April 8, 1986 |
Nerima, Tokyo, Japan
|Other names||Kaoru Amane
|Years active||2001-2009, 2010–present|
(2001 - 2009)
(2010 - present)
|Spouse(s)||Tsuyoshi Takashiro (2009–2010)|
Erika Sawajiri (沢尻 エリカ Sawajiri Erika , born April 8, 1986 in Nerima, Tokyo) is a Japan-based 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. She was affiliated with Sony Music Entertainment Japan for her record label (formerly as Kaoru Amane and later Erika), and Stardust Promotion for her talent agency (with her real name, Erika Sawajiri) before her contract was terminated in late 2009. On September 10, 2010, it was announced that she signed with Avex label for talent management and music releases. She became popular after playing a girl who suffered from an intractable disease called spinocerebellar degeneration (SCD) in the nonfiction drama 1 Litre of Tears.
Erika was born to a Japanese father and an Algerian-born French mother of Berber extraction and is the youngest of three children. Her father owned sixteen racehorses, including Edonokoban (エドノコバン), giving Erika ample opportunities to engage in horseback riding as a child. Her father disappeared from home when Erika was 9 years old, returning when she was in her third year at junior high school, only to die from cancer that year. Her second eldest brother died in a traffic accident when she was in her first year at high school. Her eldest brother is a former actor. Her mother managed a Mediterranean restaurant and Erika sometimes worked. The restaurant is no longer in business. The family is extremely close knit, and often used Erika's photoshoots and other work as an opportunity to travel together as a family.
In 1999, Sawajiri 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, Sawajiri 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 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.
Sawajiri 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 July 16, 2007, Erika released her 'debut' single under only 'Erika,' "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 January 20, 2009, Sawajiri married media creator Tsuyoshi Takashiro at Meiji Shrine in Yoyogi. The pair registered their marriage on January 7, which fell on the most auspicious of the days according to the six-day rokuyo calendar, and they held a small reception for close friends and family in Hawaii later that month.
Sawajiri and her mother both stated on separate occasions that she would return to Japan and make a comeback as soon as late summer 2009.
At the movie premiere for Closed Note on September 29, 2007, Sawajiri responded in a terse manner to reporters' questions. After much criticism in the Japanese press, she posted an apology on her website. 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 also denied the rumors that she was being suspended by her management.
She had planned to attend the 12th Pusan International Film Festival on October 6, 2007, but she cancelled. It was later discovered that she had been seen in a club with Tsuyoshi Takashiro, a man 21 years her senior. Sawajiri returned to Japan on March 29, 2008 after nearly three months in London with 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.
During her two-year break from show business, she spent a year in London and a month in Australia studying English. She also spent half a year in Spain studying graphic design.
In September 2009, the Japanese media started releasing reports that her management company, Stardust Promotions, would void her contract for undisclosed reasons. Her personal website became devoid of all content save one cryptic line: "See you at the next stage." Sawajiri's mother denied that termination of her contract was the result of substance abuse by Erika.
On September 1, 2010, in an interview on CNNGo.com, she said that her apology after the 2007 movie premiere incident was a mistake. She didn't want to apologize but her management at that time forced her to apologize; "I told them 'this is my way'... but in the end I surrendered. That was my mistake." Sawajiri believes that the agencies that are forcing too much from their idols are too old fashioned and that "The managers themselves are old but we have to change this situation."
|2004.02.28||Mondai no nai watashitachi||Shintani Maki (新谷麻綺)||Asmik Ace|
(We Shall Overcome Someday)
|Lee Kyung-ja 李慶子、リ･キョンジャ、이경자||Asmik Ace|
|2005.04.16||Ashurajou no Hitomi||谷地||Shochiku|
|2005.09.17||Shinobi: Heart Under Blade ||Hotarubi (蛍火)||Shochiku|
|2006.05.13||Mamiya kyodai||Naomi Honma (本間直美)||Asmik Ace|
|2006.09.16||Sugar & Spice||Noriko Watanabe (渡辺乃里子)||Toho|
