entertainment

Takahashi's bond with wife 24 years younger is stronger than ever

50 Comments

Singer Joji Takahashi, 51, and his wife Mika Mifune, 27, attended a photo exhibition titled "Bonds" in Roppongi Hills recently, organized by Forevermark -- a diamond brand from the De Beers family of companies.

The exhibition will run through Sunday in the Mori Arts Center Gallery and features photos with narrations of various "bonds" -- be that of family, friendship or other -- sent in by the public. Takahashi and Mifune also submitted two photos, one of which is of Takahashi holding their baby girl born in 2004 with Takahashi sporting his ducktail haircut -- a style popular in the 1950s.

Takahashi first met Mifune when she was 13 years old and married her on her 16th birthday. At the exhibition, they were wearing matching diamond rings. Takahashi said the bond between them in their 11th year of marriage was stronger than it had ever been before.

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Takahashi first met Mifune when she was 13 years old and married her on her 16th birthday.

Yikes!!! Doesn't that equals: "Don't pass go, go straight to jail"?

I'm glad their happy, but I fear for the children.

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tabana - how about trying to make more sense in your comments? What jail and what children?

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Lucky guy!

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Takahashi first met Mifune when she was 13 years old and married her on her 16th birthday.

Gross. A 40 year old man and a 16 year old girl. And if Ebisen doesn't understand the logistics and potential pitfalls, legal and otherwise, of a 13 year old girl in a relationship with a 37 year old man, then maybe Ebisen needs more sleep.

Still, after 11 years of marriage I'd say they've proved themselves to the world. But one still can't help wondering. When a grown man 'falls in love' with a child it's simply not normal. But I have no way of knowing what they got up to before they married, and certainly the marriage was legal or it would never have happened, so all I'll say is good luck to them all.

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dammit - wtf? they did nothing illegal or something... as long as it's legal to get married once you're 16 and her parents agreed, I don't see what's the fuss about? It's never written anywhere that he statutory raped her at 13 or something, so what the hell??

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Okay I'm really happy for them, anytime you see two people who love each other is a good thing but the ICK factor is very evident.

Think about it for a second, this man met this girl at 13, and married her at 16. That means that within those 3 years, he had to fall in love with her and realise she was the person he wanted to be with. This is a 13, 14, 15 year old girl he's having these feeling for! And let's not even get into the sexual aspect of all this, lets just hope they didn't do anything until she was the legal are or, seeing that the parents had to give consent, when they married.

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good for them, they seem very happy

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Gross, huh dammit? I hope you realize that is your own person feeling within you. Frankly, I find such an age discriminatory statement to be as unworthy of print as racial and gender discrimination. To me its the same as if you looked at an inter-racial marriage and said "gross".

I hope everybody looks at these two and sees how they are happy and want to be together. That is all that really matters and its got nothing to do with your feelings or any discriminatory laws interest groups cook up. The proof is in the pudding. 11 years is a lot longer than a lot of marriages make it, and a lot of couples that have could not even fake smiles like those.

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ritalynn said: lets just hope they didn't do anything until she was the legal are or, seeing that the parents had to give consent, when they married.

Its pretty ridiculously late for hoping, don't you think? Whatever they did, it seems it was the right choice. Nevermind your personal feelings, tastes, or preconceived notions of right or wrong. Quiet your mind and look at the evidence staring you right in the face. They are happy. Your feelings don't figure in.

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What is the point of this story?

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Hormones begin to rage at 13. Mom & Dad busy stars. Older man more reliable/protective than raging hormones teen boys?

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I wonder what topic could they share together apart from childraising and his money....:)

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pamelot,

I guess JT thinks it is news that two people in the entertainment industry can stay married for more than ten years. And, given the track record of many, I guess it is.

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@ borscht : Now see, that's my point. This story is supposed to be about an Exhibition, 'Bonds' with the works of Joe & Jane Punter being shown. But instead, it's made all about these two, bringing up mawkish personal details as bait. Very seemly way to advertise an event, in my opinion.

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seesaw, how about- this is a really great restaurant, this is how I will help you with your problem, where are we going to travel this summer, what movie shall we watch tonight, that Takuya dude is a real jerk, how are you feeling today, etc. But if you think sharing in a marriage is reduced to "topics" let me warn you before you get married...you are mistaken.

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Smart move for De Beers. The young woman who wants her diamond combined with the older man who has the money to pay for it! Its so transparent! Why didn't I see it sooner!

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love these two! they are a great pair :)

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Its pretty ridiculously late for hoping, don't you think? Whatever they did, it seems it was the right choice. Nevermind your personal feelings, tastes, or preconceived notions of right or wrong. Quiet your mind and look at the evidence staring you right in the face. They are happy. Your feelings don't figure in.

