Be a smackdown queen or a cradle snatcher, that’s what it takes to make a marriage work. Or at least so you might think looking at the two couples chosen as this year’s “Nice Couple” award winners, announced at an event in Tokyo yesterday. In the blue corner we have semi-retired pro wrestler Jaguar Yokota (45) and her mousy husband, Kinoshita Hirokatsu (39). They married in 2004 when Kinoshita was working as a ringside doctor on the Smack Girl circuit. They have been regulars on the variety show circuit for the last couple of years and received huge media attention when Yokota had a baby in Hawaii at the end of last year. Just three months later, she was back in the ring for an event to mark the 30th anniversary of her debut.
The other award winning couple are musician Takahashi Joji (48, photo) and Mifune Mika (24, photo). The rockabilly singer kicked up a media storm when he married the daughter of screen legend Mifune Toshiro at the tender age of 16. Mifune shed tears as she remembered the early days of their marriage, when media pundits gave them no chance of staying together. But Takahashi is always ready to profess his love for his wife on variety shows, something not many Japanese men his age feel comfortable doing. He said yesterday they’d like to take their young daughter to Hawaii before she becomes fare-paying age, and maybe get started on a younger sibling for her while they’re there.