In the Eyes of Others (Part 4c): Kato & Souguchi
Haruhiko Kato and Souguchi Akihisa’s Talk-as-they-like (3)
Masha: Absent from Trial
Continued from here
K : Kato Haruhiko (加藤晴彥) S : Souguchi Akihisa (莊口彰久)
K: Well alright, let’s just touch on a bit of his good parts. For Masha-nii’s concerts, I would always try to go to the one in my hometown – Nagoya. Once, Masha-nii said to me “Pay special attention in tomorrow’s show!” I thought what’s that all about? He had specially added an extra song that I liked “Tada Boku ga Kawatta” ただ僕が変わった, and only for the show I went to.
S: For a man in his position, he doesn’t need to be so thoughtful for others, but I feel he’s just as caring to everyone. Other than their physique, he really pays a lot of attention to the people around him.
K: I think he’s got eyes like shellfish.
S: What was that?
K: You know those tiny black dots on the skirts of shellfish? Those are the eyes, right? Masha-nii has got just as many eyes looking in all directions like a shellfish.
S: I see. Then please use this as the caption for our talk – “Fukuyama Masaharu has eyes like shellfish” (laugh). It’s true, he looks like he’s not noticing, but he’s really observant of people. When I was looking for a new house, I received Fukuyama-san’s email out of nowhere, it read “The building XX has a vacant unit, you should go have a look at once.” Well, then I had to go see it, right? After that, he phoned me “How was it? Not bad eh, that house.” He actually made a point to call me in between his scenes (from the TV/movie)! I thought, why should he bother himself to help house-hunting for a small fry like me?
K: This person really likes to check out houses! Once the three of us including Okamura-san*, went around to look at the high-end residences in Tokyo. Masha-nii was our guide and drove us all over: “Now, let’s go to the Ikedayama (池田山) district~”
S: Sounds just like a real estate agent. He’s known as “the Singing Real Estate Agent” (laugh).
K: It was the same when I moved, I had narrowed my choices down to three. He asked me over the phone “What are they?” I replied “You wouldn’t know even if I told you” So he immediately looked them up on the internet.
S: I didn’t expect it, but he really likes to look after others. He even taught me how to negotiate with the real estate agents. In the midst of his busy shooting schedule, he specially called me a couple of times. He pays so much attention to detail that I wanted to say “What’s going on?”
K: When he emailed me, I immediately called him back to say “thank you”, but he actually replied “I’m busy now.” I thought “Then why’d you email me? Doesn’t it take more time and trouble to email than call?” (laugh)
S: His emails are full of picture symbols.
K: They are! They are!
S: Some of those symbols are very cute.
K: Yup, yup. There’s one more thing I want to talk about. That’s the “Deserted Island Nude incident”. I love Okinawa and I go there a lot. A local I know said he could take us to a deserted island about 10 minutes by boat away from the main island. It’s not like those places that tours would go to, a truly deserted island.
S: Sounds like a great place.
K: I invited Masha-nii and our group of friends went over. Some of us had barbeque on the island; drank wine; played with banana boats, we each went off to have our own fun. When I noticed, Masha-nii was floating by himself in the sea, motionless. He wasn’t swimming nor did he have swimming gear. I thought “What is he doing?” and when he returned, he said “Haru, skinny dipping in the sea just feels great!”
S: He was all nude?
K: All the time in the sea. You couldn’t do that in a normal sea-water public bath, can you? But it’s only because there wasn’t a soul there to see him, that Masha-nii could be so carefree. I think he gushed out some inspiration for a song in the process.
S: When he was all nude?
K: Yep. I heard the song, it had the word “sea” in it. (laugh)
S: Fukuyama-san wants to recharge himself by going to places like these. He’s been too busy lately, it looks like it’s really hard on him. It’s so bad it makes us feel “how can you really get to be this busy!”
K: It’s a bit shocking.
S: He takes on commercials by himself; after the Budokan he immediately started the concert tour, with a totally different rundown from the Budokan; at the same time, he’s recording his album; giving magazine interviews etc. I was thinking maybe if we look closer, we’d find it’s not really Fukuyama-san, but Michy-san or Ooyama (Hideo)-san** instead. Because he’s got too much to do, there’s a rumour that “he’s asked Michy-san and Ooyama–san to stand in for him Kagemusha-style (shadow 影武者)”.
K: Even though his does like to work anyway, he wouldn’t want to do it to that extent.
