Born November 15, 1993 (1993-11-15)
Kitakyushu, Fukuoka, Japan
Other names Saaya
Occupation Actress, voice actress, junior idol, singer
Years active 2005 — present
Saaya Irie (入江紗綾, Irie Saaya?, born November 15, 1993, in Kitakyushu, Fukuoka, Japan) is a Japanese actress, voice actress, junior idol and singer. Her stage name is simply her given name, Saaya.
She has recently been appearing in numerous films, radio, and television programs including the recent live action TV drama adaptation of the Jigoku Shoujo series. She has also done voice work, appearing in the anime OVA Kyo no Gononi as Chika Koizumi. She was formerly a member of Japanese musical group Sweet Kiss before it disbanded on May 12, 2006 to be replaced by the group Chase.
As a gravure junior idol
During her childhood she idolized Yoshika, a fashion model from Kitakyushu, but she gained fame for her professional glamour modeling as a U-15 idol. Her bikini pictures soon received widespread distribution over the Internet.
2005 anti-Japanese demonstrations
In May 2005, during the anti-Japanese demonstrations in China and Korea, pictures of Saaya taken by Japanese photographer Garo Aida captioned “Please listen carefully to what I say my lovely Chinese brothers, please stop the riot!” were posted on a major Chinese forum by a third party, along with a message pleading for better bilateral relations between China and Japan.Tabloid stories soon followed with raunchy headlines like “Busty 11-Year-Old Girl with F Cup Eases Cross-Strait Relations”. Shuukan Bunshun (週刊文春), a serious and conservative news weekly, reported that her pictures and words of peace led to a reduction in anti-Japanese attitude among the Chinese people. In the aftermath of this incident, Saaya’s manager said they will refrain from having more bikini photoshoots of her, although she has done more bikini photoshoots since then.
After making her debut as a gravure idol, she still lived in Fukuoka Prefecture where she attended elementary school and middle school, but moved to Tokyo when she hit 16.