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She's the stuff of Japanese dreams--beautiful, internationally educated, born to moneyed parents in fashionable businesses. She's been a D.J., a TV interviewer and the face of Kose cosmetics. Juiciest of all, she's romantically linked to Japan's hottest young male acting and singing sensation, a cutie named Yoshida. As of January Lisa Hirako's name, face and doings threatened to upstage that of Japan's handsome reformist prime minister for the serious attentions of the popular media.
The media heat became so intense that for a bit of relief Hirako was forced to undertake a five-day trans-Pacific getaway to her family's second home in West Los Angeles. That's when she was introduced to Transpacific by model/businesswoman Margaret Joang, a close pal from Hirako's days at Santa Monica City College. Between dawn-to-dusk Westside shopping sprees Hirako and her businesswoman mom were chauffeured by Joang to Transpacific's business offices for the photo shoot.
Hirako's biggest concern was that her photos not show inappropriate patches of her flawless white skin. Despite three years at an exclusive Bel Air high school, two years at SMCC and frequent visits to the U.S., Hirako remains thoroughly Japanese, modestly hiding her luscious mouth when she finds herself giggling in response to probing personal questions. Possibly because she was turned off by the casual way her American classmates indulged in recreational drugs, even during her five years in the U.S. her boyfriends have all been Japanese. She's no prude, by any means, but she does show a distinct bias toward life's brighter side. A puzzled frown is about as much negativity as you'll encounter in this 22-year-old. Her natural expression is a look of doelike innocence frequently broken by giggles behind the cover of a dedicate white hand. In every visible respect, she's the up-to-the-moment version of the idealized Japanese noblewoman.
Transpacific: I heard you came here this time to get away from all the publicity surrounding your relationship with Yoshida. How does that make you feel?
Lisa Hirako: It's kind of scary. They come up to your house and ring your bell and then hide outside. When my mother and I go shopping, they jump out of the bushes with mikes to interview us.
Tpac: Does a prt of you enjoy all that attention?
Hirako: A little bit. At first I thought, "Oh, wow!"
Tpac: On TV they were talking about Yoshida' ex-girlfriends. How does that make you feel?
Hirako: It gets me made. It's mean to show the ex- girlfriend. Japanese do that. That's what they do. They are trying to find some girl to say, "I'm his girlfriend now."
Tpac: They're looking for the next story.
Hirako: His ex-girlfriends and girls he played around with, they pay money to them to say, "I was going out with him when Yoshida met her."
Tpac: You mean to say that you took Yoshida away …