“Women,” observed Arthur Schopenhauer, “are by nature enemies.” Who cares what a crusty old 19th-century misogynist philosopher said? Shukan Bunshun (May 2-9), for one. The magazine quotes in a lengthy feature titled “Women Hating Women.”
Could he have had a point? Certainly there’s not much gender solidarity in Bunshun’s 32 pages. On average, it’s one poison pen portrait per page, each of 32 women celebrities pilloried by a woman writer who hates her.
Rich, brassy, pushy celebrities have often aroused the malevolence of their more sedate sisters. Talent, if they had it, would win the celebs absolution, but their only real ability, in the eyes of their detractors, is a knack for “getting the most results from the least effort.” That’s the nub of business writer Rumi Sato’s case against actress Rie Hasegawa.
Sato gives Hasegawa this much credit at least: “Once she sets her goal, she lets nothing stop her.” She does a lot of things, none of them particularly well in Sato’s view. She acts, runs, writes, appears as a “vegetable sommelier” – but mostly, says Sato, she chooses her men shrewdly and rides their coattails to fame and fortune. Her first coup was her affair with actor Junichi Ishida. Then there was actor Masaki Kanda. When thrown over, Sato says, she doesn’t nurse her wounds quietly – she writes an autobiography and rakes in “a small fortune.”
“She’s like the office screw-up who somehow always gets promoted and nobody can figure out why,” Sato sums up.
Saeko – that’s her stage name; her real name is a secret – is best known as the ex-wife of Major League baseball star Yu Darvish. Rumors swirl about her divorce settlement – 10 million yen a month? Two million yen a month? Whatever the figure, she’s doing very nicely – to the chagrin of writer Ami Takada, who sees nothing in her worthy of such heights. In March, Saeko released a photo collection titled “Saeko Snap!” It’s supposed to be about Tokyo, Paris, Hawaii – in fact, Takada complains, it’s almost exclusively about Saeko: Saeko in lingerie, Saeko sporting brand name handbags worth hundreds of thousands of yen each, and so on.
Takada feels sorry for Darvish: “He’s pitching in a foreign country, carrying the expectations of Japanese baseball fans on his back, while Saeko lives in luxury.”
“It wouldn’t be so bad if she was quiet about it,” Takada says, “but she’s not happy unless other people are jealous of her!”
Dewi Sukarno – businesswoman, actress, socialite and, most famously, Japanese widow of former Indonesian leader Sukarno – has her claws out for actress Mitsu Dan. “I have been on TV with her,” says Sukarno. “I hated her at first sight.”
Dewi (born Naoko Nemoto) was 19 when she married Sukarno in 1962. He was deposed in a coup in 1967 and died three years later. As for 32-year-old Dan, “She reminds me of a postwar prostitute, with her sultry eyes, half-open mouth and the way she wiggles. She’s a vulgar fake. If people are divisible into ‘real’ and ‘fake,’ she is most definitely fake.”
Imagine Schopenhauer reading Shukan Bunshun’s feature. Wouldn’t he say, “I told you so”?© Japan Today