How To Find Your Successful Career in the Japanese Industry Part 1

外国人モデルが日本の芸能界で成功するためのルールの写真

What we have covered in our previous article “3 Tips To Find A Successful Career In Modeling: Asking An Experienced Industry Professional” may have been a bit abstract. But it was only just the beginning of our entire journey.

This time, we would like to go more in depth. Specifically, we would like to cover what people may call “manners”.

There is a saying “In Rome, do as the Romans do”. And in Japan, do as the Japanese do.

Well, this article isn’t asking your complete conformity to what Japanese people do but it is certainly better to know things than not.

This site is called Model Bible and it is mainly focused on people who would like to work as a model in Japan but what we will talk about in this article does not only apply to future and current models but also anyone who may get themselves involved with the industry, like actors or even just you are going to be an extra.

Be punctual

Again, there is a saying (this one is probably less known than the one I mentioned above).

“Early is on-time, on-time is late, late is fired”

You have to be very punctual for any sort of appointments.  If they say 07:00, you’ve got to be there by 07:00  (just a side note, people tend to use the 24-hour clock over the 12 in the industry). Anytime later than that, you are late.

Usual suspects may not even be considered as candidates.

Of course, no shows (meaning not showing up at all) is a big no-no.

Being punctual means people can count on you and that’s one of the keys to your success.

Careful what you post. Confidentiality

One of the things that’s giving everyone in the production a headache is social media.

Photos with your co-star, your costume, location photos, a screenshot of the video you were in. You may be tempted to post them on to your social media account to let your friends and family know what you have been doing.

Well, they are all breach of the non-disclosure agreement (NDA). The NDA doesn’t only stop you from making posts on social media but you are not even allowed to share any information you obtained on set or in auditions. Sometimes, the very fact that you are in a particular project may need to be kept confidential.

The world is a very small place and it is getting even smaller.
Whatever you post on social media is available for everyone to see and you will quickly lose control of what was once yours if your post is shared and spread across the web.

You need to be very careful with this because it may lead to a significant consequence. You could be asked to compensate for damages caused not only from the sponsor but when the worst comes to worst, the agency as well.

Another story we hear a lot is when you post a photo of you with your famous co-star because he/she agreed to it but this ended up upsetting the sponsor and the co-star’s agency. Just remember there are so many things at stake.

Of course, if you have permission from everyone concerned, then it is perfectly fine but you have to do it through the appropriate channel, meaning you cannot directly ask the sponsor or the other agency but ask yours first.

Behave yourself

外国人モデルが日本の芸能界で成功するためのルールの態度の写真

While you are on set, it is part of your paid hours. Even when you are an extra, you are still getting paid. It is definitely not a time for a party.

Everyone could be listening to what you are talking about even if you are speaking in a different language.

Furthermore, people often find it more irritating when people around them are speaking in a language that they don’t understand compared to a language they do understand because while it is surely language for you but for those who don’t understand it, it is just random loud noise.

But it doesn’t mean you have to cry yourself to sleep when people throw unfair things at you. Talk to your agency if you are having a hard time. They will listen to your concerns.

To Be A Trusted Professional

Some of the people that have got into troubles like this sometimes say they thought it was all OK because no one said anything to them.

Well in Japan, people might not say anything on the spot. They often assume others will understand or maybe they keep quiet not to ruin the atmosphere.

You have to keep in mind, just because they don’t say anything doesn’t always mean they are happy.

Maybe you disagree with how people work in Japan but as long as working here, you need to accept it.

Once you take a job, you complete with absolute professionalism.
That’s how you earn trust and that’s how you make people want to work with you again.

3 Tips To Find A Successful Career In Modeling: Asking An Experienced Industry Professional

To mark our first article on Model Bible, we would like to talk about whether it is possible to become a model with no experience.

Our editor, Kaori, sat down to have a chat with Koji Yokohata who has a very long experience in representing foreign models and talents.

This is a must-read piece for any aspiring models as well as people who really need some boost for their careers.

 

Koji Yokohata
Senior Vice President, Free Wave

【Notable Past Work】
Ple

【Recent Activities】
Participating in the “ROOMS” project revitalizing an old school building
https://www.facebook.com/ROOMS.Osunari/

Can you start your career as a model from scratch?

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Kaori

I’d like to get straight to the point, Koji.
Can you start your modeling career even if you have virtually no previous experience?

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Koji

Of course, you can!

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Kaori

OMG! How encouraging that is!

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Koji

Any top models started off with no experience at some point.
But obviously, this job is not for everyone.

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Kaori

Well, that’s true.

