entertainment

Joji Takahashi, Mika Mifune chosen as 'Partners of the Year'

74 Comments

Singer Joji Takahashi, 53, and his wife Mika Mifune, 29, have been named as "Partners of the Year," an award given to ideal married couples. The award is given by online dating service O-Net on Nov 22, which is "Good Couple Day" (1 can be read in Japanese as "i" and 2 can be read as "fu" -- meaning "ii fufu").

Takahashi and Mifune have been married for 14 years. They first met when Mifune was 13 years old and got married on her 16th birthday. Takahashi said the bond between them was stronger than ever.

The couple joked that if they are reborn, they would like to meet and get married again in the next life.

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74 Comments
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Congratulations ! thumbs up !

1 ( +7 / -6 )

Funny, if a 37yr old today was dating a 13yr old there would be cries of outrage, but here they are promoted as the "ideal married couple".

I must admit I am jealous, Mifune is gorgeous and they do look very happy together. But in my head I still can't get over their age difference and the moral issues involved.

6 ( +12 / -6 )

married when she was 16? and he was 37? What the .....where the parents asleep? I agree with papasmurf tho she looks great

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

where = were

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Every 50+ year old guy`s dream -to have a beautiful 29 year old wife...lucky dude :-)

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Weird place this sometimes, but what ever floats their boat so long as it isnt illegal who are we to be the judges on morality, although it still seems creepy to me.

If she was my daughter Joji would have got a swift kick out the door 16 years ago.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

fufufufu is laughter too.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

They met when she was 13 and he was 24!!! and they got married at 16 and 27, where were her parents? And now she's 29 and he's 53 and on top that he's just an old dirty man.....I'm disturbed by this.

-4 ( +6 / -10 )

met when she was 13... talk about loli-con. dodgy.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

They met when she was 13? This is super creepy!

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Well, she was a teenager.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

How would the press deal with it if a 40 year old English teacher in Japan married his 16 year old (student)???

4 ( +8 / -4 )

13 and 37!!! What?!?!?!?!?!

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Get the figures straight everybody;

They are now 53 and 29. 53 - 29 = 24.

They met when she was 13.

13 + 24 = 37.

He was 37 and she was 13!!

They got married when she was 16. 16 - 13 = 3. 37 + 3 = 40.

He was 40, marrying a 16 year old.

Marrying.

There would have been a lead up to the marriage, most likely which even if it started 1 year before, it means he would have been a 39 year old fooling around with a 15 year old.

And this is now CELEBRATED in this country.

Wow.

You scratch the surface here even ever so slightly, and the sly-winking kiddy-fiddle slime comes pouring out...

5 ( +9 / -4 )

Singer Joji Takahashi, 53, and his wife Mika Mifune, 29, have been named as “Partners of the Year,” an award given to ideal married couples

Ideal? 53 and 29? How is that ideal? He married this chick when she was 16 and started dated when she was 13!!!

Takahashi is older than her father!

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

A 37 year old man wouldn't have made 38 if he'd been with my daughter. Promotoing this as ideal is fundamentally wrong.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Being that they don't have any kids,they're really like boyfriend and girlfriend,with some official paperwork thrown in.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

If this is seen as ideal, it demonstrates who the media has no morals. How can a fully grown man having sex a little girl (16) be considered ideal?

Tut, tut J-media, you're sick.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

(Typo above post) 'how the media, not who the media'

0 ( +2 / -2 )

If this is seen as ideal, it demonstrates how the media has no morals

and yet media has moderating right over sincere comments :)

1 ( +2 / -1 )

They do have a kid, and Joji is much much younger than her father (the Toshiro Mifune).

3 ( +3 / -0 )

They have been married for 13 years and say that

...if they are reborn, they would like to meet and get married again in the next life.

Nothing more to say except, "Congratulations! Whoohoo!"

