Kano sisters

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Kano sisters
Kyoko Kano
BornKyoko KANO
Osaka Japan
Other namesKoko
Websiteameblo (in Japanese)
Mika Kano
BornMika KANO
Saijō, Ehime Japan
Websiteameblo (in Japanese)

Kyoko Kano (叶 恭子, Kanō Kyōko) and Mika Kano (叶 美香, Kanō Mika), known collectively as the Kano sisters (叶姉妹, Kanō shimai), are Japanese celebrities.

Early life and background[edit]

The Kano Sisters say they are half-sisters with different mothers. There is also a 3rd "sister" who initially made appearances with the two. She eventually withdrew from the scene, according to industry sources, and now only intermittently appears with them.[1] The lack of resemblance between them as well as their refusal to answer any questions about their age (even their reported ages are speculation) or past fuels speculation the three are not sisters at all, but just another group of tarento with a carefully crafted gimmick.[2]


In 1997, the oldest sister Kyoko debuted in 25ans, an upscale women's fashion magazine, as one of its "supaa dokusha" (super readers). Her success led to both sisters appearing regularly on Japanese TV. Their main claim to fame is their outrageous sense of style, involving highly revealing clothes, flashy jewelry, and jet-set travel.[1]

Apart from frequent television appearances, they market a series of exercise videos, erotic calendars, collectible fashion cards[3] and coffee-table pictorials, featuring the two mostly naked.[4] Japanese toy maker Takara Co. began to sell 30-centimeter-high dolls modeled after the Kano sisters, called Kano Sisters' Gorgeous Dolls, in March 2002. The dolls were priced at 19,800 yen a pair.[5]

The sisters are frequently invited to movie premieres, film festivals, and award ceremonies. Self-described "Lifestyle Consultants," Japanese women pay to attend Kano seminars to hear their advice on topics such as relationships and makeup.[6]

On 3 April 2006, the Kano sisters published a collection of nude artistic photographs in a book entitled Sweet Goddess. Posing in a revealing style known in Japanese as "hea nuudo", or "hair nude," a term for nude photographs in which a woman's pubic hair is visible, the photographs were taken by Kyoko Kano with modeling by Mika Kano. Sweet Goddess was reported to be among the first books to break this unwritten post-war publication rule.[7]Sweet Goddess was listed as a bestseller for several months.[8] The Kano sisters released a similar pictorial collection entitled Sweet Goddess 2 on 1 November 2006.

In 2009, the Kano sisters had a 10-episode CGI anime series called Abunai Sisters: Koko & Mika produced by Production I.G which aired on the Japanese channel AT-X, but it was cancelled after two episodes had aired. The rest of the series was released on DVD. The series was in English with Japanese subtitles.[9][10]

Kyoko Kano as author[edit]

On 1 January 2000, Kano released an autobiographical book, Millennium Muse with an introduction by non-fiction writer Yuko Kobayashi. The book included full color photographs of her posing with younger sister and discusses Kano’s background and philosophy on life, love, men, money and sex. Some in the media panned the writing as amateurish. The book became an Asahi Shimbun bestseller.[11] Six years later, Kano followed it up with Toriorizumu, a non-fiction work that elaborates on these themes. Writing in the Shukan Post, she describes all 30 chapters and 237 pages as a "personal record experiencing a 'type of love without taboos.'"[12]

Personal life[edit]



In April 2000, author Shigeru Sato published an unauthorized biography of Kyoko Kano in which he depicted her lifestyle from the viewpoint of a pet cat. Kano sued the author for defamation. In September 2001, the Tokyo District Court ordered the author to pay Kano damages, for infringing on Kano's privacy and dishonoring her reputation. In handing down the ruling, Presiding Judge Yoshihiro Katayama said that Sato used "blunt and excessive" expression in portraying Kano."[13]

In August 2005, Kyoko and Mika Kano sued Japanese actress Miri Okada for defamation based on Okada's televised June 2005 claim that the two sisters unsuccessfully tried to seduce Okada's husband, Norio Yaginuma.[14] The sisters were awarded compensation by the Tokyo District Court in July 2006. Judge Shigehiro Ishikawa ruled, "[Okada's] claims were groundless and she neglected in her duty to ask that they not be broadcast."[15]

Teruo incident[edit]

Teruo Kano, father of Kyoko Kano, allegedly accosted the Kano sisters with an umbrella in a Tokyo underground parking lot complex on December 25, 2007 after the sisters had allegedly refused to pay him back an undisclosed amount of money. The money was lent by Teruo to Kyoko more than 15 years ago. He was arrested for intimidation, accused of violating the Law concerning Punishment for Physical Violence.[16]

Following the incident, on 11 January 2008, Kyoko Kano filed a defamation lawsuit in compensatory damages against weekly news magazine Shukan Shincho in the Tokyo District Court. According to the petition, the magazine's January 17 issue would run an article accusing the Kano sisters of duplicity. The magazine article alleged that "While Kyoko [Kano] had borrowed money from her father, she failed to repay the debt." The plaintiff insisted that it was the father who persistently asked for money, commenting that "such erroneous reporting could damage her reputation."[17] The editorial staff at Shukan Shincho would not comment on the lawsuit.[18]


