Rei Okamoto was born in Wakayama City in Wakayama Prefecture on June 18, 1991.
She entered the entertainment industry upon winning the Grand Prize during auditions for a full-time model for the magazine nicola.
While working as a model, she made her first appearance in a television drama with a turn in Seito Shokun! in 2007. Since then she has been active in dramas, including appearances in the NHK serial telenovelas Jun to Ai and Warotenka, movies, stage productions, and commercials.
She has worked as a Wakayama Panda Ambassador since 2011, and currently she is a regular on YTV’s Warotenka, Watashi Danna wo Shea shiteta.
As someone who grew up in Wakayama, I see Koyasan and Kumano as both everyday and unusual, which makes them very unusual and mysterious.
From when I was little, I always accompanied my family to Koyasan during the summer Obon holiday and at New Year’s. It was a special place, and we always dressed up a little more than usual when we went.
I remember the deep green that you could see from the car’s window on the way there, the breeze that made its way into the car through the cracked windows, the sound of the gravel underfoot when we got out of the car, and the air that flowed through your body every time you took a breath. I still vividly remember the sense of surprise I felt even as a child at how I felt myself being gradually cleansed as we headed toward Okuno-in, and I feel that way every time I visit. It was the same when I first walked along the Kumano Kodo and visited Kumano Sanzan. Just being there gives you a special, pure sense that brings tears to your eyes, and I think that’s unique. It tells you to stand up straight and work hard, but also that there’s always a place for you to come back to here.
I'm truly happy that I was born in Wakayama! And I want to shout that to the world.
Or maybe I’ll keep it a secret. Thank you, always.