S: He’d take a break once in a while to recharge himself in the past. But I think ever since last year, he’s had such a lot on his plate, it hasn’t stopped.
K: He had a 3-4 year hiatus before, when ‧he only hosted his radio show. In a nutshell, he’s not one of those types of people who would take on so much work, is he?
S: Well this album, not including the singles compilation, came after a gap of 8 years. Even the concert tour only started recently. Before that, people always had the impression “Oh? And how many years has it been since the last tour?” Yes, it’s also because this is his debut 20th anniversary, but it’s really an incredible amount of work . As for him now, because he’s too busy, he said he had to take a bit of liquor. He’s been drinking whisky lately. And he’s taking 2 heads of garlic every day.
K: This is the first time I heard about it.
S: Really? But he’s eating a lot of garlic.
K: But too much garlic isn’t good for you, right?
S: Irrespective of this, he himself said “I will use the way I researched myself to consume it.”
K: That is so like him! Wasn’t there a phase when he was drinking soya milk all the time? Like his own personal fad “This is The Thing now!”
S: Even if eating all those things do help, but he just seems so busy. During the radio show, he’s stretching his thigh muscles with a stretching bar, as he speaks. After the Budokan, he’d stuck electrodes to his throat and was massaging it while he was talking.
K: He’s got too much work. Not so long ago, he sent me an email “Got so much to do I’m so tired, take me somewhere to eat next time.” We can go anytime!
S: The album; the tour, although the fans will be very happy, but I really want to say to him “Please take care of yourself”. Of course, as we’re saying this, I guess Fukuyama-san himself would be the most anxious.
K: When Masha-nii decides to work hard, he will put everything he has in it.
S: After the tour, doesn’t he need to start immediately on the Taiga drama series? So he’ll be busy until the end of next year.
K: After the Taiga drama, we can’t help it if Masha-nii decides to rest for 2 or 3 years.
S: You’ll make the fans very worried with your talk. Fukuyama-san’s fans are very adorable, if it’s been some time since the last song or concert, they will say “Be quick!” But when he really starts on his concert tour, they’ll get worried – “Will he be OK? Will he need a break after this?” You can’t find fans like these anywhere else.
K: If he overworks, I’ll start thinking, could this be a sign (of things to come)?
S: Yes, yes! That’s why I think everyone is very apprehensive now. They’re thinking “After the Taiga, is he planning to take a long rest?”
K: Even if he really needed to take a rest after the Taiga drama, please don’t get upset. To me, there is only one thing left, that is for him to get married.
S: That is going to create a stir! When he announced his new album, he said the word “Nyu…..” and the fans cried out “What~~” really loudly. They thought it was “Nyuseki” (get married under the wife’s name).
K: Although the fans would say “Please wait”, but doesn’t everybody want to see Masha-nii’s married life?
S: To me, he’ll always be the last single big-shot superstar. He said himself “The Budokan (concert) is like having sex with 15,000 people!” I guess we’d all want him to remain forever everyone’s Fukuyama-san.
K: But I want to see Masha-nii playing with his kids! I really want to see Fukuyama Masaharu changing diapers!
S: You’ve got a point. He also said himself “I really want to have children.”
K: That’s only recently. He’d never said that in the past.
■ And so finally, in the absence of the principal, I would like to ask both of you to determine whether he is guilty or innocent.
K: Masha-nii’s charm, guilty!
S: What? How? That was so sudden!
K: If we need to talk about what Masha-nii is guilty of, that should be his charm.
S: You’re right.
K: There’s absolutely no room for clemency.
S: Well then, will Haruhiko-kun please say “Masha-nii’s charm……”, then we’ll both declare “Guilty!”
K: You’re so devious!
S: When it comes to his charm, I admit complete defeat.
K: Whatever I’ve said won’t hurt him a bit, he’s taken up all the good stuff (laugh)
~ The End ~
Extract from Bessatsu Kadokawa (2009.07.15) - The Kadokawa Mook Special Issue: Fukuyama Masaharu
To be honest, I’m not too worried whether Masha will take a long rest after the Taiga……I should say I haven’t thought about it at all ^^. Even if it turns out to be true, he’s done too much for us already, isn’t it better if he can go live a life he wants?
Kato Haruhiko is a 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 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) weekly broadcast.
Translated from Fukuyama Honne (Article 6602) with reference to the original article.