Satomi Ishihara’s Impact on the Horipro Three Sisters | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Satomi Ishihara’s Impact on the Horipro Three Sisters

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With Kazuya Kamenashi on the set of ‘Destiny’ (Nov 10/17, ’23 issue)

Satomi Ishihara (37) starred in the TV drama “Destiny” (TV Asahi), which aired its final episode on the 4th. The show maintained a steady average viewership rating of 7.5%, and as of June 7, it ranked first among April-season dramas with 1.16 million Tver favorites. Additionally, Ishihara’s movie “Missing,” in which she plays the lead, was released on May 17.

The film “Missing” is based on an original script by director Keisuke Yoshida. It is a gripping story that portrays a mother, played by Satomi Ishihara, who is caught in a whirlwind of information following her daughter’s disappearance. This film marks Ishihara’s first movie role since announcing the birth of her first child in April two years ago, making it a particularly significant project for her. During the stage greeting at the completion preview screening held on April 16, Ishihara was moved to tears in her opening remarks. She said, “This film is a dream come true for me. While there’s a part of me that’s scared for everyone to see it, I’m incredibly happy from the bottom of my heart,” her voice trembling with emotion.


“Both Ishihara and director Yoshida have revealed that seven years ago, Ishihara directly approached Yoshida, saying, ‘I want to change, I want you to break me.’ However, Yoshida initially declined because he felt his works were too plain and that Ishihara had a strong ‘Minato-ku vibe’ due to her glamorous image.


Later, Yoshida recalled Ishihara’s request, and after completing the script, he contacted her again. Filming took place about a year ago. At the event, Yoshida emphasized that Ishihara had ventured into new territory, stating, ‘This isn’t the Ishihara everyone knows.'” (Film industry insider) 

The film “Missing” was released in 257 theaters and debuted at 7th place in the ‘Domestic Movie Rankings’ (May 17-19, according to Kogyo Tsushinsha). Though it dropped to 8th place the following week, it climbed back to 7th place in its third week, continuing to attract audiences. Reviews on major movie information site “” prominently feature high praise for Ishihara’s performance, with comments like “Five stars for Satomi Ishihara’s acting.”

“It was a challenging role where her character loses sight of everything around her, including her husband, after her child goes missing. Throughout the film, Ishihara delivered an intense, gripping performance. In one scene, she even portrayed losing control and wetting herself, showing how Yoshida really pushed her to her limits. Known for her roles in love stories and sophisticated urban characters, Ishihara transformed into something entirely different from what we know her to be. As a result, there’s already talk that she might sweep the Best Actress awards at this year’s various film festivals.” (film journalist)

In the talent agency Horipro, the top female actors have traditionally been Kyoko Fukada (41), Haruka Ayase (39), and Satomi Ishihara, collectively known as the “Horipro Three Sisters.” They have formed the leading trio, followed closely by Mitsuki Takahata (32). 


“Originally, Satomi Ishihara was promoted by her agency after starring as the heroine in the 2003 NHK morning drama ‘Teruteru Kazoku,’ and she seemed to lead Kyoko Fukada and Haruka Ayase. However, both Fukada and Ayase have steadily advanced their careers, and in recent years, Ishihara appeared to be trailing behind them.


Recently, however, the power dynamics seem to be shifting. Fukada took a three-month break for adjustment disorder from the end of May 2021, and was reported to have broken up with Hiroyuki Sugimoto, the chairman of Sheer Technologies, late last year after their marriage was rumored to be imminent. She hasn’t announced any new projects this year. Meanwhile, Ayase has been stable in commercials, but her 2022 Fuji TV Monday drama ‘The Ex-Boyfriend’s Will’ received poor reviews, and the movie ‘Legend & Butterfly,’ where she played the heroine, didn’t become a major hit. It seems she hasn’t had much luck with her recent projects.


Among the three, only Ishihara has gotten married, had a child, and returned from maternity leave to star in ‘Missing,’ where her acting has blossomed. She is currently on an upward trajectory both personally and professionally, showing signs of potentially surpassing Fukada and Ayase.” (entertainment journalist)

Furthermore, Ishihara is expected to become a significant presence in fields beyond the reach of Fukada and Ayase, potentially challenging female talents from other agencies.

“Going forward, there will likely be a surge in companies and programs wanting to hire Ishihara as a ‘mama talent.’ Whether she chooses to market herself that way depends on her, but if she does, she will dominate the ‘mama talent’ industry,” said an advertising agency insider.

Attention is now on Ishihara, who has successfully broken out of her shell, to see what she will accomplish next.

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In June 2023, Satomi Ishihara made a surprise appearance at the music festival “MOVE FES. 2023 Supported by AIRU,” aimed at raising awareness for ALS.
In the romantic comedy “Love Deeply” (Nippon TV), she starred opposite Go Ayano (April 30, 2021 issue).
She appeared with this expression at her first public event two weeks after announcing her marriage (October 30 – November 6, 2020 issue).
In “Heaven? My Restaurant, My Life” (TBS), she played an eccentric restaurant owner (June 21, 2019 issue).
  • PHOTO Hiroyuki Yagi (1st), Kazuhiko Nakamura (2nd), Yusuke Kondo (3rd), Shinji Hasuo (4th), Saki Hotta (5th)

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