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Heart of a Warrior - Nana Akimoto | Toronto, Canada PDF Print E-mail
Angels - Interviews
Written by Khalid "Bless" Bey | Editor in Chief | As Seen in NY Times Bestseller: Rat Bastards   
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“Hi,” one word starts her introduction. “Thanks for stopping by my interview. My name is Nana Akimoto. Yes I am one-hundred percent Japanese, born and raised in Yokohama, just south of Tokyo.” Yokohama is Japan’s second largest city, the type of place where big ideas have a way of being born. Ideas that take a person from a dream-like state to a real-world existence.  Nana chased her dream from Japan to Canada, where she now lives. “I made my way to Canada when I was nineteen all by myself,” says our current angel. “I live in downtown Toronto at the moment. It was a big challenge for me because I didn’t speak any English. I get homesick a lot, but now I love Canada too much [laughs], so I decided to get permanent residence and now I can stay in Canada as long as I wish.”



Nana’s decision to relocate to Canada can possibly be ascribed to something in the stars. She is a Sagittarius, a being plagued by the urge to concoct immense plans and take risks to achieve them. The day she actually left is a moment that pulls her through her lonely times, a moment she treasures.  “I felt so much love from my parents, brother, grandma and grandpa, and friends,” she describes that day at the airport. “I always remember the day. It makes me feel strong that I am not alone.” Though she’s done well for herself, creating a market and demand in North America, giving up on her life was not easy; once or twice a year Nana travels back to Japan to see her friends and family. The transition was painful yet rewarding. “I do have a lot of things I regret,” she confesses, “but let’s leave the past behind me! You have only one life to live so you better make the best of it.”



Back in Japan, the life she lived has bestowed a little honor upon our angel. “According to my family history my ancestors was Samurai and I am the fifteenth generation of them,” says Nana. Maybe it’s her distinguished Japanese lineage that we should credit with her courage. “I got my hands dirty in Canada before I started modeling,” she admits. “I did dishwashing, cleaning public washrooms, nanny… anything that allowed me to afford tuition for school. Yes, people called me a trooper!” It’s this story of adventure that helps separate Nana from other models. “It is really hard to compete in the modeling industry, especially [since] I started from scratch,” she says, “I didn’t speak English or know anybody but now I have my own network and fans that I made myself.” That network of fans has reached twenty thousand and continues to grow. “Four years ago I didn’t even have Facebook and [was] just a little Asian girl who barely spoke English.”



Nana has always been competitive since her younger years… “I always wanted to be No. 1 [at] everything,” she says excitedly recalling the times. “I even wanted to run faster than the boys in P.E. class.” Her competitive spirit will no-likely take her to work with the companies she would love to such as Maxim and American Curves. “To tell the truth I was not confident [in] myself at all especially my first year in Barrie,” she says. Barrie is a city north of Toronto. “Barrie has a nice waterfront and beautiful city but I could say Barrie doesn’t mix well,” Nana continues, “some of them did treat me completely like an ‘outsider.’ I guess they were judging me by my ethnicity and race. I was fighting against those ‘eyes’ and out of the blue I got modeling opportunity and started building up confidence that I have something I’m good at although I am a FOB. [I] started realizing that it is ok to be different from others and not I want to encourage people who are ‘FOB’ like me that we can do anything if you worked hard toward it regardless what you speak, where you came from [or] what you look like.”



It took me a second to learn ‘FOB’ meant fresh off the boat, something I probably should have been known given my history of having quite a diverse set of friends from all over the world. Culturally diverse and accepting, Toronto ended up becoming a better suit for Nana. “You can learn a lot about different cultures in Toronto,” she says. “Diversity of race, culture and religion help define Toronto apart from other world cities.”



With all Nana has accomplished, motivation from some source had to be a major factor. “My mom,” says the daring model of her motivation to succeed. “She studies hard to get a license that will help her career. She never stops dreaming and determines her goals!” Becoming a model has been a journey and I assume will continue to be but it hasn’t changed anything about the Japanese transplant. “Maybe I spend more time with my computers,” she offers, “but honestly nothing much. Regardless I get a lot of fans and subscribers, I’m still doing me.”



Doing ‘her’ is not only limited to modeling, Nana has another dream of opening her very own café or bar. “I took hospitality programs just because I love to interact with people and simply make them happy.” With experience managing a restaurant she is already gearing up to make this dream a reality as well. Her wish is to accomplish this before she turns thirty. “I do still have a lot of time to focus on my dream,” she says via smiley face. She likes to discover new places to shop, party and eat with a thing for junk food like hamburgers, wings and pizza. With a diet like hers who does she keep that great body she has? “I was super fit when I was in a cheerleading team,” she answers, “but since I moved to Canada I got lazy and stop exercising [sad face]. But I naturally have good metabolism so even though I eat a lot of junk food I still keep in the same shape. But I want to try some yoga and boxing classes this summer. Who wants to go with?” To see Nana in a sexy yoga outfit I would endure hours of tortuous exercise. Yes.



My arms are nice girls tells me. And since “thick arms” are what Nana sees first on a guy so I imagine I have a fighting chance at getting take her out on a date or at least be friends with. I am happy with just a friendship, in most cases it means more to me than anything else. Does Nana think there could exist a genuine friendship between us? “Ummm…,” precedes a slight pause then she adds, “Yes only if the guy was smart enough to understand the line I put between him and me.” I would honor thy code, being the friend she asked for. Friends have fights; mine usually ends with me showing up apologetic with gift in hand. “I don’t need any gift at all,” she says, “as long as you apologize and allow me to keep the friendship with you. That’s all that matters for me.” This I can do… but I’m still going to get you a gift.



If I did want to try to be a guy she would date apparently I would have to be some sort of ‘dog whisperer.’ “I get attracted by a man kneeling down for dogs and [being] affectionate to them,” she explains. “I think that moment shows who he really is.” Well, thankfully I do love dogs, going to the point of feeling like my family isn’t complete without one especially since I’m not married and have no kids. She tells me she is sexier Sunday in an oversized tee than a Friday in a deliciously short black dress and is one of many women who will take advantage of a sleeping lover. Sounds like the perfect weekend to me. The ideal destination for weekend getaway she says is, “Mexico! Sun tanning with a pina colada in hand.”  Also sounds good. Either way, I’d only wish to see her happy. It’s the Angels Playpen way. Find an angel, make her smile, make a wish. Make an angel blush and heaven on earth may be granted. “I’m so easy to get to blush,” admits the Asian beauty, “if you just said beautiful to me that’s enough.”



She describes herself as giggly, spontaneous and determined, three things I love in a woman. She says everyone likes her for her polite Japanese ways, I say, wishing to make her blush, she is simply beautiful. Oh, Nana… these lyrics that belong to Nana’s favorite song from Rihanna, is a sure-fire way to put her in a good mood. “Every time this song is on my friends are always pointing at me,” she says with a laugh, “Oh Nana, what’s your name… Oh, Nana.” She ends this with a deserving smile and also, with more I’d love to say, we bring this interview to a close… with another much-deserved smile. AP.






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