Rola (model)

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Born (1990-03-30) March 30, 1990 (age 25)
Tokyo, Japan
Ethnicity Bengali - Japanese-Russian
Occupation Fashion model, TV personality
Employer Libera Production[1]
Height 1.65 m (5 ft 5 in)[2]
Parent(s) Jurip Al-Asa (father)

Rola (ローラ Rōra?, born March 30, 1990) is a Japanese fashion model and TV personality.[2] She is of Bengali, Japanese and Russian descent, as her father is from Bangladesh and her mother is Japanese with a quarter Russian heritage.[3] In commercial modelling, she is best known for her regular appearances in the Japanese fashion magazine Vivi.[4] Since 2011, Rola has become more widely known as a tarento (TV personality) appearing on Japanese television regularly.[5] Best known for her distinctive characteristics, exuding an overall childlike naiveté, innocence and playfulness personas.

Personal life[edit]

Early life[edit]

Rola was born in Tokyo, Japan. She was raised primarily in Bangladesh until she was 9 years old where she attended an American international school.[6] Rola's father is from Bangladesh and her mother is of mixed Japanese and Russian heritage.[7] Her parents were divorced and she was primarily raised by her step-mother, who was Chinese.[8] She has a twin brother, with whom she is said to get along well, and a younger half-brother and half-sister who are also twins.[6][9] Rola's modelling career began when she was a high school student after being approached by a scout while walking down the street in Shibuya, Tokyo.[10]

Father's arrest[edit]

In June 2013, it was revealed that the Tokyo Metropolitan Police had issued an arrest warrant for Rola's father, Jurip Al-Asa, for conspiring with another Bangladeshi to defraud the national health insurance system out of 875,000 yen (approximately $9000 US) in payment for an operation he had supposedly undergone overseas.[1][11] Rola publicly apologized for the trouble caused on her blog on 1 July 2013.[12] Al-Asa was arrested by the Tokyo Metropolitan Police on July 26, 2014 having presented himself to the Suginami police department. At the time, he denied any attempt to defraud the national health insurance system[13][14] and was released without charge on August 15, 2014 on the grounds that there was insufficient evidence to prosecute him.[15][16] Al-Asa was later rearrested in October.[17] He was formally prosecuted with a preliminary hearing in late December where he admitted to the entirety of the prosecution's account of events. He stated that his original denial of the charge was due to not wanting his children to be "a child of a criminal".[18]

Although some media commentators[19] claim that the Al-Asa's arrest warrant and subsequent prosecution directly led to a reduction in Rola's television appearances, other commentators[20] claim that this is due to a change in strategy; her continued appearance in commercials (more than any other Japanese celebrity in 2014) is cited as evidence for this.[21]


In modelling[edit]

After making several appearances in the Japan's Popteen magazine,[22] Rola began appearing in the fashion magazine Vivi in 2008.[23] She has since been active in runway modeling, making numerous appearances in shows such as Tokyo Girls Collection, Shibuya Girls Collection, and Girls Award.[22] Rola's first appearance on the cover of Vivi magazine was the August 2012 edition,[24] and her first fashion book, "The Rola!!", was published the same month.[25] An additional fashion book, "ROLA'S CLOSET", was released in June 2014 and contains photographs taken by Rola on the photograph-sharing service instagram.[26] In August 2014, she began modelling for the fashion brand Beams, making her first appearance in the brand's 2014 Autumn/Winter catalogue.[27]

As a TV personality[edit]

Rola's career as a tarento (a television personality in Japan) began in June 2010 when she made her first appearance on Nihon TV's variety show Shabekuri 007 alongside fellow models Lena Fujii and Mitsuki Oishi.[28] Rola was named the number four "rising TV-star in 2011", with 200 appearances on Japanese TV shows.[29] She appeared as a weekly regular on Fuji TV's Waratte Iitomo! variety show from April 2012[30] until the program ended in March 2014.