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Mika Mifune's father was Toshiro Mifune the famous Japanese actor who starred in the Seven Samurai (1954). Mika attended Saint Joseph International School in Yokohama, when I attended this school back in the 50's, it was called Saint Joseph College.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@tokyokawasaki; they got MARRIED on her 16th birthday. Do you really think a guy who is targetting children like this had the moral fortitude to not touch her until their wedding night?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Takahashi is older than her father!

Nope. Her father, famous actor Toshiro Mifune, was born in 1920. That means Toshiro was 62 when Mika was born.

Plus, Toshiro's in-laws were against him marrying their daughter because:

He wasn't a Buddhist and He wasn't born in Japan proper. (He was born in Manchuria.)

He married when he was 30 and his wife was 22 - an eight-year span; is that close enough for everyone?

Plus, Toshiro died in 1997 (at 77), when Mika was 15. But Mika's mom was not 57 when Mika was born - Toshiro's wife was 57, but not Mika's mom. Mika's mom was Toshiro's mistress, Mika Kitagawa, an actress who played Kiku in Shogun.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Aside from the moral outrage, how is this "headline news?" -_-

4 ( +5 / -1 )

another vapid award given out by the japanese entertainment industry.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Back in 1980, pop singer and actress Moe Moe Yamaguchi married Actor Tomokazu Miura. It was a celebration for Japan despite their age difference. Yamaguchi was 15 when she met Miura who was 24. When they married, she was 20 only. However the gap is not big like Mifune and Takahashi. It is nothing new since Meiji restoration of modern Japan.

When Tom Cruise married Katie Holmes, He was forty something and Kate was only 29. Tom married twice before that. Who cares about their age difference? As far as they are happy and love each other, we have to bless their lasting marriage. Celebrities marriages and love life are different from ordinary people. If they are ordinary couple, they will have more privacy.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

If you can't see the difference in maturity levels because an American 29 and a Japanese 16 Zenpun you've got issues. They are no way the same at all. One isn't even considered an 'adult" in their country while the other most certainly is.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Who cares about their age difference?

I don't think anyone cares about the age difference as long as both parties involved are adults. A 29yr old woman can marry a 70 year old man for all I care... but when one of them is a child and the other a middle-aged man, that raises eyebrows.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I met Takahashi san, real nice guy! TBS?? His wife, not met yet but she is SO CUTE!! What a babe!! Lucky guy!

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

She married a 40 year old man 1 year after her 77 year old father died. I think there is a strong chance that her marriage was more to satisfy her need for a father figure than a husband, since she was only a child at the time.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Everybody seems intent on calling them names, and being critical of their marriage, without acknowledging that they seem to be very much in love (judging from the photo and what they have said about their marriage many times).

I say good luck to them. My mother was 19 when she married my dad who was 31 and they had 44 years of bliss together.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

According to Chiebukuro, they met on a movie shoot, and it was her who was going after him (a possible reason is that her mother was a big fan of Joji, which influenced Mika to liking him too).

After he realised feelings for her he went to ask permission from her mother. She said to take responsibility and wait until she was 16, which he supposedly did. Before they got married, her father Toshiro passed away, and Joji moved in with her and her mother. Apparently the reason they didnt get attacked by the media is because it was all out in the open and they both seemed to be honest about everything.

Not condemning or condoning, just citing what i saw. There are Japanese people questioning it too.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Who cares.

If they love each other they might make better parents than many of the "flops" in the approved age-groups.

As for underage sex seen the recent reports from Iraq, etc on the news don't look all that good for some 1st world countries but that is old news..

3 ( +6 / -3 )

It's no wonder why Japan has a huge problem with old men liking "preteen girls". They thinks it's Kawaii and all that. They put them up on a pedestal saying look this couple is doing good. But Japan really needs to look deeper than thinking they are a normal couple... I guess they are now after 14 years, but how they started.. There is the problem.

Only in Japan is where you can go into an adult video store and buy "borderline" child porn magazines and videos.. I say borderline because the children are in bathing suits, a gym clothes and school outfits. However the way they are posing, that's where you can see the difference between calling it a pictures book or pictures video and possible child porn.

