Best Friend Ayana Kato Reveals the Truth behind Nana Suzuki’s Nice Image
At first, I said to her face, ‘Are you sure you’re not after my fortune?’ (laugh).
Ayana Kato published her first manga and essay, “/Kato-chan to Issho” (Fusosha), on the occasion of her 10th wedding anniversary with Tea Kato. Amidst the laughter and tears of their married life, one episode from her best friend, Nana Suzuki, was somewhat unusual.
For example, every time an article about Ayana appeared on the Internet news, she would add “I agree” to all the positive opinions in the comments section and send us a mosaic of the negative ones in a scrubbed photo. How much of a goody-two-shoes she is.
Other comments included, “I have never heard a single bad word about anyone from her,” and “Whenever I am approached in town, I say ‘thank you’ and shake hands with anyone, no matter who they are. Some people are rude to me, saying things like, ‘You’re annoying,’ or ‘I don’t want to shake your hand! When I came to a restaurant run by Ayana’s family in Hiroshima, I greeted all the customers with ‘I’m Nana Suzuki!’ and greeted all the customers around her to liven things up,” and so on.
“I think she’s pushing herself too hard somewhere, but she doesn’t realize it.
I’d be worried if she’s this nice, though.
But Nana’s parents are like that, and they are as nice as a picture. I think she’s pushing herself too hard somewhere, but she doesn’t realize she’s pushing herself too hard.”
She also shared this shocking episode.
“I also go to Nana’s parents’ house and have barbecues with her parents and her brother’s family. I was shocked! (Laughs)
After that, she took me to another amazing place where we played on a Tarzan rope, which turned out to be a lot of fun (laughs). After playing, she took me to “the best restaurant in Ibaraki,” which was Kisoji, a shabu-shabu chain (laughs). There is another Kisoji just 3 minutes from my house.
I have been to Ibaraki many times, but each time it was Kisoji. After a while, I told her that Kisoji is a chain restaurant, and she was very surprised (laughs).”
What is Nana Suzuki’s “sandwich method” of communication?
What is even more impressive is that she never denies anything no matter how wrong it is.
“She has developed a conversation method called the “sandwich method,” in which she repeatedly praises, says something slightly right, and praises, wrapping the other person up like a sandwich.
She says, “Even if you are asking for life advice that you think is absolutely wrong, you can listen to them for an hour or two, saying, ‘I understand, I understand,’ and then say, ‘Maybe you should do it a little more like this. And then he would say, ‘Yes, yes, I understand.’
Because of this, when Nana asks me for advice on her problems, I try to reply with this sandwich method, but she says the same thing three or four times, so the conversation never moves forward and takes a long time (laughs).”
Nana Suzuki said that Ms. Kato saved her life when she was on leave.
“She said, “We talked on the phone about trivial things, and I even drove to Nana’s house in Ibaraki to meet her and invited her to go with me to Mount Tsukuba to climb a mountain. And surprisingly, Nana was more energetic than I was. I gave up halfway up and only Nana and my father made it to the top (laughs).”
Incidentally, Ayana and Nana have been sending each other “nasty letters” many times on each other’s birthdays and other occasions.
“Ayana-chan, thank you for being born. Nana writes, ‘Thank you, Ayana-chan’s father and mother,’ and I write, ‘Nana-chan, I’ll always be with you even when I become a grandmother.’ It’s a little cringe (laughs).
Also, Nana-chan had the letter I sent her open and displayed it next to her front door. I was so embarrassed that I almost cried (laughs). She is such a good and humble person. I have nothing but things to learn from her.”
Interview and text by： Wakako Takou
Born in 1973. After working for a publishing company and an advertising production company, she became a freelance writer. She interviews actors for weekly and monthly magazines, and 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!