Overcoming Sayaka’s Tragedy and Starting in Earnest! Seiko Matsuda’s long-awaited TV appearance has already “spurred a theory of her return to Kohaku”. | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Overcoming Sayaka’s Tragedy and Starting in Earnest! Seiko Matsuda’s long-awaited TV appearance has already “spurred a theory of her return to Kohaku”.

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In October 2009, Seiko was the one-day PR director of Nippon Broadcasting System, Inc. for the release of the 40th anniversary album. Tragedy struck two months later (November 19, 2009 issue).

Seiko Matsuda, now 62 years old, made her first TV appearance since the sudden death of her only daughter, Sayaka Kanda, and has become a topic of conversation for her “shockingly beautiful” appearance, which makes it hard to believe that she has reached her 60th year. NHK is said to be in a state of excitement over the “eternal idol” who has finally begun her comeback in the TV world.

On March 9, Seiko appeared on Fuji Television’s music program “MUSIC FAIR” for the first time in four years as the centerpiece of the program’s 60th anniversary and 3,000th episode. She performed several songs from her latest album “SEIKO JAZZ 3” released on February 14, including a jazz version of “Akai Sweet Pea” with English lyrics. Moreover, this was her first TV appearance since the death of Sayaka, her child with ex-husband Masateru Kanda, who fell to his death in December 2009.

Seiko emotionally sang Eric Clapton’s classic “Tears in Heaven” and other songs on the same program, performed by world-renowned bassist Nathan East, who produced the album. The song is known to have been written by Clapton in memory of his son, who fell to his death at an early age.

In singing this song passionately in front of the audience, we could also see Seiko’s professional resolve to think of Sayaka in Heaven and overcome her grief. What was also a surprise to her fans, who had been worried about Seiko’s absence from the TV world, was that she appeared in a white one-piece dress and still had her youthful beauty and style with clear skin.

The radiance that emanated from her entire body, her smooth singing voice, and Seiko’s smile remained unchanged, and people on social networking sites were asking, “How can she be so beautiful? She was full of comments on social networking sites, such as, “How can she be so beautiful?

Seiko was so shocked by the sudden death of her beloved daughter that she withdrew from the NHK Kohaku Uta Gassen on New Year’s Eve in 2009, which she was scheduled to participate in about two weeks later. She returned to the stage in April 2010 with a dinner show, followed by a concert tour, but she had never appeared on TV before.

However, following her successful return to TV, a proposal to have Seiko “return to Kohaku” this New Year’s Eve has already surfaced within NHK.

Seiko had appeared in Kohaku in recent years from ’13 to ’20, but since her withdrawal in ’21, she has not appeared in ’22 or ’23. NHK approached Seiko, but it is said that Seiko still did not give the OK. However, the “aura” that Seiko showed in “MUSIC FAIR” is still alive and well, and there are growing calls among NHK executives for Seiko to appear in Kohaku for the first time in three years on this year’s New Year’s Eve.

Seiko, who has been focusing on Kohaku, must naturally be thinking about the timing of her appearance on the “national program” to show that she has restarted her career. The strong response to “MUSIC FAIR” is likely to influence her decision to return to Kohaku,” said a wide-show entertainment desk.

Last year, the average household viewer rating for the second part of the main Kohaku program (according to Video Research, Kanto region) was 31.9%, down 3.4 points from the previous year and the lowest since the two-part system was introduced in 1989. While there are whispers of “discontinuation,” NHK is desperate for a V-shaped recovery in numbers.

That is why the NHK production team really wants Seiko, the “face of Kohaku,” to participate in the show at all costs. For Seiko, the Kohaku program is also a memorable one, as she and Sayaka sang the famous song “Ue wo muite aruko,” a duet for the first time as mother and daughter in 2011. However, since she cannot force negotiations, she will have to wait for Seiko’s “decision.

Meanwhile, the March 5 issue of “Josei Jishin” (women’s magazine) reported that Seiko is working on songs with an eye toward global expansion, against the backdrop of the recent reappraisal of Japanese city pop in other countries.

In fact, there is a sense that Seiko has her sights set on global expansion, including the U.S., as she has teamed up with Nathan East and is focusing on English-language jazz songs. For a while, there were reports of mental exhaustion and concerns about her health, but after her appearance on “MUSIC FAIR,” her presence in the entertainment world has suddenly begun to return. It is possible that she is looking ahead to a scenario in which she makes a big milestone by making a “Kohaku revival” on New Year’s Eve, gains momentum, and then goes on to full-scale global expansion.

Two years and three months have passed since the sudden sad news. The “super idol” who has begun to move again has also become a focus of attention.

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At a dinner show in December ’19. The banquet hall of a hotel in Tokyo was filled with nearly 500 spectators (January 10 and 17, ’20 issue).
There were 23 dinner shows that year in Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, and other cities. Total sales were said to be over 500 million yen (January 10 and 17, ’20 issue).
Seiko sang a total of 12 songs that day. Seiko changed into a pink dress for the eighth song and sang “Nagisa no Balcony” (January 10 and 17, 2008).
  • PHOTO Ippei Hara (1st photo)

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