Yoko Narahashi

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Yoko Narahashi
Born17 June 1947
Alma materInternational Christian University
OccupationCasting Director
Film Producer

Yoko Narahashi (奈良橋陽子, Yoko Narahashi, born June 17, 1947) is a prominent Japanese casting director and film producer.[1] She gained prominence due to her involvement with The Last Samurai, Babel, and Memoirs of a Geisha.[2][3] The Japan Times, the only independent English-language newspaper in Japan, referred to her as an "all-round interpreter of Japan for U.S. movies".[4]


Born in Ichikawa, Chiba, Japan, Narahashi moved to Montreal, Quebec, Canada in 1952 at the age of five when her father got a job at the International Civil Aviation Organization.[5] She returned to Japan a decade later to attend International Christian University in Mitaka, Tokyo. In 1967, she returned to New York City where she studied at the Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre .[6]

Returning again to Japan, Narahashi founded two companies. The first was an English conversation school (Eikaiwa), Model Language Studio (MLS), which taught English through theater. The school now has branches in 34 countries.[5] The second was a production and management company, United Performers' Studio (UPS), based on the Actors Studio in New York City.[1][7] In 1998, she served as the founding director of UPS Academy, a method acting school geared towards foreign actors.[6]

Narahashi was once married to Johnny Nomura, the producer behind the popular Japanese band Godiego. She wrote the lyrics for Gandhara, The Galaxy Express 999, and Holy and Bright. They have since been divorced.[4]

Selected filmography[edit]

Year Film Credits
2013 The Wolverine Casting Director
2012 Emperor Producer
2013 47 Ronin Casting Associate
2008 The Ramen Girl Casting Director
2006 Babel Casting Director
2005 Memoirs of a Geisha Actress, Japan Liaison
2003 The Last Samurai Associate Producer, Casting Associate
1995 The Winds of God Director (Won "Best New Director" at the Japan Film Critics Awards)
1989 Cipher Dialogue Director, Dialogue Translator, Interviewer (voice)


External links[edit]