around the world. Since each character’s personality was being highlighted, I’d be glad if Ann’s personality, where she would objectively analyze everything calmly, were shown more,” Miyoshi shares, telling us about how she felt about the series’ success.

“No matter how I look, I’d stay as myself, I’m me even in any form. Just being known (as myself) from different views like that, I’d be glad.” – Ayaka Miyoshi

Miyoshi has played many memorable roles throughout her career, but the ambitious actress continues to have goals she’s yet to explore. “I want to play action roles more. Especially in works where the woman appears cool,” she confesses. With the success of her acting in the suspenseful Alice in Borderland, we can clearly see the potential for Miyoshi to ace a femme fatale role. The actress has always had an admiration for the action genre and the actresses who play such strong heroines, “To put it simply, I love action, and I also have many people that I admired who have a cool charm on them [to the point] that I want to turn my life to become like them.”

Private Eyes: Capturing the Charisma of Ayaka Miyoshi

Left page, Ayaka wears one-piece SUNWOO. Shoes OAO. Right page, Ayaka wears top, bottom, and gloves Dolce & Gabbana.

Besides acting, the actress has recently dived into doing directorial work in “MIRRORLIAR FILMS Season 1: Inside you.” With a genuine love for the industry, Miyoshi continues to have the ambition to explore various sides of film. But of course, there’s a drastic difference in being in front of the camera and being the one behind it, so directing was a significant learning experience for the star as she was able to learn the opposing perspective of what she usually goes through on set.

She earnestly shares why she decided to give directing a go, “I wanted to see the act of expression from a different angle. Because I was interested in the chemistry of creating work as an actress or as a director, which has different yet the same approach to each other. […] The feelings that I experienced as a director was that the uttered words or expressions (given to the actors) must be more precise and more accurate.”

Private Eyes: Capturing the Charisma of Ayaka Miyoshi

Left page, Ayaka wears one-piece DIESEL. Shoes OAO. Right page, Ayaka wears top and bottom DONGLYUNG. Shoes OAO.

As she continues to achieve new goals in her career, she hopes to continue attracting a global audience through her acting whilst also focusing on the action genre. But personally, she hopes to stay grounded despite reaching new levels of fame, “No matter how I look, I’d stay as myself, I’m me even in any form. Just being known (as myself) from different views like that, I’d be glad.” (Text Vanya Harapan)


Cover story Ayaka Miyoshi in OAO

Photography Sungmin Kim

Styling Kukseon Hyun

Hair Anna Young

Make-up Sera Lee

Casting director Shimana