Some people say that as long as you have blond hair, blue eyes and white skin, you can get a job, succeed and even become a celebrity in Japan. So imagine what would happen if there were two such people, married to each other!

You may not be aware of this, but my husband and I are movie stars. We're also rock stars, TV celebrities, entrepreneurs and all-round poster children for Japan's countryside.

I have been praised for having a small face, being a native speaker of English and for my Japanese language ability. My husband has been commended for being otokomae (handsome) — for, among other things, wearing plaid flannel shirts and ripped jeans (the real kind), sporting the occasional unshaven face, keeping a head of wild, blond hair and having large, manly calloused hands from working on projects around the house.