The woman who may soon be Japan’s first lady, Miyuki Hatoyama, is a former actress turned lifestyle guru with an interest in spirituality who could liven up the staid role of a prime minister’s wife.
Her husband Yukio Hatoyama — whose Democratic Party of Japan is widely expected to oust conservative Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso’s party from power in an election on Sunday — has called Miyuki his ever-shining “sun.”
“There is no limit to her cheerfulness,” the blue-blooded politician and former engineering academic said of his 66-year-old wife, whom he met while he was studying at Stanford University in California.
While many politicians’ wives in Japan have played a traditionally meek and conservative role, Mrs Hatoyama is a celebrity in her own right.
Miyuki, known for her extrovert and quirky personality, gives inspirational talks and has appeared on TV variety shows to discuss topics ranging from spirituality to politics.
She describes herself as a “life composer” who arranges people’s food, clothes and home decor and has authored cook books, including “Spiritual Food” on Hawaiian macrobiotic recipes.
She also serves as the chief stylist for her husband, doing his hair and coordinating what he wears.
The 62-year-old prime ministerial frontrunner has spoken in glowing terms about his wife as the bedrock of his life.
“I feel relieved when I get home,” he told an interviewer for a photo book published in 2002.
Miyuki Hatoyama said she had always been “full of curiosity” when she appeared recently on a TV talk show with her trademark bobbed hair wearing and a skirt made from hemp coffee sacks she bought in Hawaii.
“I’m a person who wants to try everything,” she said, listing hobbies such as pickling vegetables, making stained-glass art, pottery and sewing.
She said she had never had a dream that was not fulfilled and was now “burning” with desire to make a film in Hollywood.
“Unrealized dreams? I don’t think I have one,” she said. “Dreams will come true if you strongly believe in them. The dream I now want to realize and believe will come true is film-making.”
She playfully went on to say that the lead actor would be Tom Cruise, “because I know he was a Japanese in a previous life.”
Miyuki smiled and continued: “I remember that he and I were together [in a previous life]. I believe he’d get it if I said to him ‘Long time no see’ when I meet him.”
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