Rinko Kikuchi

Rinko KinkuchI (born 1981) was the first Japanese actress to be nominated for an Academy Award in 50 years, and she is currently the only living Japanese female Academy Award nominee in acting categories. (The last one was Miyoshi Umeki for Sayonara). She received the nomination in 2006 for the critically-acclaimed movie Babel, where she played a deaf mute teenage girl. She is seen these days in the movie Norwegian Wood (see related post).