Photo of Rinko Kikuchi Rinko Kikuchi

Thrust to the attention of American audiences for the first time with her Oscar-nominated performance as the deaf-mute teenager at the heart of one of the three intertwining stories that make up Babel (2006), Rinko Kikuchi was already well-known in Japan, where she had been performing in films since the beginning of the decade.

Born Jan. 6, 1981, in Kanagawa, Japan, Kikuchi began modeling at age 15. Skilled in the traditional arts of Japanese dance and archery, Kikuchi landed her first film role in Kaneto Shindô's Ikitai and followed that with strong performances in films such as 2002's Hole in the Sky and 2004's The Taste of Tea.

Determined to win the part of Chieko in Babel, Kikuchi learned sign language to prepare and eventually won over director Alejandro González Iñárritu, who originally wanted a deaf actress for the part.

Rinko Kikuchi in 47 Ronin

47 Ronin

2013 PG-13

Based on the famous true story, this historical action-adventure follows the honor-bound exploits of 47 samurai warriors who patiently plot to exact revenge on a court official responsible for their master's death.

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