First of all I did say I was happy for them. But it's not normal for a growm man to have romantic feeling for an underage girl. You're talking about my preconceived notions of right or wrong, sorry but in most places, including Japan, it's illegal to have that sort of relationship with an underage girl.

And this isn't about feelings, it's my opinion which I have every right to express. Am I happy for them? yes, but at the same time when I read about how they got together, I'm like 'what the hell?'

And yes I do hope they waited to have a sexual relationship after they were married, or until her parents gave consent. You know why? Because if they didn't, it would have been against the law! Maybe it is a bit late but there no law against hoping.

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HeyLars: And the cast of the public stars as the chorus... Oohing and ahhing at all the appropriate intervals... Step right up.

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My Great Grandfather worked to secure his farm in his youth. Upon success at around 40 he went looking for a bride. His neighbor down the street was a widow with children. He asked for the hand of one of the young ladies, a good 20 or so years younger. They had eight children and she lived to 105. Very happy couple and she was able to have the children to work the farm.

It is not really a bad thing for a man to get financially settled and then get married to a younger female.

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ritalynn, you do have every right to express your opinion. However, it would be much appreciated if you would not force your ideals on the rest of us by coming along and declaring what is " not normal". The law is the law, but it does not dictate normalcy. If there are not more couples like this its because of the law and neither you nor I nor any average citizen actually got to vote on that and no legal body or interest group should allowed to declare what is "normal". I will give you "unusual" in this case, but use of the words "not normal" is doing a little more than just expressing an opinion. It is harrassment and ostracization to those who disagree. Its insulting to the couple. Its tantamount to saying "freak".

There is no law against hoping, this is also true. But I ask you to simply look at the facts. Laws change as people learn to stop going with their gut reaction to what they "think" is normal and start looking at facts and proof. This couple of 11 years is a fact and proof of many things, and the idea that facts and proof count more than opinion is something more than just my opinion.

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If they're happy, what's the problem? I saw a show on them some years ago - they didn't seem out of the ordinary at all.

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Takahashi first met Mifune when she was 13 years old and married her on her 16th birthday.

Okay, fine they're in love in all but seriously: Ew.

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L4dymercury, how developed she is? Physically? Not much by Japanese standards? What does that have to do with anything? He married her, not used her for a purely sexual tryst and dumped her like yesterday's garbage!

Whatever she missed, she does not seem to miss it much! In fact, most females I know would rather dispense with going through multiple lovers and cut straight to marriage, and that has been readily apparent since elementary school! You didn't notice?

Moderator: Readers, please stay on topic.

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Many factors can play into why they've been together for so long. Maybe he's all she knows. Maybe she views him as a daddy figure. Maybe because she hasn't experienced love on her all she knows is to stay with this guy. Maybe they're really in love, but hey, what can I say? Personally, when I was the girl's age -- Getting married to some 40 year old man who's old enough to be my own FATHER wasn't on my mind.

There is something wrong when a man is attracted to a child. No if, ands, or buts about it. Its freakin robing the cradle, that's what it is. He's allowed to experience life but she can't? Where's the fairness in that relationship?

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The parents emancipated her when they allowed her to get married. Once she married him she's emancipated, the law no longer applies.

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L4dymercury said: The parents emancipated her when they allowed her to get married. Once she married him she's emancipated, the law no longer applies.

It all turns on the fact of what happened between them when she was 13, 14, 15, and pre-marriage 16. We don't know what that was, but I am certain it was more than nothing! Maybe just holding hands and kissing? I doubt you would find that acceptable despite the result we have to see now more than a decade later. Am I correct?

Moderator: Readers, please do not make lewd speculations which are irrelevant. No further discussion along these lines will be permitted.

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US divorce rate is over 50% - these guys are married 10 years plus and still going strong...good for THEM! Hope they write a book on how they keep their bonding fresh and alive! I can always use new and fresh ideas for one of the most important relationships of my life...

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I agree that most young girls are not all that mature, but I am not quite sold on the idea that choosing the best marriage partner is all about maturity. As pointed out by Seaforte03 the marriage rate of western countries is appalling and guess where so much is made of maturity etc.! Its like having gettin lectured about your work ethic from a bum! But one size does not fit all, and I think we agree on that. Therefore, something has got to give.

I too wish them luck!

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Anything and everything is circumstances and that particular reality, not unchangeable principles.

I have no idea if this couple are happy, but what I have ssen on their faces is better than many half-dead married couples who are say 30 or 40 and same age. That doesn&t mean my impression is right, but it is possible. When did they begin their romantic relationship-- who knows? The only thing gross to me is physically immature.

