Chiaki Kuriyama: The Mythical Girl of Japanese Cinema
Chiaki Kuriyama is a Japanese actress, singer, and model who rose to fame in the late 1990s as a child model and actress. She is best known in the West for her roles as Takako Chigusa in Kinji Fukasakus 2000 film Battle Royale and Gogo Yubari in Quentin Tarantinos 2003 film Kill Bill: Volume 1. But before she became an international star, she was a Shinwa Shoujo, or a girl of myth.
Shinwa Shoujo is the title of a photobook that Chiaki Kuriyama appeared in when she was 13 years old, photographed by Kishin Shinoyama, a renowned Japanese photographer. The photobook featured Chiaki in various poses and outfits, some of them revealing and suggestive. The photobook became a best-seller in Japan, but it also caused controversy because of its nudity and sexualization of a minor. The photobook was discontinued by the publisher in 1999 after the institution of new anti-child pornography laws.
Despite the controversy, Shinwa Shoujo launched Chiaki Kuriyamas career as a model and actress. She appeared in several fashion magazines, such as Nicola and Pichi Lemon, and starred in horror films, such as Shikoku and Ju-on. She also gained recognition for her role as Takako Chigusa in Battle Royale, a dystopian thriller about a class of high school students forced to kill each other on an island. Chiaki played a tough and athletic girl who fought back against her classmates and died in a bloody showdown with Kazuo Kiriyama, the most ruthless killer in the game.
Chiaki Kuriyamas breakthrough role in Hollywood was as Gogo Yubari, the schoolgirl bodyguard of yakuza boss O-Ren Ishii (Lucy Liu) in Kill Bill: Volume 1. Chiaki impressed Quentin Tarantino with her performance in Battle Royale, and he wrote the role of Gogo specifically for her. Chiaki played a sadistic and skilled fighter who wielded a meteor hammer as her weapon of choice. She had a memorable fight scene with Uma Thurmans character, The Bride, in a Tokyo nightclub.
Since then, Chiaki Kuriyama has continued to work as an actress, singer, and model in Japan and abroad. She has appeared in films such as Azumi 2: Death or Love, The Great Yokai War, Blade of the Immortal, and Chiwawa. She has also released several singles and an album under her name. She is currently starring in TV dramas such as 24 Japan, CSI: Crime Scene Talks, and Silent Voice.
Chiaki Kuriyama is one of the most versatile and talented actresses in Japan. She has shown her range and charisma in various genres and roles. She is also one of the few Japanese actresses who have successfully crossed over to Hollywood. She is a Shinwa Shoujo who has become a legend of her own. c481cea774