Shock and bittersweet sadness doesn’t even begin to encompass my reaction when this news broke yesterday. One of Japan’s most popular and prolific top young actress Horikita Maki has announced her acting career retirement via a handwritten note to the media and her fans. Maki has been making surprising waves since her unexpected and sudden marriage in 2015 to actor Yamamoto Koji, and a few months ago in December 2016 they welcome their first child. Maki revealed in the retirement letter that she’s been thinking hard about her life and she’s decided to retire from acting to become a full time mother and wife. She discussed it with her husband and he’s supportive of her decision, and she wants to nurture and protect her family as her full time priority. This is the second huge J-star abrupt retirement in the last two months after actor Narimiya Hiroki left after being betrayed by close confidantes and harassed by the media. Maki is one of my favorite J-actresses and her best J-doramas remain forever watchable – wishing her well in life and I will miss her dearly.
Maki has such an extensive acting resume of doramas and movies that I’m not even halfway through the selection so there are plenty of her works to check out and oldies but goodies to rewatch. My faves are, of course, Nobuta wo Produce and the original HanaKimi.