Adultery, scandal, divorce: Are Japan’s Best Mother Awards cursed?

We recently wrote about the Ryoko Hirosue adultery scandal, which has effectively meant her immediate disappearance from public life (no more TV ads, no more fashion magazine covers, no more acting roles).

When the scandal broke about her affair with a chef, many noted the irony that she had received a “best mother” award in 2022.

The annual awards are given to female celebrities each year to celebrate them as a maternal role model.

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The awards are announced each May near Mother’s Day, awarded to several celebrities in categories such as acting, business, singing, and sports. The winners are chosen by votes from the general public collected via surveys and events.

However, in the wake of the Hirosue scandal, people started scrolling down the list of past winners and it quickly became apparent that the awards might be cursed!

The list includes numerous “best mothers” who subsequently had scandals involving an alleged affair and/or then divorce.

Besides the recent Hirosue scandal, the 2021 winner was Mariko Shinoda, who was then accused of adultery, allegedly attempted suicide, and eventually got divorced earlier this year.

Mikiko Kichise (2019’s best mother) divorced her husband, apparently because of his snoring.

The 2017 winner was Maki Goto, who was also admitted to adultery.

Divorce hit the marriages of other winners: Anna Tsuchiya (2012), Kyoko Hasegawa (2013), Yuko Ogura (2014).

best mother awards japan cursed affairs scandals

Going back a bit further, former Speed singer Eriko Imai (2009) actually became a mother and wife through a shotgun wedding and her marriage lasted only a couple of years. She is these days a politician but her career hit a bump five years ago when a tabloid broke the scoop that she was in a relationship with another politician who was technically married (though separated from his wife).

They were found out when photos were taken of them together on a Shinkansen train. He subsequently resigned after he was found to have falsified expenses.

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Adultery allegations about actress Makiko Esumi (2010) led to her retirement from showbiz in 2017.

Of course, we might well challenge the correlation between being a good mother (or even the best) and having an affair or getting divorced. Separating from your husband does not make you a bad mother to your children. It hopefully makes you happier and which then quite possibly improves your family life.

But rightly or wrongly, adultery has an image (especially for women) of choosing personal pleasure over a stable domestic life, and so endangering your children’s upbringing. Alas, society was built by hypocrites.

On the other hand, the chair of the organization that decides the Best Mother Awards was arrested for physically assaulting his wife, so the scandals cut both ways.

We wonder who will be pleased to receive a Best Mother Award next year. And if it will make their husband nervous or not!

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  • KJ23 June 21, 2023

    that looks bad
    well at least someone should be given to a worthy candidate for award.

    Nowadays its hard to be a public eye to everyone especially when it comes to this scandalous issue.

  • TheDude June 21, 2023

    Even though Hirosue’s husband has the “candle” Jun it seems he could not light her fire

  • TheDude June 21, 2023

    The name Candle Jun

  • Wolf46 June 21, 2023

    Every person who commits adultery must be judged by society. It doesn’t matter if it’s a woman or a man. The only exception to committing adultery is when your girlfriend/boyfriend is unfaithful.
    Tadashi Anahori I agree that some in society are hypocrites.

  • Chris June 27, 2023

    Adultery is human nature, which has by morality preachers condemned. Since then started people acting like you and most people. Those, also specialists who say that people are 1 person sexually loyal lie.

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