Taiwanese supermodel Lin Chi-ling marries Japanese boyband member Akira

In a shocking announcement, Taiwanese supermodel Lin Chi-ling revealed that she has tied the knot - with Japanese boyband Exile's member Akira.

Lin, 44, posted a photo of herself with Akira, 37, on Chinese microblogging site Weibo on Thursday night (June 6), with a long note.

In it, she says: "I have always believed that if I believe in love, love will one day reward me. After many falls, twists and turns, we met at a different time - a right time, which showed us the face of love."

She ended the note by saying: "I'm married! I hope that everyone of you who believes in love will find a happiness that belongs to you."

Her post jumped to the top of Weibo's realtime trending charts and garnered over 700,000 likes and over 100,000 retweets in less than 40 minutes.

Akira, whose real name is Ryohei Kurosawa, has been part of Exile as a performer and dancer since 2006 and is considered part of its second generation. Exile is a popular boyband in Japan that has 19 members and operates under a system where new members can join while old members depart.

Akira also posted on Weibo and explained that he and Lin met eight years ago during the Japanese stage play production of Red Cliff. Lin, whose modelling work led her to acting opportunities, played Xiaoqiao in John Woo's historical film Red Cliff (2008) and reprised her role for the stageplay, starring opposite Akira, who played her husband - the strategist Zhou Yu.

He added that Lin and him stayed friends after the play but started dating at the end of last year.

He says: "I see her spread so much love and bravery every day. Her warmth and her strong sense of responsibility attracted me."

He also shared Lin's post and added: "I will make you happy for the rest of your life."

The news of their marriage came as a shock as Lin and Akira were not previously reported to be dating. Lin was linked to Taiwanese actor Jerry Yan previously. The two were in an on-again-off-again relationship and were photographed vacationing together in 2017, sparking talks of reconciliation.

She was also once linked to Scott Chiu, the scion of a major bathroom fixtures firm in Taiwan.

Jerry Yan's name began trending at the second spot on Weibo's real-time charts after news of Lin's marriage broke.

Taiwanese media reported that Yan, who is filming in Beijing, was surprised and unaware of Lin's marriage news beforehand.

Many celebrities have come forth to give Lin their well-wishes with home-grown singer JJ Lin, actresses Ruby Lin, Shu Qi and Charlene Choi leaving messages of congratulations.

Taiwanese talk-show host Kevin Tsai, best known for hosting Mr Con And Ms Csi with Dee Hsu and a close personal friend of Lin's, dedicated a post to her on his Facebook page.

我們講好今年要更勇敢, 你做到了! 知道幸福在哪裡,就邁步前往,這就是勇敢。 為你開心,親愛的志玲 🌹 ( 找到這張照片,櫃中展覽的畫作、大大的寫著「洞房花燭夜」,當時我一定講了什麼跟洞房有關的話,於是你開心的笑啦 😄🧞‍♂️🌞)

Posted by 蔡康永 on Thursday, June 6, 2019

He uploaded a photo of the model-actress laughing and wrote: "We said we were going to be braver this year. You did it! Knowing where happiness lies and moving towards it - that's bravery.

"I'm happy for you, my dear Chi-ling."

ALSO READ: In the mood for love: Lin Chi-ling still single, open to using dating apps

This article was first published in The Straits Times. Permission required for reproduction.