|2006.09.30||Otoshimono (Ghost Train)||Nana (奈々)||Shochiku|
|2006.10.21||Tentama 天使の卵||Natsuki Saito (斎藤夏姫)||Shochiku|
|2006.11.11||Tegami 手紙 ||Yumiko Iraishi (白石由美子)||Gaga Communications|
|2007.09.29||Closed Note (クローズド・ノート)||Kae Hori (堀井香恵)||Toho|
|2012.07.14||Helter Skelter (ヘルタースケルター) ||Ririko (りりこ)||Asmik Ace|
TV dramas 
|2003||Hotman ホットマン||Satsuki Akikawa (秋川さつき)||TBS|
|Hitonatsu no Papa e ひと夏のパパへ||Satsuki (さつき)||TBS|
|2004||Sakura Sakumade 桜咲くまで||Naoko Hayashi (林菜穂子)||MBS|
|2005||Aikurushii あいくるしい||Honoka Kizaki (木崎 ほのか)||TBS|
|1 Litre of Tears 1リットルの涙||Aya Ikeuchi (池内 亜也)||Fuji Television|
|2006||Taiyou no uta タイヨウのうた ||Kaoru Amane (雨音 薫)||TBS|
|2012||L et M: Watashi ga Anata wo Aisuru Riyuu||L/M||BeeTV|
|Akujo ni Tsuite||Tomikoji Kimiko/Suzuki Kimiko||TBS|
Special dramas 
|2003.02.02||NorthPoint Friends||Mami Iwasa (岩佐マミ)||Hokkaido Cultural Broadcasting|
|2004.02.11||Fuyuzora ni Tsuki ha Kagayaku 冬空に月は輝く||-||Fuji Television|
|2004.04.03||Cheers ~ Tenkou e no Ouenka||Yukari Akikawa (秋川ゆかり)||Nihon Television|
|2005.09.10||The Winds of God||Misaki Ohara (大原美咲)||Asahi Television|
|2006.10.22||Tenshi no hashigo||Natsuki Saito (斎藤夏姫)||Fuji Television|
Music videos 
|Year||Singer||Music Video Clip||Information|
|2003||Kishidan||Secret Love Story||-|
|Zeebra feat. Hiro||Big Big Money||-|
|2005||Rip Slyme||Hey! Brother||Theme song of Mamiya kyodai|
|2006||Kaoru Amane||A Song to the Sun (タイヨウのウタ Taiyou no Uta )||Theme song of A Song to the Sun|
|Kaoru Amane||Stay With Me||Insert song of A Song to the Sun|
|Miliyah Kato||I Will||Theme song of Otoshimono|
|SunSet Swish||Kimi ga Iru Kara 君がいるから||Theme song of Tentama|
|Hitomi Takahashi||Komorebi||Theme song of Tegami|
|2007||Erika||Free||Commercial song of Subaru Stella + R2|
|Erika||Fantasy||Commercial song of music.jp|
|Yui||Love & Truth||Theme song of Closed Note|
|Erika||Destination Nowhere||Commercial song of music.jp|
Variety shows 
|Year||Variety Show||Broadcasting Company|
|2002||The Night of Hit Parade||Nihon Television|
|Unknown||Mecha x2 Ikederu!||-|
|2005–2006||Amenity, Cook Nuevo & Yulax||Yamahisa|
|Flet's Phone||NTT Docomo|
|K Album Beyond the Sea||SonyMusic|
|2006||Xylish Show||Meiji Seika|
|Kaoru Amane Single Taiyou no Uta||SonyMusic|
|Pepsi Nex Zero||Pepsi|
|Stella + R2||Subaru|
|Erika Single Free||Studioseven Recordings|
|Erika Single Destination Nowhere||Studioseven Recordings|
|Sala ~Straight Mist~||Kanebo|
|2010||SYOSS||Schwarzkopf & Henkel|
|Takano Yuri Beauty Clinic||Takano Yuri|
Awards and nominations 
|2001||Young Jump Uniform Collection||Runner up||-|
|2002||Fuji TV's Visual Queen of the Year||-||-|
|2005||18th Nikkan Sports Movie Award||Best New Comer Award||Pacchigi!|
|30th Houchi Movie Award||Best New Comer Award||Pacchigi!|
|15th Tokyo Sports Movie Award||Best New Comer Award||Pacchigi!|
|79th Kinema Junpo Award||Best New Comer Award [Female]||Pacchigi!|
|29th Japan Academy Awards||Best New Comer Award [Female]||Pacchigi!|
|2006 Elandor Award||Best New Comer Award||1 Litre of Tears|
|43rd Golden Arrow Award||Best New Comer Award||1 Litre of Tears|
|2013||36th Japan Academy Awards||Best Actress in a Leading Role||Helter Skelter|
|August 30, 200||"Taiyo no Uta (The Sun's Song)" (c/w Stay with me)
|1||1||1||10||150,056||488,000||-||Sony Music Japan|
|July 4, 2007||"Free"
|November 28, 2007||"Destination Nowhere"
- "沢尻エリカ＆高城剛氏のプロフィール". Nikkan Sports (in Japanese) (Japan: Nikkan Sports News). 22 December 2008. Retrieved 28 February 2010.
- "沢尻エリカ、契約解除へ 重大違反が発覚". Sports Hochi (in Japanese) (Japan: The Hochi Shimbun). 26 September 2009. Retrieved 28 February 2010.
- Robert Michael Poole (2010-09-01). "Erika Sawajiri: Inside the head of Japan's outspoken star". CNNGo. Retrieved 2012-03-04.
- スターダストプロモーション 沢尻エリカのプロフィール Stardust Promotion (Japanese)
- New Year's Eve and further details about marriage Hochi Yomiyuri (Japanese)
- "Erika Sawajiri loses comeback movie role as contract termination looms".
- Sawajiri's Divorce (Japanese)
- Sulky Erika Sawajiri not quite big enough to pull off prima donna pouting Mainichi Japan (English)
- 行定監督「映画がかわいそう」...“エリカ様”騒動の心中激白 Sanspo.com (Japanese)
- Connell, Ryann (April 11, 2008). "'Oh ****!' - Foul-mouthed starlet Sawajiri's career in crisis". Mainichi Shimbun. Archived from the original on 2008-04-14. Retrieved 2008-04-15.
- 沢尻エリカ、契約解除へ 重大違反が発覚
- 高城氏 エリカ契約解除なら事務所告訴も/芸能・社会/デイリースポーツ
- Erika Sawajiri Official Website (Japanese)
- Erika Sawajiri Official Website (Avex Management) (Japanese)
- Kaoru Amane Official Website (Japanese)
- Erika Sawajiri at Model Imago
- Erika Sawajiri at the Internet Movie Database