In the Eyes of Others (Part 4a): Kato & Souguchi
Haruhiko Kato and Souguchi Akihisa’s Talk-as-they-like
Masha: Absent from Trial
K : Kato Haruhiko (加藤晴彥) S : Souguchi Akihisa (莊口彰久)
S: I co-host a radio show with Fukuyama-san every week, so I understand the “public” side of him. And the “private” side, is your domain Haruhiko-kun. I guess you get to see each other in private a lot more than during work, right?
K: Yeah, I see him often in private, and in my dreams.
S: Oh, you meet in your dreams (laugh) How is he like in your dreams?
K: Mostly complaining about me.
S: Grumbling even in your dreams too?
K: Nagging me, this won’t do that’s not right…….
S: It’s because you can’t get rid of that impression, can you? Whenever we see Fukuyama-san, we’ll get nagged at, yeah that feeling.
K: That’s it! The first things he sees are all the faults, isn’t it.
S: If he doesn’t agree with my clothes, he’ll say it out straight.
K: The first time I met Masha-nii was at the radio station. I was wearing corduroy pants. Because there was dirt caught in between the tufts, he got mad!
S: Didn’t you two live in the same building before?
K: Okamura-san (comic duo Ninety Nine)*1 also lived in the same building, and it was Okamura-san who called it the “Ikemen Mansion” (イケメンマンション Heartthrob Mansion). (laugh)
S: Fukuyama-san went to your home then, didn’t he? I heard it was very messy.
K: Yes! Yes! Masha-nii left immediately.
S: So I heard from Fukuyama-san, he said Haruhiko-kun’s furniture was covered in dust and it was sticky everywhere. Like a mother-in-law, he couldn’t help swiping his finger on top of it.
K: That’s a bit exaggerated! My home is just like any single bachelor’s place.
S: That’s true, it’s Fukuyama-san’s home that’s too clean!
K: It’s really abnormal! So after that, I said “How about Masha-nii’s house?” and went over. He grabbed my finger and swiped the grooves in the CD stand which normally collects dust so easily, and said “See! No dirt!”
S: Fukuyama-san is more finicky in cleaning up than Matsui Kazuyo-san (Japanese actress known for teaching people how to bring good fortune through house cleaning).
K: That’s why we shouldn’t be using the Matsui-duster*2 (cleaning apparatus invented by Matsui Kazuyo-san), might as well make a Masha-duster ourselves!
S: And sell it as a concert goodie (laugh).
K: Yes! Yes! Not an official merchandise, we should open a stall outside the concert hall to sell it. (laugh)
S: It seems everytime after he bathes, Fukuyama-san likes to stand naked in front of the mirror and scrape the steam off the glass with a squeegee. He checks out the muscles around his bum as he cleans the mirror.
K: Isn’t that totally weird? (laugh)
S: It’s probably got something to do with the Taiga drama next year. Exercising the squeegee like a sword and training up the muscles around his buttocks for it.
K: Sounds like there’s going to be a lot of fighting scenes in the drama.
S: I think whoever marries Fukuyama-san is going to have a hard time. She won’t be able to handle it unless she’s faultless at housework. But she doesn’t need to be a full-time housewife, it should be alright if she has her own job.
K: No! Definitely not! Masha-nii once said “After we marry, she absolutely cannot work”.
S: Oh yeah, and he’d add “Because of that, I will do everything to look after this family”. If she isn’t impeccable at housework, she’d most probably get told off, don’t you think?
K: My personality is the exact opposite of Masha-nii, that’s why we get along so well.
S: I’m the same kind as Haruhiko-kun, so there shouldn’t be a big problem. If we were just as neurotic, there’d probably be lots of conflict.
K: Masha-nii and I go on a trip every year, we can get along for over a week without any fights. Like in the mornings, he’d wake me up. I’m really slow in the mornings, and he’s up in a jiffy. His actions are so smooth and clean. To be totally alert the moment you wake up, I guess there’s only “Fukuyama Masaharu” who can do it, don’t you think?
S: But Fukuyama-san can also control his aura freely. People often don’t notice him, it’s really incredible, isn’t it?
K: Yes, yes.
