Friday, August 29, 2008 9:32 PM
If, like me, your daily schedule involves the Yamanote Line you might be familiar with this advertisement, the latest in a series promoting Tokyo's racetracks, which has been running since at least February (and probably earlier, but that was when the Yamanote Line most recently entered my life, and I have been going round and round in circles ever since).
Now, I don't have much interest in horses except as a potential method of transport and / or protein source following a catastrophic breakdown of civilisation, but see it often enough and it becomes a familiar part of the scenery and I was intrigued enough to check out whether they actually do broadcast a programme presented by a talking puppet equine creature (they do).
Moreover it has provided me with my only half-way current nugget of knowledge regarding the Japanese celebrity scene, one which I can still use to break the ice at parties (although its usefulness is rapidly diminishing to the point that I can feel free to post it on my blog without giving the competition an unfair advantage).
You see, until recently Talking Puppet Horse's co-presenter was a raven-haired beauty going by the name of Mona Yamamoto, and being an astute observer I had vaguely come to the conclusion that she was not a 100% pure child of the Yamato race (the bone structure was a dead giveaway) and wondered if she was some sort of well-known celebrity outside of her role in online horserace online broadcasting. Although not to the point of actually investigating any further. Then a few weeks ago it was all over the news that she had been photographed entering a love hotel with some married baseball player, whom I have actually seen in action (playing baseball I mean), and it was quite a scandal by all accounts. And I learnt that Mona Yamamoto is the prodigy of a Norwegian/Japanese relationship.
Anyway, this (being seen entering a love hotel with a married baseball player, not being half-Norwegian) seems not to have done her career in horseracing broadcasting much good, as in this month's ad she has been replaced by Talking Puppet Horse's Talking Puppet Horse Girlfriend (who has made cameo appearences before), and checking out the latest show the role of Talking Puppet Horse's atractive human co-presenter seems to be being filled by one Tomomi Eguchi, who (as far as I am aware) has not yet been caught entering a love hotel with a baseball player or anyone else for that matter, but I will keep you posted.