1月/23/2021

English Translation of Yahoo Japan News

Here is English Translation of my article in Yahoo Japan News. >>

Yahoo Japan News

(Translation from original Japanese article)

By Nobuhiro Hosoki Saturday 12/26/2020 19:10

Japanese actress Sayuri Oyamada on her collaboration with Lady Gaga and starting a food business in New York during lockdown.

Above: Sayuri Oyamada (PHOTO: YUKI M Ledbetter)

The Covid-19 pandemic continues to rob thousands of artists and entertainers of their livelihood. Japanese actress Sayuri Oyamada is one such artist. She lives in New York City where the number of people infected with the Corona virus continues to rise at an alarming rate. Trying to survive, Sayuri has discovered an unexpected path forward.

A Japanese Actress Comes to America

“I grew up in the countryside in Japan,” says Sayuri. “The world of TV and movies seemed a long way away,” she recalls. But when she was a junior college student in Japan, she was scouted by a Japanese agency for models and actors. It changed her life.

“I didn’t want to go back to the country life. Working for that agency meant getting a job that allowed me to leave home. Initially, I had only been allowed to go to a junior college on the condition that I would go back home after graduating.
My father’s company sold educational materials for kindergarten and elementary schools. He had connections in schools. I had already earned my certifications as a licensed kindergarten teacher and elementary school teacher at that point. So I had been told to return home to work in a school there. I got out of that by working for that agency.”

At first, the agency booked Sayuri to appear in TV commercials. But when Sayuri met a talent manager and president of another small agency, Sayuri’s focus shifted to more serious acting roles.

“That manager, who was mainly working with male actors at the time, really loved movies. We started working together as a team to develop and cultivate my acting career. The agency doesn’t exist anymore but thanks to that encounter, I was able to learn how to become a more serious actress.”

Sayuri was cast in “Bright Future”, a film by Japanese director Kiyoshi Kurosawa, then she starred in “Seventh Anniversary” by Isao Yukisada. Soon after, she was co-starring in movies with major Japanese stars including Aoi Miyazaki, Hidetoshi Nishijima, Ken Ogata, Beat Takeshi, always challenging herself to act in different genres of movies. But when Sayuri turned 30, her career hit a wall.

“To be honest, I had often been cast as an actress with a certain vibe or a waif-like presence that seemed to be appreciated and valued,” Sayuri explains. “But after the age of 30, actresses in Japan find it harder to work. I thought, I can’t just rely on a vibe, I want to sharpen my skills as an actress.”

Just then, her destiny changed again when she appeared in a film and a TV series outside of Japan. “The first project was a film we shot in the Dominican Republic called ‘Miracle Banana’ and the other was a TV drama series called ‘Proof of Memories’ (29 episodes) for the Chinese TV network CCTV. As the lead in that TV series, I worked in China for three months!” Sayuri recalls with excitement.

The experience abroad was transformational. She applied and interviewed for a program called Nurturing Upcoming Artists with Potentially Global Appeal by the Japanese government’s Agency for Cultural Affairs. She remembers sharing her dreams of going to New York with the interviewer. “I expressed my love for the independent film movement of the 1980s and my belief that in New York, I could experience and learn not just movies but also the culture behind them.”

Having nailed the interview, Sayuri got her chance to come to America in her 30s. But there were hurdles waiting for her in the Big Apple.

Getting stronger and working with Lady Gaga

Sayuri enrolled in film school in New York City. “I could barely speak English so just getting into the school was a major

challenge. Wow, how ignorant have I been?! I pushed myself and worked as hard as I could to learn. It was hard but during that period, I really grew.”

Having worked with several top directors in Japan, it was not easy for Sayuri to start all over again in another country as an actress. But her thinking about this evolved over time.

“Acting is the same everywhere. Of course, learning English was essential if I wanted to succeed in the film industry in America. I’m always going to be learning English, probably forever. But I’ll never be a native speaker and I’m OK with that now. In a way, it’s better for me to have a somewhat relaxed attitude to that. It helps me learn and speak English naturally. Then I realized that acting is really not just about words.”

Sayuri began to leverage what she calls her instinct as an actress and a performer and not focus solely on her language skills. That, she believes, led to her being cast in an advertising campaign for the cosmetic giant Shiseido alongside Lady Gaga which in turn led to roles in other movies.

