We are used to famous male celebrities committing adultery (step forward, Ken Watanabe, as a recent example), so why is it such a shock when the “guilty party” in question is female?
Why did, say, Becky attract so much vitriol over her affair with a married musician? No doubt it was partly because her “pure” image was tarnished — but it takes two to tango, you know.
Japan is still a society dominated by men, from the corridors of power in the Diet to the corporate board rooms and even the halls of the Imperial Palace, where women are unable to inherit the throne.
Yuki Saito is a singer-songwriter, actress, writer — and member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
But she is also an adulterer.
While hardly known outside Japan, Saito has had a prolific career and remains a household name domestically. Now in her early fifties, she is still a beautiful and alluring woman — as she seems to know herself.
She recently held a press conference, dressed in a white dress, in which she strenuously denied tabloid allegations of an extramarital affair. This is not the first time she has been accused of an extramarital relationship, but she stuck to her guns.
Now, a month later, she has admitted the truth — that was indeed having an affair with a married doctor in his fifties. She says she couldn’t tell the truth the first time because of her children.
The media loves a scandal and Saito was wrong to lie. But don’t be hard on her just because she’s a woman.
Ashley Madison is popular in Japan because it gives stronger, often older woman the chance to have some fun while ostensibly maintaining their marriages (usually for the sake of their children).
Just a few weeks ago it emerged that the husband of former Speed singer Takako Uehara (34) may have killed himself indirectly because he knew she was having an affair.
The latest example of adultery allegations leveled at a famous woman is the politician Shiori Yamao, who is being roasted in the media for her supposed affair with a younger man (it also doesn’t help that her party, the Democratic Party, is shedding members and voters like wild fire). There were also allegations about the actress Makiko Esumi back in January, which seemingly prompted the 50-year-old celebrity to retire from showbiz. (Esumi also had an affair with another actor during her short-lived first marriage.)
They say that only 5% of Japanese married women who have an affair are found out — compared to 95% of men.
In a Japan Society of Sexual Science survey of 1,162 men and women over 40 in 2012, it found that 14% of women had had an extramarital relationship within the last year — an increase of around three times over a similar survey in 2000. In 2016, a survey of 2,162 women by a private agency that investigates adultery found that 26% of women had committed adultery.
It’s a fact, folks, so let’s get used to it and quit the media furore.