Tasty morsels and feeding frenzies

Scandal sharks circling
Takeshita Noboru's lifeboat
between hi-legs and t-backs

By William Wetherall

A review of articles in the weekly magazines
Flash, 9 February 1993
Shukan Asahi, 5 February 1993
Shukan Gendai, 20 February 1993
Shukan Post, 29 January 1993
Shukan Post, 5 February 1993
Shukan Post, 12 February 1993
Shukan Post, 19 February 1993

A version of this article appeared in
Mainichi Daily News, 14 February 1993, page 17 (Waiwai Waido)

The scent of Takeshita Noboru's blood has all the country's scandal sharks circling the former prime minister's leaky lifeboat. But as interesting as all the rumor mongering are the items the Golden Screen story is wedged between in the predominantly male-oriented news magazines.

Shukan Post (29 January) spotlit the case in the 20th episode of its weekly "scoop" feature--following articles on the royal engagement, which themselves came after several pages of "Miss Campus" contestants goose-pimpled in winter hi-legs. The next issue of Shukan Post (5 February) undressed the budding actress Tamao through Shinoyama Kishin's lenses, and looked at sexual harassment in the Social Democratic Party of Japan, before speculating that Kanemaru Shin and Takeshita are trying to engineer a royal wedding amnesty that would pardon the political sins of both of them.

In the next two issues, Shukan Post (12 February, 19 February) moved its Golden Screen "scoop" features to the pole position, right after more Kishin shots of Tamao's natural beauty, and a courageous attempt by Yamagishi Shin to eroticize the younger but siliconesque T-back tease Iijima Ai.

Shukan Asahi (5 February) "lights the fuse of the Takeshita Golden Screen bomb" between a lead on the rescue of some volcanologists caught in an eruption of the "cannibalistic" Galeras crater in Colombia, and a third piece on the killing of a middle-school boy by bullies. The only photographic distractions were a kimono-clad Yakushimaru Hiroko on the cover (another Shinoyama Kishin shot), and an eight-page color feature on the Ainu spirit.

Flash (9 February), which is designed to fall open to its centerspread offerings, tempted this reviewer's hidden faith with all 94 centimeters of Hosokawa Fumie. Thus the tardiness of his regression to the front features of the magazine, where wedged in the cleavage between the latest on Miyazawa Rie and profiles of some of Japan's other Owada Masakos, he found the two-page Takeshita expose for which, he swears, he bought the issue.

Flash baited the hook, and set it, with these headlines: "'Golden Screen suspicion' on top of 'Sagawa'--Takeshita Noboru on the brink! The man who holds the key to the case of the defunct Heiwa Sogo Bank, which is said to be the background to the Kominto [anti-Takeshita smear campaign] case, is going to offer explosive testimony in court."

If this testimony on Tuesday blows Takeshita's boat out of the water, what the weeklies will do to his soft underbelly is predictable. Between what other, delicious morsels they will pursue their attacks is not. Shukan Gendai (20 February) put its story last--after a rundown of the 87 food and drink haunts to which women want most to be taken first, and before a color spread on restaurants with the spiciest dishes.