First lady grabs spotlight with spiritual quirks

by Mari Yamaguchi

The Associated Press

The next prime minister is known for being bland in his speeches. His wife, however, is anything but.

Miyuki Hatoyama, a former actress and wife of Yukio Hatoyama — who is expected to be sworn in as prime minister on Sept. 16 — promises to become one of Japan’s most colorful first ladies ever.

A strong believer in spiritualism, Hatoyama said in a TV appearance earlier this year she met U.S. actor Tom Cruise — in a previous life. She also claims that her soul has traveled to Venus on a UFO.

“I have a dream that I still believe will come true, which is to make a film in Hollywood,” she told a TV talk show in May. “The lead actor is Tom Cruise, of course. Why? Because I know he was Japanese in a previous life.

“I was with him then. So he would recognize me when I see him and say ‘Long time, no see!’ ” she said, though cautioned the program’s young interviewer not to take her seriously.

Cruise starred in the 2003 film “The Last Samurai,” which was set in Japan.

“I also eat the sun,” Hatoyama said on the program, looking up with her eyes closed, raising her arms high as if she was tearing pieces off an imaginary sun. “Like this, hum, hum, hum. It gives me enormous energy.”

“My husband has recently started doing that, too,” said the 66-year-old Hatoyama, who was born to Japanese parents in Shanghai and met her husband in the United States when he was a Ph.D. candidate at Stanford.

The Democratic Party of Japan, which her husband heads, scored a sweeping victory in Sunday’s election for the 480-seat Lower House, winning 308 seats and ending the ruling party’s virtually uninterrupted more than half-century domination of government.

His party’s majority means he is a shoo-in to be the next prime minister.

Miyuki Hatoyama, a former actress, dancer and singer in the hugely popular Takarazuka Revue all-female theater troupe, wrote in a book published last year about her surrealistic space trip about 20 years ago.

“While my body was sleeping, I think my spirit flew on a triangular-shaped UFO to Venus,” she said in the book “Most Bizarre Things I’ve Encountered,” according to Internet bookstore bk1, which quoted the passage from the book.

“It was an extremely beautiful place and was very green,” she said.

The book is a compilation of interviews with 26 prominent people, including writers, scholars and culinary experts revealing their strange or spiritual experiences, originally published in her “Miracle Interview” column in the monthly spiritual magazine Mu.

She is also known for her healthy cooking and has published several books, including “Miyuki Hatoyama’s Spiritual Food.” She is also in charge of making her husband look presentable and healthy.