At around 7 p.m. in early November, a black Lexus slid into a coin-operated parking lot in Shibuya, Tokyo. It was the car of actress Nana Katase (41). Sitting next to Katase in the driver’s seat was a stylish, good-looking EXILE-type guy. After getting out of the car, the two walked down Center Street without seeming to mind the rain that had begun to fall.
After a while, they arrived at a building in Udagawacho …… which houses a high-class yakiniku restaurant “Gyugujou” run by Hiroyuki Miyasako, 52, a former Yoshimoto’s actor.
On that day, Katase-san was attending an event at Hikarie, a commercial complex in Shibuya. There was a charity flea market featuring Katase and other celebrities, and the place was crowded with young men and women. Shinya Irie, 45, formerly of Karateka, also attended the event. He was selling detergent he had produced himself, and for some reason Katase was helping him sell it as well.
After the event, Katase and the handsome man at the beginning of this article got into a car and drove to the building where Gyugujou is located.
About two hours later, after 9 p.m., when they came out of the building, a man and a woman who looked like friends joined them. Katase parted from them in front of the building and got into the car with the handsome man again. Katase dropped him off and headed home alone.
Speaking of Katase, her live-in lover was arrested last July for cocaine possession, and she herself was subjected to house searches and urine tests. After that, in September of the same year, she terminated her contract with the major entertainment agency to which she belonged.
In November 2007, Erika Sawajiri, who is known as Katase’s “best friend,” was arrested for violation of the Narcotics Control Law, followed by the arrest of her boyfriend, and she herself came under suspicion. Katase’s house was also raided, but she did not properly report this to her agency, which was furious. I heard that Katase’s contract was almost terminated and she became a freelance artist.
Katase is currently not involved in any major activities other than YouTube. Will she return to acting in the future? Entertainment reporter Takayuki Jyoshita asks, “There were rumors that she herself was involved in drug-related activities.
Many people involved in the drama industry are waiting to see how she reacts to the rumors of her drug use. However, she has not been arrested, so there is no compliance problem in using her. Since she is now a freelancer, her fees will probably be lower, so demand may increase in a year or two.
Twenty years have passed since the commercials that took the world by storm.” When will the “pretty lady” make her comeback?
From the November 25, 2022 issue of FRIDAY
PHOTO： Keisuke Nishi, Ippei Hara, courtesy of event participants