As the first female Japanese film star, Kurishima's pioneering contributions to Japanese film cannot be overlooked. In 1921, she joined Shochiku Kamata Studios and made her debut in Henry Kotani's Bijinso. Her 1923 Sendo Kouta became a big hit and she was dubbed the "Queen of Kamata." She eventually married longtime leading man Yoshinobu Ikeda. In 1935, she starred in Eien no Ai, a film released in commemoration of the 15th anniversary of the founding of Kamata Studios, and retired shortly after, leaving the film world while still a superstar. Later, apart from being called out of retirement a few times for special film appearances, she devoted herself to dancing and became active as head of the Mizuki school of dance, which has tens of thousands of disciples across Japan. Two extant, though incomplete, versions of her films are Fujoki (1922) and Hatachi no Koro (1924).