Top 10 Famous Japanese Actresses In Hollywood

Added by Andrew Tyson on Jun 17, 2022
famous japanese actresses

Asians, and especially Japanese actors and actresses, have been notoriously left out of leading roles in major Hollywood productions. Think about it: when was the last time you saw a Japanese lead in a major blockbuster? Not so easy, is it?

Japanese actresses in particular are finding it hard to make it across international borders due to the language barrier and the lack of diversity in Hollywood roles. Whereas all an English-speaking actress needs is a good voice coach in order to be able to play an American, South African, or a citizen of numerous other countries, a Japanese actress is pretty much destined to play the role of an Asian.

Despite this, there are a number of beautiful and talented Japanese actresses succeeding in the USA. They bring a unique charm to the big screen, and the demand for their talents is always on the rise. Here are 10 of our favorite Japanese actresses in Hollywood today.


Kaori Momoi

Birthplace: Tokyo, Japan

One of the leading actresses in Japan, she has a number of Japanese acting awards but little in the way of international credits. She has won the Best Actress award twice, as well as the Best Supporting Actress once, at the Japanese Academy Awards. Most recently, she has played a major supporting role in the World War II movie Emperor, while prior to that, her biggest role had been as the mother in Memoirs of a Geisha.


Miyoshi Umeki

Birthplace: Otaru, Japan

The actress who led the way for Japanese actresses in Hollywood, Umeki is also the only Japanese to win an Academy Award. She won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role as a Japanese bride-to-be in the film Sayonara, and would go on to star in the stage and screen adaptations of Flower Drum Song, receiving Tony and Golden Globe nominations. She would receive yet another Golden Globe nomination for her role in the television series The Courtship of Eddie’s Father, although she again would not win. These roles and nominations set a benchmark for Japanese actresses in the future, one that still stands tall.

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