Kawashima made her debut in 1979 as a singer while she was a student at Aoyama Gakuin University and became popular as a DJ for her radio show "Miss DJ Request". Later, she began work as an actress and was known for her roles in movies such as 1994's "Shin Gokudo no Tsumatachi Horetara Jigoku" and dramas such as 1996's "Iguana no Musume" and 1997's "Shitsurakuen". She got married in 2009 to patissier-chef Yoroizuka Toshihiko.
In 2014, Kawashima underwent an operation after she was diagnosed with bile duct cancer and only made an appearance in early September this year with her husband during a public event. As Kawashima had lost a lot of weight due to her illness, it attracted a lot of speculation on her well-being but she insisted that she was fine. News of her quitting an upcoming musical "Christmas Carol" came out subsequently which sparked concern over her condition again but the reason was said that she wanted to recover fully before making her comeback. However, things were not meant to be as Kawashima never managed to recover and realise her dream of returning to stage.
Kawashima's husband, Yoroizuka posted a message via his restaurant's Facebook page on 24 Sep where he announced his wife's demise. He mentioned that up to a week before her death, Kawashima was still working on her stage play and wanted to do her best as an actress right to the end. He thanked everyone for supporting his wife and praised her for being a respectable woman till she breathed her last.