| Despite her tender years (born April 8, 1986), Erika Sawajiri has been through more than her innocent-looking face lets on. Born in Nerima, Tokyo to a Japanese mother and an Algerian-French father who died of cancer when she was in her third year of junior high school (7th grade), Erika also lost her brother in a car accident when she was in her first year of Japanese high school (8th grade).
Perhaps it was no accident that she was tapped to play the lead role, Aya Kito, in Fuji TV’s drama A Liter of Tears (Ichi Rittoru no Namida), based on the true story of a girl suffering from SCD (spinocerebellar degeneration). Erika also got her debut as a singer under the name Kaoru Amane, the name of the character she played in the TV drama (not to be confused with the film) Song to the Sun (Taiyou no Uta) in which she played a 16-year-old girl suffering from XP (xeroderma pigmentosum), a rare skin condition which makes sunlight lethal to the afflicted.
She sang the theme song to the show, which hit the top of the Japanese pop charts in its second and fourth week. We here at babebio.com have absolutely no problem with her skin.
Controversy and criticism From 1 > and From 2 >
On September 29, 2007, Sawajiri showed up at the Closed Note movie premiere and was visibly upset. Many people perceived this as a 'bad attitude'. She answered questions she was asked with very short, impolite answers. The Japanese press treated this issue as a very big deal. On October 2, she posted an official apology on her website. She states that she regrets her attitude, and what she did was very unprofessional and she shouldn't have let her mood affect her job. A few days later she appeared on a TV Asahi's morning news show "Super Morning", and gave them an exclusive 120 minute interview. She said again that she was sorry for what she did, and she knew there was nothing she could do to change what happened, but she would try to make up for it. She also denied the rumors that she was being suspended by her management.
Following this issue, she was going to attend the 12th Pusan International Film Festival, which was held on October 6, 2007, but she announced she would not attend this.
What was later found out after the interview was that she had been seen in the club with a man who was said to be her lover Tsuyoshi Takashiro.
She has been rumoured to not have anything in her 2008 schedule and that she is staying in United Kingdom for a year and take a break in the entertainment industry. Stardust Promotion have confirmed to replace her during that time period with an actress Kaho.
On January 4, 2008, she and her lover Tsuyoshi Takashiro were spotted at the Narita Airport checking in for a flight to London. She had been shaking hands with some of her fans. Reporters tried asking her questions about her future plans, but all she did was smile and continue on her way.
Actress Erika Sawajiri returned to Japan on March 29, 2008 after nearly three months in London with her boyfriend, media creator Tsuyoshi Takashiro. While in London, Sawajiri attended a language school. Her familiarity with English became evident at the airport when several cosmetics items fell out of her bag, and she exclaimed, "Oh xxx !" She continued to mostly use English while at the airport, and she reportedly has become fluent enough to handle ordinary conversation.
Sawajiri stated that she would be in Japan for her birthday, April 8, although she planned to return to London some time after that.