Long Interview] Risa Tachibana looks back with a smile: “I asked her many times if she was going to die. | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Long Interview] Risa Tachibana looks back with a smile: “I asked her many times if she was going to die.

Former top idol who debuted in the entertainment world at the age of 15 and won the Best Newcomer Award at the Reco Grand Prix, now publicly announces her battle with rectal cancer after overcoming a major surgery

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Instead of benefiting everyone, I am being encouraged.”

It was indeed a shocking confession.

Risa Tachibana (52), an energetic idol with a charming smile and dimples, revealed on her blog last November 24 that she was diagnosed with rectal cancer in 2008 and underwent major surgery to remove her intestines and uterus.

She was diagnosed with rectal cancer in May ’20 and underwent surgery in October of the same year. She overcame the loss of appetite caused by the radiation treatment by giving up her favorite instant noodles. Now that she is feeling better, she is walking to lose weight.

She wrote in her blog that she had lost her purpose in life and was in a state of depression at one point. Still, Tachibana recalls that her desire to “help others by sharing her experience” encouraged her to confess her cancer.

Her face was swollen from the side effects of anticancer drugs, and she was so tired that after her treatment began at ……, she didn’t want to see anyone and tended to withdraw from the world. For the past three years, I felt like I was in a dark tunnel. The reason I decided to go public was because my friends encouraged me to ‘try communicating my current situation. I think I wanted to give people suffering from the same disease a little energy and courage, and I also wanted to help them get out of the tunnel by telling my story. Of course I was troubled, and it wasn’t easy.”

He quickly finished writing the text for his blog.

But I couldn’t quite hit the publish button.

My friends told me it would be fine,” he said, “but once I uploaded it, there was no going back. After today, my life may become completely different. It’s not an appropriate expression, but I was nervous as if I had my hand on the launch button of a nuclear missile.

Since the announcement was made after much deliberation, he was worried that no one would take any interest, but the blog became an Internet news item and spread quickly.

I didn’t want people to feel sorry for me, and I was worried that things would go from bad to worse, but the comments section was full of words of encouragement, and instead of benefiting …… everyone, I was encouraged. I’m so glad I went public.”

Tachibana had lost her mother to colorectal cancer and fully understood the horror of the disease.

Still – even when symptoms such as pain in her buttocks, abdominal pain, and bloody stools appeared, she avoided having tests because of embarrassment and a natural aversion to hospitals. I looked for differences from my mother’s symptoms that I remembered and reassured myself that it was not cancer.

However, when she finally reached the point where she was confined to the bathroom, her family strongly urged her to go to the hospital. I received the news alone.

When I first heard that I had cancer, I didn’t know what to expect,” he told ……. “I thought, ‘I’m going to die. I kept asking the doctor, ‘Am I going to die? I asked the doctor many times, and he rebuked me, saying, ‘What are you talking about? I was rebuked. I didn’t want to worry my husband or my son, who was in high school at the time, so I told them something like, ‘If you have surgery, you’ll be fine in no time.

Make it ongoing.”

The date of November 24, when she announced her cancer was meaningless. The event that triggered his emergence from the darkness had occurred about two months before he posted his blog.

Tomomi Nishimura (53) and I have always been good friends, and even when I was a recluse, she was always calling out to me. Then, Tomomi told me that she was going with the manager of Crash Gals to a restaurant owned by former women’s professional wrestler Noriyo Tateno (58). I am such a fan of women’s professional wrestling that I think I would have seriously pursued it if I had not entered the entertainment business. It had been about 20 years since I had seen Ki (Nori), but as soon as we met, she said, “Everyone was worried about you. ……”

Later, Jumbo Hori (61) and others joined him, and they all decided to go to the “Crash Gals'” 40th anniversary concert at the Yokohama Budokan on October 1.

When I went to the venue on the day of the event, Yumi Ogura (56), who was my favorite wrestler, was right next to me, and when I looked closely, I saw all the wrestlers I admired in the same row! I was singing and dancing with the stars while listening to their live commentary, and I was having a blast just like when I was a child idol.

After the concert, I thanked Asuka Lioness (60) of the “Crash Gals” on LINE, saying, “It was fun to be back in that day.

I received this reply: “Don’t use the past tense, use the present progressive tense.”

As Tachibana recalls, “I was just a kid. She was still in the third grade of junior high school when she was chosen to play the lead role in the drama “Maido Osawagasemasu 3” (TBS), which became popular for its sexy scenes.

I was living with my parents in Kansai at the time, and when I came to Tokyo to shoot a commercial, I made the rounds to TV stations and others, and they told me that they were having trouble getting the lead actress. Then I heard a voice saying, ‘Why not this girl? I heard a voice saying, ‘I think she’s good enough. …… I thought it was a joke, but the manager said, ‘You’ll do it, right? He said, ‘You’ll do it, won’t you?

Since there were only two weeks left before the shoot, I suddenly started living in Tokyo that day.

What was even more messed up was the popular “Be Bop High School: High School Yotaro Ondo” and “High School Yotaro: The Complete Arc,” both released in 1988, in which she appeared as the heroine.

In the film, Yotaro says, “It was a live-action version of a manga about delinquents, but there were several “honmono” (real people) mixed in with the actors (laughs). (Laughs.) But they were all good people at heart, and I got used to them right away. To begin with, I was only asked to sing the theme song at first, but before I knew it, I was cast as the heroine, Shoko Kisaragi,…… but the director said, “Risa is a princess, so you can keep her as she is,” which gave me confidence in my performance. Be-Bop was also the first film that made me fall in love with acting.

The connection with Be-Bop continues to this day.

At the end of last year, Nobuo (Tsutomu Furukawa, who plays Nobuo Kaneko) and Gin-chan (Yasuyuki Yamaki, who plays Ginichi Yokohama) invited me to a live event called “Be-Bop Night. Nobuo calls me often (laughs).

In January, Nobuo joined Yuko Nito (52), Yuri Kunizane (53), and others at an idol event hosted by Maki Miyamae (51), formerly of CoCo. They performed their hit songs “Otona wa Koto Kurenai Kurenai” and “Kimi wa Dondokurai”.

She is positive about both her work and her private life, saying, “I want to actively do what I enjoy.

I want to try YouTube, but I don’t know how to do it. I mean, I don’t even know how to use a smartphone, but is that okay? Someone please teach me!”

That sunny smile and the dimples that are her charm point are back.

In 1987, she passed the entrance exam for Meio University Nakano High School and smiled for this magazine’s camera. At the time, she was already a regular on three TV programs and appeared in three commercials.
At the Japan Record Awards in 1987, she won the Best New Artist Award with “Kimi wa Dongdonkaku,” beating out Noriko Sakai (left) and others.
She has been active since the beginning of the year, giving wrestling talks and live performances. Her smile fits well in the spotlight.
Risa Tachibana looks back with a smile: “I asked her many times if she was going to die.
Risa Tachibana looks back with a smile: “I asked her many times if she was going to die.
  • PHOTO Toru Hanai, Takeshi Kinugawa (2nd photo) Interview and text by Masao Kurihara

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