Japan loves to do things around loop holes. I bet there is some loop hole in their outdated law about child porn. Probable some wack definition or something. Just look at them going around loop holes in the whaling industry.

I guess Japan thinks it's cool. Kinda sick in my option.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

I quote "I say good luck to them. My mother was 19 when she married my dad who was 31 and they had 44 years of bliss together."

AT least they were legal.. enough said

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Ok thats officially sick. This guy obviously has issues if the only girl he can get is a 13yo when he's 37. There is something seriously wrong with a country that would in anyway consider this normal. I dont care what country it is it just isnt right.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

People should calm down. 16 is a legal age to marry for girls here, and apparently it worked out for them. And don´t say that marriage at young age is unknown in e.g. the US,

Jerry Lee Lewis married famously married is 13-year old cousin. And as we speak, Hollywood Actor Dough Hutchison, age 51, is marrying his 16-year old Alexis Stodden.

Not a unique Japan phenomenon. (And I haven´t even mentioned shariah countries where following koranic law, it is legal to marry 6-year old girls... and several of them.)

0 ( +3 / -3 )

I know it happens all over the whole... I'm not that concerned with other counties as much as I'm with Japan... I live here and my family is here. That's why I'm talking about Japan.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

I'm happy for them. May they have many more years of bliss!

I'm not going pass judgment on them or others in a similar position but when I read that article, I tried to put myself in his shoes. I'm a 38 year old guy and I don't meet 14 year old girls in my daily life. But if I were to, I just can't imagine we would have much in common. I mean, I'm not up to speed on AKB or Pokemon and I can't imagine she's be into the crazy stuff I'm into.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Sadly our society makes all these rules about what is decent and what isn't. What is wrong with being in love when you are 13?Heck I met my first love when I was 5. It was love at first sight when he walked down the aisle in that kindergarten one morning and we dated for years to come. And when I was 15 I was madly in love with someone who was 30, it was one-sided unfortunately.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

According the Japanese law, 16 is marriageable age. According the Japanese media, the young girl MIfune chased the old man Takahashi. Not the another way around. She was unwanted child for her father. She was hungry for fatherly figure and love. Before they get married, Takahashi asked consent from her mother. Although it was questionable about Mifune maturity and wisdom, they married anyway.

In the Middle east, many under aged girls have to marry the middle aged men according their custom. Some are young as 9 or 10 years old. Most of them forced to marry for settling the debt. In USA, the polygamy sect of Utah has tradition of marrying the under aged girls and multiple wives. They used the religion and tradition as excuse for getting their way. However they are not belong to main stream decent society. As a open minded person, I have no rights to criticize the rest of the nation and friendly citizens.

Some posters are so negative about that couple and the whole nation. It is unfair, biased and full of hatreds. Japan population has more than 100 millions. Not only two.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Mifune chan is very nice personality... Congratulations!!!!!!!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I think it's great !! You sneerers are the ones with problems,goodness me..

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Ironically, their icky marriage is actually lasting longer than most people's marriages!

Obviously, he saw something in her when she was 13. He got his trophy wife; she got her daddy issues fulfilled. Some chicks just prefer older men.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

And as we speak, Hollywood Actor Dough Hutchison, age 51, is marrying his 16-year old Alexis Stodden.

And there is a huge uproar about it - how you missed that is beyond me.

I don't get how 16 is okay to marry here but yet, 20 is an "adult". Child brides??

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Maybe instead of looking at it from his side and your side, let's look at it from her side. At 16 you are mature enough to know what you want. At the age of 13, we are asked to decide about the rest of our life regarding education and we can decide this on our own. Isn't that even a bigger decision? At age 14 we can decide about whether or not to keep our religion. So what is the problem at age 16 if we decide who to marry? Besides, she is 29 now and is completely free to divorce but she didn't.

