It was sweltering hot and mindlessly quiet along a main street in Tokyo. Strong men, their foreheads dripping with sweat, were carrying out their belongings one after another from a room in an apartment building. Among them was a bright red gaming chair that stood out conspicuously.
There was a reason why Seiya, 31, of the comedy duo SHIMOFURI MYOJO, moved out of his apartment on that day, despite the extreme heat of over 35 degrees Celsius.
Seiya said, “Actually, I moved out to live with Ms. A, a civilian woman I’ve been dating for a while. She took the summer off to prepare for the move and greet her partner’s family” (Seiya’s acquaintance).
Immediately after his partner, Koshina (30), announced their speedy divorce after one and a half years of marriage, Seiya also quietly took a summer vacation and built a love nest with his girlfriend.
It was a night at the end of August, half a month after he moved out, when the lingering summer heat had eased off, that I found Seiya at a supermarket in Tokyo at the peak of his happiness.
Seiya was wearing a cap, glasses, and a mask, and was fully protected. He shrugged his shoulders and looked around, wondering if the air-conditioned restaurant was too cool. Nearby was a young woman, Ms. A, walking gracefully in a fluttering black one-piece dress.
She resembles the actress Kasumi Arimura and is younger than Seiya. She used to live in Osaka. Seiya-san has a regular TV show in Kansai and often appears at theaters in Osaka, so they used to meet every week. They had been in a long-distance relationship for a while, but A recently moved to Tokyo to live with Seiya-san. At first, they lived together in the room where he was living alone” (A’s acquaintance).
At the beginning of 2010, Seiya reported on the radio that he and his girlfriend had broken up. He was gazing enviously at his partner, Koshina, who had just announced her marriage at the time, saying, “I love her. …….
It was more than a year later, in early spring of this year, that I started dating Mr. A. We both liked “Chiikawaka. They both seem to like ‘Chiikawa’ and collect stuffed animals and goods.
While walking from the supermarket to her home, Ms. A smiles when Seiya talks to her. Seiya was repeatedly holding her hand and releasing it, despite the public’s attention. The petite Seiya and Ms. A walk side by side, looking just like “chi-kawas” (little girls).
Seiya has been seriously engaged in marriage activities for the past three years. His friends in his hometown got married one after another, and other comedians around him also got girlfriends to think about the future. …… I asked staff members who were married to married couples about the distribution of household chores and other aspects of married life in order to update my views on marriage.
During the time he lived together with his girlfriend, Seiya went shopping together with her, even putting on a strong disguise, as if he didn’t want to be separated from her even for a single moment. The long-awaited goal is near at hand.
From the September 29 , 2023 issue of FRIDAY
PHOTO： Keisuke Nishi, Ippei Hara