By Robert Mackey
Itsuo Inouye/Associated Press Japan’s next first couple, Miyuki Hatoyama and her husband Yukio Hatoyama, last week in Tokyo.
Here’s something you need to know about Japan’s next first lady, Miyuki Hatoyama: she used to be an actress. That may help to explain why Japanese voters were apparently not worried about handing her husband, Yukio Hatoyama, a landslide victory and the keys to the prime minister’s office despite the fact that he is married to a woman who wrote last year that she traveled to Venus in a U.F.O. in the 1970s.
On Wednesday, The Times of London’s Richard Lloyd Parry reported from Tokyo that Ms. Hatoyama, “a musical actress, cookery writer, clothesmaker and television personality,” is given a sort of free pass by Japanese voters because she “falls into the category of public figure known as ‘tarento,’ or ‘talent,’” who are expected to be kooky.
She has apparently been making good use of that pass. As Mr. Parry reports, Ms. Hatoyama wrote in “Very Strange Things I’ve Encountered,” a book published last year, that before she divorced her first husband and married Mr. Hatoyama, she may have visited our neighboring planet:
“While my body was sleeping, I think my spirit flew on a triangular-shaped U.F.O. to Venus,” she said. “It was an extremely beautiful place and was very green.” Her first husband suggested that it was probably just a dream — but Mr. Hatoyama, she insisted, would not be so dismissive. “My current husband has a different way of thinking,” she said. “He would surely say, ‘Oh, that’s great!’”
As Reuters reported, Ms. Hatoyama also amazed a daytime television audience this year with the information that she personally knew Tom Cruise during a past life, when he was Japanese, and still hopes to one day make a film with him. The film, she assured viewers, will win her an Academy Award “for sure,” and “will change your values.” Ms. Hatoyama added that, in his spare time, her husband is helping to make her vision a reality by “translating the script into English even though he is tired after work.”
Yukio Hatoyama/Associated Press An undated photo of Yukio and Miyuki Hatoyama in younger, more carefree days.
Apparently Mr. Hatoyama is paying his wife back for her help with crafting his image. The Telegraph’s Julian Ryall noted last month that Ms. Hatoyama, who is 66, now “describes herself as a ‘life composer’ who selects people’s clothes and food — including those of her husband — and designs home interiors.” Mr. Ryall also reported that in a more recent television interview, she “appeared wearing a skirt she had made from hemp coffee sacks purchased in Hawaii.”