Japan reels as sumo king hooks sex idol
Wednesday 28 October 1992
But most surprised of all were the hordes of paparazzi who follow the two national celebrities nearly everywhere they go. Japan's tabloid papers and weekly scandal sheets compete aggressively for sensational 'scoops' about the love lives of public figures - they are so persevering that the Imperial Palace had to call them off the hunt for a bride for the Crown Prince after a number of potential candidates complained about intrusions of privacy.
Yet none of these newshounds had the slightest inkling of Takahanada's and Ms Miyazawa's romance, even though it turns out that the couple had been secretly in contact for two years. Both figures were riding high on their own respective crests of publicity. Takahanada, a 20-year-old wrestler who won the last national sumo tournament, is already being tipped as a future yokozuna, or grand champion. Ms Miyazawa, 19, a singer and actress, gripped Japan with a book of nude photos of her which was published last November and has sold over a million copies. Together the couple epitomise the heights of Japan's television-oriented popular culture.
Takahanada, whose name means 'dignified flower meadow' and who weighs a mere 298 lbs - modest for a sumo wrestler - has long enjoyed an extensive female fan club in Japan. His boyish good looks and quiet charisma have made him, along with his brother, Wakahanada, 21, the object of much adoration. The relative youth of the 'Waka-Taka' brothers has contributed greatly to the resurgence of interest in sumo by the younger generation in Japan.
Ms Miyazawa is considerably lighter than her husband-to-be, but her physique has also inspired its own fan club. Initially she was one of a large group of teenage female aidoru or idols, whose good looks propel them into a glamorous but short-lived singing and modelling career. Many of these teenage heart-throbs end up as second-rate actresses, some even in the pornography business. But when Ms Miyazawa, who has a Dutch father and a Japanese mother, made the decision to 'go nude', her popularity rocketed.
Mr Miyazawa, who is no relation, even used her picture on political pamphlets for his own campaign last year. Ms Miyazawa was flattered: 'Even though he is not my relative, I like him very much,' she gushed. She is currently starring with Arnold Schwarzenegger in a TV commercial for a health drink, as well as playing a leading role in a film called Erotic Relations.
- 1 The truth about 'girl things': Three cheers for Heather Watson's honesty
- 2 Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
- 4 Tennis fan suing Australian Open organisers for 'failing to shade spectators' during Murray match
- 5 Men behaving badly: Urinating while standing, 'manspreading' and the gendering of selfishness
Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Rob Lowe hits out at White House decision not to meet Israeli leader
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign
Winston Churchill: From accusations of anti-Semitism to the blunt refusal that led to the deaths of millions
British Muslim leaders outraged after Eric Pickles says followers of Islam should 'prove their identity'
UK terror fears: My jihadist son returned from Syria mentally scarred – now he is being ignored
Nigel Farage: NHS might have to be replaced by private health insurance
Billy Crystal: 'Stop shoving gay sex scenes in my face'
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
Excellent Salary : Austen Lloyd: OXFORD - REGIONAL FIRM - An excellent opportu...
Super Package: Austen Lloyd: BRISTOL - SENIOR CLINICAL NEGLIGENCE - An outstan...
£15000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Fantastic opportunities are ava...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Compute Engineer is required to join a globa...