Following the divorce between actress Norika Fujiwara, 37, and comedian Tomonori Jinnai, 35, only two years after their grand wedding party, speculation is rife over the truth about their separation.
Jinnai admitted a week ago at a press conference that he had cheated on Fujiwara and hurt her very deeply. Fujiwara, who had been in Kenya on Japan Red Cross business, kept her silence but finally made a public statement in her personal blog on March 24, the day before her return to Japan, confessing that she had wished to remain married for life but it was no longer possible, adding the comment, “at the end I found myself broken, because of various issues, both emotionally and physically.”
While emotional pain caused by Jinnai’s extramarital affairs is understandable, her statement referring to the physical self raises questions. The weekly Josei Seven (April 9) published a detailed article about their marital life, alluding to domestic violence.
Ironically, amid the frenzy over the couple’s divorce, the Gender Equality Bureau of the Cabinet Office published survey results on March 24 on violence between men and women which indicated that 33.2% of women have experienced psychological, physical and/or sexual domestic violence by their husbands.
One factor that triggers domestic violence is the kind of disparity between spouses, which describes the case of Fujiwara and Jinnai. As one consultant in divorce issues explains, when the wife has a higher income and social standing than the husband, the latter is inclined to feel inferior or dominated, and may ultimately resort to violence – the only way to prove his superiority.
While this should only be regarded as a general theory, the aforementioned Josei Seven article on the couple’s marriage refers to information from Fujiwara’s personal and business adviser who had been consulted by Fujiwara about her marriage, and that in the previous summer, Jinnai had begun to openly display that he was having extramarital affairs.
A clinical psychotherapist typifies the tendency for men to demonstrate their superiority within the marital relationship to make up for the disparity in social status. Cheating on the wife is one such manifestation; however, when the wife turns a blind eye and suffers in silence, the relationship can eventually change for the worse. In fact, an incident where Jinnai had yelled at Fujiwara and demanded that she get on her knees to apologize for bringing up his extramarital affairs had made the headlines, not to mention Jinnai’s rumored physical abuse of Fujiwara.
Fujiwara may have been fortunate that she found an outlet in her work as well as emotional support from her family and friends, helping her "restore" herself. In an age when anyone can become the perpetrator or victim of domestic violence, the divorce of this prominent couple is thought provoking.© Japan Today