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Kirin Kiki

Kirin Kiki in 'An' film, winner of 'Best Perforamnce as an Actress' as Asia Pacific Screen Awards 2015Beloved Japanese Actress Kirin Kiki won ‘Best Performance As An Actress’ at the Asia Pacific Screen Awards 2015.

Naome Kawase directed ‘An’ which focuses on an old lady – played by Kiki – and her relationship with a troubled maker of dorayaki – little pancakes filled with ‘an’ bean paste – and a teenage girl who is a regular customer and concerned for the miserable pancake maker. The old lady hands over her secret recipe for ‘an’ along with much wisdom and solace for the unreceptive and world weary cook. The sweet redemption of a dour soul with help from a wise woman and an innocent maiden begins.

Kawase has been celebrated often at Cannes for her films that celebrate humanity and the natural world, and this film was featured in the competition this year. ‘An’ was a collaboration between Japan, France and Germany and Kiki’s performance has been as popular with Audiences in those countries as it was with the Asia Pacific Screen Awards’ jury.

Kirin Kiki’s triumph at the most significant award ceremony for film in Asia for her role as the old lady Tokue in ‘An’ tops off a long career that is dotted with magnificent performances which have made her dear to audiences in Japan and across the world.

Kirin Kiki Biography

Born Keiko Uchida in the Kanda area of Tokyo on 15th January 1943 to a musical family, her father was a master lute player. Straight out of high school in the early 1960’s she began her acting career with the Bungkuza theatre troupe, using the stage name Chiho Yuki. She rose to further fame in Japan in various television shows including ‘Jikan desu yo’ and ‘Terauchi Kantarō ikka,’ as well as many comedic TV commercials.

Kirin married fellow actor Shin Kishida who was also a Bungkuza member and became famous as the ‘Japanese Dracula’ from his role in the 1968 film ‘Kiru’ directed by Kihachi Okamoto, the marriage ended in divorce, also in 1968.

She is now married to Japanese rock star, actor and writer Yuya Uchida, famous for his roles in ‘Black Rain’ (1989), ‘Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence’ (1983) and ‘Comic Magazine’ (1983). The couple married in 1973 and have one child – Yayako Uchida – an essayist and musician. Notably, Uchida portrayed the younger self of Kiki’s character in the film ‘Tokyo Tower: Mom and Me, and Sometimes Dad.’

Daughter Yayako married actor Masahiro Motoki, famous for ‘Departures’ (2008), ‘The Bird People In China’ (1998) and ‘Sumo Do, Sumo Don’t’ (1992), and has three children with him. Masahiro was adopted into the Uchida family as a mukoyoshi – taking the family surname.

Kiki famously changed her name because she sold her previous stage name on a television show which asked her to auction something, she claimed she had nothing else to donate. In later life she has fought a battle with breast cancer and other ailments but continued to perform.

‘An’ is the third internationally acclaimed major film that Kiki has been the major star of Hirokaza Koreeda’s ‘Still Walking’ (2008) – and Takashi’ Yamazaki’s ‘Returner’ (2002) are both notable previous movies that she is famous for her part in. She has over 114 credits to her name for cinema as well as ongoing television performances.

Previous awards for Kiki include: best actress Japan Academy Prize for ‘Mom and Me, and Sometimes Dad’ in 2008, the best supporting actress award from the Yokohama Film Festival for her work in ‘Kamikaze Girls’ and ‘Half a Confession’ in 2004, and the best supporting actress Blue Ribbon Award for ‘Still Walking’ in 2008.