S: It’s the same when we were in Asahiyama Zoo (旭山動物園)*3, nobody seemed to discover that it was him, though he did have his cap on. In private, he’d hide his aura pretty quickly. In his concerts, on the other hand,……
K: He opens it up full blast!
S: Yes. He’s like a different person when he’s on leisure trips or having a drink.
K: It happened too, when we were in Yakushima (屋久島)*4 A group of ladies in their sixties noticed me and were shouting “Haruhiko-chan!” as they crowded over. They didn’t discover that Masha-nii was standing right next to me until much later. That night in the room, he was having a drink as he sighed “Looks like the young ladies of yonder years, don’t find me charming at all!”
S: I heard there’s a restaurant close to Fukuyama-san’s recording studio where he often goes to eat. He’s keeps some of his wine there. But because he can’t put his own name “FUKUYAMA MASAHARU” on the bottle, he asked the shop to “make up a suitable name”. The old lady in the shop had no idea who Fukuyama-san is, so she just wrote “The Oniisan (お兄さん the mister) with glasses” (laugh)
K: Speaking of travelling, that touring trip*5 to Hokkaido was just too much~~
S: Fukuyama-san would take his radio staff on a trip each year. Last year was North Europe. Hokkaido was about 3 years ago, right?
K: I was going to meet with them on the way, for only 2 days 1 night. From the first day, we ate and drank until the next day when I had to leave. The group had arrived at the hotel on the shores of Akanko (阿寒湖 Lake Akan)*6, which was the destination for that day. I was finishing off my welcome drink and gazing out at the lake, murmuring to myself “It’s wonderful here…” I’m not sure for how long, but I suddenly found Masha-nii sitting next to me. He said “Makes you want to stay for one more night, doesn’t it?” I replied “No, I’ve got work to do in Tokyo tomorrow! Plus you probably wouldn’t be able to stand it, staying with me all this time.”
S: Fukuyama-san has said before that people suspect he’s gay (laugh).
K: Oh that scene……if you look at it from a distance, 2 men sitting next to each other looking out at Lake Akan. People are sure to think we’re gay.
S: It sure looks that way!
K: So after that, I checked the airline schedules, there was a morning flight back to Haneda, which should give me just enough time to get to my work. Masha-nii was acting just like a child at that time.
S: That’s right, he’s like a kid sometimes. I’ve once seen with my own eyes, Fukuyama-san stamp his foot because he couldn’t get No. 1 ranking. At that time, I wanted to say “That’s what you call ‘having a tantrum’!” (laugh) yet he’s so grown up normally.
K: So I stayed for an extra night, I was having a drink in my own room….because the rest of the group was Masha-nii’s staff and I didn’t know them at all. Then for some inexplicable reason, everyone started turning up in my room for drinks, but Masha-nii was not there! As I was pouring out the drinks and thinking “Why isn’t he here?”, I turned around and there he was peeking in at us through the gap in the doorway. It was because you said “one more night” that I stayed behind……
S: It’s because he’s like an old man, always wanting to go to sleep (after a drink). Sometimes, he’s hosting the radio show half-asleep.
K: He really did ditch us to go to bed after that! On the morning after, I was like an inn-keeper, seeing Masha-nii and his group off, then leaving for the airport all alone and thinking “Why did I come?”………
~ Continue to next part ~
Extract from Bessatsu Kadokawa (2009.07.15) - Kadokawa Mook Special Issue: Fukuyama Masaharu
Kato Haruhiko is a well known Japanese actor and radio personality, and a close friend of Masha. They became friends when both were hosting their individual radio programmes in All Night Nippon (オールナイトニッポン) in 2000. Souguchi Akihisa is a well known radio DJ and since 2004, has been Masha’s partner in the Fukuyama Masaharu’s All Night Nippon Saturday Special Tamashii no Radio (福山雅治のオールナイトニッポンサタデースペシャル 魂のラジオ).
*1 Takashi Okamura (岡村隆史) - more information; Ninety Nine - more information (Okamura on our right)
*2 Matsui Kazuyo (松居一代) - more information; Matsui duster - picture
*3 Asahiyama Zoo -more information; Official English site
*4 Yakushima - more information
*5 Touring trip - Masha and his friends tour around the world in their motorcycles.
*6 Lake Akan - more information (1); (2); (3)