Sayuri praises Lady Gaga’s ability to collaborate. “Gaga was always exchanging ideas with fashion industry powerhouses like Ellen Von Unwerth. Then she’d turn to me while we were shooting the commercial and kindly advise me, ‘I’m wearing these huge heels so I can’t move much. You can totally move around me, OK?’ Working with her, I could tell that she was a perfectionist and was passionate about every minute of her work. She was completely down to earth and very approachable, very strong and proud. I felt her strength every moment I was with her. What an amazing and charismatic woman. I became a fan instantaneously. That kind of powerful determination, I felt, is often lacking in some Japanese women like myself. Maybe it has to do with our culture and social environment. I just felt that I could learn a lot from of her ‘just be yourself’ mantra.”

Impressed by Lady Gaga’s integrity and confidence, Sayuri says that she learned how to grow stronger. That combined with the business savvy that she picked up from her husband prepared Sayuri to start a brand-new business during lockdown when getting work as an actress became difficult.

Starting a Japanese food business

Above: Creative rice ball business (PHOTO: OYAMADA ONIGIRI / Lloyd Kevin Hembrador)

The pandemic has dealt a blow to the film industry. While some big budget movies are shooting in Canada and the UK, many lower budget and independent films cannot shoot at all for safety reasons because they cannot secure locations or have a viable schedule. She struggled along with many in the industry. But unexpectedly, her lifelong love of food led to a new path when a friend suggested that Sayuri might be able to channel her creativity into a food business.

“When New York went into lockdown and every business was struggling to survive, this friend of mine was working every day at a grocery store in downtown Manhattan. Not even a day off. I gave that friend my homemade Japanese food and they loved it! ‘Why don’t you make your rice balls and sell them?’ they said.”

Without high expectations, Sayuri made her own distinctive onigiris and sold them at a Japanese grocery store. She had nothing to lose, she thought, so why not try it? Much to her surprise, her onigiris were a hit even amongst American customers. They sold out every day. “It was a small grocery store, but we were selling out 70 onigiri rice balls every day. I was encouraged to expand. Another client became interested in my foods so two months ago, I incorporated and hired staff to grow the business,” Sayuri recalls. Now she was officially stepping into the unknown world of the food industry.

For the past six months, Sayuri has worked on creating the ultimate onigiri rice balls as well as healthy rolls that are half- onigiri and half sushi starting at five in the morning every day. She only took two days off during that whole period and created eight different varieties which she is now in the process of taste-testing.

Above: Colorful and yummy Japanese rolls and snacks (PHOTO: OYAMADA ONIGIRI / Lloyd Kevin Hembrador)

The acting world or the food business?

“For me, simply being an actress and nothing else might be an outdated way of thinking. I should try different things, I think. That’s something I could have never done when I was in Japan. I felt that when a woman or an actress tried to do a new thing or try something different, there was always a pressure to criticize her. I know that acting and the food business are two completely different things. But I was able to face the challenge because I was in America. Here, I don’t think

people think that an actress can’t be involved in the food industry,” says Sayuri. The facts bear this out. In Hollywood, many successful actors have started or become involved in cosmetic and fashion businesses.

“Right now, I’m focusing on my Japanese food business but when we are out of this pandemic, I would also like to do some acting,” Sayuri notes. Her latest feature film, a horror movie titled “Bashira,” had been scheduled to open in theaters in November 2020. Due to the pandemic, its release has been postponed.

Sayuri seems unfazed: “It’s good to have options. And no matter what anyone says, once you decide something, you should just push forward.” She’s come far since her film school days in New York City barely speaking English. In 10 years, she has become a spirited survivor with relentless energy and passion. An unstoppable woman moving onwards and upwards, she is a true New Yorker in fact.

— End–

12月/27/2020

シネマトゥデイ、Yahoo! News

ご無沙汰しておりました…

久々の投稿です。

ニューヨークもまたCOVID-19感染者が増加しており、いつまたロックダウンになるか…クリスマス明け早々に…年明けすぐに…などと噂が飛び交い、正直、私も気がきではありません。

そんな中、先日、シネマトゥデイさんより受けた取材が昨日アップされました。>>

https://www.cinematoday.jp/news/N0120717

街も人も人々の行動もこのコロナ禍で全て変わってしまった、ここニューヨークでの私の奮闘ぶり?!が記事になっておりますのでぜひ。

Yahoo! news より >> https://news.yahoo.co.jp/articles/b82287b3e2ff335adeb348cd9f2fe998de17a8d1

あっという間に年末。

今年はとにかくローラーコースター(日本語ではジェットコースターみたいな…と言いますが、こちらではローラーコースターといい、ジェットコースターと言うと通じません)のような一年でした…

けれど、コロナ禍のこんな状況だからこそ、今できることを精一杯やるのです、やるしかないのです…

来年は私たちに平和と安らぎが訪れますように…

 

1月/13/2020

SY; (サイ)by Sayuri Oyamadaリニューアル!

