Singer Ayaka (21) and actor Mizushima Hiro (24) announced yesterday that they got married back in February. The couple made the announcement at a joint press conference at the TBS TV studios in Tokyo. Their romance started in August of last year and Mizushima proposed about three months later. They tied the knot on February 22. Despite her youth, Ayaka already has a strong fan base and several hits under her belt, most notably the 2006 ballad “Mikazuki.” She also won several best newcomer awards that debut year. But she revealed yesterday that she plans to take an extended sabbatical as she battles with Graves’ disease. She has suffered from the condition, an immune disorder of the endocrine system known in Japan by the less common name of Basedow’s disease, since shortly after her debut. Mizushima spent much of his early youth in Switzerland because of his father’s work. On his return to Japan, he struggled with the language and faced bullying as a “kikokushijo” (returnee). A talented soccer player, his high school team reached the semi-finals of the national championship. While in university he was scouted to become a fashion model. After a few TV extra roles, he made his acting debut in the popular NTV drama series “Gokusen” in 2005. He landed the role of tokusatsu hero Kamen Rider Kabuto on TV Asahi and the big screen in 2006.