Maria Ozawa has flitted from being ranked #1 and #2 in the Japanese AV popularity pole for some time now. This half-Japanese AV star is of mixed racial descent with a Canadian father and Japanese mother. She mixes the exoticism of the foreign with homegrown beauty by means of black hair and brown eyes. Her slender body features outstanding measurements that make many a woman jealous: 88-58-88 (cm). It's a body-type generally reserved for models.
As soon as she turned 18, Maria Ozawa burst onto the Japanese AV scene. After several short years, she found herself comfortably perched on the summit of success looking down at a variety of Japanese adult actresses in vicious determination to usurp her. From casual stripping to full-on hardcore sex, she has traveled a road filled with surprises.
I had the fortunate luck to score an exclusive interview with her and the contents of this exchange are now available for your perusal below.
Interviewer: I hear you started stripping in July. Congratulations. Tell us how you feel about that.
Maria Ozawa: I was surprised to see woman really take everything off. I mean I work in Japanese AV so I'm used to being naked, but that's on set and not out in the open like they're doing it. It really surprised me. I didn't think what they were doing was lewd at all. I found it beautiful, really.
I: Were you impressed by them?
MO: That was a factor for me doing it. I also viewed it as a major stepping stone.
I: What circumstances led you to becoming a stripper?
MO: My coworker at the AV agency I belonged to stripped. I had a friend who stripped. Bit by bit, their stories of the dance floor intrigued me so I decided to give it a shot. Opportunity rose in the form of an event held over western Japan at strip clubs where I'd be having meet-and-greets with fans (Translator's note: this type of event is directly translated as a 'handshake event'.). There I saw strippers in action and I became very interested in trying it out.
I: What are the similarities and differences of Japanese AV and stripping?
MO: They're both jobs that exist for the enjoyment of those watching. Men watching strippers may remark on their dancing abilities along with the real chance of meeting them after their routine is complete. Men watching AV may remark on how well the actress performs in the production and may have an urge to meet her at a fan thank-you event. Thus, both are about making fans pleased and wanting more.
*A Vocation After 3 Years
I: Can you tell us what Japanese AV and being an AV star mean to you?
MO: It's my life's work, my vocation. Before my debut, I was not ready for the world.
I: Do you have any work experience besides being an AV star? Did you work part-time before?
MO: I first worked at McDonald's, then a convenience store, then at a restaurant, then at a cabaret club, and finally was an English language teacher (Translator's note: you'd think the last two would be reversed!).
I: You've been doing AV for some years now without respite. Do you intend to continue in this fashion?
MO: It's already been so long...I haven't even noticed how the time flew. I leave much of the decisive work up to my agency. They provide me with job opportunities within my range of abilities and desires and I give it my all.
I: How many days do you work and how long each day?
MO: It varies. Sometimes it's a lot and sometimes it's not. It's up to how I feel. Busy seasons will see me working almost without a day off and other times I'd only work 3 times in a given week. Work days when we're filming a new AV film are pretty long. They'll take a day or two to film. There's also work I do for magazines and TV along with interviews like this.
I: It sounds like you truly love being an AV star.
MO: That's right though many people out there often stereotype AV stars as slutty and emotionally unfulfilled women with dark pasts which is all the complete opposite of who I am.
I love AV—and not just the work itself, but the environment surrounding it. The staff are all great and thanks to them, in the years I've been doing this, I've yet to have had a bad experience in the studio. Everyone's so open and frank compared to normal work which makes it a very enjoyable place to be. I don't have any plans to quit and hope to make even more female acquaintances within the industry.
This industry is all about what goes around, comes around, you know? If I try super hard, it will show in my work making me even more popular and respected. More fans will flock to me because they enjoy my performance and this will make me feel like I accomplished something wonderful. It's all about how hard one applies oneself and I think I'm doing a good job. That's what I love about this line of work.
Interview by Henri Kenji OIKAWA
(Translator's note: This was a fantastic interview although it is not very recent. Those looking for new tidbits about what Maria Ozawa has been up to since this talk was conducted before the financial crisis stick around for future updates about her on My Dearest Desire. It's interesting how this piece begins with her talking about stripping as she has on-and-off-again returned to it throughout her career. One can almost make an analogy of adult film stars trying out stripping from time to time just how movie and TV actors try their hand at plays. A live audience is a very different experience than a small film crew.)
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