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Feature


Porn-star label now a badge of honor for actress

By SHINICHI KOIZUMI The Asahi Shimbun


Kyoko Aizome is considered the first hard-core porn actress in Japan.
Kyoko Aizome is considered the first hard-core porn actress in Japan. / The Asahi Shimbun

After 20 years in showbiz, Kyoko Aizome offers advice on sex- and health-related matters.

Being labeled a ``porn star'' has put Kyoko Aizome under terrible pressure during her 20-year career in show business.

The 43-year-old actress retired from stripping in July 1994, ``to end one stage in my life,'' but that did not terminate her appearances in the nude. Aizome published a nude photo book in April and now writes six sex-advice columns a week for magazines.

She also opened a Web site <http://www.actressworld.co.jp> where she responds patiently and thoroughly to various sex- and health-related inquiries from young women around the nation.

She receives three or four questions a day.

For example, a 25-year-old woman asked Aizome how she could conceal her virginity from her boyfriend. Another woman sought the secret of remaining attractive regardless of age but found it difficult to stay positive about life.

Aizome was born Kyoko Yamazaki in Noda, Chiba Prefecture, a town famous for its soy sauce. She grew up in a violent home where, she said, her playboy father beat her mother constantly to relieve stress from his job as a police officer.

As a fifth-grader, she sneaked out to see the movie ``Melody'' with a friend. Only then did she realize there was a warm and loving world out there.

Her parents divorced when Aizome was 16. After graduating from high school, Aizome planned to enroll in a dressmaking school, but on the day before her first class, she was recruited in Shinjuku to model for a nude magazine.

``I thought of it as my first step into show business. My first pay was 30,000 yen. Soon afterward, I married someone without notifying the company I belonged to, but the marriage ended in just a month,'' she says.

Aizome's big break came in 1981, when she starred in a movie called ``Hakujitsumu (Daydream)'' The film was considered Japan's first hard-core pornographic movie because of an intimate sex scene lasting more than 10 minutes. Such scenes are fairly familiar now, but ``Hakuchumu'' was considered a breakthrough at the time.

The director of the film, Tetsuji Takechi, picked the then 23-year-old Aizome for the role after seeing a full-page naked picture of her in a magazine. That's when the media dubbed her a ``porn star.''

Aizome broke into stripping around the same time, lured by managers who saw her film. But it wasn't easy.

``During a show in Osaka's Juso district, a man jeered, `Are you stupid or what?' I started crying on stage,'' she recalls.

In 1983, she was twice arrested for indecent exposure in public.

``A police officer, the same profession as the father whom I despise, once told me my face was obscene,'' she says.

While she was locked up in jail, she decided to build a huge two-story house in Chiba with six bedrooms-a home she later gave to her mother.

After her release from jail, Aizome decided to accept herself and not feel ashamed about her career.

``What's wrong with using my body to earn a living?'' she says she told herself.

She continued performing nationwide, and gradually won over audiences.

``I was really happy when people would come up to me and shake my hand.''

Being labeled a porn star was not easy to deal with. But in some ways, she used that to her advantage during the past two decades.

And her experience is what gives women the courage to tell Aizome their most intimate problems-and the reason why Aizome can come up with appropriate answers.

``I want to let my past shine like a badge of honor in my hand instead of trying to hide it. I have just recently been able to feel this way,'' she says proudly.

(12/01)



■ BACK NUMBERS
Porn-star label now a badge of honor for actress  (12/01)
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Tough labor market for young part-timers  (12/01)
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