*sighs* I am truly tired.
I just spent all afternoon, and apparently… night, so~~~ I spent all day writing Yu’s Wikipedia entry. Unless you’re reading this at the proper time, the entry might have gotten edited or deleted by now. Man~ writing a bio is tough, and worse of all is that Wikipedia markup language. It sucks, SUCKS! I tell you! It actually took hours because of that Wikipedia format~~~
I also had to search for references… and try to read Japanese. LOL’
Also, that damn table… I still need to work on it, at least for the TV work and Awards.
So~~~ in case it gets deleted. Yu’s complete bio by Amy below the break ;P
Also, planning a Spanish version *laughs*
Aoi Yu (born Natsui Yu August 17, 1985) is a Japanese actress and model from Kasuga, Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan. She made her film debut as Shiori Tsuda in Shunji Iwai’s 2001 film All About Lily Chou Chou. She became widely known for playing Tetsuko Arisugawa in Hana & Alice (2004) – also directed by Shunji Iwai, as well as Kimiko Tanikawa in the hula-dancing film Hula Girls, and Hagu in the 2006 live action adaptation of the popular Honey & Clover manga series.
In 2009, Aoi was named Rookie of the Year in the field of Films in Media and Fine Arts by The Ministry of Education , Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan.
Yu Aoi did her stage debut as Polly in the 1999 rendition of Annie, followed by her appearance as a regular on TV Tokyo’s Oha SUTA (The Super Kids Station) in 2000. A year later, she debuted in Shunji Iwai‘s All About Lily Chou Chou playing Shiori Tsuda alongside Hayato Ichihara, Shugo Oshinari, Miwako Ichikawa, and Ayumi Ito. Aoi would later work in Ao to Shiro de Mizuiro and Gaichu (Harmful Insect) with friend Aoi Miyazaki.
With her first roles on the small and big screen came CMs and endorsements for Sony, Yamaha, DoCoMo, Toshiba and Coca Cola.
In 2003, commemorating the 30th anniversary of Kit Kat in Japan, Shunji Iwai shot a series of short films starring Yu Aoi and Anne Suzuki, which later was expanded into the feature film called Hana & Alice, which earned Aoi the Best Actress award at the Japanese Professional Movie Award.
In 2005, Aoi played her first lead on the big screen in Letters from Nirai Kanai, which was sold in Korea with the alternate title of Aoi Yu’s Letter due to her popularity. She also had supporting roles in the Miki Satoshi film Turtles Swim Faster than Expected starring Juri Ueno, and Yamato with Shido Nakamura and Kenichi Matsuyama. This supporting role would earn her one of her double-nomination as Best Supporting Actress at the 2007 Japanese Academy Award. She won against herself for her work as Kimiko Tanikawa in the Japanese hit Hula Girls, which was sent to the Academy Awards as the Japanese official selection that year.
To this date, her role as the hula dancing girl from small town Iwaki remains her most successful role yet, earning her a dozen awards as Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress, alongside her other smaller roles that year as Hagu in Honey & Clover, and Kana Sato in the Shunji-Iwai-produced and Nirai-Kanai-directed Rainbow Song. Aoi also lent her voice to play Shiro in the animated film Tekkonkinkreet, the adaptation to the Taiyo Matsumoto manga, Black and White, directed by Michael Arias.
During these years, she made commercials for Nintendo, Canon, Shiseido Cosmetics, Shueisha Publishing, Kirin Beverage and continued endorsing DoCoMo. Moreover, Aoi also released two successful photobooks with Yoko Takahashi as photographer, and distributed by Rockin’ On, Travel Sand (2005) and Dandelion (2007). Add to that two interviews with NHK’s Top Runner in 2005, and TBS’ Jounetsu (Passion) interview in 2006, which was translated into Korean and Chinese.
2007 also proved to be a prolific year for her as she participated in the live action adaptation of the manga series Mushishi alongside Joe Odagiri, as well as WOWOW‘s Don’t Laugh at my Romance, Welcome to the Quiet Room with Yuki Uchida, and going back to the stage to play Desdemona in a rendition of Shakespeare’s Othello. For these last two roles, Aoi showed to be moving closer to a more thespian career path by even losing 7Kg. for her role as eating disorder patient, Miki.
Aoi began 2008 with the release of Don’t Laugh at my Romance, which would earn her a nomination as Best Supporting Actress at the Asian Film Awards 2009. WOWOW would also get her for the experimental drama Camouflage (aka. Aoi Yu x 4 Lies), in which Yu Aoi would collaborate with four different directors exploring the theme of lies. The series lasted for 12 episodes, and included work with Ryo Kase, Yoichi Nukumizu, Shoko Ikezu, Nobuhiro Yamashita and Yuki Tanada.
A couple of months later, NTV would sign Aoi to play her first TV leading role as Handa Sen in the live action adaptation of Kikuchi Shota’s manga series, Osen, which aired until the end of June with ten episodes.
Next up, Aoi released One Million Yen Girl written and directed by Camouflage director Yuki Tanada, and also released by WOWOW. This was her latest leading film role since Nirai Kanai in 2005, and proved to be a wise career choice later on. However, she didn’t forget her supporting roles, and briefly participated in the Japanese World-War-II-jury-themed film Best Wishes for Tomorrow, as well as the international Tokyo! – a three-short-film collection by Michel Gondry, Leo Carax and Joon-Ho Bong.
In 2009, The Ministry of Education , Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan named Yu Aoi Rookie of the Year in the field of Films in Media and Fine Arts, citing her work in her film debut in All About Lily Chou Chou, until her work in One Million Yen Girl.
She’s set to release Ikechan and Me on June 2009, lending her voice to Ikechan in a live action adaptation of the picture book of the same name by Rieko Saibara, as well as supporting roles in Honokaa Boy and Otouto by Yoji Yamada.