SY; by Sayuri Oyamada がリニューアルしました。

デザインも一新し、価格も大変お買い求めやすくなっておりますので、ぜひお手にとっていただけたらと思います。

新デザイン:ピューマのテーマは

”To all who strive to become better today than they were yesterday…”

直訳すると…昨日よりも今日より良くなるよう戦う(奮闘する)すべての人へ…

“ものは考え様”  “気は持ち様”…etc

見方や考え方の角度を変えてみるといろんな発想が生まれる。

一つの概念に捉われず、自由に描いてみました。

勇しくも優しい…これが私のピューマ、これが私の理想でしょうか…

また、もう一つの新デザイン:ニューヨーク タイム

ニューヨーク時間の2020年1月1日にThe New York Timesの記事を切り取って、久々に筆を使って制作しました。

日本のお正月の書初めを思い出したり…

SY; by Sayuri Oyamadaのリニューアルに際し今までとは少し思考を変えてみました。

どちらも渾身の作…気に入っていただけたら嬉しいです。

そして、今年もどうぞよろしくお願い致します。

SY; by Sayuri Oyamada >>https://shop.oyamadasayuri.com/

1月/04/2020

Happy New Year 2020!!

Happy New Year 2020!!

May the new year bring joy, peace and happiness to you and your family.

My 2020 resolutions are…

be strong

be honest

be beautiful

and give my husband and myself more compliments!

and give more hug!!

Photo by Yuki Ledbetter

あけましておめでとうございます。

喜びと平安、そしてたくさんの幸せがみなさんに訪れる一年でありますように…

今年の抱負は

ジャンヌ・ダルクのように、強く、正しく、美しく

ですが、それに加えて…

夫や自分をたくさん褒めること、そして、たくさんハグすること!

日本人は子どもの頃はたくさんハグしたり、してもらったりしているのに大人になると途端にハグをしなくなりますよね…文化と言ってしまえばそれまでですが、ハグ大国のアメリカに拠点を移して今年で10年を迎える私でも気をつけていないとついつい忘れがちです。(生粋の日本人ということでしょうか…)

一日4分間のハグが、幸福をもたらす…云々…という記事を読んだことがあり実践していましたが、日本に2ヶ月ほど一時帰国していたこともあり最近少し忘れていたな…と。ハグは人と人との距離を近づけてくれるだけでなく、自分にとっても心身ともに健康でいられるそうです。(ちょっと長くなりそうなのでこのことについてはまた後日、ブログに書いてみようかな…)

ということで、今年の抱負に加えてみました。笑

今年もどうぞよろしくお願い致します。

追伸…

SY; by Sayuri Oyamada >>https://shop.oyamadasayuri.com/

リニューアル前のセールを10日まで開催中です。

今までのデザインは10日以降、すべて販売終了致しますのでこの機会にぜひ‼

 

 

 

12月/28/2019

Thank you for a great 2019

今年もいろいろありましたが、美味しい物を食べることができただけでありがたや。

たくさん食べて、たくさん笑って、たくさん怒って、たくさん泣いて、たくさんはしゃいだ一年でした。

Thank you for a great year.

Laughed a lot, smiled a lot, cried a lot and I got angered a lot this year…

Anyway, I was happy to be able to eat delicious food everyday.

I will start new journey next year and can’t wait to announce it you guys!

とても高級なワインらしいけれど、飲めない私にはなんのことやら…

来年に始める新しい旅に向けてしばしの休息。

あわただしい年の暮、健康には十分にご留意くださいね。

来年も素晴らしい一年になりますよう願っております。

そうだ!まだ(もう少しだけ) SY; by Sayuri Oyamadaの最後のセールを開催中です。

今までのデザインはすべて来年のリニューアル後は販売致しませんので、この最後の機会にぜひお手にとっていただけたらと思います。

SY; by Sayuri Oyamada Website >> https://shop.oyamadasayuri.com/

 

 

 

