It was an early-summer evening in mid-April. Near a commercial facility in Tokyo crowded with housewives shopping, I caught a glimpse of a woman. She was walking with her hat on deeply and her face down, as if she was paying attention to her surroundings, but her slender figure caught the eye. She is Ayako Kato (38), a freelance announcer known as “Katopan.
Kato left Fuji Television in 2004 and became a freelance announcer. In June 2009, she surprised the public by announcing her marriage to the second president of Ropia supermarket. Last September, she graduated from “Live News It! (Fuji), where she had appeared for three and a half years, and in October she took a leave of absence to “spend more time with her family.
Katopan took a leave of absence because she wanted to prioritize taking care of her health, but she originally became a freelance announcer when she collapsed during a live broadcast in ’14. She may have been concerned about her health for some time because announcer work is hard work. In the six months since her absence, she has frequently posted photos of her home-cooked meals, such as hachotai (Chinese dish of eight kinds of treasures) and soba (buckwheat noodles), on her Instagram, and has been getting a lot of feedback. This year, she enjoyed cherry blossoms at Ninna-ji Temple in Kyoto during the cherry blossom viewing season. Her unchanged beauty drew comments from fans, who said, “I’m glad to see that you are doing well.
During her absence, she has been meeting regularly with announcers with whom she is familiar. In mid-April, she posted a photo on Instagram of a dinner out with Yumi Nagashima (31), a junior Fuji announcer. It seems that now that she is free from her busy work schedule, she is enjoying her time with her family and doing what she likes.
It has been six months since she saved her work. Kato, who is concentrating on being a housewife, has a plastic bag from a high-end supermarket hanging in her hand. She is the wife of the president of the supermarket “Lopia,” which is known for its “super cheap price,” but she probably sometimes goes to high-end supermarkets that are accessible from her home.
She is loved by many people as the signature announcer for the station and its programs, and has always given her all in her work, but this is a peaceful time that has finally arrived in her life as an announcer. Katopan’s face was full of a sense of fulfillment.
From the May 12 and 19, 2023 issue of “FRIDAY
PHOTO： Ippei Hara