Japanese model Rinka releases her latest book titled “NO.22” on May 28. Rinka pours her heart into her new book as she enters the final stages of her career as a model. The book is not simply a photobook or one on styling, but something special to commemorate the model’s 22-year career.

Rinka holds the top record in Japan for the number of times (over 250 times) she has posed as a cover model. Even at the age of forty, she continues to be admired by many for her style and charisma.

- How did the project for “NO.22” begin?

Giving birth and turning forty were big events in my life, and I wanted to do something big to mark these events. I’m starting a new chapter in my life and career, and I want to start the new journey with a fresh feeling.

- We heard that you selected photos from over 10,000 pieces. Did you make any discoveries during the process?

The process reminded me of how I felt when each of the photos was taken, and it was an enjoyable moment.

There’ve been several important chapters in my life, and the photo shoots that took place around the same time as them have left great impressions on me. I debuted as a model for magazines targeting college students and young professionals. At the age of twenty-five, I became too old for these magazines, and for five years after that (particularly at the ages twenty-eight and twenty-nine), I hardly got any job offers. Things started to turn around for me when I turned thirty. I’d the impression that careers of models ended in their twenties, but when I began to get offers to pose for covers of magazines in my thirties, I felt that I’d entered a new phase of my modeling career. This turning point in my life made me the person that I’m today.

- What’s your secret in remaining a popular cover model for so long?

Just before I turned thirty, I wasn’t receiving any job offers. Around that time, it was considered the norm for older models to wear conservative styles. But then snaps of Hollywood celebrities became popular in Japan. This trend set a new tone for people like me. It became okay for adults to wear mini-skirts. I consider myself lucky to have been able to grow with the change in trends. After I turned thirty, things really started to gain momentum, and I loved what I was doing. I was able to work with many different types of magazines, which gave me perspective.

- What kind of efforts did you make to overcome the time that you had no job offers?

I thought that my career had ended once I stopped getting offers. I focused on my daily life, took walks and lived each day. I did this because in a way, that is all I could do. I was still in my twenties, and I felt like I wasn’t doing enough, and I resented myself. Looking back though, I feel that living each day and doing what is expected of me brought me where I’m now.

- Do you have any advice to those who are nearly thirty?

Be organized! Keep your room clean, and prepare yourself for the future. Reflect on where you are now. If you have a clear mind, it makes it easier to spot what is important. I’m not trying to be greedy, but I’ve a tendency to take on too many projects at once, and as a result, I get overworked. At such times, I do some self-reflection in order to figure out what my priorities are.

- How do you maintain your figure?

I’ve ideals, but even as a model, they are difficult to achieve. I eat healthy foods including smoothies, to maintain a mindset of remaining healthy and fit. I don’t pressure myself to workout. Rather, my healthy mindset reminds me that exercise can be beneficial.

To be continued into 2/2.