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Saaya Melts Hearts -- But May Break Yours

A photo is "worth a thousand words," so yes, we've got the photos (below). But usually you need some words to put the photos in context. Before exhibiting any lust, be sure to note the girl's age! From True's 22 May 2005 issue:

International Incident

The Chinese are upset by a new Japanese school history textbook which, they say, whitewashes Japanese crimes during WWII. But photos of a little Japanese girl are helping to melt Chinese hearts. Saaya Irie is "pacifying a certain segment of China's population" with her photos, especially those showing her in a bikini. The 11-year-old budding actress fills an F-cup bra, and her photos have swept Chinese web sites. A message with the photos, surely not written by the girl, begs the Chinese to "stop these anti-Japanese hijinks" since "if you don't, I won't like you anymore." But if people "unite for the sake of China's democracy," the message says, her breasts will "rise up." The unlikely propaganda is working. "This is one Japanese import I won't be boycotting," said one Chinese man. The girl's agent says she's a "bit frightened" by the attention, but she says she "would like to see good relations between Japan and China." (Japan Times) ...At 11, let's hope she doesn't understand exactly what sort of relations the guys really want.

(Author's Note: Several American female readers have questioned the "F-cup" claim. I'm no expert on such things, but I expect that there is a difference between American and Japanese cup sizes. Indeed some searching brought up a comparison chart that showed (as far as I can tell: the rest of the text was in Japanese) that a Japanese F-cup translates to an American/U.K. DD-cup. Ignoring this minutia, the point of the story still stands: it's fairly amazing what lengths even young girls will go to to "launch" a "career" even before they finish growing up -- and how an entire culture seems to be fine with offering her up as fodder for political posturing. -rc)

[Saaya Irie helps international relations]
[Maybe this gives you a better view?]
A Different Kind of International Tension: Remember, guys: she's only 11.

Most of the reader reaction to this story (and photos) is on the page, the Exploitation of Saaya Irie. Additional comments can be made below.

11 Comments on This Entry

All comments on this site are reviewed prior to being published. Spammers: don't waste your time. The posting criteria are simple: if a comment is worth visitors' time to read, it's approved. If not, it's not.

Posted by roy, birmingham uk on September 12, 2009:

you are hot


And you're not only a sick bastard, you're a very confused man -- unless you're speaking about my portrait at the top of this blog! -rc

Posted by hector, texas usa on December 16, 2009:

i read into this and the findings i came across point to the fact that the japanese are actually upset about her pictures being used for political purposes. apparently one man used them without permission. also to my knowledge she has never done another photo shoot like this, her agent and family became upset at how quickly and widespread the pictures from this ONE photoshoot became.


I don't doubt at all that many Japanese are upset by this. And yeah, I hope it scared her family! -rc

Posted by Janet in Jacksonville on March 2, 2010:

She is very hot and sexy, there is nothing wrong with that. Age is subjective to maturity, and in the past she would have been married off by 11.

Posted by Stephen, Idstein, Germany on March 19, 2010:

I have heard a lot about the Chinese being upset about Japan down playing the events of world war II. Since the activities in the Asian theater (military term) was not a big part of the history books I can't say that the Chinese are not right in their claims.

Aside from that. I am a guy that has been around the world twice. And Saaya Irie does look very young, which does not say much because Asian people tend to look very much younger than they really are.

BUT!!!! Those are no where near DD. I would guess high B low C. With a height of about 5'4" to 5'6" the proportions would fit.

Posted by Scott, Japan on July 11, 2010:

She's still doing bikini shoots, is acting, was in a girlband, does voiceacting for animated movies, etc.

Her manager appears to have been upset because they didn't get any royalties when her photos went viral, and her family apparently wasn't that bothered, since her schedule didn't change much at all.

Posted by Michael, South Carolina on November 25, 2011:

If this was My 11 year old daughter she would be grounded 'till she turns 18. I cannot conceive, I don't care what culture you come from, that a child of such young age, for whatever cause, is seductively modeling as this young lady is. Maybe I'm too old fashioned, which by the way I'm glad I am, but this is ridiculous. Parents obviously have no control of their children any longer.