Rola's television persona comprises distinctive characteristics, exuding an overall childlike naiveté, innocence and playfulness. Signature affectations such as puffing her cheeks in embarrassment, holding an "OK" hand gesture over her cheek, and curling her tongue over her upper lip make Rola a common subject for Japanese impersonators, who also mimic her ditzy responses and constant giggles. She falls within the model-idol category of Japanese "talent" (tarento) as not actually possessing any particular talent, but Rola also presents comic possibilities by her mere presence.[7][31] In the wake of Rola's popularity, aspiring talent Arie Mizusawa began appearing on Japanese television sporting cute affectations nearly identical to Rola, to an extent that entertainment media referred to Mizusawa as "Rola 2" and both she and Rola as "twins".[32][33][34]

In April 2014, Rola acquired her first presenting role on the Fuji TV quiz show "Danketsu Seyo Quiz 30" where she presents alongside veteran TV presenter and comedian, Atsushi Tamura.[35]


In October 2011, Rola made her musical debut as a featured vocalist on Issa (of Da Pump) and SoulJa's song "I hate u".[36] She made her solo debut in July 2012 with the song "Memories", the theme song for the film Kyurem vs. the Sacred Swordsman: Keldeo, in which she also has a cameo voice appearance.[37] It peaked at number 14 on the Oricon Chart in its first week of release.[38] In September 2012, Rola met with Canadian singer Carly Rae Jepsen in Tokyo following her own lip-dub version of Jepsen's hit "Call Me Maybe", and expressed her intention to master English in order to broaden her horizons.[39]


Rola joined the social media site Twitter on February 29, 2012.[40] After three days, she gained over 190,000 followers.[41] After two weeks, the number had risen to over 430,000, the largest number amongst Japanese models, followed by Tsubasa Masuwaka and Kyary Pamyu Pamyu.[42] It reached over 670,000 by April 13, 2012,[43] and 1,000,000 in October 2012.[44] In June 2014, she became the fourth Japanese celebrity to exceed two million followers.[45] As of January 2015, she has the third highest number of followers (over 2.5 million) for a Japanese celebrity, second amongst Japanese female celebrities.[46]

Advertising work[edit]

In 2009, as an exclusive Vivi model, she became the model for "Vivifleurs" women's suits following a joint enterprise between Vivi and Haruyama Trading Co.,Ltd..[47] In 2011, along with Mizuki Yamamoto, Yuri Ebihara, Jessica Michibata, Tomomi Itano, Hazuki Tsuchiya and Taylor Momsen, Rola became a model for the fashion label Samantha Thavasa, appearing in television commercials and catalogues.[48] Modeling for the cosmetics brand Brigitte in January 2012, Rola appeared in television commercials, which targets the early-twenties market.[49] That April, Rola also signed a contract with Fujiya Co., appearing alongside the brand's mascot "Peko-chan"; a new brand of sweets featuring Rola on the packaging was released by the company in September of that year.[50][51] Mail-order retailer for young women's lingerie Peach John was represented by Rola in May 2012, where she appeared on the front cover of the brand's catalogue.[52] As of August 2014, she continues to represent the brand in television commercials.[53] In August 2012, Rola represented the takoyaki restaurant chain HotLand corporation appearing in television commercials and on posters for the company.[54] In 2013, Rola appeared on television commercials for: beauty-products specialists "Tsuyamote Beauty", foot care brand Dr. Scholl's, soft drinks company "Momo no Ten-nensui" and Mitsui Outlet Park.[55][56][57][58] Alongside Girolamo Panzetta, Rola also appeared in a television commercial for day spa company TBC.[59]

In 2014, she featured in another commercial for TBC and an advertisement for the mobile news application "Antenna".[60][61] Rola was announced as the image character for Bandai's handheld digital pet, Tamagotchi 4U, in July 2014. A limited-edition "pet" based on Rola herself was released in September 2014.[62] In December 2014, it was revealed that Rola had advertising contracts with fifteen companies: more than any other Japanese celebrity in 2014.[63]



  • 29th Japan Jeans Conventions Best "Jeanist" Awards: Elected by Committee Category[64]
  • 17th Japan Nailist Association Nail Queen Awards: Tarento Category[65]


  • 10th "The Best of Beauty Awards": Twenties Category[66][67]
  • 30th Japan Jeans Conventions Best "Jeanist" Awards: Elected by General Public Category[68]


  • 31st Japan Jeans Conventions Best "Jeanist" Awards: Elected by General Public Category[69]
  • 19th Japan Nailist Association Nail Queen Awards: Tarento Category[70]


