A little past 4 p.m. in mid-July, actor Kentaro Ito (25) straddled a bicycle and rode down a street in Tokyo lined with fashionable stores. The machine, with tires so thick that it could be mistaken for a motorcycle, is a high-end bicycle with electric power assist. It is said to cost about 400,000 yen.
Ito was arrested in October 2008 for a hit-and-run incident (charges were later dropped) and was under house arrest for nearly a year. It seems that he now exclusively uses this luxury bicycle as his means of transportation, rather than a car.
He says, “On my off days, it is my custom to go to a park in Tokyo to play basketball with my car. On social networking sites, he posted, ‘I played basketball with a guy from Ukraine who came to Japan.
Ito, who returned to acting last October in a stage production, has continued to do well, starring in the movie “Winter Rose,” which was released in June of this year. Will he receive more offers in the future? Entertainment journalist Yutaka Ishiyama wonders.
He has a bad image from the “hit-and-run” incident, but I think it is significant that he was not prosecuted as a result. There will be production teams that appreciate his ability as an actor and want to use him. What is important for this is that he continues to remain humble.”
Having switched from a car to a bicycle, Ito is gradually making his way back to work.
From the September 2, 2022 issue of FRIDAY
Photo by： Ippei Hara