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Mitsuki Takahata

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「アオハライド」12月13日公開 ©2014映画「アオハライド」製作委員会 ©咲坂伊緒/集英社 「アオハライド」12月13日公開 ©2014映画「アオハライド」製作委員会 ©咲坂伊緒/集英社 Photo courtesy of HoriPro Inc.

Mitsuki Takahata

Japanese Actress and Singer Makes International Debut in Award-Winning Film

2014 proved to be a busy year for 23-year-old actress and singer Mitsuki Takahata who starred as Helen Keller in the stage play The Miracle Worker and appeared in the TV drama Cheering Beat for Tomorrow, Gunshi Kanbei, the made-for-TV movie Tokyo Sentimental, the domestic film Jossy's and in the international film The Vancouver Asahi. The Vancouver Asahi, based on the legendary Japanese-Canadian baseball team, was featured at the Hawaii International Film Festival as well as the Vancouver International Film Festival where it scored the top audience award–the Rogers People’s Choice Award. Her past work includes the title role in a five-year run of the stage play Peter Pan and a two-year role in the TV drama Kinpachi Sensei, one of Japan’s most beloved TV dramas with a three-decade history. The singer has also released two albums and three singles. She shows no signs of slowing down by performing in the stage play Iyaounashini in January and February 2015 as well as the TV drama Restaurant with Something Wrong in January 2015. Tokyo Journal Executive Editor Anthony Al-Jamie spoke with Mitsuki about her recent projects.

TJ: What do you like about acting?
TAKAHATA: I like how it changes with every new character and how the style of communication can change.

TJ: How about acting on stage?
TAKAHATA: I enjoy interacting with the audience. It’s exciting to hear the audience laugh.

TJ: How did you get interested in singing and do you plan to continue?
TAKAHATA: I often used to watch musicals with my family. I liked them so I wanted to sing in them. I’d like to continue performing in musicals. As for my singing career, if I get the chance I’d like to continue.

TJ: Are your parents supportive of your career?
TAKAHATA: Yes they are. They’re supporting my career because they like stage plays.

TJ: Do you get nervous on stage?
TAKAHATA: Well, I get nervous on opening day.

TJ: What has been your favorite role that you’ve played?
TAKAHATA: That’s a difficult question... I like Helen Keller the best at the moment, because I’m playing her now! [Mitsuki Takahata at the time of the interview was starring in the Miracle Worker]

TJ: Which one was the most difficult to play?
TAKAHATA: Every role is difficult! I’m always struggling.

TJ: How did you learn how to speak English? Your pronunciation is almost perfect.
TAKAHATA: Oh, thank you. I played with English when I was little. I also spoke English in my newest movie The Vancouver Asahi.

TJ: Did you speak in English for the entire movie?
TAKAHATA: No, I think it was around half English and half Japanese.

TJ: Can you tell us about The Vancouver Asahi?
TAKAHATA: It is about Japanese immigrants in Vancouver, Canada. They made a Japanese community in the city, but they were discriminated against because they were Japanese and so couldn’t raise their position in society. During that time, the young men made a baseball team. They were small and weak, and couldn’t seem to win. However, they began winning little by little with their clever playing. It’s based on a true story.

TJ: What did you like about this movie?
TAKAHATA: It’s not just about baseball. I like that it describes the young characters’ feelings in detail and doesn’t try to move people’s feelings too hard.

TJ: Did you sing in the movie?
TAKAHATA: Yes– "Take Me Out to the Ball Game!”

TJ: And can you tell us about Aoharaido?
TAKAHATA: Aoharaido is a live action movie based on a girls’ comic. The main female character meets her first love for the first time after a long time had passed. She realized that he has totally changed, including his personality and his last name. She wonders why he changed and the love story begins to involve the people around them.

TJ: Do you have any other upcoming projects?
TAKAHATA: Yes, I do. After I finish the Helen Keller stage play I’m in now, I’m going to do many things including more stage plays. tj

The original article can be found in Issue #276 of the Tokyo Journal. Click here to order from Amazon.

 

Written By:

Anthony Al-Jamie

Dr. Anthony Al-Jamie lived and worked as an educational administrator and journalist in Tokyo for over 20 years. His in-depth understanding of Japanese language and culture has allowed him to carry out interviews with many of the most renowned individuals in Japan. He first began writing for the Tokyo Journal in the 1990s as Education Editor, later he was promoted to Senior Editor, and eventually International Editor. He currently works in higher education publishing and serves the Tokyo Journal as Executive Editor.



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