Yuki Furukawa

Yuki Furukawa Photo courtesy of HoriPro

Yuki Furukawa leads “Playful Kiss” from Manga to Live Action Drama

Interview by Miyuki Kawai

TJ: You majored in control theory at university. Can you tell us what that is?
FURUKAWA: It deals with controlling things by programming. I focused on auto- motive breakdowns, but it can be applied to any field including the media or finance. In terms of automotive breakdowns, the hypothesis in the reduction of friction or slip is verified by programming.

TJ: How did you first get into acting?
FURUKAWA: When I was a junior at university, I went job hunting, but I had no specific career goals. Although Break dancing was my passion, I knew I couldn’t make a living out of it. While I passed my exam for graduate school, I applied to some companies. At that time, I was chosen as “Mr. Campus” of the university, and I automatically became a contestant for HoriPro’s 50th anniversary talent audition. A winner was chosen through competitions in blog making, fashion, shoe design, etc. I had no acting experience, but I received an award. That’s when I started my acting career.

TJ: Has it been diff icult adapting to fame?
FURUKAWA: No. I don’t care about getting special treatment (because I am an actor). I don’t think I am special.

TJ: “Itazura na Kiss” is based on a popular manga. Are you a fan of manga? Why do you think manga has become popular abroad?
FURUKAWA: I like manga. I think it has become popular because of the well-structured stories. The artwork is also very good. Japanese manga or games are so unique and well received in foreign countries.

TJ: Who is your favorite actor?
FURUKAWA: I would like to act on an international scale, so I respect global Japanese actors such as Ken Watanabe.

TJ: As you know, Japan is bidding for the 2020 Summer Olympics. Do you think Tokyo would be a good location? Why?
FURUKAWA: I like Japan because it is so convenient. Transportation access is easy and you can get anything you want here. So the Olympic Games would be smoothly operated here in Tokyo. And, personally, I want to see it up close.

TJ: We understand you lived in Toronto and New York for 11 years while growing up. Do you miss living abroad? Did you identify yourself as Japanese when you lived abroad?
FURUKAWA: After graduating from junior high in Toronto, I entered a Japanese school that taught in both English and Japanese in New York because I wanted to study with Japanese students. I don’t miss living abroad because I love Japan, but sometimes I miss American pizza. When I lived abroad, I was often recognized as being Asian (people couldn’t distinguish Japanese from the Chinese or Koreans). I am proud of being Japanese, so I wanted to
insist on my nationality.

TJ: Has English helped you in your career?
FURUKAWA: I played a role in the play“The Shogun and The English Samurai”, a HoriPro production in London. I sent a demo video to a director of the Royal Shakespeare Company, and I was given the role of a missionary. So English helped me in this regard. I worked with English staff; I felt cultural differences. They eat or drink freely when doing a read-through, which is unimaginable in Japan. I like their free atmosphere, but I was surprised.

TJ: What kind of roles would you like to try in the future?
FURUKAWA: Basically I like movies, but I also enjoy stage acting. Fortunately, I could play roles for which I could take advantage of my skills such as English or my knowledge of science. As I can dance, I want to play a dancer. I also want to try musicals.

TJ: What advice would you give to someone starting out in their acting career?
FURUKAWA: I am still a novice, so I don’t think I can give good advice, but learning is important. It is so helpful to watch videos closely and reflect. At the same time, background knowledge is necessary. I did research when I played the missionary role in “The Shogun and The English Samurai”, a Japanese historical drama. I looked into Japanese history and I made a note on my cell phone to check anytime I needed. tj



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Written By:

Miyuki Kawai


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