4月/30/2019

Phuket in Thailand : 旅の記録 タイ・プーケット編

タイのバンコク、チェンマイに続き、プーケットにも”ある目的”のために滞在しました。

やっぱりビーチはいいですね…幼い頃から水泳をしていたので水のあるところ、水の音が聞けるところは落ち着きます…海もプールも河原も…日常生活でも洗濯機の水の音までにも癒やされる私です。 笑

at Kata beach

そして…ここに来た最大の目的。夫のムエタイのトレーニング。

ムエタイ、というか格闘技全般のトレーニングを間近で見たのは初めてで、かなりビビりました…しかも、37℃の炎天下&猛烈な湿気の中、エアコンもないほぼ野外のジムでよくトレーニングできるな…とそれだけでも感動…私なんて、椅子に座って見学しているだけで汗だくなのに…笑

夫、しばらく格闘技はやっていなかったとはいえ、なかなかやります…

元ムエタイ・タイチャンピオンのトレーナーと。

私はあの蒸し風呂のようなジムに2時間いるのは無理だったのでたった一日の見学でしたが、夫は連日&バンコクの別ジムでもトレーニングしてました…夫、どこに向かっているのでしょう…笑

でも、普段見ることのない夫の別の勇姿を見ることができて新しい発見というか…惚れ直しました!それにしても、いや~、本当に暑かった…

 

4月/29/2019

Chiang Mai in Thailand : 旅の記録 タイ・チェンマイ 2

チェンマイではいろんな人に会って、いろんなことを見たり聞いたり…とても濃い滞在でした。なので写真もたくさん。笑

まだまだ続きます…チェンマイ その2

今回、チェンマイに来たもう一つの目的。夫と友人の20年振りの再会!

トラックの荷台でもちろん水掛け合戦。笑  チェンマイの旧市街地から1時間ほどのところにある村の河原へ。。。

夫の友人・メイと夫はプーケットで若い頃、一緒に遊んでいた仲間だそうで思い出話に花が咲いていました。

メイはとても明るく、人種など全く偏見のない心の広い女性。今や3人の子供を育てる母でもあり…初めて会った私にもとても気さくにいろんな話しをしてくれました。タイのフラワーデザイナーからリーフの折り方を学んだり…

こんな楽しく貴重な経験をさせてくれたメイに感謝。

ありがとう。そして、また会いましょう!

 

Chiang Mai in Thailand : 旅の記録 タイ・チェンマイ 1

タイの旧正月(ソンクラン・通称 水掛け祭り)にチェンマイに行きました。国際都市バンコクとは違い、こちらは歴史的建造物が多く残る古き良き落ち着いた街。日本で例えると、バンコクは東京、チェンマイは京都と言ったところでしょうか。。。

チェンマイに来た目的のひとつ。NU NU NINI’s Cafeのオーナーであり、起業家カップルのRobert&Nuiに会いに…

タイと言えば、タイティーが有名ですが、最近はコーヒーの需要も多くしかも、他のコーヒー大国に引けを取らない美味しさ。今回の旅でチェンマイ・コーヒーの美味しさは大発見のひとつでした。

NU NU NINI’s Cafe : 2 Rat Chiang Saen (corner of Wua Lai), Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai 50200, Thailand

 滞在中はソンクランとあって街中で水の掛け合い。私も準備万端で初めて参加。

Before → After 

旅はまだまだ続きます…

12月/31/2018

Happy New Year 2019 : 明けましておめでとうございます

Happy New Year 2019

Warmest wishes to all for a wonderful holiday season and

for much happiness in the coming new year.

明けましておめでとうございます。

皆様にとって、素晴らしい一年になりますように。

今年の抱負は「初心忘るべからず」ということで…日本で活動していた時のように、ショートヘアにしました。笑

こちらでは日本人女性のイメージはどうしても黒髪、ぱっつん前髪がいまだに主流で、役柄的にもロングヘアを求められることも多かったのですが、今年は思い切ってショートヘアに。日本にいた時はずっとショートヘアだったのでなんだか昔に戻ったようで自分としてはしっくり来ています。

まさに「初心に帰った」感じ。

新しい年に新しいヘアスタイルで…ちょっとした変化かもしれませんが、気分もまた新たに、今年一年「初心忘るべからず」で過ごせそうです。Never forget the beginner’s humility.

This is my resolutions for 2019.

New hair style for a happy new year!!

今年もどうぞよろしくお願い致します。

 

1月/02/2017

Happy New Year !! あけましておめでとう 2017

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New Year’s party with our close friends. カウントダウンパーティーを親しい友達と。
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Happy New Year 2017.
I hope you have a wonderful year full of happiness, success and great health.
My new year’s resolution is “study”.
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明けましておめでとうございます。
みなさまが健康で幸せな日々を過ごせますように。
今年の決意は「勉強」。そして、新しいことにも挑戦。

今年もどうぞよろしくお願い致します。

小山田サユリ