Yasuko Sawaguchi

Yasuko Sawaguchi (沢口 靖子, Sawaguchi Yasuko, born June 11, 1965) is a Japanese actress.

Yasuko Sawaguchi
Born (1965-06-11) June 11, 1965 (age 57)
Sakai, Osaka, Japan
Years active1984–present


She was born in Osaka. In early 1984, the Japanese movie studio Toho Company Ltd. held their first Toho Cinderella beauty contest, and Yasuko, almost 19 at the time, was chosen as the first Toho Cinderella, beating out the other 30,000 contestants.

Shortly after, she made her film debut in the film Karate Cop III: Song of the Sea, before co-starring as the heroine Naoko Okumura in The Return of Godzilla, which was the grand comeback film for the famous movie monster Godzilla. She appeared in the next Godzilla film 5 years later, 1989's Godzilla vs. Biollante, but as another character (Erika Shiragami, who later becomes Godzilla's titular adversary). At the Toho Cinderella beauty contest that same year, she took place with the 2nd Toho Cinderella, 1987 winner Megumi Odaka (who was also in Biollante, starting her Miki Saegusa character).

She has since appeared in numerous movies and television (her TV show debut was Miotsukushi in 1985), and is considered one of Japan's most beautiful and talented actresses.[citation needed] She has played scientific criminal investigator Mariko Sakaki, the lead role in the television show Kasōken no Onna (and its successor Shin Kasōken no Onna), which have aired on TV Asahi since 1999. In NHK Taiga dramas she has portrayed Iroha-hime in the Dokuganryū Masamune (1987), Akahashi Tōko in Taiheiki (1991), and Nene in Hideyoshi (1996). She starred as Rui in the jidaigeki Shin On'yado Kawasemi (TV Asahi, 1997). She has also played the villain in one episode of Furuhata Ninzaburo in 1996.

She also voiced Chihiro's mother in the original Japanese version of Spirited Away. This involved her sounding as though she was talking with her mouth full, so she initially tried biting her finger while acting. When this didn't create the desired effect, some KFC chicken was ordered into the recording studio.



Year Title Role Network Notes Ref.
1984 Taiyō ni Hoero! Mitsuko NTV Episode 623
1985 Miotsukushi Kaoru NHK Lead role, Asadora [1]
1986 Tsūkai! OL Dōri Midori Yonamine TBS Lead role
1987 Dokuganryū Masamune Irohahime NHK Taiga drama
1988 The Old Capital Chieko / Naeko KTV Lead role, TV movie
1990 Minamoto no Yoshitsune Shizuka Gozen TBS TV movie
1991 Taiheiki Akahashi Tōko (Tōshi) NHK Taiga drama
1996 Hideyoshi One NHK Taiga drama
Furuhata Ninzaburō Yorie Usami Fuji TV Episode 15
1997–1998 On'yado Kawasemi Shōji Rui TV Asahi Lead role
1999–present The Woman of S.R.I. Mariko Sakaki TV Asahi Lead role, 22 seasons [2]
2000 Salaryman Kintarō 2 Yōko Shinozuka TBS
2004 Shinsengumi! Okita Mitsu NHK Taiga drama
2012 Single Mothers Nao Kamimura NHK Lead role
2018 Crime Scene Talks Mariko Sakaki TV Asahi The final episode, season 5
2019 Crayon Shin-chan Mariko Sakaki (voice) TV Asahi Episode 1009


Year Title Role Director Notes Ref.
1984 Karate Cop III: Song of the Sea Umiko Matsumura Kazuo Kuroi
The Return of Godzilla Naoko Okumura Koji Hashimoto
1985 Four Sisters Anne Kitazawa Nobuhiko Obayashi
1986 Rokumeikan Setsuko Shimizu Kon Ichikawa
1987 Film Actress Seiko Kawashima Kon Ichikawa [3]
Princess from the Moon Kaya Kon Ichikawa Lead role
1989 Godzilla vs. Biollante Erika Shiragami Kazuki Ōmori
1994 Orochi, the Eight-Headed Dragon Ototachibana Takao Okawara
1995 The Tower of Lilies Chiyoko Miyagi Seijirō Kōyama Lead role
2001 Spirited Away Yūko Ogino (voice) Hayao Miyazaki
2007 Autumn Relics: Homage to Ozu Akiko Sasaki Keiichi Nomura Lead role
2016 Kōtei ni Kochi Fuite Tomoyo Miki Satoshi Kaneda Lead role
2021 The Woman of S.R.I. the Movie Mariko Sakaki Ryōsuke Kanesaki Lead role [4]


Year Award Category Work(s) Result
1986 10th Elan d'or Awards Newcomer of the Year Herself Won
9th Japan Academy Film Prize Newcomer of the Year The Return of Godzilla Won


  1. ^ "連続テレビ小説『澪つくし』". NHK. Retrieved June 23, 2020.
  2. ^ "「科捜研の女」10月から火9枠へ 沢口靖子の榊マリコがクールに変身「期待感にあふれる」". Nikkan Sports. Retrieved July 14, 2022.
  3. ^ "映画女優(1987)". Movie Walker Press. Retrieved October 9, 2020.
  4. ^ "『科捜研の女』シリーズ21年目で初の映画化 沢口靖子も驚き「本当に夢のようです」". Oricon. Retrieved December 18, 2020.

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