Minako Nagai (58), a freelance announcer who was called “the original idol announcer” during her days as an ace at Nippon Television Network Corporation (NTV), suddenly confessed on a TV program that she had run away from home twice after a marital quarrel, sparking a variety of speculations.
Nagai married Robert Kazumoto Hori, 58, then president of IT company CYBIRD, in 2001. They announced the birth of their first son in October of the same year and their first daughter in May 2007. The company’s cell phone content business was generating profits, and Mr. Hori was so influential that he was selected by TIME magazine in 2002 as one of the “15 People Who Influenced the World’s Businesses,” so there was a lot of excitement at the time about a “marriage made in heaven.
On August 8 this year, Nagai appeared on “Odoru! Sanma Goten‼ ” ( Nippon Television) on August 8 this year. She suddenly said, “I have run away from home twice. He confessed, “I had a fight with my husband and wife and said I was going to leave home. Both times, he left home in the middle of the night by car, but returned early in the morning to pack lunches for his children.
At first glance, this may seem like a typical family episode, but in Nagai’s case, the situation is different. This is because last April, the news site “Daily Shincho” reported that Nagai and Hori were living separately. Nagai has not mentioned the report so far, leading some to speculate that her “runaway confession” may be an indication that the couple is deteriorating.
Mr. Hori resigned as president of CYBIRD in 2004 due to a series of unprofitable financial results. In September 2009, the venture company he worked on after that was ordered to begin bankruptcy. Daily Shincho” reported an acquaintance’s testimony that the couple was living separately.
Although the authenticity of the report is unknown, a source said that Nagai and Mr. Hori’s relationship with a woman had become irreparable.
In fact, in January 2010, Mr. Hori announced on Facebook that he had moved to Hawaii, saying, “I moved to Oahu by myself. The reason was to open a restaurant in Hawaii called Margot, which specializes in truffles and which he operates in Nishiazabu, Tokyo, and the restaurant opened in Honolulu in June of the same year.’ Nagai joined Nippon TV in 1988 and became a signature announcer with her good looks and outstanding talk skills. She was in charge of popular programs such as “Magical Brain Power‼” and was the general host of “24 Hour TV” for three consecutive years.
As a member of the three-woman announcer unit “DORA,” she gained popularity as an idol, but left the company in 1996 to become a freelance announcer. After giving birth, she took a break from TV work, writing essays, giving interviews, teaching part-time at universities, and producing classical music festivals, but around last year, when Hori moved to Hawaii, she began appearing on TV again for the first time in 20 years.
There were whispers in the TV industry that, “From a circumstantial point of view, it was suggested that she took the opportunity of Mr. Hori’s departure to Hawaii as a sign that she was no longer dependent on her husband and had decided to put her own body on the line to work on TV again. She has recently joined a major entertainment company. However, I am concerned about her “true feelings” that sometimes spill out, such as when she wrote on her Instagram last April, “I am at rock bottom.
In May of this year, Nagai spoke in detail about her recent life on the news site “NEWS POST SEVEN,” and although she talked about her two children, she did not mention anything about her recent situation with her husband.
She also revealed that she had run away from home twice on “Sanma Goten” this time, which makes us wonder if she was trying to imply something. On her X (old Twitter) page updated after the broadcast, she tweeted, “Let’s all live strongly,” as if telling herself. Was his confession of running away from home an appeal to the deterioration of the relationship, or on the contrary, was he able to say it because there was no problem in the relationship?
On the other hand, Mr. Hori has often spoken enthusiastically about the “global expansion” of “Margot” on Facebook. When will the “separation” across the sea with Nagai be resolved?
PHOTO： Takeshi Kinugawa