Hikaru Utada marries Italian bartender


Japanese singer Hikaru Utada, 31, married her Italian fiance, bartender Francesco Calliano, 23, at a church in Polignano a Mare, southern Italy, on May 23.

Local Italian media seemed amused at the incongruity of their wedding. La Gazzetta del Mezzogiorno, a local newspaper, noting that the wedding was held in a church, even though Utada is not Christian, said: "A Japanese pop diva became a Catholic to marry an Italian guy.” The only photo it could publish showed a staff member shielding Utada with an umbrella, TV Asahi reported.

Utada first announced her engagement on her blog earlier this year. She said the fact that her partner is a foreigner tends to draw people’s attention but said she didn't feel that this is an international marriage.

“I just happened to meet him, and felt he is the one," said Utada who was married once before to to photographer Kazuaki Kiriya from 2002 to 2007.

When asked about her fiance's family, she said, “They are very cheerful as well as very delicate. They are not so different from a Japanese family.”

© Japan Today

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

Login to comment

Congratulazioni! All the best wishes for the couple

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Yes, best wishes. but this feels like a hope for the best but plan for the worst. how this poor guy is going to fiit into her life with minders and svengalis and managers and all is difficult to see.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

this has all the signs of a long lasting marriage...

3 ( +8 / -5 )

I wish her the best but I don't think this was the greatest idea. She's had a very rough few years - cancer, divorce, her mom killing herself... I don't think marrying a kid from a foreign country is such a smart choice.

Gotta laugh at the church comments. If only Italy knew what goes on here!

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Haters are going to hate. It's "Automatic" and Utada knows this. I wish them all the best.!!!

It's time for Japan to stop thinking that being married to a foreigner is a life altering event. It's best that she finds her life partner regardless of race.

1 ( +8 / -7 )

best wishes

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Best wishes to my favorite Japanese artist. Very lucky guy.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

I love her. I hope she finds her feet. She certainly deserves all the happiness she can get.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I spent all my savings for a car to fly to Hikki final Wildlife concerts.

Any Catholicism's a red herring, to marry a non-Catholic Christian, bishop's approval is required, local priest takes care of it. If Europe wasn't voting and numbers didn't need crunching I might have packed the camera and taken a break. Hikki's is expertly managed by father Teruzane's independent production management company, an exception to the rule in comparison to idol-land. The dignity shown in dealing with the tragic loss of her Mother is an example of Hikaru's strength of character.

Utada Hikaru e Francesco Calianno....Stunning xx


Early announcement of the engagement and pending wedding...the references to the film 'Notting Hill' is a giggle.... Utada Hikaru in love: presto le nozze con un barman pugliese..........(google translate minces well)


-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Hope this marriage will last.. Best wishes...

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

If this does not work well, there a lot of Catholics that are fans of Hikki-chan in Occident... :)

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Love conquers mythology, superstitions any day. Opps I forgot to throw salt...chotto Matt Ahhhhhhhhhhh

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Best wishes to the couple.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Isn't she American? born and raised in New York?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

It's time for Japan to stop thinking that being married to a foreigner is a life altering event. It's best that she finds her life partner regardless of race.

It has nothing to do with her dating a foreigner. It is the fact that she is marrying a normal person with low-income job and much younger than her. Her already being divorced once doesn't help matters.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

ticaile - Yes Manhattan I believe. January 1983

A student at The American School in Japan


Prominent Alumni.......scroll down to the bottom ...


0 ( +0 / -0 )

Auguri e felicitazioni di matrimonio! :)

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I give it a year.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Congratulations! I am so happy for Utada-san!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Utada san is one of my all time favorite J-artists. I wish her the best in this marriage. However, right now, I'm a dichotomy. The good part of me really hopes she finds happiness this time around in marriage. We all know from the last album she put out how much her ex screwed up her brain. Also, given how much pain she's endured over the past decade or so, I really would love to see her be blissful and enjoying what it means to live. Have kids, enjoy married life, enjoy her millions, things like that. The bad part of me really wants to laugh hysterically that she married a young man, which can only mean she's a super S type and he's an M and if it's not like that, it will never work, simply because this man will probably feel extremely emasculated everyday lying next to a millionaire pop diva like Utada san. I mean, what are they going to do the first time they get into a fight? Utada will be too tempted to use her powerful position to win every argument every time. What guy would love that enough to stay? Only an M type, which I can think must be the case here. Another even worse part of me hopes this fails terribly so we get another album of heartbreaking music out of Utada, as it's clear now she's not going to be writing music anytime soon for us to enjoy. Call me selfish, but I feel like she owes us all more albums because of the beautiful voice and talent she's been given, instead of self-medicating in the form of a poor Italian boy who she thinks is going to solve her unhappiness riddle. Sorry to tell Utada san this, but when you get Cancer, divorced because your first husbands a tool, and then your mother dies in a mysterious fashion (suicide? Murder? Accident? Probably suicide), you aren't going to find peace in the arms of a man who can give you absolutely nothing but a "Yes, Ma'am or "how high do you want me to jump?". I think Utada will only get bored, and then more upset, and then worse than before she met her new hubby. Everyday I struggle with going back and forth between the evil side of me and the good side of me with this. Oh Utada, see what you do to us? Lol.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