If one girl's parents "lose control" over their kid, then all parents in the world have? Seems a bit of a stretch. -rc

Posted by Jim, New Hampshire on February 23, 2012:

She obviously sucessfully overcame any detrimental effect her early fame might have brought her and parlayed it into a very successful career, given the summary introducing her Wikipedia entry:

"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."

Not saying that every young girl this might happen to would be as level-headed and capable of coming out of it on top like Saaya did, but in some respects, the outrage over her "exploitation" has been a tempest in a teacup. And for the record, I disagree that an eleven year old is absolutely incapable of intelligently participating in decisions about her career.

It depends on the eleven year old. I don't know in her particular case how mature she actually was at eleven, she may or may not have been up to the task. On the other hands, history has proven their are people in their twenties who are not emotionally mature enough to handle the pressures of fame. This is a world of shades of grey.


Nice to have an update, thanks! Though I'm not sure who you're disagreeing with -- no one said that no 11-year-old would be "capable" of "participating" in career decisions. What I said was, "it's fairly amazing what lengths even young girls will go to to 'launch' a 'career' even before they finish growing up -- and how an entire culture seems to be fine with offering her up as fodder for political posturing." And the emphasis isn't on the former, but rather the latter. -rc

Posted by Alberto, Mexico on November 25, 2012:

Helow im new here in the Blog, i knowed few about Randy, he is working good but he needs to create a demand for the cases as the saaya irie, he has force to stop the abuse for her and for a lot japanese girls, obtaining my support and they can get a lot of money if the demand is sucess


Irie is now 19 years old -- an adult -- and you want me to do WHAT to "force" WHAT? -rc

Posted by Tony, Japan on September 1, 2014:

Poor little Saaya is in the news, and in the wars, again!

"Eri Aoki, 25, and 20-year-old Saaya, who goes by her first name, are thought to have been bitten while filming on location in Yoyogi Park on Aug. 21, TBS said."


Being so close to Shark Week, I had to go look! But it's "by mosquitoes" -- and may have contracted dengue fever. -rc

Posted by Tony in Japan on September 5, 2014:

Sharks in the middle of Tokyo would be a much bigger news story!-)


This (as they say) is True! -rc

Posted by Sam, Alaska on December 17, 2016:

Being an F-cup only means that her bust circumference is six inches bigger than that of her ribcage (the number, in the bra size)... which is less of a difference than most people realize, when the ribcage is really small; a lady who is 30DDD (30F) has an objectively smaller bust than one who is a 42B. It's one letter per inch of difference between those measurements, or it's supposed to be: it's mostly the US that doesn't like to follow this rule, commonly doubling up (or tripling, or more) the letters, starting with DD. Apparently, sticking to the straightforward alphabet sequence to note the actual size of boobs is something of a taboo... one which makes shopping for specific sizes of bras more difficult than it needs to be.

But I guess that's yet another cultural curiosity, that the US can't even agree on bra sizes, probably due to this odd hangup over (and fascination with) female bodies. I know a good many people who, like Michael from South Carolina, find themselves bothered, or even outraged and offended by the whole subject. Feminine bodies and sexuality, especially that of teenagers and preteens, seems a regular source of ire for those who would try to cover everything up. Heck, at one point, even showing a lady's exposed ankle was deemed risque! (Quite frankly, I think those conservative attitudes are welcome to die out. I'd hate having to go swimming in what's basically a full jumpsuit, as would have been the case a century ago!) Objectification and objections seem to tend to go hand in hand, with each contradictory expression trying to outdo the other: it's relatively new freedoms, vs a longstanding tradition of control with shame and pressure towards puritanical propriety. On the other side of this coin, I've seen rather little comparative outrage at similarly exposed male bodies....

In Japan, modeling like in the photos shown here is actually quite common, though most of it doesn't get this degree of international attention, and there's far less of a culture of shame about it. I mean, her parents had to have given it the all-clear, or it wouldn't have happened in the first place.

It's interesting, isn't it, how in one part of the world, photos like these could help a girl's career... while in another part, another country, such as the US, she'd be more likely to be labeled a victim for them. She clearly wasn't hurt, so although I understand the cultural hand-me-downs responsible for it, I think more people ought to check their indignation and question their reactions. :)

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