(b Hiroshima, 7 Dec. 1948)
Japanese dancer. The first Japanese ballerina to achieve international acclaim. She studied with Michiko Suwa and Akiko Tachibana in Tokyo and later with Mikiko Matsuyama. She also studied with Igor Schwezoff in Tokyo, with Marika Besobrasova in Monaco in 1975, and with Alexandra Danilova in New York. In 1971 she joined the Matsuyama Ballet Company in Tokyo as a principal, eventually becoming prima ballerina. She made her debut as Odette-Odile with the Matsuyama Ballet in 1975; her first Giselle followed in 1977. She appeared as a guest artist with many companies around the world, including American Ballet Theatre, the Paris Opera, the Stuttgart Ballet, also dancing with Béjart, the Margot Fonteyn World Tours (1978 and 1979), and Nureyev—dancing Kitri in his production of Don Quixote for the Nureyev Festival in London in 1980. She created the role of Moe in Shimizu's Mandala which the Matsuyama Ballet brought to the Edinburgh Festival in 1988. Gold Medal, Varna, 1974. She married the choreographer Tetsutaro Shimizu.