Daily Archives: August 19, 2010

A Fresh Start for Shoken?

Hagiwara Kenichi, Tomita Rika

The media is speculating today about a new romance for actor Hagiwara Kenichi (60). Today’s issue of the women’s weekly magazine “Josei Seven” claims that the actor is involved with popular “housewife model” Tomita Rika (48) and that the pair are basically co-habiting at Hagiwara’s Yokohama home. He denied that they are living together, insisting that they are just good friends. But last night Tomita posted on her blog that she had just finalized her divorce from her former husband (52).

Hagiwara, popularly known by his nickname of Shoken, has had a very up and down life. He found fame as a teen rock vocalist in the mid 1960s and became a hugely popular actor in the early 1970s. A drug arrest in 1983 derailed his career for a full year, but he bounced back. There were further arrests, for a traffic accident in 2004 and attempted blackmail in 2005, which led to a suspended 18-month prison sentence and the end of his second marriage. This year, he performed in concert for the first time in seven years.

Total Comedy Pays Well

Total Tenbosch

We hear a lot on TV about how young comedians struggle financially before establishing their careers. But duo Total Tenbosch have a very lucrative winning streak going. The pair were announced yesterday as the winners for the fifth time in a row of the “S1 Grand Battle, Round 2”, a funny video contest sponsored by Softbank Mobile and voted on by the network’s mobile phone subscribers. The win landed the duo prize money of ¥10 million, bringing their total from the contest to ¥30 million, and entry to the “S1 Grand Champion” round next March.

The afro-haired tsukomi half of the duo, Fujita Kensuke (34) said he would use his share of the winnings to bring up his son to be a pro baseball player. Then again, the baby’s not due to be born until October. The name Total Tenbosch is a mix of two ideas, the sci-fi movie “Total Recall” (Fujita is a fan) and the Dutch theme park Huis Ten Bosch in Kyushu, which was the suggestion of his comic partner Omura Tomohiro (35).

Shimizu Kentaro Arrested for 6th Time

Shimizu Kentaro

Actor Shimizu Kentaro (57) has been arrested yet again. The organized crime department of the Metropolitan Police announced yesterday that they had arrested the actor on suspicion of the use of “kakuseizai” (stimulant drugs). It is the sixth arrest for Shimizu, who was previously held on drug and reckless driving charges. His criminal record has probably only boosted his image as an on-screen gang boss, in a career that blurs the lines between fiction and reality.

Real name Sonoda Iwao, he was involved in a fatal traffic accident in 1973 and was fined for professional negligence resulting in death. His handsome looks brought him popularity on the youth TV show “Ginza Now” which led to a major hit with his debut single “Shitsuren Restaurant” in 1976. He had several more hits the following year, earning him a best newcomer award and a slot of the NHK “Kohaku Uta Gassen” New Year’s Eve concert. But his career had peaked by the time he was arrested in 1983 for marijuana possession. Marriage to an American model in 1985 was followed by another drug arrest and a career move to the “V Cinema” (straight-to-video) movie business. His marriage ended in 1991 and a third drug arrest in 1994 led to an 18-month prison sentence. The following years saw another return to movies, earning him the nickname “The Emperor of V Cinema,” and brief marriage to a woman 22 years younger and another spell in prison for drug use. His most recent brush with the law was in 2008 when he was arrested for an hit and run incident and received a 7-month prison sentence.