Private Eyes: The Year of Ayaka Miyoshi. The Japan’s sweetheart is making her comeback with numerous fashion and acting projects, and there’s no telling when will it stop.
With 2020 bizarrely being less than three months away, people are probably already thinking of new resolutions whilst past and current ones have either been neglected or realized. These past few months have been a rollercoaster ride for many, yet that doesn’t seem to be the case for Ayaka Miyoshi. It is as if there is no other way but up for the 23-year-old actress and model. Miyoshi has been back on the grind for quite a while now and she is kept plenty busy from bagging heaps of projects for this year alone and even more to come.
Although still in her early 20s, Miyoshi has been active in the industry for more than a decade already and her filmography is filled with a variety of TV series and movies. One of her most well-known characters is when she featured as a starring role in the 2013 drama ‘Leaving on the 15th Spring.’ Her acting career started from attending the agency’s acting lessons. Aside from being talented, Miyoshi thought luck played a big role in her acting journey; “I think I was also really lucky in castings and auditions, I don’t know, something clicked with people I guess. But I’m really motivated to keep trying harder and try out new projects.”
Her latest big screen performance is an “anti-musical” musical film called ‘Dance with Me.’ Miyoshi plays as Shizuka Suzuki, a trading company office clerk who was hypnotized by a mysterious elderly man in a rundown amusement park, and he planted a suggestion in her brain that every time she hears music she must sing and dance to it. The irony in it is the fact that Suzuki actually has a deep hatred of musicals from an intense traumatic experience during her childhood. Director Shinobu Yaguchi, who was also the director for his box office comedy ‘Water Boys,’ intended to incorporate Hollywood musicals feels into ‘Dance with Me’ without losing sight of his own perspective and panache.
In the movie, Miyoshi had to actually sing for the entire scores with no assists. She went through rigorous singing and dancing practice for two months, which even resulted in her being hospitalized just before the start of the shooting. Two months are considered a pretty short amount of time but Miyoshi was able to learn rather quickly and showed no rust in her vocals or dance as Suzuki, she even did some daring stunts – there is a scene in which Miyoshi had to swing from chandeliers and that became one of her favorite scenes to shoot. She also revealed the silver lining in not particularly relating to Suzuki’s personality; “I didn’t really have much in common with the main protagonist of the movie, but that let me play her with a totally fresh perspective in mind. I think the movie is great when you’re feeling a little tired or down and want to watch something uplifting.”
“I love to express myself, so I use whatever medium allows me to do what I like. Plays, singing, acting – what I really enjoy is being able to convey a message through my actions. When I do modelling, I think it’s always more about showing another side of me so I think that’s where it could be different to when I act.” – Ayaka Miyoshi
Being an actress requires one to have many faces, and Miyoshi’s versatility was tested through her upcoming film which is polar opposites with ‘Dance with Me.’ ‘Howling Village’ is a horror movie directed by Takashi Shimizu, who is best known as the creator of Japanese ‘Ju-on’ series and ‘The Grudge’ franchise. Miyoshi expressed the excitement of working together in a movie that the master of horror himself directed, “It’s not just a ghost movie though, I think the scariest part is when you start seeing the characters’ inner selves. Because of fear, they start to show their hatred and sadness, I would say this one’s a heavy movie to watch. That being said, even though it’s a horror movie, being on set was so fun and everyone was laughing all the time!”
Before diving into acting, Miyoshi was (and still is) a model. “I love to express myself, so I use whatever medium allows me to do what I like. Plays, singing, acting – what I really enjoy is being able to convey a message through my actions. When I do modelling, I think it’s always more about showing another side of me so I think that’s where it could be different to when I act.”
Miyoshi admits she is pretty serious about fashion, other than the fact that she’s graced a lot of magazine spreads, and did plenty of collaborations with fashion’s big names, she is also a regular front row – or “frow” as it is known in the industry, and this time she flown to New York and Paris for fashion weeks, “I really liked Yohji Yamamoto and Kei Ninomiya’s shows this time around.” When asked if there is a fashion piece that she’s been wearing these days, she admitted that she’s been particularly obsessed with leather jackets and pants. “I love Kristen Stewart’s style! More than trends though, I count on my intuition to decide on what to wear and what I like.”
Definitely one to watch, Miyoshi admits that she really hasn’t got a clue about how her future might look, “I don’t really know what my plans are for the next few years yet, I’m just going to keep trying my best and see where things take me.” And it doesn’t feel like a bad plan, seeing as a bright future unquestionably awaits. (Text Kirana Ardhia)
Photography Kenta Karima
Styling Yui Sawada
Hair Aya Mishiro