Hikari Mitsushima is a Japanese actress and former pop idol from Okinawa. Her brother is actor Shinnosuke Mitsushima.
Mitsushima is the eldest of four siblings. She has two younger brothers and one younger sister. Her grandfather is French-American, making her three-quarters Japanese.
Her real name is now Hikari Ishii, having married film director Yuya Ishii on October 25, 2010. However, she still uses her maiden name as her stage name.
Mitsushima’s path to becoming an entertainer began when she won an audition to gain admittance to Okinawa Actors School. Soon afterward, she joined the 7-member Okinawan pop group “Folder” under the stage name HIKARI. Their debut single “parachuter” was released on August 1, 1997 and sold over 100,000 copies. It was around this time that she was cast in Kunio Miyoshi’s “Rebirth of Mothra II”, getting her first experience as an actress.
In 2000, Folder was reduced to five members and became an all-girl group called Folder5. Their 3rd single “Believe” was used as the opening theme to the Fuji TV anime series “One Piece” and became a huge hit for them.
In 2003, during a hiatus of Folder5, Mitsushima began attending the all-girls high school Yakumo Academy in Meguro-ku, Tokyo under her real name. During evenings, she resumed her career in the entertainment industry by working as an assistant for the Tokyo MX TV variety show “Xebec Online”.
In April 2004, she joined Vision Factory and began focusing on becoming an actress while doing some gravure modeling on the side. Over the next few years, her most notable acting job as a stint as Elly in the Ultraman Max TV series.
It wouldn’t be until her memorable performance as Yoko in Shion Sono’s 2008 film “Love Exposure” that she truly broke through as an actress, winning the Mainichi Film Award for Best New Talent and the Kinema Junpo Award for Best Supporting Actress, in addition to several film festival awards.
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