Kyoko Yoshine Wears Emotions on Her Sleeve While Acting

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Kyoko Yoshine smiles for a photo.

Kyoko Yoshine sees herself as the type of actress who goes with her intuition.

“Just thinking with my head when going for something is probably not my thing,” she said. “Acting is like playing catch with everyone on set, isn’t it?”

Yoshine plays Aki Fujisaki, one of the main characters in the drama “Sorette pakuri ja naidesuka?” (“Copy that?”) that airs at 10 p.m. on Wednesdays on the Nippon TV network.

The character is also an intuitive type and has a lot in common with Yoshine.

Aki works for a beverage company called Tsukiyono Drink as a member of its development department and has been involved in creating a new product. However, she becomes suspected of leaking information about it to another company. She is then assigned the job of dealing with intellectual property, which she knows nothing about. The parent company of Tsukiyono Drink also sends an intellectual property specialist to her office. Aki and the specialist, Masayoshi Kitawaki (played by Daiki Shigeoka), strive to reclaim the rights to the new invention. The character has a peculiar sense of words and often utters odd onomatopoeia such as “kyurun kyurun” and “tawawawan” when speaking.

Before playing the role of Aki, the creative team of the drama told Yoshine, “Please stay normal.” This made her unbelievably worried.

“Being normal differs from person to person. I figured the most important thing was to be real and stay true to myself,” she said, adding that she was also determined to candidly show Aki’s emotions, like the anxiety and distress that comes with doing a new job.

What’s more, Aki is a character who is not good at putting her thoughts into words. As a protagonist, she gives off a rather subdued impression.

“She’s not a super positive protagonist who charges headfirst into things, so she feels real,” said Yoshine. “I hope viewers can relate to her.”

Like Aki, Yoshine knew nothing about intellectual property, such as patents and copyrights, until she was offered the part.

“I’ve realized that there are many of them [intellectual properties] around me,” she said. “I’m grateful that I’ve been able to learn about them in a fun way.”

Born on Feb. 28, 1997, Yoshine comes from Tokyo and made her debut as an actress in 2013. She starred in “Beppin-san,” NHK’s serial drama for the second half of fiscal 2016, and was selected as one of the recipients of the newcomer’s award in the Japan Academy Film Prize in 2019 for her roles in the films “Kasane” (“KASANE — Beauty and Fate”) and “Chiritsubaki” (“Samurai’s Promise”).

She celebrated the 10th anniversary of her acting career in April. When she started out, she used to think that there was no place for her in the acting world.

“Now, I feel that I’ve found my place,” she said. “I don’t think I’ve done everything in the 10 years I’ve been acting. I don’t want to lose my hunger.”

Questions to Kyoko Yoshine

The Yomiuri Shimbun: What do you think is your particular forte?

Yoshine: I just do my best in everything, whether it’s a drama or a variety show. I always give my best so that I have no regrets.

Yomiuri: This drama offers many things to learn about. Is there anything you want to learn now?

Yoshine: Cooking. I always wanted to go to cooking school and I enrolled in one on a trial basis about three years ago. But I couldn’t go regularly. I’d like to continue acting. The cooking is just an opportunity for me to learn something new.