Trailer For ‘Still Walking’

Kirin Kiki Filmography

2016 Anger (post-production)
2015 Kakekomi
2015 An
2015 Our Little Sister
2014 Kono Mystery ga Sugoi!: Bestseller Sakka kara no Chôsenjô (TV Movie)
2013 Like Father, Like Son
2013 Aji ichi monme (TV Movie)
2013 Yakusoku: Nabari dokubudôshu jiken shikeishû no shôgai
2012 Until the Break of Dawn
2011 Chronicle of My Mother
2011 I Wish
2011 Hanezu
2011 A Honeymoon in Hell: Mr. & Mrs. Oki’s Fabulous Trip
2011 Aji ichi monme (TV Movie)
2010 Ghost
2010 Villain
2010 The Secret World of Arrietty
2008 The Short Films: We Were All Once Children
2008 Still Walking
2008 Miyagino
2007 Dots and Lines (TV Mini-Series)
2007 Dog in a Sidecar
2007 Tokyo Tower: Mom and Me, and Sometimes Dad
2006 Red Whale, White Snake
2006 Brave Story
2006 Check It Out, Yo!
2005 Natsumeke no shokutaku (TV Movie)
2004 Izo
2004 Kamikaze Girls
2004 Half a Confession
2003 Fireflies: River of Light
2002 Ten no hitomi 3 (TV Movie)
2002 Yoru o kakete
2002 Returner
2002 Inochi
2001 Pistol Opera
2001 Danball House Girl
2001 Aki no ryojô sasupensu 3: Shokutaku keiji Koyamada Shô’hei tabiji no hate (TV Movie)
2001 Tokyo Marigold
2001 Drug
2001 Ten no hitomi 2 (TV Movie)
2000 Zawa-zawa Shimo-Kitazawa
2000 Ten no hitomi (TV Movie)
2000 Aoi tokugawa sandai (TV Series)
1999 Teppen (TV Mini-Series)
1999 Keiho
1997 Magnitude
1997 The Best Bad Thing (TV Movie)
1997 Hissatsu shimatsunin
1997 Koi to hanabi to kanransha
1996 Hamidashi Keiji Jônetsu Kei (TV Series)
1996 Oyaji no hige 20 (TV Movie)
1996 Oishinbo
1995-1996 Aji ichimonme (TV Series)
1995 Anata no naka de ikiru: CG seinen no kodoku to ai (TV Movie)
1995 Mitabi no kaikyô
1995 Toki yo tomare (TV Movie)
1995 Toki no kagayaki
1995 Oyaji no hige 18 (TV Movie)
1995 Oyaji no hige 19 (TV Movie)
1994 Rampo
1993 Yume no onna
1993 Korekara umibe no tabibitotachi (TV Movie)
1992 Double Cross
1992 Za Chugaku kyoshi
1991 Sensou to seishun
1991 Okappiki dobu (TV Mini-Series)
1991 Kimu no sensô (TV Movie)
1991 Dai yûkai
1990 Donmai
1989 Kaze no matasaburo – Garasu no manto
1988 Crane
1988 Kyôshû
1987 Kesa no aki (TV Movie)
1985 Yumechiyo nikki
1985 Sabishinbô
1985 Kapone oi ni naku
1984 Shin yumechiyo nikki (TV Series)
1983 Hometown
1983 Amagi goe
1982 Santô kôkôsei
1982 I Are You, You Am Me
1982 Keiji monogatari
1981 The Wild Daisy
1981 Haha taru koto wa jigoku no gotoku (TV Movie)
1980 Shadow Warriors (TV Series)
1980 Tsigoineruwaizen
1979 Heaven Sent
1979 The Detective Story (TV Series)
1979 Kindaichi Kosuke no boken
1979 Taro the Dragon Boy
1978 Mû ichizoku (TV Series)
1977 Wani to oum to ottosei
1977 Ballad of Orin
1977 Onna kyôshi
1976 Sachiko no sachi
1976 Eden no umi
1975 Akuma no youna aitsu (TV Series)
1975 The Drifters no kamo da! Goyo da!
1975 Mamushi to aodaishô
1974 Honô no shôzô (as Chiho Yuki)
1974 Akumyo: shima arashi
1974 Aka chôchin
1974 Abayo dachikô (as Chiho Yuki)
1970 Jikan desuyo (TV Mini-Series)
1970 Tora-san, His Tender Love
1970 Dokushin no Scat (TV Mini-Series)
1969 Dai bakuhatsu (as Chiho Yûki)
1968 Kamisama no koibito
1968 Aniki no koibito
1967 Tabiji
1966 Lake of Tears
1966 Mizuumi no koto
1966 Zoku Yoidore hakase

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