Her name is Fuka Ryo, and she’s a professional Shodo artist. There are plenty of well-known calligraphers in Japan who appear on variety shows to check the writing skills of TV personalities. Fuka Ryo however is famous all over Japanese internet bulletin boards for her looks as well as her skills with a fude (brush).
Fuka Ryo’s Official blog is hosted on Ameblo. On her profile she shows a lot of pride in her hometown of Nikko in Tochigi Prefecture. Nikko is best known for Nikko National Park, and Toshogu where Tokugawa Ieyasu is buried. Nikko National Park offers some great hiking, and I’ve heard it’s especially beautiful in Autumn.
In her profile, Fuka states that her one of her weaknesses is “trusting people too quickly”, and that she’s proud of her long neck. Her favorite food is listed as hometown Nikko delicacy Onihei no Mizu Yokan, her least favorite food is cucumbers. Yokan is a jellied sweet made from the sweet red azuki beans often found in Japanese cakes and candies.
She also mentions in her profile that if she could only eat one thing everyday for a month it would be avocados. (If you’ve never had avocado sliced with a little soy sauce, I highly recommend it… some people in Japan liken it to maguro (tuna) sashimi.)
As with many things in Japan, there is a twist to the story. Fuka Ryo has been, and is still known by the name Megumi Eda, the name she used when working as a race queen. She even still updates her Megumi Eda blog, on which her hometown is also listed as Nikko. Megumi Eda is listed as a stage name, and the blog is also on Ameblo. Ms. Eda also seems to have a disdain for cucumbers, although her favorite food is listed as melons. Both Eda and Ryo chose avocados to eat for a month so it does not seem that she’s too intent on hiding her two aliases. It seems to be well known around Japan (especially among fans of Japanese idols and race queens) that Fuka Ryo and Megumi Eda are the same person.
The real question is whether her recent increased popularity and marketability as Fuka Ryo (her blog’s readership has steadily been growing) will make her decide to let go of the Megumi Eda persona and focus on being Japan’s most beautiful calligraphy artist.
The picture on the left show Megumi Eda in a recent photo shoot.
She’s got the looks and determination. It will be interesting to see how her career plays out from now on. (I’ve heard she’s already been on TV as Megumi Eda, so she may have to choose soon). Personally, I see nothing wrong with rooting for both of them.
Fuka Ryo can also be found on twitter @ryo_official.