Tokumitsu’s Remarks on Shohei Ohtani’s Wife’s Modest Smile and the Subsequent Backlash | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Tokumitsu’s Remarks on Shohei Ohtani’s Wife’s Modest Smile and the Subsequent Backlash

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“Shohei Ohtani and his wife, Mamiko, have finally revealed themselves. Various people in Japan are also commenting.” (From the official Dodgers team account)

The statement of freelance announcer Kazuo Tokumitsu is once again causing controversy.


Shohei Ohtani of the Major League Baseball’s Dodgers suddenly introduced his new wife, Mamiko Tanaka. Mamiko Tanaka was a top athlete who belonged to the Fujitsu basketball team until last year. On the internet, there was an outpouring of blessings such as “extremely beautiful,” “they suit each other too well,” and “a perfect couple.”

The couple went to Korea on March 15 for the opening game against the Padres. Photographers chased after the couple as they arrived at the airport, and Mamiko Tanaka, overwhelmed by the feverish atmosphere, was seen blushing.

Upon witnessing this scene, freelance announcer Kazuo Tokumitsu remarked on his radio show, where he serves as a personality, on the 16th.

“Her modest smile is very charming,” 

He praised her.

“She will surely become a wonderful bride.”

Tokumitsu was purely congratulatory.

Tokumitsu’s intentions were purely to offer congratulations, but on social media, there was a sensitive reaction to the phrase “Her modest smile is lovely.” It seems that some picked up on a scent of the Showa era’s mentality, suggesting a dynamic where “the wife walks three steps behind the husband.”

“This is seriously outdated.” 

“Only the person themselves knows if their smile is modest or not.” 

And such comments were shared.

In October 2021, Tokumitsu sparked a major controversy when he described the greatness of Akashiya Sanma in a YouTube video, saying,

“When I met him, he looked really young. Some of the AKB members could still get pregnant.”

Similarly, during the “24 Hour Television” program in August of the same year (broadcasted on Nippon TV), he addressed Sasaki Yui, who won a gold medal in the Tokyo Olympics women’s wrestling 50-kilogram category, saying, 

“Once you get married and have children, please teach them your wrestling skills and way of life.” 

This sparked criticism online, with voices questioning whether it was assumed that women should marry and have children.

Given Tokumitsu’s past incidents, his comments towards Ohtani’s wife also drew negative attention, but on the other hand, there are opinions suggesting word hunting.

“With the recent reports on Downtown’s Matsumoto Hitoshi by Bunshun and former Japanese soccer representative Ito Junya by Shincho, there’s a strong sense of media criticism towards how information is conveyed. In Tokumitsu’s case as well, his remarks were taken out of context and led to criticism as being outdated. TV and radio MCs have become increasingly afraid of making verbal mistakes,” says a sports newspaper desk member.

Similarly, singer Tsunoda Ryoko, who served as the 18th Uta no Onee-san on NHK E-tele’s “Okaasan to Issho,” was criticized online for mishandling and issued an apology.



On the 10th, it was announced that Tsunoda would be performing as a substitute at the “Let’s Play with the Orchestra! 2024” special concert by the Sendai Philharmonic Orchestra, scheduled for April 7th, originally intended for the late TARAKO. She announced this on her X platform. However, some misunderstood this as her taking over the role of Maruko in the TV anime “Chibi Maruko-chan” (broadcasted on Fuji TV), and on the 11th, she deleted the post and apologized.

“I deleted the post as it seemed to cause misunderstanding with yesterday’s repost. I apologize to everyone who kindly commented and supported me.”

Tsunoda also apologized on the audio platform “Voicy,” saying, 

“I felt like I could hear Tarako’s voice saying, ‘Ryoko nee-san, you’re so forgetful.'”

Regarding this, television station personnel expressed sympathy,

“Even if you read the announcement on X, it’s clear that she’s not a voice actor for ‘Chibi Maruko-chan.’ Most people in the industry feel sorry for her, thinking, ‘Do we really have to apologize for this?’ Critics still argue that efforts should be made to avoid misunderstandings, but how far are they willing to go for perfection?”

We live in an age when we don’t know where or what will cause a firestorm. It seems that we have no choice but to exercise extreme caution for the time being.

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