best wishes!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Moma mia! What an awesome couple!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@itsonlyrocknroll - Thanks for the photo link. The husband is not the type I expected...anyhow , best of luck.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

"She said the fact that her partner is a foreigner tends to draw people’s attention..."

They got married in Italy. It's not him that is the foreigner.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

They got married in Italy. It's not him that is the foreigner.

Yes, but I think she is talking about the attention she is getting from the people in Japan, where he is the foreigner.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

The relationship had both Mother and Fathers blessing.... Dad, Teruzane final tweet on 25th May is deeply touching and personal.


The beautiful and unashamedly romantic setting of Polignano a Mare, coupled with a elegant yet simple wedding ceremony oozes love and affection. The security was sensitive and served a dual purpose when deployed with a Japanese style Parasols.

Hikaru Utada is a 'j pop' dilemma, successfully shunning the celebrity limelight, up until the day of her mother's funereal only on a couple of occasions 'recent' pictures of Utada appeared in the media.

A thought for Francesco, I am sure one needs bucket loads of self belief and confidence to survive as a resident barman at il-bar at the Bulgari in London's Knightsbridge. For starters you'll need to process proven communications skills and a ability to act naturally around Bulgari wealthy clients representing all walks of life. Utada whilst DJ-ing Kuma power hour mentioned they meet through mutual acquaintances.


Defining tastes in an attempt to spot trends in popular music is like searching for identical finger prints, we're at least in four leaf clover territory here, our forever changing moods and emotions makes it a pointless exercise.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@darknuts, Well at least Francesco will be knocking up a couple of Bulgari signature cocktails, wild guess would be a Bergamot Sgroppino and Artemesia, whilst the plumbers get to work on the couples custom build 21st hot spring bathing facilities....

Now there's one proud Father.... WEDDING PHOTOS 2014.5.23 -


0 ( +0 / -0 )

slumdog: "Yes, but I think she is talking about the attention she is getting from the people in Japan, where he is the foreigner."

Well that's the problem, isn't it? Where are they now, by the way, that the media can report Utada is not the foreigner be her husband is? I'm sure you have also heard tales of Japanese tours and travels where the people talk about how different the 'foreigners' are in those nations. I've flat out seen deer-in-headlights looks when you point out that THEY are the foreigners when they go abroad, and in one case got a more than angry response in return (ironically, it was the guy telling me "if you don't like it, leave!" in response to him calling Australians foreigners on his trip to Sydney). The media fuels this problem, as do people who say, "Ah, he's a gaijin, but they are like a Japanese couple". It immediately sets one group apart from the other. Typical microaggressions and ignorance.

That said, Utada has a bit more of a head on her shoulders than the media and people who make such comments, and she has pretty extensive experience overseas. She is a rare talent, and despite the worry over the age difference I wish them both the best.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Well that's the problem, isn't it? Where are they now, by the way, that the media can report Utada is not the foreigner be her husband is?

No, actually. The problem is that you jumped to conclusions and did not read the article very carefully. She made this comment about the attention her husband was getting because he was a foreigner on her blog in Japanese. You know, the one for her fans, mostly in Japan? She also wrote comments in English saying that she was getting more attention from the Italian press as well and that this surprised both her and her fiance. She said nothing about the attention being due to him being a foreigner in the English language. To the people in Japan, he is a foreigner. To the people in Italy, she is. She got it right. She wrote that to her, though, he is just a regular person who is her fiance.

So, you might want to consider toning down your imagination for a discussion where it is more appropriate.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Congratulation Utada-san. She is a Japanese American whose father is from , north area near Hofu City. in Yamaguchi-ken. Her husband is a cute boy.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites