NTV announcer Ohsugi Kimie jumped to her death from the balcony of her 8-storey Tokyo apartment on Friday, less than four months after becoming a mother. Married twice, the first time from 1996 to 2001 and again in 2002, she became the oldest TV announcer to have a baby at the age of 43 and had been on maternity leave. Her second husband, ten years younger, is an employee of a major advertising firm. Ohsugi was said to be suffering from fibromyalgia – a chronic painful condition characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain and fatigue – since having her baby boy. The condition had been worsening to the point where she often couldn’t write or hold a telephone, though she did leave a suicide note. She had a hospital appointment on the morning of her suicide and had earlier expressed her intention to return to work in the spring.
• Celebrities were out in force over the weekend to help celebrate setsubun, the annual ceremony that marks the coming of spring. In the “mamemaki” ritual, people throw roasted soybeans to expel demons and welcome in good luck for the coming year. Most of the country’s major shrines held events, with many inviting famous names to help draw the crowds.