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  9. ^ ローラ「私にはパパしかいない…」知られざる辛苦の少女時代 [Rola: "I only had my father". An untold childhood of hardship]. Livedoor News (in Japanese). July 2, 2013. Retrieved July 30, 2014. 
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  14. ^ ローラさん父親の詐欺事件 バングラデシュの医療従事者関与か [Rola's father's fraud incident. Is a Bangladeshi national health service practitioner involved as well?]. article (in Japanese). Japan: MSN Sankei News. July 28, 2014. Retrieved July 30, 2014. 
  15. ^ ローラさんの父親、処分保留で釈放 海外療養費詐取容疑 [Rola's father released without indictment having been suspected of defrauding the national insurance system.]. article (in Japanese). Japan: Nihon Keizai Shimbun. August 15, 2014. Retrieved August 17, 2014. 
  16. ^ ローラさん父親:処分保留で釈放 [Rola's father released without indictment.]. article (in Japanese). Japan: Mainichi Shimbun. August 15, 2014. Archived from the original on 2014-08-19. Retrieved 2015-05-26. 
  17. ^ ローラさん父を起訴 海外療養費詐取の罪 [Rola's father's prosecution. The crime of defrauding the national health insurance system]. article (in Japanese). Japan: Sankei News. November 12, 2014. Retrieved January 22, 2015. 
  18. ^ ローラ父一転詐欺認める…容疑否認理由は「子供が犯罪者の子に」 [Rola's father, in a complete change, admits to fraud...Denied the charge because he did not want "his child to be a child of a criminal"]. article (in Japanese). Japan: Sponichi Annex. December 23, 2014. Retrieved January 22, 2015. 
  19. ^ フジテレビ「クイズ30」が9月に打ち切りへ…ローラ唯一のレギュラー番組 [Fuji TV's "Quiz 30" to be cut in September - Rola's only regular television programme]. article (in Japanese). Japan: Livedoor News. August 5, 2014. Retrieved August 31, 2014. 
  20. ^ ローラ、レギュラーは1本だけ テレビ露出が少なくなったわけ [Rola has only one regular programme, the reason why her television appearances have reduced]. article (in Japanese). Japan: J-Cast. December 6, 2013. Retrieved August 31, 2014. 
  21. ^ ローラ父 詐欺認めた「子供に迷惑を掛けると思った」 [Rola's father admits fraud - "I thought I'd become an inconvenience to my children"]. article (in Japanese). Japan: Tokyo Sports. December 23, 2014. Retrieved January 22, 2015. 
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  25. ^ ローラ、初のファッションBOOK「THE ROLA!!」解禁. Model Press (in Japanese). August 8, 2012. Archived from the original on 2013-11-01. Retrieved 2015-05-26. 
  26. ^ ローラ、こだわりの"自撮り"テクを伝授 [Rola and her obsession with "selfies", gives instructions on her technique]. MSN, Oricon (in Japanese). June 26, 2014. Retrieved June 30, 2014. 
  27. ^ "ローラが表現する「ビームス(BEAMS)」の2014年秋冬コレクション" ["Beams" Autumn/Winter 2014 as expressed by Rola]. Zaikei news (in Japanese). August 25, 2014. Retrieved August 31, 2014. 
  28. ^ 【エンタがビタミン♪】人気急上昇"タメ口"ローラ。「私が、ペコちゃんのように舌を出すワケ。」. Livedoor News (in Japanese). June 22, 2011. Retrieved April 28, 2012. 
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  30. ^ "ローラ、「笑っていいとも」新レギュラーに はやくもTwitterで爆弾発言!?". Model Press (in Japanese). March 29, 2012. Retrieved April 28, 2012. 
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  35. ^ "MC初挑戦のローラ、ロンブー淳は「司会の神様」" [Rola's first attempt at presenting - Atsushi is the "god of presenting"]. Oricon (in Japanese). April 23, 2014. Retrieved May 8, 2014. 
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  45. ^ ローラ、フォロワー200万人突破!国内4人目「最近サボってる」 [Rola surpasses 2 million followers! Fourth person in Japan to do so. "I've been a bit idle recently"]. Sports Nippon (in Japanese). June 30, 2014. Retrieved June 30, 2014. 
