Hideyoshi Aizawa, who died in May, is known as the “father of the Showa idol.” As the founder and president of Sun Music, one of the most powerful talent agencies in Japanese show business, he basically invented the idea of the idol singer in the 1970s and ’80s with the cultivation of people such as Junko Sakurada and Seiko Matsuda. He also steered the careers of non-idol superstars such as enka singer Harumi Miyako and actor-cum-politician Kensaku Morita. His influence reached into the ’90s with the now-disgraced idol Noriko Sakai.
Fuji TV will cover Aizawa’s life on “Showa Aidoru Hikari to Kage” (“The Light and Shadow of Showa Idols”; Tues., 7 p.m.), from his love of country music as a youth under the American occupation to his discovery of some of Japan’s biggest stars. The special two-hour program promises to reveal “truths that have never been told.”
Young people today are supposedly discouraged by the challenges of modern life, and TBS has solicited several celebrities to offer them words of wisdom that will help them face the future. Among the famous people interviewed on “Terebi Mirai Isan” (“TV Legacy for the Future”; Wed., 9 p.m.) are baseball legend Sadaharu Oh, avant-garde artist Yayoi Kusama, novelist and Buddhist philosopher Jakucho Setouchi, model-actress Mitsu Dan and Argentinian soccer player Lionel Messi. They will be asked, “If you could add a new definition of money, what would it be?” “What would you say to a young person discouraged by life?” and “What words have had the greatest impact on your own life?”
CM of the week: Kyogetsu
Indirection is the soul of effective advertising, especially if sex is the real commodity. In a spot for Suntory’s citrus-flavored liquor Kyogetsu, actress Satomi Ishihara sits outside on a wooden deck sipping the beverage from a glass. She’s impressed by the refreshing taste and turns to the camera, which represents her companion on this sunny day, and offers us her glass. “Try it,” she says with a big mischievous smile. “It’s a relay kiss.”
The glass that touched her lips will now touch ours. “What do you think?” she asks in close-up after the voice-over explanation, during which we’ve presumably kissed the glass and drunk in her essence. Uh, OK. A bit too sweet for us, though.