Monthly Archives: April 2004

“Comeback” for Hidemi

A box set of all 30 singles by former idol singer Ishikawa Hidemi (37) has been released by BMG Fan House. The set includes 4 CDs and a DVD. Hidemi shocked her fans when she retired after marrying fellow idol star Yakumaru Hirohide (38) in 1990. She has rarely appeared in public since then, ensuring huge demand for the new release. Hidemi made her debut in 1982, after she was chosen from 56,000 hopefuls to be the “younger sister” of pop star Saijo Hideki (48). She won a newcomer award the following year, as did her future husband as a member of the Johnny’s Jimusho boy group Shibugakitai (The Cool Kid Gang). They are now the parents of four children.

• The luxury Tokyo home of comedian Okamura Takashi (33) – the short half of the duo Ninety-Nine – was recently broken into. According to reports, nothing was stolen from the 6th-floor apartment in the fashionable Takanawa district.

#11 For Kimutaku

Singer/actor Kimura Takuya (31) has been chosen as the most popular man in Japan for the 11th year running. The poll was taken by the women’s magazine An-an. Thirteen of the top 20 men are members of the Johnny’s Jimusho talent agency. Inagaki Goro (30) was the only member of SMAP not in the top 10. In second place for the sixth year running was Fukuyama Masaharu (35). Taking the title as most unpopular man for the fourth year in a row is TV personality Degawa Testuro (40), who recently became engaged to marry a former model and race queen.

1. Kimura Takuya (31, singer/actor)

2. Fukuyama Masaharu (35, singer/actor)

3. Kusanagi Tsuyoshi (29, singer/actor)

4. Katori Shingo (27, singer/actor)

5. Tsumabuki Masaru (23, actor)

Otsuru Silent

Actor Otsuru Gitan (35), the estranged husband of Brazilian singer Marcia (photo, 35) returned to Japan after an extended trip abroad. On his arrival at Narita Airport, he refused to answer reporters’ questions about claims by his wife’s that she had caught him “in the act” last December with another woman. Otsuru spent the last four months working on a TV program about a trip by taxi from the southern tip of Argentina to New York. He says he will speak about his marriage situation following a press conference for the show on April 8.

• About 25,000 fans turned out in the rain yesterday at Chiba’s Narita-san Shinshoji temple for a ceremony to mark the upcoming name change of kabuki actor Ichikawa Shinnosuke (26). The popular young actor will become the 11th Ichikawa Ebizou from next month. 200 fellow actors and family members, including his father Ichikawa Danjuro (56), attended the ceremony.

One More Time Around for Hazuki

Actress Hazuki Riona (28) has done it again. It was announced yesterday that she married someone in the real estate business at the end of February, after the couple had been going out for about six months. This time, she is also three months pregnant. In 2001, Hazuki proposed to and married a Japanese-American sushi chef in Hawaii after a relationship of four days. They were divorced three months later. She has also been romantically involved with actor Sanada Hiroyuki (43) and Seattle Mariners star Ichiro (30).

Aya Mama Pt.3

Former Morning Musume member Ishiguro Aya (25) admitted on a live TBS program yesterday that she is five months pregnant. Appearing daily on the show this week, rumors spread about the reason for her extended belly before show host Isono Kiriko (40) finally asked her straight. She is already the mother of two girls with her husband, former Luna Sea drummer Shinya (34), who is currently working as an artist. Ishiguro quit the hugely popular group three years ago.