Junichi Ishida Reflects on One Year Since Opening His Yakiniku Restaurant and Passion for Ferraris | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Junichi Ishida Reflects on One Year Since Opening His Yakiniku Restaurant and Passion for Ferraris

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Junichi Ishida showing up at the opening of a yakiniku restaurant last May.

What kind of life is Junichi Ishida (70) leading now? ……

He opened his yakiniku restaurant “Jun Chan” on May 16 last year, and since then, some weekly magazines reported that he has been spending his days as the owner, traveling back and forth between the restaurant and his home by train every day, but we rarely see him on TV anymore. When we asked to interview him to find out what was going on, he readily agreed.

Ishida, who had gone straight from the sports club to the interview site, appeared in a T-shirt, shorts, and a towel around his neck,

I ran five kilometers again today. I run every day. At my age, I have to exercise to maintain my fitness.

Wiping off his sweat, he showed a fresh smile. He began by talking about his yakiniku restaurant, which has been open for just over a year,

Thanks to everyone’s support, our business is growing steadily. To be honest, I was a little worried because it is located a little far from Tokyo (Funabashi City, Chiba Prefecture), but I think it is thanks to everyone in the industry, my acquaintances, and regular customers who have given me a lot of guidance. I am truly grateful.

He said he is doing well. As reported, Ishida still visits the restaurant almost every day before it opens and does everything himself, from cleaning to customer service and accounting, without leaving it to others.

After all, a restaurant has to be clean, and you don’t want your clothes to smell like yakiniku after eating it,” he said. So, I clean the ducts and other small parts of the restaurant every day. Yes, it’s fun. The restaurant is still in the process of evolution. We are planning to start serving hormones in early summer. I think it is very necessary in terms of variation. I learned about horumon from the owner of Hodori Yoga, a famous yakiniku restaurant in Yoga (Setagaya-ku, Tokyo).

He comes once a week and corrects various problems so that I can brush up on my skills. In the future, I would like to have a dual focus on horumon and yakiniku. We are not thinking of increasing the number of stores or anything like that. I want to make the Funabashi restaurant more and more pleasing to customers. I would like to continue to do my best at this one store.

Ishida’s face was completely that of a business manager rather than a celebrity. Then, Ishida must be leading a very rich life today. Ishida is known for his unparalleled love of Ferraris, and has owned nearly 10 Ferraris,

But now,” he says, “I drive a Japanese minivan. He has a large family (a family of five, including his wife Riko Higashio, 48, and three children). Actually…I had a Ferrari in secret, but Riko found out and I had to give it up …… (laughs).”

What on earth does that mean ……?

I think Ferrari is a woman with an elegant and bewitching personality.

When one thinks of celebrities and Ferraris, Tetsuya Komuro and Masahiko Kondo come to mind, but Junichi Ishida is also known in the industry as a Ferrari freak.

Ishida took the world by storm as a trendy actor, but he did not suddenly become a popular actor. He also experienced a period of disadvantage. He had no access to a luxury car like a Ferrari at that time, and his first car was a Nissan Cherry, he says.

He says, “Then I went on to drive a Bluebird SSS, then a Ken and Mary Skyline GT, and then a Nissan. I started my career as a stage actor, and my first income was 7,000 yen a year. The next year, it was 70,000 yen. The year after that, I earned 700,000 yen, and the year after that, I earned 7 million yen. After that, it doubled to 14 million yen. …… It wasn’t until I appeared in the 1988 broadcast of “I Want to Hug You! starring Yoko Minamino.

starring Yoko Minamino, and “I want to chase you! and “I’m in love with your eyes! and other dramas on Fuji TV alone, ……. The commercials were so busy that I didn’t even have time to sleep, so I could save up money. I mean, it just piled up on its own. So, of course, I bought a condominium. Then, what about a car? I thought about a Mercedes Benz for a moment and went to see one.

However, the Mercedes Benz was “too good to be true” for Ishida.

