Freelance Announcer Aika Kanda: My Light and Darkness Formed by a Mother’s Day Gift | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Freelance Announcer Aika Kanda: My Light and Darkness Formed by a Mother’s Day Gift

11. Aika Kanda: Me, Pink, and Sometimes New York

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Mother’s Day is approaching again this year. What should I give her this year? Flowers? A bag? I’m sure she’ll be happy with anything! But that’s not the case with my mother.

© Kazuki Shimomura

It was about this time 20 years ago that Mother’s Day, which falls on the second Sunday in May, became a memorable day for me to give my mother the gift I had purchased with my first salary. My spirits were high. Suddenly I realized that I had not seen my mother with an umbrella for a while, so I decided to give her one. I wanted to give her a good umbrella that would last a lifetime and be appropriate for her age! I wanted to give her a good, age-appropriate umbrella that would last a lifetime,” he said, locking onto a Louis Vuitton umbrella that cost about 50,000 yen, a very popular item at the time. I went to Louis Vuitton in Ginza, the most popular shopping district in Japan at the time. I went to a Louis Vuitton store in Ginza, Tokyo, and had the conversation, “It’s for my mother. I bought it with high spirits, exchanging conversation with the clerk.

Now it’s time to take it to my mother! Isn’t she going to cry? Whoopee! When I handed it to her, her brow furrowed.

She said, “Eeeeeeeeeeeee …… why such an expensive thing? I don’t use an umbrella.

What? What do you mean? I couldn’t catch up with my mother’s reaction, which was the opposite of what I had imagined, and I looked like a pigeon that had been hit by a peashooter. At the same time, the shock of not seeing my mother’s smile made me feel indescribable. My mother added, “This apartment building has a roof all the way to the station,

She said, “This apartment building has a roof all the way to the station, doesn’t it? There are all kinds of stores between there and the station. You know that you can live here and not get wet in the rain. What a waste. ……”

That was right, the apartment where my mother lives is directly connected to the station building and concourse, where there are supermarkets, pharmacies, bookstores, restaurants, etc., so it is usually enough. No wonder I had never seen my mother with an umbrella. How could I have forgotten that I also lived there at one time!

Now I can guess. My mother’s reaction was probably based on her parental love for me, wanting me to take good care of my first salary and not spend it on expensive things that I didn’t need. Even though it was her starting salary, she was still a new employee in training. To be honest, 50,000 yen was a big blow. There was that sense of frustration, as well as anger and sadness at my mother for not accepting it with a smile and a “thank you,” even if it was a lie. I was still young and did not know where to direct these various feelings, but there was one thing that became clear to me through this incident. The gift I chose without understanding the person I was giving it to was merely a form of self-satisfaction.

Touching my husband’s thoughts, I started on the path of rehabilitation.

Since that day, when I buy a gift of a certain amount of money, I always think of the gift as “I want to give this! I would imagine the other person’s tastes and behavior patterns, and choose something that I thought he or she would “want! I feel like a wiser adult now. I felt like a witty adult, but this led to another problem.

But this caused another problem when I became the recipient of a gift. I started to think, “Isn’t he using my gift as an outlet for self-gratification? I was born with the thought, “Are you using my gift as an outlet for your own self-gratification? When I received something that was not in line with my tastes or behavior patterns, or even something I didn’t like, and it was expensive, I would think, “Wow, …… you paid so much money for it, but it’s such a waste. I began to think, “What a waste. Before I knew it, I was looking for rationality in the things I received. I became disgusted with myself for not being able to honestly accept and appreciate the other person’s feelings. If I felt that way, I shouldn’t have thought, “I want a present! If I thought that way, I shouldn’t have thought, “I want a present,” but I clearly wanted it. It was a bad feeling.

A few years later, I met my husband. He doesn’t have the same mindset as me in the slightest. He honestly thinks, “I appreciate your gift more than anything!” I felt as if my dark side was being purified by my husband’s honest and straightforward thinking. Even now, I receive that purification every day and am on the road to rehabilitation.

By the way, the Vuitton umbrella, as an example, has been used twice by today. I think I can sell it on Mercari now, but in the meantime, I have put it in the umbrella stand at my parents’ house as “my memory”. And for Mother’s Day this year, I decided to give her a trip for two to a sightseeing spot she had always wanted to go. She is very pleased. It is the spring of my 42nd year, and I would like to continue to be the best presenter to my mother in Japan as well as continue my rehabilitation period.

Born in 1980 in Kanagawa Prefecture. After graduating from Gakushuin University with a degree in 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 makes regular appearances as the main MC of the daytime TV program “Poka Poka” (Fuji Television Network).

From the May 26, 2023 issue of “FRIDAY

  • Text and illustrations by Aika Kanda

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