Showbiz News Update

Miyane Seiji, Shimada Shinsuke, Date Mikio

It’s been a fairly quiet start to the year in the Japanese entertainment world. On the scandal front, up-and-coming presenter Miyane Seiji (48) revealed just over a week ago that he has a 4-year-old child born outside of his marriage. His Japanese Wikipedia page now lists his family as one daughter, one lover, one “kakushigo,” the term used to describe a child hidden or kept secret. Meanwhile, moves seem to be afoot to restart the showbiz career of the more thoroughly disgraced master emcee Shimada Shinsuke (55). Yoshimoto Kogyo management agency CEO Ohsaki Hiroshi (58) has publicly expressed his desire to see one of Japanese TV’s biggest stars back at work after his career was derailed last year following the exposure of his yakuza connections. Soon afterwards it was revealed that his voice will appear in the upcoming debut movie by Yoshimoto comedian Nagahara Seiki (47), who himself appeared in Shimada’s 1991 movie directorial debut, “Kaze, Slowdown.” Coming just four months after Shimada’s very public early retirement last August, such a speedy return is only possible for someone of his earning status and connections within the industry. But it also undermines the police’s concerted efforts to rid showbiz of its ties to organized crime.

Though the new year saw the loss of a few from the older generation of stars, some showbiz couples have welcomed new additions to their families. One of the most recent additions is the baby girl born at the end of last week to comedian Date Mikio (37) and freelance announcer Kumagai Maiko (41). Date blogged that work had kept him away from the delivery, and also revealed that Kumagai had suffered a miscarriage about a year ago. The couple married last September. Date is one half of the manzai duo Sandwichman, and his comedy partner Tomizawa Takeshi (37) also became a father last April.

Recently married is comedian, Inomoto Takafumi (33) of the manzai duo License. The Yoshimoto management agency announced yesterday that he and his ippanjingirlfriend of 10 years registered their marriage at a Tokyo municipal office on Saturday. Inomoto has ranked 4th for the last several years running in a Yoshimoto poll of its most handsome stars, while his still single comedy partner Fujiwara Kazuhiro (34) ranked No.1 for the last three years.