OFF INTO THE WILD WET YONDER How does this...
AV Idols: Ambassadors for Improved Sino–Japanese Relations?
Despite what many of the more prudish in China may think or say, Japan is certainly not alone in its reputation as “pervert central.” Over the last few years, Japanese AV idols have all but exploded in popularity in Chinese entertainment. Top AV actresses/models such as Sora Aoi and Rola Takizawa have an immense following of (and adoration from) millions of randy Chinese men.
Takizawa made headlines this month after signing a 15-year “personal assistant” contract that binds her exclusively to an unnamed Chinese business mogul. Although unknown, her “employer” was recently photographed wearing a cat-like mask over half of his face while attending a press conference, so I guess there’s that.
In addition to being his assistant, the contract will invariably open new doors for Takizawa to work in the entertainment biz in China. All total, she is reported to receive nearly US$8 million for signing the contract.
Takizawa (also known as Rola Misaki) appeared on the AV radar after uploading several racy photos of herself to social media sites. Soon after, the half Russian/half Japanese star made her debut in 2012, instantly becoming a hit both in Japan and China. She now has millions of fans on microblogging site Weibo—China’s equivalent to Twitter.
As for her career in China to date, she has appeared in several movies based on online games along with appearing as a spokesperson for smartphone games.
Perhaps she will go on to follow in Sora Aoi’s footsteps, taking on film roles outside of the AV world and related entertainment. Aoi is still well-known and loved by many in China. Although not under contract from any billionaire mystery man, she has rubbed elbows with other big-shot businessmen, such as Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun. She has participated in Red Cross fundraising efforts (notably in 2010 after the Yushu earthquake in the Tibetan Autonomous Region) and has even called for peace between Japan and China amid the 2012 tensions regarding sovereignty over the disputed Daioyu (Senkaku) Islands.
Witnessing these idols “make news” in mainstream media says a lot about their roles. And they could be just what China and Japan needs. Let them chair a few meetings between the two countries even. Doing so arguably makes about as much sense as a majority of the political posturing (and policy) currently coming from both sides.