“We each had our thing, our exercise,” says Sonoya. Their father, thousands of miles away, was so keen on aesthetics that, to this day, his art-filled house is used for commercial photo ops. And just outside in the garden, or nearby in the kitchen, their mother encouraged them to express themselves through art and movement. It was rural England in the 1980s, and it was a Métis family with a single mother. They say they weren’t exactly fighting party invitations.
“It was actually quite difficult to integrate into the schools,” says Miya.
“We are definitely a bit like a strange looking family because we were six children, all half Japanese, with a white mother, growing up in very rural Somerset, and it was very unusual then, or maybe -be even now, so that there are families like that, “says Sonoya. “We really stayed together.”
So they painted. They danced. They sang tunes. They cooked. Their mother died when they were still relatively young and the older children helped the younger parents. They continued to work until their childhood hobbies turned into adult professions, even if they had to struggle, a brother becoming a pest control worker, the sisters taking odd jobs. In the end, it paid off.
“None of us work in investment banking,” jokes Mariya, summing up the fate of the Mizuno family. “My mother used to make this joke that she had six children so that she could have a dentist, a doctor and a lawyer.”
“But we ended up being the same,” says Maya.
“Bummer!” jokes Sonoya.
The older sister Saya is a painter, designer and landscape architect. Jinya is the chief technician of an art gallery. Tomoya is the chef of a boutique hotel and DJ. And the work of the three young sisters – Sonoya’s game, Miya’s photography and Mariya AD’s work – is so closely linked that it led them to the same whole for the high-end, futuristic concept Devs.
Still produced by Sonoya in Devs, taken by Miya:
Being together “meant that someone still had their back, if you had a bad day, one of your sisters would be there to catch you,” says Mariya. They had lunch together. After long exhausting hours, they carpooled together. During the tired moments, Miya showed them still photos she had taken. “We would celebrate together,” says Miya. When Sonoya had scenes that were difficult to film, she said, “It was such support to have my sisters there because at the end of the day, I know I could just see their faces. ” For her sisters, watching her do it was difficult in her own way. Miya says that she will have to remember, over and over, “It’s just TV! It’s not true!”