I have taught in elementary schools and jr hs schools, and there are plenty of physically mature girls. And boys I suppose. However, maybe this couple waited several yrs until 15 or 16, by which time most are physically mature. As for emotionally mature, are you going to let licensed psychologists tell you what you can do and what you are ready for? I cannot imagine, really even imagine, having a relationship with a hs girl. However, the reason is it would be too much to handle on many levels and it would drive me batty. Teaching them in school is hard enouhhg. I need someone more mature. If that guy is unlike me, maybe he could handle her, be a good partner for her and give her what she needs. Who cares what the shrinks say? What about that couple in Seattle? the woman teacher who got pregnant by a student, 14 yo boy, wnet to prison, got out, they got married. They are still married and he is in his 20s now, and they profess their love to the world. All kinds of things are possible.

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Love finds a way to win. It won over them, it won over their parents and won over myself even if with a grudging shrug. At least they waited. Can anyone really know love? All anyone can say is that they are happy and have a family.

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I hope this couple is as happy as they look!!

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Gosh, and to think that I probably wouldn't be able to hook up with anyone in their 20's now that I'm in my mid-30s.... I'm gonna go for it now! ;)

But seriously, back in the day, teenagers getting married was the norm so this shouldn't be too surprising. Also, being a teenager when she got married, he was probably able to "mold" her, hence the strong bond, who knows?...

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He seems to be the Japanese Elvis in more ways than one!

Strangely, his first name Jouji is usually written in katakana, so I wonder if its more appropriate to call him George?

Here he is playing: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GDtvTaWkR3E

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Saah, I wish I could find someone 24 years younger. Good on them.

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What is the point of this story?

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What does he see in her? She's one of the most irritating "tarento" (and, she doesn't seem to have much of that...talent, that is) in the industry.

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It's about getting along well with each other and respecting each other. Good for them.

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Out of the ordinary relationahips like that of Takahashi and Mifune can often be difficult to understand for those people that are not in it. Her parents decision to allow her to marry at such a young age to a man much older than her has proven to be correct. I'm sure that the Mifune is well aware of all of the negative issues involved with being married to man so much older than her. She will likely live a pretty long time after him. But they are happy and that's all that matters now.

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I got married to a 17 year old girl when I was 23 - it lasted for 28 years and 6 months, produced two children and ,I daresay, might have lasted even longer had she not died before her time.

All you people who knock this couple know NOTHING.

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One has to wonder, will the evidence of the article and that given by fleetwood77 be examined by those who came here only to post insulting and reactionary comments, or will they march heedlessly on, clinging to their discriminatory beliefs and reactionary hate like a modern-day Strom Thurmond?

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If any of your know who she is, you will know that she looked and acted much older than she was when she was a teenager. In fact, it seems from their TV appearances that she is more mature than her husband.

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Fleetwood77, I'm truly sorry to hear that your wife died before her time. These things can happen at any time to any of us, age gap or not.

But your example of a 6 year gap is well within the normal limits as far as I'm concerned. She was old enough to get married, wasn't under the legal age limit for sex, you weren't much older than her, plus males often mature mentally at a later age than females. (I know I'll get stick for that one!) so I'd say you were probably pretty well suited to each other.

I'll say once again, I wish them well. But it ain't over 'til it's over, so don't anyone claim that they've proven it's a match that'll last forever. It hasn't yet, and unless they both live to a ripe old age maybe it won't.

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For starters, I think we should all celebrate a couple that is still very much in love after even after 11 years. You hear a lot of talk about the so called "7-year itch" and how it might be a reason behind a lot of divorces, but these two made it well beyond that.

But instead of focusing on their apparent age difference, I think we can all learn something from their respective personality types. He's a rock 'n roll entertainer, in the spotlight kind of guy. On the other hand, if I remember correctly, she seemed to be the more relatively reserved and mature type, not always begging for attention despite the fact that she's also a tarento.

The bottom line is these two compliment each other very well and that probably explains why they share a close bond regardless of age.

It's not so much we need to find a person of the right age, but a person of the right personality type. I'm still trying to find mine....

Okay, let the flaming begin...!

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he's the man! I'm sure they both got what they wanted.

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dammit, Fleetwood77's poor wife did not just pop out of a box at 17 and he suddenly popped the question. I am sure he and his wife had some sort of history before marriage just like Joji and Mika here surely also did. Its a pre-requisite to marriage for anyone thinking ahead. Victorian ideals are so passe, as well they should be.

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Interesting... Takahashi met her when she was 13... wow....

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Love is ageless. If she falls in love with him and he falls in love with her, then they're doing better than a lot of other couples. He's got his trophy wife; she's got daddy issues resolved; the parents approved - congrats to both of 'em.

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What does he see in her? She's one of the most irritating "tarento" (and, she doesn't seem to have much of that...talent, that is) in the industry.

Brother, she is a young woman and he is well into middle age. C'mon, you and I both know what he sees in her! And good luck to him! Lets face it - this is most men's dream! They seem such a happy couple too.

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she's got daddy issues resolved;

Haha, this gave me a chuckle. I read somewhere that the purpose of a relationship is to resolve your childhood issues. I wonder what kind of relationship she had with her famous dad.

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