Pedophilia and love are 2 very different things. As a medical diagnosis, pedophilia (or paedophilia) is defined as a psychiatric disorder in adults or late adolescents (persons age 16 or older) typically characterized by a primary or exclusive sexual interest in prepubescent children (generally age 13 years or younger, though onset of puberty may vary). Note that pedophiles are interested in more than one children.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@Foxie

Sadly our society makes all these rules about what is decent and what isn't. What is wrong with being in love when you are 13?Heck I met my first love when I was 5. It was love at first sight when he walked down the aisle in that kindergarten one morning and we dated for years to come. And when I was 15 I was madly in love with someone who was 30, it was one-sided unfortunately.

I have to admit that I, too, was "crazy in love" with someone in his 30's as well, when I was 15 I think. But what happened to you, happened to me. He ignored me and later I saw him with a girlfriend his age and that was so painful for me, but hey, I was just 15...I'm glad I waited until I met my husband today. He's only 8 years older than me, OK?? I don't want anyone calling him Pedophile!!! LOL I was already an adult when I met him. We have 4 children. 10 years married already.

The thing is that I wouldn't want any of my girls marrying at young age and even less with someone doubling their age. I am against marriage at young age. It's not right and healthy anymore. If they want to marry someone 10~20 years older than them, they can do it once they (my girls) are older than 20. Period!! and only if my husband and I approves.... I don't want some sick pervert!!

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

"Marrying children have always been something cultural in this country. No one can deny that. Even in my own family. My grandmother married my Grandfather when she was 16 and he was 52. But unlike these two "celebrities", my grandparents had 8 children, including one set of twins. She's now like 70 something? Grandfather died when I was in Elementary. I must admit that there were times, long long ago, where age wasn't an issue and the reasons to get married seemed genuine and clean. Pedophilia wasn't even recognized. Many times, the girl was the one pursuing! In fact, it was my Grandmother who courted my Grandfather and "tricked" him into marriage, after all, my family was poor and he was landowner and raised cattle.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

I agree with Willi and the othe rposters urging people to calm donw about these two. If he were really some kind of pervert, he wouldn't have stuck with her into her 20s; he'd be chasing some other underage girl. But he obviously isn't -- they love each other as much as they always have. I say good for them, and I hope they have many more years of happiness together.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

It's me...

I'm NOT turning a blind eye.. I am more concerned about what is going on in the country I live in and want to live for the rest of my life in. This is the county I chose to raise my daughter and I am concerned about her future. Please don't think I don't think of these things in other countries. Right now I only care whats going on in Japan.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

IT`s ME:

" Watch recent news reports online about pre-teen & teen girls sold among Muslim countries and they were demanded by western troops. "

No way, Jose. You are dreaming. Muslim girls are absolutely off-limits for non-muslim men. Don´t even think about it. You are probably mixing up the stories about the hanky-panky going on among the guard personnel in Kabul embassies etc. That is totally between Westerners.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Bluewitch:

" .I'm glad I waited until I met my husband today. He's only 8 years older than me, OK? "

Well, if you met him at 16, that means he´d have been 24, and he would have been lambasted on this righteous form. Be called a "pedophile" and whatnot. Go figure.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

there is a reason why most of us feel appaled by their marriage and that's because there's an age for adulthood for a reason. when someone is 13 or 14, of course they will have an infatuation about an older person. but it's not until we are mature enough to understand that that type of relationship would be strange/immoral/(insert your own word of condemnation). love at first sight for a 13 year old is not the same as love at first sight for a 18/20 year old, and joji should have known that before he married her. they first met at 13 and married 3 years later. couldn't he have waited another 2 years until she was at least an adult in the eyes of most countries.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I think it's great !! You sneerers are the ones with problems,goodness me..

