Interview with a New P born in the first year of Heisei Era “Newlyweds Welcome! The Stage Ura of “Newlywed! | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Interview with a New P born in the first year of Heisei Era “Newlyweds Welcome! The Stage Ura of “Newlywed!

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The show’s specialty, “chair mocking,” has been continued after the renewal!

The long-running program “Welcome Newlyweds! (Asahi Broadcasting Corporation), hosted by Bunshi Katsura and Mami Yamase, has been renewed with the graduation of the two hosts.

(Asahi Hoso TV), which has been hosted by Bunshi Katsura and Mami Yamase, has been renewed with the graduation of the two hosts.

In the first broadcast, Takashi Fujii performed the program’s signature “chair mocking” in the beginning of the show. He showed the “inheritance of tradition” by doing “chair mocking” a total of four times, including a double mocking with Sakiraku Inoue.

It must have been a lot of pressure to take over a long-running program that has been around since 1971. However, Fujii and Inoue were not the only ones who felt such pressure.

Shuhei Mita, a 32-year-old “shiny new P” who was born in 1989 and became a producer on April 1, is one of them.

I used to watch this program with my family when I was a child, and since it was due for renewal, at first I was worried about whether I would be able to handle the job.

However, my first priority was to follow in the footsteps of the predecessors who had created the program, and it was still some time before I could create something new. I think it is my job now to throw myself into this historic program and carry on the history, tradition, and “ism” of the past at the turning point to make it a program that will continue for the next 100 years.

The program started in 1971! Azusa Michiyo, pictured here, is the second assistant.
In the first broadcast, Takashi Fujii performed the show’s famous “chair mocking” in the beginning of the show. He showed us how he “carried on the tradition” by doing “chair mocking” a total of four times, including a double mocking session with Sakiraku Inoue.

I have no practice in chair koke (laugh).

Takashi Fujii, who had been under a lot of pressure from Mr. Mita, broke through the pressure.

Mr. Fujii seemed to be relieved from the pressure of the first round of mocking. We have never asked him to do that since the time of Bunshi. We just have a chair in the studio that is easy to fall off.

Besides, the first time Mr. Fujii and Mr. Inoue sat down on the chairs for the on-air scene was basically the first time they sat down to check it out, and they had not touched the chairs at all beforehand. Naturally, there was no mocking practice (laughs). However, I saw a glint on Mr. Fujii’s forehead early in the program, and I sensed that he was quite nervous, and I also saw that he was feeling a lot of pressure beforehand, as he had mono-motosora, but once the first set of talks began, Mr. Fujii was as good as could be. But when the first group began their talk, they were overwhelmed by the length and magnitude of the program’s history, but gave it their all and gave an enjoyable talk.

We receive about 200 applicants a month from all over the country.

The eligibility requirements for the “newlyweds,” the stars of the show, have remained the same after the renewal: “Married for 3 years or less. I have always wondered where they find such interesting people.

The contestants are basically open to the public, and both self-recommendations and recommendations are accepted in the preliminary rounds. The main contestants are ordinary couples, and since we ask them to tell us about their lives in a frank and honest manner, we ask them to show us their enthusiasm and the strength of their feelings in the preliminary rounds. The preliminary rounds are held on a weekly basis, with the program staff traveling to various areas to speak with applicants face to face.

We do not present any outlandish episodes or special quirks as conditions for application, but only how much affection the couple has for each other, whether they have a desire to appear on the program, and whether they can speak clearly and energetically in front of others. We look at them in the preliminary round.

From there, we interview the couple, including the writers, to find out how they can communicate to the audience in a more enjoyable way any problems or interesting episodes from their encounters, proposals, or newlywed life. In the second round, they will ask the couples more in-depth questions.

We receive about 200 submissions a month from couples all over the country, and my impression is that most of them are self-recommended. Since they are going to tell their private stories in a frank and candid manner, it is difficult to …… unless they are prepared to be in this program.

