Hi guys! After delving into Ana's character, let's try to get into Ken's. I hope you fall in love with him as much as I have ;-)
I loved trying to get into Ken’s head. Trying to explain away all the changes in his emotion, what he was thinking, and his decision making process was quite a challenge, but having been a sounding board to all my “kuyas” in UST CAFA helped me get into the male psyche. Tsk, all those hours on the phone were actually very educational! ;-)
Name: Kenichi Nakamura
Nickname: Ken, Ken-chan
Birthday: 10 February 1971
Zodiac sign: Aquarius
Eyes and Hair: Black eyes; hair used to be a blondish brown (Chapter 2), but was recently dyed back to black for a role
Body type: Leanly muscular (flail!)
Food: Sushi, takoyaki, Italian pasta, gelato, Indian and Thai curry, Ana’s adobo ;-)
Occupation: Actor; usually appears in television dramas and movies, but used to prefer stage plays. He wanted to become a diplomat like his dad when he was a kid.
Interests: Movies, good food, long drives, quiet beaches, surfing
Dislikes: Clingy women, suck-ups, overly-timid people
Family: Parents deceased; Dad (Osamu) was a diplomat and used to be attached to the Japanese political attaché in Washington. Ken and his family lived in the US for 3 years. Ken actually went to grade school in the US, so he speaks English pretty well (Chapter 7 and 15). His mother (Eiko) was diagnosed with terminal cancer when Ken’s acting career was just beginning to take off; she died shortly afterwards (Chapter 3). His dad was very much affected by his wife’s death and succumbed to heart failure a few years later, although Ken suspected that it was a combination of overwork and alcohol consumption that brought it on (Chapter 15). Ken has a younger sister, Yuki, who is currently based in Europe studying design.
Inspiration behind Ken’s character:
If you’ve been wondering which Japanese character I used as a basis for Ken’s character, I ask you to think back to Kaneshiro Takeshi’s character Keigo in Kamisama mou sukoshi dake. I’ve always been fascinated by the development of Keigo’s character in the j-dorama, so I decided to re-create the effect in my book. However, looks-wise, in my mind, Ken has always been a cross between Kaneshiro and Shun Oguri (double flail!).
Ken comes across as a highly independent character; he’s the strong and silent type and is a bit hard to figure out. He has a very strong sense of responsibility to his family and friends. For example, he took on the rearing of his sister when his parents died. He also has a very high set of moral standards and is a very exacting worker. He can often come across as rigid and unyielding (he can be really sungit sometimes), and he’s not someone who easily gives his trust. With people who have managed to earn his trust however, he can be very loyal, patient, and giving. He doesn’t mind it when Takashi (his manager-assistant) and Yoshi (his best friend) prattle on and bully him into doing things; he just knows that it’s their way of caring for him. He doesn’t always do as he is told however; as most Aquarians, he prefers to make his own decisions, but only after he has weighed all the options ;-)
Ken is someone who has suppressed his romantic notions due to a combination of necessity (he had to work to raise Yuki) and fear (he didn’t want to end up like his dad, who broke down after his mom’s unexpected demise). His cynical attitude, which was honed by his years in the entertainment industry, wars with his innate romantic nature. He wants to believe in love, but he’s scared to. He’s someone who needs someone special to make him believe true love is possible ;-)