Is it Akemi Kakihara (柿原朱美) that takes the starring role in Tokona’s video ‘Let Me Know Ya’ along with Klassy Nikoff? I watched the video after a long time of only listening to the track. The song itself seemed to be Tokona talking to a girl, trying to ‘chat her up’ and the video turned out to be the visual representation of this. What I didn’t count on discovering is the identity of the girl in the video.
As with most youtube videos, the one for Let Me Know Ya has comments below the video itself. I had a look at them and noticed people were mentioning someone called ‘AK’. This mystery ‘AK’ became the mystery (to me at least) Akemi. People were saying things like (to paraphrase) ‘she looks so young’. I did a search on her and discovered that she’s now an almost 50 year old singer! That means she would have been in her late 30s at the time of recording the video for Let Me Know Ya.
Looking at the pictures of her, she hardly looks any different now in comparison with her appearance in the video. I know that with (East) Asian women, you have to apply the ten year rule and assume they’re ten years older than they look. Even so, I still find it hard to believe that I’m seeing the same woman, or that she’s almost 50. It’s even harder to believe that she was in her late 30s in the video as she appears to be in her 20s; like Tokona-X was.
Akemi is based in the States and has been for some time now. That would explain why she seems to have a good grasp of English, which I would guess is as a result of her spending time in New York. This makes me wonder why she’d take part in a seemingly sexist video featuring the dialogue it does. She seems disgusted and looks away when he says ‘what’s up bitches?’, which makes me think she can understand what’s being said. Perhaps that was her way of being in the video and showing her disapproval with that particular chat up line?
From the comments and doing a bit of research myself, I do think it’s Akemi in the video. I’m just surprised that she looks so young. I also wonder why she didn’t get a featured artist credit, unless that’s not actually her voice in the song? She’s not even mentioned in the song credits, as they go to Tokona-X, Kalassy Nikoff and Subzero (the producer). Despite this, in the video at least, Akemi Kakihara took the starring role.