Daily Archives: July 15, 2009

Another Marriage for Japan’s Premier Playboy?

Ishida Junichi, Higashio Riko

Actor Ishida Junichi (55) is probably the most famous playboy in Japanese showbiz, so talk of love and romance is his stock in trade. But now he’s talking about marriage once again, this time to pro golfer Higashio Riko (33). The last time Ishida talked about marriage, it was to his long-term girlfriend Hasegawa Rie (35). Their 9-year relationship undoubtedly gave the model a higher profile, but she ended it in 2005. It comes as no surprise that the latest object of Ishida’s affections is also young, but she’s a year younger than his son from his first marriage, actor Ishida Issei (34). If he ties the knot, it would be the third marriage for Ishida. The first was when he was a student at Waseda University, though he dropped out at the age of 24 to become an actor. It wasn’t until a decade later that he had a breakthrough as a “trendy actor” in dramas such as Fuji TV’s “Dakishimetai!” in 1988. That same year he married actress Matsubara Chiaki, but they divorced in 1999. Their daughter, model Matsubara Sumire (19), recently earned a place at Carnegie Mellon University. Higashio is the daughter of former baseball star and Seibu Lions manager Higashio Osamu (59). She and actor Kane Kosugi (34) were thought to be on the verge of marriage until their 3-year relationship ended in 2005. She graduated from Florida State University in 1999 and joined the JLPGA the same year. She has no tour victories and her highest money ranking was 44th in 2001. She and Ishida, a keen amateur golfer, hit it off when they appeared together on a TV Aichi golf show at the end of last year. Ishida has hinted that they might get hitched within the year.

Marriage and Fatherhood for Rookies Star

Rookies - Sotsugyo

Actor Sato Ryuta (29, photo center) announced yesterday that he’s getting married to a former talento and will be a father in the autumn. He gave a press conference yesterday afternoon, and said that he and his fiancee have been dating since the end of 2005. With a 10-year acting career under his belt, Sato is currently riding a wave of popularity following last year’s hit TBS drama series “Rookies.” A huge fan of the manga on which it was based, Sato arranged for some of it to be filmed at his old high school. The success of the drama led to a spinoff movie, “Rookies – Sotsugyo” (Graduation), which opened in May and is still enjoying a long run at the domestic box office (Sato said he planned to propose marriage on May 30, the day the movie was to open, but his girlfriend’s pregnancy meant an abrupt change of schedule). Sato also has quite a bit of musical experience. Following the 2003 movie “Rockers,” he continued to perform with the band put together for the film. The following year he formed The Tempers with Yoshimura Yumi of the J-pop duo Puffy. He had his first theatrical leading role in February, when he starred in a local production of Neil Simon’s “Biloxi Blues.”