Do you have a daughter? How would you feel if some 37 year old guy came around trying to date your daughter when she was 13?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

This is sick.. and this is the ideal marriage?... yeah sure

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Met her when she was 13? Hmmm... met her? Takahashi really just loves the kiddies - a little too much evidently! LOL

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Might just be me, but if I were in a country with a declining population, because couple, are not having children, I probably wouldn't pick a childless pair with a 24-year age diffference as the "ideal married couple". When do companies start to feel an obligation to show the positive role models the country needs to build on going forward, not just "celebs" who'll sell their product?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

According to a recent study by Germany's Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research "a man's chances of dying early are cut by a fifth if their bride is between 15 and 17 years their junior". The study also shows that "a man who is between seven and nine years older than his wife has an 11% lower mortality rate than a man whose wife is the same age as him. However, a woman who is between seven and nine years older than her husband has a 20% greater mortality rate than if she were with a man the same age."

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I probably wouldn't pick a childless pair with a 24-year age diffference as the "ideal married couple". When do companies start to feel an obligation to show the positive role models the country needs to build on going forward, not just "celebs" who'll sell their product?

They're not childless; they have a six-year-old daughter.

Every time they are in public they both seem happy and in love; they seem to enjoy each others company. Seems like a positive role model to me. Better than divorced 'celebs' who had shotgun weddings and two-year marriages.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

@LHommeQuiMent

So it's good for men to marry younger women, but older women can't marry younger men?! How fudged up is that... Talk about double standards...

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

a 37 year old married to a 16 year old? yeah.. absolutely nothing wrong with that..

2 ( +3 / -1 )

"but when one of them is a child"

I think Mifune was pretty much a grown young woman at 16, besides it's legal if you have parental consent.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Look. Sketchy as the circumstances may be, they appear to be truly happy. Really, is there anything more important than that?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

In Takahashi's defence - not that I necessarily condone the courting of children - Japanese girls do tend to look older than their years and mature pretty fast. Put some make-up and a mini-skirt on a HS girl here and you'd swear she was 25. That's what I told the judge anyway.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

If they're truly happy, good for them. Too many many marriages end in divorce, violence, unwanted children, etc. I heard she wouldn't accept until he agreed to take care of her mother too. In the end, if I had the money, and found a woman as lovely and wonderful as Mika, I'd do all I could to keep her too.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Like others have said, it's great they're happy. But promoting this type of relationship as ideal by a dating website seems completely irresponsible in a country where marriage and birth rates are on the decline. Women are quickly considered too old for marriage but the double standard apparently sets no upper limit for men. Does this website intend to promote March-December romances? Men of middle age, why spend the time and money pursuing a woman with some emotional maturity (ok, I know that's debatable at any age but still) when you can have yourselves a nubile teen? I thought child brides were a third-world phenomenon, ugh. I'm never using this site, at 30 they'll probably match me to a 78-year old.

By the way, those who mentioned the actor in the US who married a 16-year old--not sure if you've really been paying attention but no one thinks this is ideal. All the media attention this couple's received is because they're regarded as a train wreck, not as a good example of anything.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Maybe we should mind our own business?? Let these 2 lovers just be lovers, a younger hot woman with a older dude, oh well! Oshi awasei ni!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Ironically, their icky marriage is actually lasting longer than most people's marriages!

What is ironic is people making up completely arbitrary rules of right, wrong, icky or not, and what is moral. Then when they stare right in the face of hard proof at how their made-up rules are wrong, they condemn the proof with absolute fury! Now that sir, is irony.

And its not like these two just popped out of the wordwork. Their marriage is older than most of ours and has been touted as happy for years and years. Everybody just simmer down and accept the facts....like this one: Japan still has a lower divorce rate than most of our countries. You know why? It has to do with making things up!

0 ( +3 / -3 )

And I just scrolled up to LHommeQuiMentNov. 11, 2011 - 11:15PM JS Classic! Facts, facts and more facts! But so many of you are just too comfy in your made-up little worlds! So many of you call them child-less without even checking that tiny fact! Its a wonder that with people like so many of you around, that we ever got to it being taught in classrooms that the Earth is round and dinosaurs existed!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

good job!...but,hope u stay together

1 ( +2 / -1 )

They seem to be happy now so who cares ?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

With this equation, I need to wait for my wife to be born... lol.. :)

Why all these JT posters worried about the couple when they were and they are happy together... :)

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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