Although it is now interrupted by Corona, we continue to have a reunion once a year with the “Shomuni” (Fuji TV series) crew, getting together in a private room at an izakaya and talking about what’s going on until late at night. Some bring their children, and it feels like a gathering of relatives. For me, too. It’s a very memorable film for me.”
Naho Toda, 49, who played the secretary in “Shomuni” (Fuji Television Network), said in an interview in “Josei Jishin” (March 14, 2011 issue).
Shomuni” is an abbreviation for “General Affairs Section 2,” a department where useless employees are exiled to islands within the company. The male employees working there are listless, but the six female employees are just powerful. The story of these women solving all kinds of problems within the company was well received, and the first series, which began in April 1998, received an average viewer rating of 21.8%.
In particular, the lead character, Chinatsu Tsuboi, played by Makiko Esumi (56), wears a gorgeous uniform with an ultra-mini skirt and always walks briskly with a stepladder in her arms. Her signature line, ‘What do you think determines a woman’s worth? The number of men! or “Who do you think the earth is for? It’s for me! and other such lines that stuck in the viewers’ minds and greatly influenced Esumi’s character as an actress.
Toda played Misono Sugita, Chinatsu’s new colleague, rival and leader of the secretarial section.
Ms. Esumi, who runs Shomuni (General Affairs Section 2), where all the lowly office workers gather, and I, who works in the secretarial section, have a controversial argument every time we are in the office, and there are scenes where we get so close that our faces are glaring at each other. I was embarrassed to the point of blushing, but I was entranced by how beautiful she was,” Toda said.
Toda said, “I was embarrassed to the point of blushing. Not only Esumi, but all the main members, including Toda, were “beautiful” and popular actresses at the time. Not only in dramas, but also in their private lives, they attracted a lot of public attention. We would like to introduce some of their “treasured love affairs”.
Makiko Esumi kissing Shinji Takeda on the street (February 7, 1997 issue)
Esumi, who had been active as a model since the early 1990s, was very popular. She was rumored to be romantically involved with Kondo Masahiko and Osawa Takao, and married photographer Kirishima Roland in 1996. They divorced after only nine months, and just two months later, this magazine witnessed the scene of her love affair with Shinji Takeda (then 24), six years younger than her. Takeda spent every day at Esumi’s house, and Esumi drove Takeda home, during which time the two shared many intimate kisses.
The two hit it off when they co-starred in the 1996 drama “Konna ni Watashi ni Who did this to me” (Fuji Television). They started dating right after her divorce from Kirishima. Later, it was reported that Takeda visited Esumi’s parents’ house and they were said to be close to getting married, but Takeda later said that Esumi’s popularity and attention at the time made Takeda tired and it became hard for them to continue their relationship” (sports newspaper reporter).
Thereafter, Esumi also had “Late Night Love in a Car” with Koji Miyamoto (56) of “Elephant Kashimashi” (April 14, ’00 issue), but retired from show business in ’17. Mai Hosho (46), who reported “Tropical Love in Bali” (June 28, 1996 issue) with Goro Inagaki (49), also retired from show business in 2010. However, their glorious beauty has not faded away.
PHOTO： Shuichi Masuda (2nd and 4th) Fumi Kotano (3rd), Takehiko Kohiyama (6th and 7th), Akifumi Yoshida (9th left), Takuo Higuchi (11th), Shinya Inui (12th), Naomi Horikawa (13th)