From Toshima, Tokyo, Kusakari started dancing professionally at the age of eight and won the first prize at the Japan Ballet Competition of 1987. She received the Muramatsu Award in 1988, and the Tachibana Akiko Award in 1990. At 27, she suffered a hernia that nearly ended her career, leaving her a temporary wheelchair user.
Kusakari is also known for her starring role in Shall We Dance? During the production of the movie she met and later married the director, Masayuki Suo.