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  49. ^ ローラ、超ミニボトムで美脚披露 新コスメブランドイメージキャラに. Model Press (in Japanese). January 20, 2012. Retrieved August 5, 2013. 
  50. ^ ローラ、ペコちゃんと初対面で大はしゃぎ「ベロが乾燥しないのかな!」. livedoorNEWS (in Japanese). April 25, 2012. Retrieved August 5, 2013. 
  51. ^ ローラがプロデュース「ミルキー袋」発売. Fashionsnap (in Japanese). September 4, 2012. Retrieved August 5, 2013. 
  52. ^ ピーチ・ジョンが夏ブラ発表「ひやっとサラサラ」ローラ流に解説. Fashionsnap (in Japanese). May 23, 2012. Retrieved August 5, 2013. 
  53. ^ ローラ、下着ブランドCM出演 [Rola makes appearance in lingerie advert]. Asahi Shimbun Digital (in Japanese). August 27, 2014. Archived from the original on 2014-08-27. Retrieved 2015-05-26. 
  54. ^ ホットランド、ローラさんを起用した「新生・築地銀だこ」のTVCMをオンエア、ローラさんが得意のオッケーポーズでPR. livedoorNEWS (in Japanese). July 31, 2012. Archived from the original on 2012-08-14. Retrieved 2015-05-26. 
  55. ^ ローラ、ワンピでスラリ美脚披露 気になるバレンタインの本命は?. Model Press (in Japanese). February 6, 2013. Retrieved August 5, 2013. 
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  58. ^ ローラ、「オズの魔法使い」ドロシーに変身. Model Press (in Japanese). April 17, 2013. Retrieved August 5, 2013. 
  59. ^ ローラの美貌にうっとり 人気キャラクターから変身. Model Press (in Japanese). May 7, 2013. Retrieved August 5, 2013. 
  60. ^ "ローラ、CMで涙の演技初披露「絶対泣けないと思った」" [Rola, showcases her tears for the first time. "I definitely didn't think I'd be able to cry"]. Oricon (in Japanese). May 9, 2014. Retrieved June 30, 2013. 
  61. ^ 利用者300万越えも スマホニュース、覇権争奪戦へ [Smart phone news applications exceed 3 million users. A battle for dominance.]. Nihon Keizai Shimbun (in Japanese). June 13, 2014. Retrieved June 30, 2014. 
  62. ^ ローラ"らしさ"全開 大人だらけに緊張も社長には「やっほ~!」 ["Rola-ness" on full throttle. Nervous in front of all of the adults - "heya" to the manager]. Sports Nippon (in Japanese). July 2, 2014. Retrieved July 24, 2014. 
  63. ^ “CM女王”ローラ、新たに1社増え計15社に!! “クール”な新境地を披露 [The "CM Queen" Rola, another new company represented - a total of 15! Reveals a new "cool" state of mind]. Oricon (in Japanese). December 16, 2014. Retrieved January 22, 2015. 
  64. ^ ローラ、ミニスカで美脚披露 「ベストジーニスト」受賞は狙い通り? [Rola shows her attractive legs with a miniskirt. Was she going after the "Best Jeanist" award?] (in Japanese). Model Press. October 4, 2012. Retrieved September 3, 2013. 
  65. ^ 篠田麻里子、ローラ、菜々緒らが受賞 「ネイルクイーン2012」 [Mariko Shinoda, Rola, Nanao receive awards at "Nail Queen 2012"] (in Japanese). Model Press. October 10, 2012. Retrieved September 3, 2013. 
  66. ^ 壇蜜が30代"美の頂点"に! 謙虚さと巧みなコメントで報道陣魅了 [Dan Mistu is at the "summit of beauty" The press are drawn to her humility and skillful comments] (in Japanese). Oricon. September 3, 2013. Retrieved September 3, 2013. 
  67. ^ ローラ、セクシーワンピで色気アピール 「まるで大人になった気分」 [Rola draws appeal with her sexy dress] (in Japanese). Model Press. September 3, 2013. Retrieved September 3, 2013. 
  68. ^ ローラ:ベストジーニストに「跳ね上がるくらいビックリ!」 [Rola: "I was surprised to the extent I was jumping up and down" after becoming best jeanist] (in Japanese). Mainichi Shimbun. October 2, 2013. Retrieved October 4, 2013. 
  69. ^ 【ベストジーニスト】キスマイ藤ヶ谷が初受賞 ローラV2 特別賞にはマー君 [Rola received 2nd awards at "Nail Queen 2014"] (in Japanese). oricon ME inc. Retrieved 2015-05-26. 
  70. ^ ローラ、ヨンア、桐谷美玲ら豪華ドレスで集結 「ネイルクイーン2014」授賞式 [Rola, Youn-a, Mirei Kiritani gathered for "Nail Queen 2014" award ceremony wearing a gorgeous dress.] (in Japanese). modelpress. Retrieved 2015-05-26. 

External links[edit]