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Norika forever

19 Comments
By Chris Betros

If Norika Fujiwara ever has a business card made, it’ll be a challenge to put all her titles on it. In the past year alone, Fujiwara, 39, has been a voice actor for "Shrek Forever After: The Final Chapter," reported from Sumatra for NHK’s Save the Future program, taken part in the Biodiversity Summit, COP10, in Nagoya, modeled at a fashion show for Miss Ashida, appeared in numerous TV variety and sports programs, attended charity events, performed in stage musicals, promoted beauty products and extolled the virtues of kiwifruit in her capacity as the “2010 Zespri Kiwifruit Image Character.”

Looking much younger than her age, Fujiwara was luminous at the recent Tokyo International Film Festival, where she walked the green carpet with Shrek. In the series’ 4th film, which opens in Japan on Dec 12, Fujiwara voices the character of Princess Fiona (Cameron Diaz in the original versions).

“I’ve been doing Fiona’s voice for nine years, and she’s a part of me now. She is a strong-willed woman, and I have always tried to reflect that. It has allowed me to experience many things around the world. This is going to be the final movie in the series, so I didn’t hold anything back. The feedback from preview audiences in Japan has been so moving that I cried. One fan said this was the first one she’d seen and that she was going to rent the other three and watch them all together.”

Born in Nishinomiya, Hyogo Prefecture, Fujiwara has been in show business since being crowned Miss Japan in 1992 and modeling for CanCam magazine. She has kept busy ever since with TV appearances, commercials, hosting music television programs, reporting on the Athens Olympics and authoring two best-selling books, "Fujiwara Shugi" and "Norika Body." Most recently, she added stage musicals to her repertoire, with "The Drowsy Chaperone," followed by "Cabaret," and next March, she will appear in a nationwide tour of the musical, "Marguerite," from the producers of the Broadway hit, "Les Miserables."

In between her theater and TV work, Fujiwara is frequently in demand as a spokeswoman. Since summer, she has been traveling around Japan and Asia as a kiwifruit ambassador. “Kiwifruit is very healthy and enhances the beauty of women,” she said. In the TV commercials, Fujiwara holds two green and gold types of kiwifruit, jumps on trampolines and goes into the water. The commercials were filmed in New Zealand where Fujiwara said she enjoyed picking the fruit herself. “I always want to be a golden girl,” she said, recommending a special drink made of kiwifruit, spinach, pear and amino collagen – blended in a mixer. “You know what the enemy of a successful diet is? Oneself,” she said. “There’s a lot of really delicious food here, but it’s important to conquer your impulses and stick to your diet.”

Fujiwara has always been a darling of the Japanese media who have kept their distance since her March 2009 divorce from Osaka-based comedian Tomonori Jinnai whom she married in a high-profile ceremony in Kobe in February 2007. She said she hopes to fall in love again. “Of course, I’d like to always be in love. Women in love have a special glow.”

Meanwhile, Fujiwara said she is finding self-fulfillment with her involvement in various charity and ecological activities. Over the past few years, she has created a photography exhibition for charity, with photos she personally took of children in Afghanistan, set up the The Norika Fujiwara Fund to aid children’s education worldwide, founded girls’ primary schools in Bamiyan, Afghanistan, and Cambodia, worked as a PR envoy for the Japan Red Cross, and traveled to Tuvalu.

Looking ahead, Fujiwara said that she is not daunted by turning 40 next year. “Even when I get older, I don’t want to lose my curiosity to take on new challenges in my work and personal life,” she said.

© Japan Today

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.


19 Comments
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Norika, is trying to hard to look 25, difficult transition for her and countless fans like me,,,,,,,

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she seems to be one of the more talented talento,,,and she looks very nice for someone turning 40,,,i always think she has a nice presence

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Norika forever

No thankyou. Miss 40 should just accept her aging and start barging around the supermarket.

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You have got to be kidding, people. She looks great for even 25. look at the bleached hair white skin trash at Shibuya and you can have them all. Norika's bod don't look 40 at all. I'll take it.

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She looks great for even 25

Nah 25 year olds don't have their plastic surgery falling apart yet. Her body however still warrants closer examination.

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I don't see anythign falling apart on her. Given all the wretched bimbos in Japan (Kumi Koda, Erika sawajiri, any skank at Shibuya), I am surprised people are picking on a classy babe like Norika.

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If you think Norika hasn't had periodic and considerable plastic surgery tune-ups I have a bridge to sell you...

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involvement in various charity and ecological activities.

Any possible good she might be doing for ecology is destroyed by just one of the seemingly endless number of flights that she takes. Wake up Norika!

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I have been lucky enough to get to know her a little via a mutual friend and by attending events that she has participated in. From my experience she is, and has always been, a vibrant and energetic personality every time I have met her. Her interests are wide ranging and she is always curious to learn more. As for the varied work that she does, she likes to achieve milestones in her life and constantly have new experiences. I realize that she is lucky as she has the time and money to do this, but most would do the same in her position. She has her faults, but we all do. I know because I have seen and heard them. There were projects she undertook that 'critics' were hoping would bomb, but she threw herself into the work regardless and achieved. For example, the musicals she performed in. I went to both and thought she did a great job. Both shows were full on for a month and required performing to the same level for three hours, two or three times a day. She does look good for 39, as a constant regime of 'Kaatsu' pressure training, 'Esthe' and a personal dietician help her to maintain her 'look'. Up close though she looks what I think she is which is an attractive, beautiful woman in her thirties. I have even seen her without make up, casually dressed and I still think that.

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I do think she is cool, but there is a poster for some beauty clinic featuring her at the moment where her leg just looks really weird. I think they didn't want to do an obvious Photoshop lengthening and instead opted for deep shadow to make it look thin but it just looks strange.

Do I spend too much time on station platforms ?

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i still think the green dude looks better

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Up close though she looks what I think she is which is an attractive, beautiful woman in her thirties.

Agreed. But what the heck's that dressed in black, on the left?

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"Looking much younger than her age, Fujiwara was luminous"

She certainly is and was!

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Ah, the negative anonymous gathering congregates to pour scorn on nothong special. Pity. She's OK, and would seem to actually have a heart!!! Good for her! I think she is definitely one of the more productive "talents".

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I'm tired of constantly seeing her image everywhere. What's so special about Miss Kiwifruit - she's good looking? Throw a rock.

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Norika Fujiwara is going to hit 40 soon, I've already done so.

It makes me wonder where the time went, and along with it all the good times in Japan.

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Any possible good she might be doing for ecology is destroyed by just one of the seemingly endless number of flights that she takes. Wake up Norika!

Yeah, wake up Norika? Michael says. But he means do not wake up. Stay put, don't go anywhere, do nothing. Great advice, because the ecology is more important than helping people. (Somehow I think the planes will be flying anyhow)

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kiwifruit ambassador and leading proponent of 'kaatsu'- sit up and pay attention girls

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I agree she looks great for almost 40. But, I also agree I'd like to see her start dressing with a little more class. The Shibuya-trash outfit is not flattering on her. She should be wearing some nice designer stuff -- like DKNY or Givenchy.

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