In 1999 at the age of 13, Erika Sawajiri 沢尻エリカ successfully auditioned at Stardust Promotion, one of Japan’s leading talent management agencies, and began modeling for junior fashion magazones CUTIE and nicola. In 2001, Erika won the Seikore (制コレ) grand prize. She began appearing on TV in programs like Harajuku Ronchazu, The Night of Hit Parade and Super VIP. A year later, she was named Fuji TV’s Visual Queen of the Year. In 2002 at age 16, Erika began acting in TV dramas and modeling as a gravure idol. In 2005, Erika starred in her first film Pacchigi!, which won her Best New Actor awards in all major award ceremonies in Japan (18th Nikkan Sports Movie Award, 30th Houchi Movie Award, 15th Tokyo Sports Movie Award, 79th Kinema Junpo Award, 29th Japan Academy Awards). In the same year, she grabbed 2 more Best New Actor awards for her role in 1 Litre of Tears (2006 Elandor Award, 43rd Golden Arrow Award). In 2006, Erika released her first single which went to #1. Her second single the following year also went to #1, making her the only artist in 39 years to have the first 2 singles hit #1 consecutively.
Pictures from Erika Sawajiri’s first photobook P-chu! after the break.