Sawako Fujima of “My Family,” TV Drama Is Also a Japanese Dance Grand Master | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Sawako Fujima of “My Family,” TV Drama Is Also a Japanese Dance Grand Master

Toshio Ishikawa, entertainment reporter, tells us what's going on behind the scenes in the entertainment industry: ......

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Sawako Fujima attracted attention for her performance in the drama “My Family” starring Kazuya Ninomiya. She is a “two-faced” actress and a head of a Japanese dance school.In the drama series “My Family” (TBS) starring Kazuya Ninomiya of “Arashi” fame, young actress Sawako Fujima, who plays the role of Aya Suzuma, has become a hot topic as one of the key persons in solving the mystery of the case. In the 8th episode, which was the last episode of the series, she and Gaku Hamada, whose daughter has been kidnapped, desperately search for the culprit, and viewers commented

“Sawako is so cute!”

“I became a fan because she looks so cute with glasses.”

“Her forehead is so sexy.”

She is the granddaughter of Murasaki Fujima, a dancer and actress who was a great help to me in this world. The name of the dancer is “Murasaki Fujima, the third generation Iemoto of the Murasaki school of Fujima”. Under the influence of her grandmother, she has been involved in Japanese dance since she was in elementary school.

Her older sibling, Sho Fujima, is also a master of the Fujima school. He, too, has been promoting Japanese dance overseas, including in Egypt, Kazakhstan, and Saudi Arabia.

Sawako made her full-fledged acting debut in NHK’s morning television series “Hiyokko,” which aired in 2017. Later, she became the talk of the town when she played the lead role in the stage play “Half God,” written by Hideki Noda.


“I hope that both the drama and the stage will lead to the spread of Japanese dance,” she said.

and has continued her performing activities like her grandmother. As a member of the Asagaya Spiders, a creative community theater company, she has steadily built up her artistry.

And last year, she assumed the name of “Murasaki Fujima III.” There is an anecdote that  Ichikawa Ennosuke IV (now Enno II) praised her performance of “Hane no Kamuro,” which she danced at the Kabuki-za Theater when she was in elementary school.

“At the succession ceremony last year, I asked Souko about her impression of her grandmother Murasaki’s dance.”

She replied, “I only have memories of my grandmother after she couldn’t move much anymore. I was moved when I was shown the remaining images of the dance. I can’t compare to the achievements of the first generation, but I will do my best to live up to my grandmother.”

He expressed his enthusiasm for becoming the third generation.

The name of the third generation was given by Mr. Enou, who is also the second generation of Fujima Murasaki.

As per first generation will, “When my grandson Sawako reaches the age of 20, I want him to succeed to the name of Murasaki Fujima as the third generation Iemoto, and I think the time has come for me to fulfill her wish. In line with this, I have decided to name Takahiko, who has decided to support his sister and work hard together in the art, ‘Sho Fujima,’ from “Ten Shoeru Kokoro,” which represents my way of life, and have him take the name of the first generation of the family.

This was Murasaki’s wish, as she reported in writing. I heard from a source that Mr. Enou, who had been worried about his health, is doing well these days. He must surely be pleased with his grandson’s success in the drama.

We interviewed Sawako’s father, Fumihiko Fujima.

He said, “When she was in junior high school, her grandmother told her that she had to take over as Iemoto, and she felt a lot of pressure to do so. It would be wonderful for both my grandmother, Murasaki, and my grandfather, Eno, if my siblings and I could promote the traditional performing arts and Japanese dance together,” he said happily.


On July 23, she will perform “Fuji Musume” at the National Theatre of Japan in the “Hanagata Meisaku Buyou Kanshoukai” presented by the Japan Arts Council,. She is also scheduled to dance with her brother Sho in “Kojiki: The Story of  Five Grain Harvest” at Suntory Hall on September 25.

It has been one year since she assumed the name of the third generation. This is her fifth year as an actress.

She said, “For the past two or three years, I’ve been running around. It has been a turbulent time for me because of the succession of the name. I have a firm resolve in my mind that I am going to make Nihon buyo (traditional Japanese dance) my career, and I could see my thinking shift to the direction that I need to do something for someone else from now on.”

“Is it responsibility? The responsibility to protect the school that my grandmother created. The responsibility to pass on the Nihon buyo itself to the future. I am spending more and more time facing the Nihon buyo (traditional Japanese dance).”

Sawako answered in an interview on the YouTube channel of “VOGUE JAPAN”. In the video, she shows her unique methods and techniques of applying stage makeup, which she refers to as “doing the face,” “eyebrow clasping,” “eye stretching,” “nose up,” etc. She even demonstrates how the stage lighting and audience can see her work. Fans were impressed by this rare behind-the-scenes look at how the stage makeup is completed, and many comments were made about it.

“What I am interested in is Teruyuki Kagawa, who is the uncle. Although they are not related by blood, Mr. Enou is Mr. Kagawa’s father and Sawako’s grandfather.

“Kagawa-san is angry that his mother (YukoHama) took his father, Eno, away from him. When he entered the Kabuki world, Mr. Enou said he wanted to overcome his enmity and hatred, but it will be very difficult for him to play with Sawako.”

“Both of them have the rare actor Ichikawa Eno as their father and grandfather. Since they are in the same artistic world, I am not the only one who would like to see them perform together.”

  • Text Toshio Ishikawa (Entertainment Reporter)

    Born in Tokyo in 1946. He has a unique career path from Shochiku's Advertising Department to a reporter for women's magazines to an entertainment reporter. He has appeared on "The Wide" and "Information Live Miyaneya" (both on Nippon Television Network Corporation), and currently appears regularly on "Mentai Wide" (Fukuoka Broadcasting System), "Su Matan" (Yomiuri TV), and Rainbow Town FM.

  • Photo Sankei Shimbun

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