Haruka-chan! So cute!”
On September 23, actress Haruka Ayase (38) drew cheers from the crowds along the route when she appeared in the “Aizu Clan Lord Procession” at the Aizu Festival (Aizuwakamatsu City, Fukushima Prefecture).
Yae’s Sakura,” an NHK historical drama broadcast in 2001 in which Ayase played the leading role, is set in Aizu. Because of this, Ayase has participated in the Aizu Festival every year since 2002, with the exception of 2009, when she was unable to participate due to the COVID-19 crisis.
The decision to produce “Yae no Sakura” was made immediately after the Great East Japan Earthquake. Ms. Ayase shared the director’s spirit of wanting to make a work that would please the people of Fukushima, the disaster-stricken area, and she put her whole heart and soul into the filming.
After the broadcast, Ms. Ayase visited temporary housing in Aizuwakamatsu City and signed autographs and shook hands with each person. That is why even 10 years after the broadcast, the popularity of the show has not waned and it is loved by men and women of all ages,” said an NHK insider.
Ayase’s personality is also well known on set.
She is always willing to talk with the staff on any set,” said an NHK official. She would ask me, ‘How tall are you? When I went to the set wearing an outfit with a picture of a rock band printed on it, she asked me if I liked it. When I wore an outfit with a picture of a rock band printed on it to the set, she asked me if I liked it. She is so friendly that you would never guess she is a popular actress. Everyone who has worked with her has fallen in love with her.
Her acting ability, which everyone appreciates, and her endlessly lovable and charming personality will keep her in the spotlight for some time to come. Her reign will continue for some time to come. She is truly an “actress without peer.
From the October 13 and 20, 2023 issue of FRIDAY
PHOTO.： Kumataro Arai