Yuya Yagira (Shiro) received global attention when director Quentin Tarantino presented him with the 57th Cannes Film Festival's Best Actor award for his role in the film, gNobody Knows" in 2005. Yagira earned the distinction of being Japan's first winner of a Cannes prize and the festival's youngest winner ever at age 15. He has gone on to star in several films since and is touted as one of Japan's most promising actors. Sugar & Spice represents Yagira first adult role.
Erika Sawajiri (Noriko) made a stellar acting debut in the 2004 Japanese-Korean collaborative film, Pacchigi!, earning her numerous awards including the 29th Japanese Academy Award for Best New Actor and launching her career as a leading film and television actress. As Noriko, Sawajiri faced the dramatic challenge of playing both an emotionally frail, jilted girlfriend and the more romantically mature half of the Shiro-Noriko relationship, capable of winning audience sympathy for her plight despite the eventual anguish she creates for Shiro.
Mari Natsuki (gGrandma", Fujiko) is a veteran, award-winning screen and stage actor, musician and author, whose popularity crosses all age groups. As the Bohemian gGrandma" Fujiko in Sugar & Spice, Natsuki returns to the screen after a four-year absence since gPing-Pong" in 2002. Her long list of credits include several appearances in Yoji Yamada's gOtoko wa Tsurai Yo" series, the world's longest film franchise, and Hayao Miyazaki's Academy Award-winning anime, gSpirited Away" ('01). She has also starred in a contemporary theater work, gImpressionist" which went on a successful tour of Europe in the mid-90s, and this year is making her blues band debut in an album called g21st Century's Janis Joplin."
Isamu Nakae, Director
Long known as one of Japan's premier ghit makers" for television mini-dramas, Isamu Nakae records his second directorial effort with Sugar & Spice, following a hugely successful debut with gBetween Calm and Passion" ('01). Both films featured the talented trio of Nakae, producer Toru Ohta and screenwriter Fumie Mizuhashi. Nakae's most celebrated works to date include the TV series gTokyo Love Story" ('91) and gA.D. 2000 - Don't Shoot Her" ('01). Born June 13, 1963, Miyagi Prefecture.
Toru Ota, Producer
Toru Ota joined Fuji Television in 1981 as a journalist before becoming a producer and unfurling some of the network's greatest television serial dramas, including gTokyo Love Story" ('91) and g101st Proposal of Marriage" ('91). Ota added feature film producing to his resume in 1994 with the box office hit, gHero Interview" ('94) and has since worked with director Isamu Nakae on numerous projects, both for television and screen, including gBetween Calm and Passion" ('01) and gSugar & Spice." Born Nov. 3, 1958, Tokyo.
Fumie Mizuhashi, Screenwriter
With recent Japanese film success coming increasingly from the rich pool of talent in the country's television serial drama industry, Fumie Mizuhashi stands out as a champion romance dramatist who got her start after entering Fuji Television's 3rd Young Scenario Writers Awards competition, and went on to write some of the network's most popular dramas, including gBirthday Present" e'01) where she first collaborated with Toru Ota. Together with Ota and Isamu Nakae, Mizuhashi forms the third leg of a powerful writing-producing-directing triumvirate that created gBetween Calm and Passion" ('01) and now gSugar & Spice." Born Jan. 15, 1964, Ishikawa Prefecture.