I’m not a perfect person, and I’m full of gaps. But I like to play and have fun. The only car for such a man is an Italian car. So I decided to buy a Ferrari 328. It was used, but it had been used as a test car, and it was a manual transmission car with no power steering.

It was 36 years ago. By chance, I happened to run into Ishida at a Ferrari dealership in Setagaya, Tokyo, where he was admiring a 328 that he was looking for.

Starting with the 328, my Ferrari itinerary began. Next, he bought a 348 as a new car. The list price was 14 million yen, but at that time, the bubble economy was in full swing. The price was 14 million yen, but it was at the height of the bubble economy at the time, and it was priced at 33 million yen. However, one week after he bought the car, the engine caught fire and burned up. At the time, stories of this type of accident were rare overseas, but Ishida had suffered a similar accident.

I asked the distributor about it, and they told me to contact the manufacturer directly, so I wrote a letter to them. I received a polite reply, but all it said was, ‘I’m very sorry, but please continue to support Ferrari to win the world’s most beautiful and fastest F-1 race,’ and that was it.

Two months later, Ferrari contacted him and said, “I heard that the car is at a premium in Japan, but we will send you a Testarossa at a fixed price, so why don’t you buy it? He was able to get the Testarossa for almost half the price.

I was very happy because I had moved up the ranks from a 348 to a Testarossa,” he said. I didn’t like the shape of the Testarossa because it looked like something you would see in a futuristic movie, like an American car, but it was the most fun. What I really liked was that feeling. Cars are all about shifting. At the time, Porsches were very difficult to shift, but the Testarossa was not difficult to shift at all.

Ishida’s career continued from the 456 to the Maranello, 599, and California Spyder, but in fact, he had a “fling” once during that time. He once drove a British car, the Aston Martin DB7. When I asked him why he was driving a DB7 at that time, he replied, “I was having an affair at that time,

He said, “At that time, I was hit by the affair issue (“Adultery is a culture” comment in ’96), and my work was drastically decreasing, so I sold my Ferrari. However, I had a lot of money coming in, so I bought a DB7. In our business, image is very important, isn’t it?

Ishida is indeed a man of his word. It seems he had not lost his pride as the original trendy actor. The last Ferrari he bought was the FF, which actually had its own episode.

It looks ugly at first glance, but upon closer inspection, it’s really cool. The leather used for the interior and seats is aniline leather, which is exceptionally soft. It is a sofa that looks like something you would find in an American library. I had that FF at a friend’s house in Okayama, and when I appeared on a program in Osaka, I would go to Okayama and ride around in it.

Actually, I had not told my wife (Riko) that I had bought this FF. One day, she found out. She said, “What are you doing? She said, “Liar! I ended up selling it (laughs).

Ishida and his last Ferrari had a sad parting. Finally, what is the appeal of Ferrari in general?

She has an elegant allure,” he said with a distant look in his eyes.

He said with a faraway look in his eyes. I wonder if I will ever reach for a Ferrari again in the future. ……

I have two candidates in mind right now, like an Alfa Romeo Giulietta Spider from 1961, but they are completely vintage. The person who drives it is also vintage (laughs). But today, when I was dropping my kids off at school, we were talking about cars. …… My daughter loves cars, but she said something like, “It’s not good if it’s not an electric car. If I buy an Alfa, now my kids will get mad at me.”

Ishida’s TV exposure has decreased, but judging from his smiling face, it seems clear that he is leading a fulfilling life as an astute businessman and a good father.

Ferrari California and Junichi Ishida (Courtesy of Ishida)
Ishida’s favorite car, Ferrari 599 (provided by Ishida)
Junichi Ishida posing with his son Issei Ishida
Ishida Junichi, who graciously agreed to be interviewed directly by this magazine in May of last year.
  • Interview and text Hiroyuki Sasaki (Entertainment Journalist)

    Born in Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture. At the age of 31, he became a reporter for FRIDAY and has reported numerous scoops. Since then, he has continued to work mainly for weekly magazines. Currently, he also appears on TV and radio as a commentator.

  • PHOTO Yuri Adachi (1st, 5th, 6th)

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