It was really difficult because I didn’t speak any English

PLAYBOY ASIA - "I came to the United States as an exchange student when I was 19 years old. Until then, I had never been outside Japan. When you’re young, you can do anything.

I first went to Palm Desert for three years, then I moved to San Francisco and got my business degree. It was really difficult because I didn’t speak any English—but at the same time, it was an adventure, so I loved it. I learned so many life lessons and I’m much stronger mentally. Still, I don’t think I could do it now, so I want to say “good job” to my younger self.

People ask me, “What do you want to do 10 years from now? What do you want to be?” I don’t know. I don’t make life plans. I live each moment as it comes. What’s meant to happen will happen. Maybe you don’t know why now, but you will later. I think super positive thoughts; I constantly say, “This is going to be good.” It’s all about your brain. It’s all about how you think.

I used to be hard on myself—a result of comparing myself to other people. All the girls in L.A. are so gorgeous, I thought I had to be like them. I worked out constantly and did all these injections, which are gone now. I felt like I was trying to be somebody else. Now I know there’s freedom in being in your natural state. That’s why everyone should be allowed to speak their mind and express themselves without fear. Being comfortable in my own skin doesn’t mean I want to be objectified; it means I’m loving myself and embracing who I am.

The technology we have access to now makes it easy to share our ideas, and good ones are being shared a lot faster. It’s amazing to see strong women, and men too, from all over the world speaking up for what they believe in and making a huge impact on issues that have existed for probably every generation before ours. I’m thankful I live in a time and place when people can express themselves so freely. It’s relatively recent that people started talking about feminism. We have a long way to go; it all takes time.

When I was growing up, my parents were always busy, so I never really saw much of them. I learned to be self--sufficient at a young age. I have always been independent. I don’t expect anybody to do things for me. I just want to be myself—that’s the goal.

Lately I’ve been eating raw. I love Japanese food, and Mexican too. Burritos, tacos, ceviche—I eat Mexican food every day.

My life is here now. I don’t want to go back to Japan. Where I’m from is just a lot of trees and nothing much happening. But I still love nature! San Francisco is my future home. I want a dog and a big yard surrounded by trees. I want to have apple trees and a garden. That’s my complete life.

I definitely appreciate art, and I have a lot of respect for artists. I’m not a very good painter or sculptor, but I’ve done everything. You just need something, one thing you love, something you’re good at. Every one of us can find it.

I intentionally never wear glasses or contacts when I’m shooting. I like not being able to see everything. I guess I still get a little nervous sometimes, so I prefer not seeing everyone’s facial expressions. I can just do my own thing, go into my own world.

I get it: People feel uncomfortable with nipples, but we all have nipples. I hope people get more comfortable with what we have. I don’t feel uncomfortable being naked. It’s a natural thing. It’s soothing when my bare skin touches the earth; it reminds me what’s real.

I just don’t own expensive things. I get scared that I’m going to lose them.

When I think about what’s sexy, I envision Marilyn Monroe—that classic ideal. That’s the kind of sexiness I don’t have, and that’s perfectly fine. I’m content with being myself. The best compliment is being told you’re not trying too hard.

I like guys who are straightforward, smart and kind to others. For me, sexy is not only how you look but how much you’re connected to your true self. I feel sexy when I’m being true to myself and living boldly! (Playboy)

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