Focus On: Yuu Asakura
By Armand Vaquer
Some have wondered who the model is holding a copy of The Monster Movie Fan's Guide To Japan in several blog posts on the travel guide. Some thought she looked familiar, but couldn't quite place her.
Her name is Yuu Asakura, and according to Wikipedia:
Yuu Asakura (born in Kawanishi, Hyogo, Japan in 1976) is a Japanese actress, dancer and language instructor based out of Los Angeles, California, USA.
She moved to Los Angeles after graduating from Tokyo University in 2000 with a B.A. in linguistics and area studies. She has worked as a translator for Hollywood production companies and tutored students at various stages in speaking Japanese, including a series of short clips released on the website expertvillage.com on basic spoken Japanese. She taught English in Japan for many years and views her work in language training as offering a "communication tool for better understanding for one another."
I first noticed Yuu in Don Glut's The Mummy's Kiss: Second Dynasty (that stars Christine Nguyen) in which she had a bit part as Marie, the assistant to a tabloid editor. I needed an Asian model for a publicity photo shoot for The Monster Movie Fan's Guide To Japan and was able to obtain Yuu through Don. When we first met for the shoot at Lake Balboa in the San Fernando Valley (we were going to do it at the Japanese Gardens in Van Nuys, but a recent storm made the place unusable due to mud), I mentioned first seeing her in The Mummy's Kiss: Second Dynasty and she responded with a giggle.
I found Yuu very easy to work with and she obviously knew how to pose without much direction by me.
As mentioned above, Yuu is also an actress and has appeared in several movies besides the Glut mummy movie. To see her IMDB listing, go here. There's another Yuu Asakura who appears in Japanese porn movies, so don't get confused. The other Yuu Asakura does not even look like this Yuu Asakura.
Left, one of several photos of Yuu Asakura Don Glut sent me when I was deciding on a model for the photo shoot.
Yuu has her own website. To see it, just click here. Here, one may contact her for arranging Japanese language instruction as well as modeling and acting work (naturally, she'd direct the people making the query to her management company).
She's a member of SAG and AFTRA and is represented by Infinite Talent Agency ((818)955-8662).
Would I recommend Yuu Asakura to anyone in need of a Japanese model? I sure would!