Goto Kumiko’s Secret F1 Outing in Monaco Before Relationship with Jean Alesi Revealed | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Goto Kumiko’s Secret F1 Outing in Monaco Before Relationship with Jean Alesi Revealed

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Kumiko was relaxing with her legs crossed. It’s said she even peeked into Ukyo Katayama’s pit from the outside (June 17, 1994).

Playback Friday: Revisiting what ‘FRIDAY’ reported 10, 20, and 30 years ago. This time, we look back 30 years to the June 17, 1994 issue featuring the exclusive article ‘Kumiko’s Secret Monaco Trip: Witnessing “Already an Adult”.


In 1987, Goto Kumiko sparked the ‘Kumiko Boom,’ leading the way in the ‘Beautiful Girl Boom’ and earning her nickname, which was later chosen as a buzzword of the year. By 1994, she had starred in numerous films and dramas, including the ‘Tora-san’ series, establishing herself as a top actress by the age of 20. This article from our magazine uncovered her in an unexpected place. (The description in quotes is excerpted from past articles.) 

She crossed her legs boldly and relaxed completely.


“In an unexpected place, I spotted someone surprising. It was at the spectator stands of the F1 Monaco Grand Prix. Sitting there, legs crossed boldly, completely relaxed, watching the race, was none other than the original ‘beautiful girl,’ Goto Kumiko, aged 20 at the time.”


In Japan, she’s always surrounded by nearly ten staff members, but this time, there was only one older woman by her side, presumably her companion. Having recently finished filming an NHK drama, she seemed to be in the middle of a nearly month-long break. Here in Monaco, she appeared to be letting loose quite a bit, as described in the article. 

“Perhaps due to the casual anonymity, she wandered back and forth in the spectator stands. It’s a shame there wasn’t a male friend in sight, but some Japanese fans remarked, ‘I saw her after the race, and her makeup was heavier than on TV,’ revealing an unexpected, unseen side of her true face. Well, Kumiko was 20 years old—maybe it’s a reminder that she won’t be a ‘beautiful girl’ forever.”

Furthermore, the combination of Kumiko and F1 seemed quite surprising at the time.

“But still, I had no idea Kumiko was such a fan of F1 to travel all the way to Monaco. She seems to like cars in general, but during the race, she was so enthusiastic that she leaned forward whenever a Ferrari passed by. This was genuine passion. For this year’s Monaco Grand Prix, Fuji TV appointed Honami Suzuki as a special reporter, but next year, they probably won’t have any trouble choosing their reporter, right?”


Knowing that Kumiko publicly announced her relationship with French F1 racer Jean Alesi in 1995 and they started living together in a de facto marriage in Paris in 1996, it’s not surprising anymore to associate her with F1.


They met at the 1993 F1 Japanese Grand Prix, and shortly after, their relationship began. She might have been in Monaco at that time to support him. By the way, Alesi was racing for Ferrari, the team she was enthusiastically cheering for as mentioned in the article. 

She gave up her entire career and moved to France, effectively retiring from the entertainment industry. Becoming a mother of two sons and one daughter, her glamorous lifestyle occasionally made headlines, but for a long time, she remained a “phantom actress” who triggered the creation of the “National Beautiful Girl Contest.”


However, at the request of director Yoji Yamada, she returned to the screen after 23 years in the 2019 film “Otoko wa Tsurai yo.” In January of this year, she made her drama comeback after 30 years in the special drama “Kao” (TV Asahi), where she also played a mother role for the first time. The drama, co-starring with another “National Beautiful Girl Contest” alumna, Saki Tamiya (30), was praised for her unchanged beauty over the years.


In the 1980s, Kumiko became famous for her outspoken remarks in “Kumiko quotes.” Her steadfast commitment to the path she believed in remains strong and unchanged even today.

At 20 years old, she exudes a commanding presence. Has her appearance changed much since then?” (June 17, 1994)
Ukyo Katayama (left) and Mitsuo Ogasawara of Kōhaku Uta Gassen. Could it be Kumiko!?” It turns out they were in Monaco for work. (June 17, 1994)

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