Toshio Ishikawa, entertainment reporter, in the entertainment world. The other side of the story: ……”》
I was saddened by the news that Tadaaki Maeda, a senior entertainment reporter, had passed away two and a half months ago at the age of 81.
In the days when entertainment news was glamorous on the wide-format TV shows, there were entertainment reporters who were registered with their respective programs on an annual contract basis. The form of the reporters changed around the time when they started faxing celebrities’ private issues directly to the reporters themselves. And that led to social networking sites.
Of course, there is also the issue of compliance.
There was the issue of the marriage of then-Kabuki actor Nakamura Hashinosuke and Hiroko Mita, for which we attempted to interview his father, Nakamura Shikan, from the Kabuki-za Theater in Higashi-Ginza to Yurakucho, with a microphone outstretched.
While he did not speak a single word, I was able to conduct a direct interview with him. When I think about it, it was quite a nuisance.
About an hour after that interview, I received a letter from Shochiku, to which the kabuki actor belongs.
What are you doing to a living national treasure?
What are you doing to a living national treasure? Of course, the interview could not be broadcast, but it was an interview that could not be answered about a kilometer away on foot. Hashinosuke-san has since married Mita-san and has taken over his father’s grand name, Shikan.
One thing I recall is the fact that, in the name of reporting, I continued to do “anything goes” in my interviews.
Unlike today, the budgets for wide-ranging news shows were plentiful.
They would say, “Here’s a news story. It’s in Hawaii.
New information that came out of a meeting was immediately approved by the program. Reporters always had their passports with them.
I took a night flight to Hawaii and directly interviewed the actress and her mother while they were having breakfast at the hotel. After a successful interview, they returned to Japan on an afternoon flight.
Another day, he followed an actor to Hong Kong for a successful interview. He took a 3-hour nap at the hotel and returned home. I even told the story live on air from a booth for interviews at Narita Airport.
Come to think of it, all of this was possible because of the program’s budget.
The pioneers were TV Asahi’s Masaru Nashimoto, Tsubasa Fukuoka, and Jinichiro Sudo; TBS’s Keiichi Onizawa, Fuji Television’s Maeda, and NTV’s Ishikawa. TBS’s Keiichi Onizawa and Fuji Television’s Mr. Maeda, and NTV’s Mr. Ishikawa. There was a sense of camaraderie, but everyone was a rival.
It was a time when many people, including the staff, enjoyed making programs. I miss those days, but now Mr. Nashi is gone, and Tsubasa, Oni, Jinsan, and Maechu are also gone…
At 76 years old, I feel like I am the only one left behind.
My seniors seemed to take great pride in their work as reporters, but I, alone, had worked my way up from Shochiku to a reporter for a weekly magazine by sheer luck.
Nashi-san, Jin-san, and Maechu-san were freelance reporters for women’s weekly magazines. Tsubasa-san, who was an employee editor of a women’s weekly magazine. Oni-san, who was a reporter for a sports newspaper, and others have been making a big splash on Japan’s wide-open TV shows.
I guess that was 30 years ago. Nowadays, with Corona, the way we interact with people is changing drastically. Wide shows have changed a lot, too.
The entertainment reporters who are exclusively involved with the shows have all but disappeared, and everyone’s relationship with the shows is in the form of appearance fees. Perhaps the times call for new entertainment news, but since celebrities have started talking about their own events in variety shows, press conferences have become few and far between.
I have to think about my future as I pray for everyone’s well-being.
I have to think about my future, so that people don’t say, “He has no talent, yet he lives so long…”
I hope I don’t have to say that. I am sorry for your loss.
Text： Toshio Ishikawa, entertainment reporter
Born in Tokyo in 1946. He had a unique career as an entertainment reporter from Shochiku's Advertising Department to a reporter for a women's magazine. He has appeared on "The Wide" and "Information Live Miyaneya" (both on Nippon Television Network Corporation), and currently appears regularly on "Mentai Wide" (Fukuoka Broadcasting System), "Su Matan" (Yomiuri Television), and Rainbow Town FM.
Photo： Sankei Shimbun