From Support to Stardom: Haruka Kinami’s Rise in the Spotlight | FRIDAY DIGITAL

From Support to Stardom: Haruka Kinami’s Rise in the Spotlight

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Haruka Kinami exudes an overwhelming aura even on the streets of Ginza. She has established an unshakable position as a talented actressHaruka Kinami stars in the drama Sexy Tanaka-san (NTV). A simple office worker by day transforms into the bewitching belly dancer Sali by night. Netizens have not stopped praising the spectacular transformation of Kyoko Tanaka, played by Kinami. 

The drama is based on the manga of the same name by Hinako Ashihara. Tanaka is a 40-year-old single female office worker in the accounting department; she is a super talented woman who is a licensed tax accountant, but has never had a friend or boyfriend. She keeps her status as a belly dancer a secret from the company and those around her, but one day her junior temporary office worker, Akari Kurahashi (Meru Nakumi), sees through her.

Kinami appeared in Brush Up Life (NTV), which aired in January this year and won the Grand Prix in the Serial Drama category of the Tokyo Drama Award 2023. It is still fresh in our minds that she played the role of a childhood friend of Sakura Ando, who plays the lead role.

When Ando learned that Kinami would be playing the lead role in a serial drama series on the GP belt for the first time, she commented, “There is no other actress who can play both roles, and they are too perfect for each other. This is her long-awaited first starring role, and she has attracted a lot of attention in the industry.”

Speaking of Kinami, she is known as a versatile actress who plays unique roles.


In the Yuusha Yoshihiko series (TV Tokyo), a drama series written and directed by Yuichi Fukuda that began in 2011, she played the role of the wizard Murasaki. In the 2018, a 9 month drama series Kuragehime (Fuji TV), he played the role of a kare-sen (a man who loves withered old men) and a shadowy old man.

In the 2019 drama Tokusatsu Gagaga (NHK), she is a special effects geek girl. In the drama Semi Otoko (TV Asahi), she plays an earnest but plain girl in the middle of her twenties, and she has left her mark on the industry.

Although Kinami is a woman of many qualities, she did not set out to be a good actress from the beginning.

Kinami entered the entertainment industry in 2001 when she won the grand prix in the “1st HORIPRO NEW STAR AUDITION – Rika-chan for the 21st Century. However, when she auditioned for leading roles, she was only accepted for roles as friends of the heroine.

In the 2009 film  20th Century Boys, she played the role of Kyoko Koizumi, a friend of the heroine (Airi Taira), and was so shocked that she wanted to turn it down. However, after being persuaded by her agency, she reluctantly accepted the role, and was highly praised by the director and the author of the original story, and she became a household name.

“Originally, Kinami excelled at classical ballet, Japanese dance, and dance. Moreover, she has played the role of a single, unassuming office worker in such dramas as Semi Otoko and has demonstrated a proven performance.” – (A source from a wide-open TV show)


Ashihara Hinako, who wrote the original manga, also commented

“I am sure Ms. Kiminami will play the role even more attractively. It is no exaggeration to say that no one else in the world of entertainment could play this role but Haruka Kiminami.”

Haruka Kiminami has been a unique and distinctive play-by-play artist. But behind the scenes, she has not neglected her efforts to play a wide variety of roles.

“In the movie Shiranai, Futari (2016), a love story about seven Japanese-Korean men and women, Kinami surprised the audience by speaking fluent Korean. In fact, since she played the role of a Korean in the drama Sunao ni Narenakute (Fuji TV) in 2010, she has been attending a Korean language school for about a year to master the Korean language. It seems that she was offered the role in Shiranai, Futari because of such skills.”- (producer of a production company).

Haruka Kinami plays the leading role in Sexy Tanaka-san for the first time in a serial drama series on GP. However, her mission as an actress in this drama is not only to make a spectacular transformation. The key to solving this problem appears in the first episode.

In the first episode, Kurahashi (Meru), who is treated as a convenient woman after sleeping with her friend Shingo once, weeps when she sees Hillary Clinton’s declaration of defeat after she lost the presidential election.


“We have not yet broken through that highest and hardest of glass ceilings,” she says. “But someday someone will.”

“And to all the girls watching this. Believe that you are worthy, that you are powerful, and that you have every chance in the world to pursue and fulfill your dreams.”

Watching this declaration of defeat, Kurahashi spills tears. These tears may be the reflection of the dilemma and sorrow of Kurahashi, who has tried her best to find a job but has only been able to become a temporary worker and is thinking of getting married in a normal marriage because she cannot survive on her own.

Another mission of this drama is the glass ceiling. Perhaps it is to gently push the backs of women who wish to break through the glass ceiling.

Haruka Kinami, who herself has played many bipolar players, has had her own share of bitter experiences. In this film, her pride as an actress who has broken through the glass ceiling is put to the test.

  • Text Ukon Shima (Broadcaster, Video Producer)

    He is involved in program production in a wide range of genres, including variety, news, and sports programs. He has also planned and published many books on female TV announcers, idols, and the TV industry. While working on documentary programs, he became interested in history and recently published "Ieyasu was dead in Sekigahara" (Takeshobo Shinsho). He is also publishing the e-book series "Ibun Chakurezuregusa.

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