The best gourmet food reporter, Hikomaro, says, “I’m going to throw away all my techniques and start from scratch! | FRIDAY DIGITAL

The best gourmet food reporter, Hikomaro, says, “I’m going to throw away all my techniques and start from scratch!

The rise of the younger generation after the COVID-19 crisis has made even food reporting professionals feel a sense of crisis.

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As usual, he is dusting off his yakitori at his favorite restaurant, “Unagiya Seikino’s Nishi-Shinjuku. He said, “It’s an eel restaurant, but I always eat only yakitori (laughs).”

I’ve had almost no work for the past two years. My manager took my profile and sold it to more than 40 TV stations, including local stations, but I still got almost no appearances. I thought I would never be able to work in food reporting again.

Hikomaro (56) said as he sipped a highball while eating yakitori at his favorite eel restaurant. The voluntary restraint of restaurants due to the COVID-19 crisis was a matter of life and death for the gourmet reporter, who for two years had an almost “blank” schedule.

I was home all the time after I stopped working as a food reporter, but I didn’t lose any weight at all (laughs). (Laughs.) I thought to myself, “People get hungry even if they don’t do anything. …… When I appeared on TV for the first time in a while and they put a pin mic on me, I was so grateful to have a job that I almost cried.

The COVID-19 crisis is finally showing signs of abating, and Hikomaro’s work is beginning to return. However, unlike before, Hikomaro feels a strong sense of crisis.

He says, “With the emergence of YouTube stars who eat a lot of food and young TV personalities one after another, the gourmet food reporter business is truly a red ocean. Recently, I watched a video by “ramen YouTube star” SUSURU (30), and it is truly amazing that he is able to do so much with just one ramen. I am also trying my hand at making videos, but the number of views is not growing at all. In the future, I think I need to throw away all the “techniques” I have cultivated and start from scratch.

When Hikomaro started his “food reportage” 30 years ago, the profession of gourmet reporter did not exist. Hicomaro debuted as an idol in 1988, but how did he make this transition?

During my idol days, I released six CDs and went on a nationwide tour, with such eminent people as Yasushi Akimoto (65) and Tetsuya Komuro (64) providing me with songs. I also received many acting jobs in prime-time dramas and movies, such as “Detective Aristocrats” (NTV) starring Yutaka Mizutani (70). But gradually, I wanted to get more involved with people without a script! I asked the office directly if I could work as a reporter for an information program. Since then, I have had the opportunity to do a lot of reporting, including city tours, hot springs, and visits to celebrities’ mansions. I got hooked because I thought food reporting was so profound.

She weighed 60 kilograms when she was an idol, but her weight has steadily increased, and she now weighs 110 kilograms.

I didn’t think I would gain this much weight, and I thought I would become another Hikomaro, like an amoeba. People worry about me, but my blood sugar is normal and I look healthy.

Ditching the “Techniques

Hikomaro, who looks like he is just eating ……, always uses various techniques in filming.

He says, “If I start eating right after saying ‘Itadakimasu! or “Wait for 2 seconds because the camera will not be able to capture it in time if you start eating right after you say ‘Itadakimasu! I didn’t have any food report masters, so I did all the research and came up with these ideas on my own.

He has visited more than 20,000 restaurants. He has visited more than 20,000 restaurants and introduced countless dishes.

During a long recording session, sometimes the food gets cold before you eat it,” he says. In such cases, I intentionally make the food look tasty by huffing and puffing. Some people say, “That’s not true,” but with a little ingenuity, you can make food look many times more delicious. If people see my food reportage and visit a restaurant, the restaurant will be happy. That makes me more happy than anything else.

The famous line was born from such earnest efforts.

The comments on food reports are all about crispy, crunchy, juicy …… prawns,” he said. The first time I saw the shiny sashimi on a seafood bowl in Hokkaido, I thought, ‘What else can I describe it as? When I saw it, I said, “It’s a jewel box! and my synonym was born. At first I thought it was rude to use other things as metaphors for food, but it was very well received. From there, I decided to be more free and use it as a metaphor for many different things.

Hikomaro says that he “dares to discard” such “techniques” that he has cultivated over the past 30 years. When I asked him why, he put down the oversized highball mug he was holding with a thump and began to speak seriously, “I thought a lot about the Corona disaster.

For two years, while I couldn’t report on the food, youtubers were streaming their videos. Nowadays, viewers can tell that the food is really tasty even if they can only see the eyes through the mask. I think that because food reporting has become more accessible than it was in the days of television, viewers have become more discerning and can tell what is really going on. I have talked about various techniques and comments, but what is really important is to feel from the bottom of your heart. From now on, even if you’re not very good at it, it’s okay to be real. I think I need to throw away all the techniques I have been using and create a new “Hikomaro.

He declared that he would throw away his weapons and compete in the flesh. I am looking forward to seeing Shin Hikomaro’s food reportage.

An oversized mug of whisky Hakushu with a “Hikomaro” sticker on it. The “Taste of IT Revolution” is said to have been imported back from Teruyuki Tsuchida (50), who imitates Hikomaro.
Hikomaro in his “Bakumatsu Juku” days. His acrobatic performances were popular.
Hicomaro, the most powerful gourmet food reporter, made an impassioned speech: “I’m going to throw away all my techniques and start from scratch!
Unpublished cuts from the magazine The most powerful gourmet food reporter, Hikomaro, makes an impassioned speech: “I’m going to throw away all my techniques and start from scratch!

From the June 16-23, 2023 issue of “FRIDAY

  • Interview and text by Hirotsuru Machida PHOTO Shinji Hamasaki

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