Satomi Ishihara, the unexpected former idol who became a pioneer in the field of TV programs even while pregnant | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Satomi Ishihara, the unexpected former idol who became a pioneer in the field of TV programs even while pregnant

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Ishihara kept cool despite the summer-like heat, photographed in May 2007.

Actress Satomi Ishihara (35) is attracting attention as a working pregnant woman.

NHK’s Ishihara Satomi MC program, “Ashita ga kawaru trisetsu show,” started on April 7. Ishihara, however, is reportedly due to give birth this spring. This spring is exactly the same time as the start of the program. Therefore, according to NHK, several programs have been filmed and will be recorded and broadcast for a while after Ishihara gives birth. After that, the decision will be made based on Ishihara’s physical condition.

Ishihara appeared in a fluffy beige polka-dot one-piece dress for the first episode of the program, which was also a topic of discussion due to the timing of her appointment. Her soft atmosphere and smooth progression were well received, and the program got off to a good start.

It is now common for female celebrities to appear on TV with plump bellies, and not just Ishihara. Recent examples include Nana Seino (27), who starred in the drama “Nuptial Notification” (21, TBS), and Aya Ueto (36), who played Kimutaku’s wife in “I’m Home” (15, TV Asahi). In most cases, announcers and commentators continue to appear as usual until just before they go on maternity leave.

Not a “given marriage,” but a “shotgun marriage

In retrospect, however, it was rare to see pregnant announcers and TV personalities, let alone actresses, appearing on TV in the past. In the days before the term “child-bearing marriage” was coined, and when the term “marriage due to birth” was still the mainstream, it was implicitly understood that female celebrities would get pregnant only after they had finished making arrangements for their programs after getting married. Therefore, it rarely happened that a pregnancy was discovered during regular appearances or after a decision was made to appear in a drama series.

The person who broke this unspoken agreement was, surprisingly, a former popular idol. It was former popular idol Noriko Sakai, 51, who broke the tacit understanding.

Noripi married her ex-husband, Yuichi Takaso, in December 1998. Noripi was scheduled to host “THE Yoru Mo Hippare” (Nippon Television) from January of the following year, but she announced her marriage and pregnancy a month earlier in December. However, she announced her marriage and pregnancy a month earlier in December, and the production staff was unable to find a replacement in time, so Noripi ended up hosting the show until March, when the time was right.

She wore a fluffy white dress to cover up the bulge in her stomach, which, combined with Noripi’s pretty and cute appearance, was surprisingly well received by the audience, who said, “She looks like the Virgin Mary. Personally, I feel that from this point on, the public’s resistance to pregnant women’s appearances suddenly disappeared.

In terms of paving the way for working women, she was a great pioneer. The baton passed from Noripi has been passed on to Satomi Ishihara and her successors.

  • Interview and text Nanako

    Born in Ehime Prefecture. After working at a broadcasting station, became a freelance writer. She specializes in interviews with celebrities and analysis of popular events, and is always on the lookout for serial dramas and popular Japanese movies. She is a well-known beautiful writer in the magazine industry.

  • Photography Saki Hotta

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