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Rinko Kikuchi

The 35 year-old actress from Kanagawa famously became the first Japanese actress to be nominated for an Oscar in half a century ten years ago for Babel. More recently, she’s been in Norwegian Wood, Pacific Rim, and Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter.

6 Japanese Actresses Who Could (and Should!) Replace Scarlett Johansson in 'Ghost in the Shell’

If we’re going to talk about Hollywood’s race problem, let’s get really real about it—not only do African-American actors get whitewashed by the entertainment industry, but so do Asian actors, even (maddeningly) when parts specifically call for an Asian character. By now you may have heard that Scarlett Johansson has been cast as the lead in the American adaptation of Japanese animation film Ghost in the Shell. You may also have heard that some people are not happy about the fact that the very not Japanese actress has been cast as the very Japanese character. Less than a year after Cameron Crowe’s debacle, it’s Alohagate all over again. 

The sensitive situation got stickier, still, when Paramount admitted to toying with visual effects that would make characters in the film appear to look Asian. Though that idea was ultimately discarded, Fresh Off the Boat actress Constance Wu went so far as to call it “the practice of blackface employed on Asians.”

In light of the ongoing controversy, we decided to come up with six Japanese actresses who could very easily replace ScarJo. You listening, Dreamworks?

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