We receive applications from all over the country, but there are a little more from the Kansai region, and I think they tend to be quite lively in terms of talk. Also, I don’t dare look for people with distinctive dialects, such as those from Tohoku or Kyushu, but I get the impression that when they appear on the show, the audience gets a kick out of it.”

I have the impression that many of the contestants have international marriages, age differences, or late marriages.

I think that this is the reason why many of them apply for the contest. In fact, many of those who are internationally married have many interesting episodes to share.

Also, in the past, the image of newlyweds was inevitably associated with people in their 20s, etc., but I think we are seeing an increase in applications from people in their 30s, 40s, 50s, and even older. The age of marriage has risen in the last decade or so, and I think this has lowered the bar for those who are married later in life to think about appearing on TV. Marriage doesn’t have to be young, because it has become the norm for people to stay happily married as they age.”

Recently, Mita says, there has been a trend unique to the Corona disaster.

There are a lot of people in the qualifying group who, because they can’t meet in Corona, end up marrying online to nurture their love. Some are online in Japan and abroad, and some couples have difficulty meeting even within Japan. In the past few years, about half of all encounters between men and women have been on matching apps or at marriage activity parties, and this has been especially noticeable in the past couple of years, so I feel that the way people meet is changing with the times.”

One of the new attempts started after the renewal is the “Newlywed Supporter” system. Photo: Shunsuke Ito of Oswald

Mr. Fujii and Ms. Inoue will not meet the couple at all until the show.

Even though the contestants were originally selected in the preliminary rounds, I wonder if there is a trick to drawing out their nakedly vulgar jokes and such.

We don’t actively create the opportunity to talk about the sex, but it naturally turns to the bottom of the barrel, like talking about their private lives at night. Since it’s about men and women, it’s inseparable. For our part, we would like to deliver the stories of couples in their own words, even if it is during lunchtime.

However, there may be some people who may be uncomfortable with that, so we always try to objectively assess each episode before airing it. We have no restrictions on what they can say, and as long as it is within the bounds of common sense, there are no specific rules against it.

In this age of personal information issues, it is difficult for ordinary people to put their faces and names on the air. Even so, what is the secret to the more than 200 applicants we continue to receive each month?

I think it is the trust and credibility of the program that has been viewed in every corner of Japan for such a long time, and the brand image that everyone knows the contents of the program.

I think that is the power of television, and while it is inevitably scary to expose things on social networking sites and the Internet, I think there is a great sense of security in knowing that the TV personalities on the show are there to listen to what you have to say.

By the way, there are also two new initiatives that have been introduced since the renewal of the program. One is a system of “newlywed supporters” who appear on the program on an irregular basis.

The first is the “Newlywed Supporter” system, which appears irregularly. “We launched this system with the aim of conveying the charms of the couple by having the supporters, who know information about the couple’s side in advance, bring out elements that do not appear in the talks between Fujii-san and Inoue-san.

As was the case with Master Bunshi and Mami, Mr. Fujii and Ms. Inoue basically do not meet the couple at all until the actual event. Since we place great importance on talking to them on first impression, they will be responsible for making the event more exciting by offering surprises and solving problems that would not have been possible without knowing them beforehand.

The other is the launch of an official TikTok account. This may seem like an unexpected move, given that many of the program’s viewers are middle-aged or older, but Mr. Mita explains the purpose and his hopes for the future.

I think that episodes about newlyweds go well with the SNS media.

In particular, many of the people who appear on the program show off their fun moves, dances, and familiar courtship behaviors they do at home, so I would like to bring more of these things to the world off-air. We would like to introduce these things to the world through TikTok as an opportunity for young people who have never heard of the program before to become aware of the program. If they do so, they may watch the program or participate in it. To this end, we would like to actively approach people in their teens, twenties, and thirties, who will be responsible for the future of society.

  • Interview and text by Wakako Takou

    Born in 1973. After working for a publishing company and an advertising production company, became a freelance writer. In addition to interviewing actors and others for weekly and monthly magazines, she writes drama columns for various media. His main publications include "All Important Things Are Taught by Morning Drama" (Ota Publishing), "KinKiKids: Owarinaki Michi" and "Hey!

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