Australian Born Japanese Actor Currently Based in London, Country girl Living in a City & Here to Make a Wave

Find your own voice and stand up for yourself because who will? We should all speak up, share our stories, and not feel like it’s not important or big enough.


Both of my parents are Japanese, but they met in Australia so that’s why I was born there. But soon after that, we moved to Japan, thus my first language is Japanese. We then moved back to Tasmania, a little island in Australia which is where I spent the majority of my childhood there until I was about 18 years old. When I was 17, I found an interest in acting. Before then I had never acted before, and had never been in drama class or anything like that. Instead of studying science at university, I decided to pursue acting, and wanted to go back to Japan by myself to pursue that. I thought that because of the way I look, it’ll be better for me to learn and build my career in Japan instead of in Australia.

I went to a part time acting school in Tokyo for three years, and then worked for a year. Unfortunately, I didn’t really resonate with it. I didn’t fit in with the industry over there, and I didn’t really like the lifestyle in Tokyo very much. So I wanted to get out. That’s when I decided to go travelling, and I picked London.

At that time, I wanted to give up on acting. I didn’t even want to go to the West End to see a show. But I met up with an acting teacher in London and asked “what’s your one musical?” Back then I didn’t really like musicals, to be honest. But I was just so impressed with the actors here, that I now respect my love for acting. I was like, “Oh my God. I still love this thing.” I was staying at a friend’s place and she suggested that I apply to drama school here. That led me to audition to one of the drama schools here and then I got in so I was like, why not? So now I’m studying at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, and I’ll be graduating soon.

I have a strange accent. It’s a very strange thing about me. I guess it is influenced by the place I’m living at, and what I’m talking about. If I’m talking about Australia, my Australian accent comes out. I guess because I moved around a lot since I was young, one of my ways to fit into society was to be like them. Especially growing up in Tasmania, it’s a very white community. I was the only Asian kid and I got picked on for my accent a lot. That was something that I wanted to fix and be like everyone as much as possible. When I was a kid I had to do this presentation on my own for the very first time and my English was not quite there yet. I used to record my voice and listen to it, so I could learn to sound a bit more Australian.

Photo by Vanessa Ng

Something that I would like to achieve as an actor is performing at a theatre like Royal Court or National Theatre, be casted in a Netflix series or be involved in a film project and go to Cannes or Sundance. I don’t necessarily want to be famous or have a Golden Globe or anything like that. It’s just seeing the actors now and what they’re doing, especially the East Asian actors; I just want to be one of those actors on screen. I want people to see me, and to feel like they’re being represented on this screen. I didn’t have that, and now I’m starting to see it. I want it to encourage young people. Back then for me, I didn’t think it was possible for me to even make it in Hollywood or to be able to work in a country like the UK.

However the film industry in Japan is quite intense, especially with the hierarchy structure in place. I couldn’t find anyone that I could respect as a human. For example, I would really like a certain director’s work and everything. But when I went on set and saw them in person, and how they treated the poor, or how they communicated to people I just couldn’t respect and love that human being. I’ve never met any human being I kind of really loved in the industry. There was also pressure to look a certain way. My manager gave constant criticism about my weight rather than my acting. I developed an eating disorder as a result and I had to seek counseling for the very first time.

I look Japanese, but I’m also Australian. However, people don’t see that, so they expect me to behave a certain way like other Japanese people. You have to follow certain rules during the day, and that was very claustrophobic for me to live like that. Whereas when I came to London I felt freer and that I could just be myself. That’s one of the reasons I really like living in London, and that’s why I really want to root myself here and work as an actor here.

As for the photoshoot, I just wanted to be part of the movement really, in any way possible. When I saw the casting call, I thought it was a cool idea. I really struggled to share my story and speak up about it during the Anti-Asian hate crime movement, but then I was like, nah, we should all speak up, share our stories, and not feel like it’s not important or big enough. So I started doing that on my own on Instagram and social media, but I never had the courage to do it a little bit more. I thought that the photoshoot would give me the confidence to really own myself as well, who I am and what I experienced, and to represent my culture and my heritage: everything. I think it’s just a powerful project overall, that I just wanted to be part of an experience.


Instagram: @akix0521


Producers: @chrispoonmd & @stephfungal
Photographer: @vng2_
Assistant photographer: @jordancoxtv
Makeup artists: @nanayumua & @lecreaturedibeatrice
Stylist: @asaleem92
Videographer: @rayroberts

4 thoughts on “Australian Born Japanese Actor Currently Based in London, Country girl Living in a City & Here to Make a Wave

    1. Thank you! I’ve also enjoyed writing as a kid and never stopped! I think I officially started to write for magazines and online platforms when I was first got into University.

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