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Koji

You do need to have above average looks but at the same time, you don’t need to be the most beautiful person that everyone wishes they could be.

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Kaori

That’s quite reassuring.
Then, what aspects do you need to be a model?

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Koji

Most importantly, you need to know yourself.
Once you do, you need to make your good side even better so that it outweighs your not-so-good side.

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Kaori

So you need to learn how to do that.
But that wouldn’t be enough, would it? Maybe you don’t have to be the most beautiful person but surely there are some physical requirements you need to be considered as a model.

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Koji

Yes, you are right. Next, I will talk about those.

 

1. How To Overcome Minimum Requirements To Be A Model

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Kaori

So, what are they?

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Koji

First, smooth skin, lean body and beautiful hair
And clean teeth are essential if you want to stand in front of a camera.

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Kaori

Wow, they are all things that you can get if you make effort.
Aside from spending a bit of money.

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Koji

And the most important thing of all, lovely smile.

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Kaori

Right. You can’t leave people with good impressions if you are grumpy all the time.
I myself have worked with some popular models. One thing I realized was they hardly forget to smile and they are not even faking it.

Minimum Requirements To Be A Model

1.Smooth Skin
2.Lean Body
3.Beautiful Hair
4.Clean Teeth
5.Lovely Smile

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Kaori

Maybe you can get all of those qualities if you try hard but it is always easier said than done.

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Koji

Yes. You have to eat, breathe, sleep with them in mind. That’s what it takes.

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Kaori

A lot of people probably associate models with fashion. what do you need to think about fashion if you are a model?

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Koji

What you wear is very important to make yourself look more appealing
You have to catch people’s attention at first sight.

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Kaori

To make your good side even better so that it outweighs your not-so-good side.
To master the art of fashion to make yourself look more appealing.
You need to know yourself if you are to do those two things. That’s exactly what you said earlier.

 

2. How To Perform Better

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Kaori

When we think about models, we think about things like catwalking and posing etc. What exactly do you need to work on if you want to be better at those things?

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Koji

We covered appearance and fashion. The next thing you need is the ability to perform well.
On top of catwalking and posing, you need be a good actor and an artist.

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Kaori

I kenw it wasn’t going to be easy. There are a tremendous number of people competing for one position and you have to keep winning in that environment.

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Koji

Yes, it’s a very competitive world.

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Kaori

Let’s talk from a different perspective. What features do “good models” have in common?

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Koji

They all have their uniqueness and the ability to perform.
In our industry, just being beautiful isn’t enough. You need something on top of it in order to stay competitive and attract people’s attention.

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Kaori

I see. Everything is connected to the ability to perform.

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Koji

People always love when models are not shying away and let their everything out.

 

3, Be Passionate, Be Respectful, Be Open

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Koji

Lastly, you need passion, respect, and an open mind.

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Kaori

I guess being a model isn’t so different from doing any other jobs.
You can’t be a good model just with given talents.

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Koji

Every professional model checks their weight to make sure it stays the same and to maintain their physical conditions.

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Kaori

If pros do it, any aspiring models need to do it too, if not, more.

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Koji

You are right.
Daily exercise is a must for all models. Many of them do a lot of training to improve their skills as a model.

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Kaori

Alright.
It takes a lot of time and effort if you want to be a model.

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Koji

Like I said, it is not easy to be a successful model. That’s why I said it’s not a job for everyone.
But the question is whether you can enjoy the process.
That kind of mindset is crucial.

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Kaori

Thank you so much for your time, At the end of the day, you have to “do what you love and love what you do”.

To Start Off Your Career As A Model From Scratch

①Attain minimum physical requirements eg. smooth skin, hair, and lovely smile.
②Know yourself and learn the ability to perform.
②Be passionate, be respectful and be open

 

The things we covered here are the basic of the basic.
But that does not mean you can let them slide. Without a solid foundation, nothing stands on top of it.

Next time on, we are going to dig deeper into each topic we covered today to find out exactly what you need to do and what you need to have in mind.

See you soon!

Welcome to “Model Bible”

モデルバイブルスタートです!

Hi, there!

Welcome to the ‘Model Bible”. My name is Kaori and I am the editor and writer of this website.

Right now, I work for a company called Free Wave, a model agency whose main focus is international talents.

Free Wave has a long history and has been in the business for over 25 years. We would like to provide a lot of useful information to anyone who is involved in modeling.

 

What is “Model Bible”?

You might wonder “what is Model Bible?”.

Model Bible is made for all people who are already involved in or want to be involved in the modeling industry such as…

  • Current Models
  • Prospectus Models
  • People looking to cast models

We aspire to make something useful in real life.

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