Freelance Announcer Aika Kanda: “I have never shed a tear without feeling sad about graduation | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Freelance Announcer Aika Kanda: “I have never shed a tear without feeling sad about graduation

Aika Kanda: It's Me, Pink, and Sometimes New York [Serialization] Part 5

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on LINE

I am sorry to interrupt the sentimentality of some of you who are in the midst of the graduation season. I have never felt sadness at a “graduation” and have never shed a tear at a “graduation.

Photo: Kazuki Shimomura

Let me recall the events in order. Many children cried when they graduated from elementary school. “I’ll never see you again,” “I wish I could have played with you more,” and so on. No, no, no, we are not going to be shipped off to different parts of the world. I was tired of walking along the safe and uninspiring path to school for six years, passing through the main gate, and seeing the ordinary school building and schoolyard without any problems.

I was happy that I had managed to pass the junior high school entrance exam, excited to go to a school near the Imperial Palace that I sometimes saw on the news, wondering what kind of fierce competitors would come to that school from various prefectures in the Kanto region! I was so happy that I had managed to pass the junior high school entrance exam, and I was excited about going to a school near the Imperial Palace, which I saw on the news from time to time.

I went to an all-girls high school for six years from junior high to high school, so the next time I would graduate from high school. Again, everyone around me was in tears, even some teachers were in tears, but my eyes were dry as expected. It was a much more exciting six years than elementary school, and I struggled with a pervert on a crowded train, got mugged for the first time on Takeshita-dori, had a blind date with a boy at McDonald’s, fell in love with a teacher of a subject I was not good at, and so on. …… There are too many experiences to list.

But, after all, the joy of successfully completing the university entrance examination, the question of what does a university mathematics department study, and the feeling that I was able to learn from students from all over the country who had attended the school. What kind of fierce students will come to that school from all over the country? I was not in a mood to dwell on memories when I thought of my next classmates.

Sick of the familiar scenery, I went to Haneda.

Then came the graduation ceremony. I was already excited. Finally, I could finish being a student whose job was to study. One of my friends from college told me that sometimes on the Yamanote line we rode to school together, he would say, “Why do I have to go home and back to school every day? I should be doing more! He used to say.

Now I clearly recognize that I am not very good at doing the same thing every day, because I seem to feel constrained by it.

If I recall, once when I was in high school, I got so fed up with the familiarity of everyday that I couldn’t stand it anymore. Without telling my parents, school, friends, or anyone else, I left home as usual in the morning and went to Haneda Airport instead of heading to school. Perhaps seeing the plane take off calmed him down, or maybe he just went to school without hesitation and was scolded by his teacher. Such a person could not possibly be sentimental on the day he was to end his student life of attending the same school every day, but was filled with anticipation and fighting spirit for what awaited him at NHK, his place of employment. I was filled with fighting spirit and anticipation for what awaited me at NHK, where I was going to work.

The last time I left NHK, I said to myself, “I’m going to meet the people I’ve worked with. My boss at the time, who had given me so much trouble, asked me, “Aren’t you going to miss the friends you have worked with? I confess here that I muttered to myself, “It’s not a club, you know. ……” in response to my boss’s consoling words at the time, but in my farewell speech at the farewell party, I thanked him and said, “I think I’ll look for a marriage partner. During my tenure at NHK, all of us were transferred every few years, and I had no desire to get married because I thought marriage would be a hindrance to my transfers. However, when I thought that I would no longer be transferred, I became interested in marriage.

Thus, I was thrilled by the new outlook on life that was developing in me, and the expectations and pressure to create my own life as a freelance announcer on my own were tremendous, so I had no time at all to feel the separation from my colleagues.

In other words, for 42 years, my head and heart have been filled with anxiety and anticipation for the next encounters and events that await me, and I have never felt sadness or shed a tear at graduation. But I want to reassure you. My feelings for my parents who gave birth to me seem to run deep, and when I listen to Masashi Sada’s “Autumn Cherry Blossoms” unexpectedly, my tears come out quite firmly.

I wonder if there will be more “graduations” in the future. Will I cry then? If so, will it be a graduation from home? No, no, I don’t want to do that.

Born in 1980 in Kanagawa Prefecture. After graduating from Gakushuin University, Faculty of Science, Department of Mathematics, she joined NHK as an announcer in 2003, and left NHK in 2012 to become a freelance announcer. Since then, she has been active mainly in variety shows, and currently appears regularly as the main MC of the daytime TV program “Poka Poka” (Fuji Television).

From the March 24, 2023 issue of FRIDAY

  • Text and illustrations Aika Kanda

Photo Gallery2 total

Photo Selection

Check out the best photos for you.

Related Articles