Announcer Aika Kanda Challenges Perception, Shohei Otani’s Wife Not Just a Model | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Announcer Aika Kanda Challenges Perception, Shohei Otani’s Wife Not Just a Model

Me, Pink, and Sometimes New York

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Illustration by Kanda-san

Major League Baseball player Shohei Ohtani, a world-renowned superstar. There’s hardly anyone who wasn’t surprised by the sudden marriage announcement. While various opinions flood social media, there’s one opinion I feel compelled to counter here.

Do you remember the discussion about the bag Mrs. Ohtani had while accompanying Mr. Ohtani? Reports suggested it might not be from a fast-fashion brand, perhaps around ¥5000. Amongst many voices expressing affinity and increased favorability, there was a post like this:

“If there’s a woman who desires branded goods, then talk about Mrs. Ohtani. Black hair, plain clothes, no branded possessions, no interest in money. That’s what this is about.”

Kanda-san’s blood vessels, *snap*! A loud “Huh!?” escaped.

In reality, it’s not the point here what kind of person Mrs. Ohtani is. This post is saying, “If a woman has dyed hair, flashy clothes, carries branded items, and is interested in money, then it’s better not to marry her.” It made me angry. Because that woman is me!!

First, about hair color. Women care about hair color because they want to look beautiful. If only black hair is considered righteous for women, then I want to say, “So even if a girl doesn’t look good with black hair, you’d still think she’s cute, right?”

Next, clothing. Myself included, all my female friends wear flashy clothes. Or rather, they wear what they like. They express themselves through their clothes, feeling alive! That’s why they’re so positive and cheerful. Their hearts are fulfilled, they don’t seek attention from other men or gossip about others. They’re sincerely grateful to their husbands for letting them dress freely, so they take household chores seriously. Just like women who like plain clothes, they’re just wearing what they like. What’s the difference? I want to say, “So even if she says, ‘I wore plain clothes because I wanted to be seen as a good girl, but I got stressed and ended up fooling around with another guy,’ you wouldn’t complain, huh?”

And what’s wrong with liking branded goods!? Does everyone think that women use their charms to beg for branded goods from the opposite sex? Some women do that, while many others purchase them on their own. Why do women find branded goods attractive in the first place? It’s because popular branded goods have stories that resonate with women’s hearts.

I’m still roaring like crazy!:

For example, the Chanel chain bag, a dream of women worldwide for over 60 years. Coco Chanel dreamed of a world where women could work as equals to men and struggled for it. At the time, hand-held handbags were the mainstream, but from the idea of “if carried on the shoulder, both hands can be free, making it easier for women to work!” it was born. It’s said to be the world’s first shoulder bag for women.

Working hard, one thinks, “Have I become a woman worthy of Chanel yet!?” and buys it. Essentially, “branded goods = goals.” What’s wrong with women striving for goals? I want to say, “So you only like women who just live without any goals, huh?”

Lastly, the issue of interest in money. Frankly, I’m not fond of people who say, “I’m not interested in money.” Two of the “Three Major Duties of Citizens” are “labor” and “taxation.” It concerns money. To live, one must work to earn a living and pay taxes. By fulfilling these duties, one can learn about the structure of society, common sense, and human relationships. I doubt those who claim to have no interest in money are missing these important aspects, and people without desires have nothing to protect, and eventually may commit serious offenses. It’s scary. I want to say, “So you can really love a woman who says she’s not interested in money for life?”

Phew, that’s a relief. I really let out a roar this time. All you men out there. Women’s dyed hair, flashy clothes, love for brands, and interest in money all have reasons behind them. Instead of judging with a narrow perspective, try to understand women with broad knowledge and properly explore the reasons. Then, you should notice the deeper charms of that woman.

©Kazuki Shimomura

Aika Kanda was born in 1980 in Kanagawa Prefecture. After graduating from the Department of Mathematics at Gakushuin University, she joined NHK as an announcer in 2003. She resigned from NHK in 2012 and became a freelance announcer. Since then, she has been active mainly in variety shows, and currently serves as the main MC on the daytime program “Pokapoka” (Fuji TV).

From the April 26, 2024 issue of FRIDAY

  • Illustrations and text Aika Kanda

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