The ‘Needy Paparazzi’ Targeting the New York Lives of Kei Komuro and Mako | FRIDAY DIGITAL

The ‘Needy Paparazzi’ Targeting the New York Lives of Kei Komuro and Mako

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Kei Komuro and Mako leave for New York (Photo: AFP/Afro)

Marriages between members of the royal family and ordinary people tend to be a matter of public concern, but has there ever been a marriage that has divided opinion into “for” and “against”? I thought that the announcement of their marriage would finally put an end to the turmoil, but …….

It took five years from the discovery of their relationship in 2004 to their marriage. During that time, there hasn’t been a day that goes by that there hasn’t been news related to Kei Komuro and Mako Komuro in newspapers, magazines, and on the Internet. It is often said that TV programs can get “at least a fair rating” if they deal with “imperial family stories,” but I don’t think there has ever been an example of a program that has been able to drag on this long.

One of the reasons why their marriage drew so much attention from the public was the “financial troubles” of Mr. Komuro’s mother, which were settled by giving the money to her former fiancé. Now that they are husband and wife, there are more and more people congratulating them, but now there are more and more people who are worried about their married life. This is because Mr. Komuro has failed to pass the bar exam.

The public’s interest in Mr. Komuro, who never ceases to provide a topic of conversation, has never waned.

And now the stage has shifted to New York. There is a high possibility that the media will continue to follow the two, as they believe they can still get good numbers, and some Japanese TV stations were waiting for the two to arrive in New York as well as leave the country. In addition, there is a new “ambush” waiting for them in New York. It was the paparazzi.

Paparazzi, as I don’t need to explain now, is an Italian term for photographers who stalk celebrities and take pictures of their private lives.

Paparazzi are freelance photographers who do not belong to any one media. The photos they take are sold to magazines and newspapers through agents. These days, they also shoot videos, which are sometimes sold to TV stations.

The photos they take are traded all over the world. Therefore, until recently, their fees were quite high. In the past, a single photo could fetch 400,000 to 500,000 yen, but things have changed recently.

“However, things have changed recently, thanks to the increasing sophistication of smartphones and the spread of the Internet. In the first place, foreign celebrities and stars do not sneak around like Japanese people do, so anyone who finds them in public areas can take pictures of them, except in private areas.

After taking pictures, some people post them on social networking sites, and of course, some people take them to agents to make money. With the spread of camera phones, there are more and more people on the streets pointing their cameras (cell phones) at celebrities, giving rise to the phrase “100 million photographers”, and so-called “citizen journalists” are spreading around the world. Also, since celebrities themselves post their private photos on social networking sites, the paparazzi are losing their jobs.

The term “snapperazzi” (a word coined from the combination of “snapshot” and “paparazzi”) is said to refer to ordinary people who take scoop photos. That’s why the photos taken by the original paparazzi are now usually sold for 10,000 to 20,000 yen, and unless it’s a big scoop, they don’t fetch a high price.

It seems that the Komuros would be a good target for a photo shoot in New York.

“The paparazzi, unlike the British royal family, were not interested in the Japanese imperial family at first, but the marriage of Mr. Komuro and Ms. Mako has been covered by foreign magazines and newspapers and is now a hot topic around the world. There is no doubt that they will be targeting them in the future. There’s a big chance that the general public in New York won’t notice Mr. and Mrs. Komuro on the street, which may be an advantage for the paparazzi who have access to information.

In the future, the paparazzi will probably have a “big customer” in Japan, but even so, photos of the two of them shopping or eating together are not likely to fetch a high price. Therefore, the paparazzi will follow the couple relentlessly for more sensational photos.

I hear that some Japanese TV stations are even asking local YouTubers to do interviews. A fierce battle for coverage of the Komuros will be waged in New York.

They chose to move to New York to avoid the hustle and bustle of the city, but it looks like it will be a long time before they can settle down.

  • Reporting and writing by Hiroyuki Sasaki

    Born in Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture, Sasaki became a reporter for FRIDAY at the age of 31, reporting on numerous scoops during his time with FRIDAY, and has been active in weekly magazines ever since. He is currently appearing on TV and radio as a commentator.

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