  • Mika Kano gave 1 million yen (approximately $10,000 at the time) of her own money to the relief fund in the wake of the Hanshin earthquake of 1995.[19]
  • Both of the Kano Sisters appeared on the UK BBC Three television show Adam and Joe Go Tokyo. The Sisters were part of stunt in which presenters Adam Buxton and Joe Cornish tried to become famous in Japan by going on a pretend date with the famous sisters to try to get noticed by the media.
  • Made a guest appearance in animated form in the 2008 revival of the Yatterman anime series.
  • In 2000, the 20th Century Fox video entertainment unit anointed the Kano sisters Japan's most likely Bond girls.[20]
  • Vanity Fair listed them in its "In & Out" column (Kano sisters "in," Hilton heiresses "out").
  • The Japan Times listed them in its "Gongs and Goofs of 2002" column (Kabira Brothers "The In Crowd," Kano sisters "The Out Crowd").[21]


Kyoko Kano

  • Millennium Muse (in Japanese). Tokyo: Gentosha. 2000. ISBN 4-87728-347-1.
  • Kanō Kyōko (2006). Toriorizumu (in Japanese). Tokyo: Shogakkan. ISBN 4-09-396471-8.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Itakura, Kimie (6 October 2000). "Rumors, Ridicule Fuel Success of Kano Sisters". Asahi News Service.
  2. ^ Shinohara, Tsunenori (15 November 2000). "Magic of the Mystery Sisters". Asahi News Service.
  3. ^ "Televiews; An Xmas ode on the joys of television". The Daily Yomiuri (Tokyo). 19 December 2002. p. 10.
  4. ^ Takeuchi Cullen, Lisa (8 October 2001). "From Tokyo, with Love". Time Magazine. Retrieved 2008-01-17.
  5. ^ "Takara to Sell Kano Sisters Dolls in March". Jiji Press Ticker Service. 28 January 2002.
  6. ^ Drinkwater, Jane (24 February 2002). "Big in Japan (in Several Ways): Life Stories". Independent on Sunday (London). p. 3.
  7. ^ Connell, Ryann (5 April 2006). "Sexy Kano sisters flash the flesh but men denied a peek". Mainichi Daily News. Retrieved 2008-01-17.[dead link]
  8. ^ "Besutosera (Bestsellers)". Asahi Shimbun (in Japanese). 27 May 2006.
  9. ^ http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2008-08-11/kano-duo-to-star-in-i.g-abunai-sisters-anime-dvd
  10. ^ http://www.scifijapan.com/articles/2009/01/16/production-igs-new-cg-anime-abunai-sisters/
  11. ^ "Besutosera (Bestsellers)". Asahi Shimbun (in Japanese). 18 December 2006.
  12. ^ Kano, Kyoko (13 January 2006). "Watashi-no Toriorizumu Sekkusu (My threesome)". Shukan Post (in Japanese). 38 (1842).
  13. ^ Japan Economic Newswire (19 September 2001). "Celebrity Kyoko Kano wins suit over privacy violation". Kyodo News Service.
  14. ^ Shukan Shincho, October 27, 2005, as reported in Connell, Ryann (October 21, 2005). "Saucy sisters steaming over seduction story". Mainichi Shimbun. Retrieved 2007-04-29.[permanent dead link]
  15. ^ "Kano Sisters win court case over 'husband seduction' claim". Mainichi Daily News. July 29, 2006.
  16. ^ "Father of celebrity Kyoko Kano arrested for intimidating her". Mainichi Daily News. December 28, 2007. Archived from the original on 2007-12-31. Retrieved 2008-01-17.
  17. ^ Original Japanese: 訴状によると、週刊新潮1月17日号は「『実父逮捕』でバレちゃった『叶姉妹』のヒミツ」と題する記事を掲載。恭子が父親から金を借りていながら返済していないなどと報じた。原告側は「あくまで親が一方的に金を無心したにすぎない」と主張し、恭子本人も「誤った報道で名誉を傷つけられることは遺憾」とコメントした。 叶恭子が新潮社を訴える…1100万円の損害賠償を求める [Kyoko Kano sues Shukan Shincho, asking for 11 million yen in damages]. Sankei Sports (in Japanese). 12 January 2008.
  18. ^ 週刊新潮編集部は「コメントはしない」としている。 叶恭子が父親との金銭トラブル記事で新潮社を提訴 [Kyoko Kano sues Shukan Shincho over article alleging money troubles with father]. Hochi Shimbun (in Japanese). 12 January 2008.
  19. ^ Betros, Chris; Nibayashi, Maki (15 October 2001). "Sizzling Kano sisters step onto the world stage". Japan Today. Retrieved 2008-01-18.[permanent dead link]
  20. ^ Strom, Stephanie (20 February 2001). "Confident and Racy, Mysterious 'Sisters' Hypnotize Japan". The New York Times. p. 2. Retrieved 2008-01-17.
  21. ^ Brasor, Philip (5 January 2003). "You saw it! The gongs and goofs of 2002". The Japan Times Online. Retrieved 2008-01-17.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Keiko Ibi
Miss Nippon
Succeeded by
Norie Sawamoto