Photography by Tony Yang, Liang Kuangm, and Corey Daniels

Tell us a little about what that was like. What was your town’s name and what was life like?
I’m from Kagoshima located at the south of Japan surrounded by sea which boasts a volcano which steadily trickles ash. So we need an umbrella to ward off the ash. We have great nature there. During my childhood. I enjoyed digging clams at the beach, strawberry hunting, craw fishing with my family. I really enjoyed the blessing of outdoors.

How did you go from small town Japanese life to acting and modeling?
I moved to Tokyo after graduating high school for studying at the university. One day I attended my friend’s piano recital, one of the guests asked me to walk for a fashion show which she was involved in. Initially I would never considered myself to be a model. But my friends encouraged me to try it out. Then I found out I loved this new experience.

Who have you been able to work with in New York?
Wedding gown designer Pantra Bridal, Jewelry designer Yvone Christa are my favorite designers. I have worked with so many great photographers. One of my favorite fashion photographers is Max Eremine. His work is completely art. During shoots, he just let you move freely without any direction. So I can be completely myself and images come out great.

What are the biggest kind of cultural differences you’ve recognized between working and traveling in Japan and the U.S.?
Punctuality. In Japan, if you are late 5 min for work, this will be the last time. No one will work with you again.

Where would you like your career to progress in the next few years? What are some of your goals?
I would like to work in Europe in 2014 and keep creating great art as long as I can.

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Tags: Yayoi Kawahara, Japan, Japanese Model, Asian Model