Hamada Masatoshi of Downtown, the massively popular (both domestically and internationally) comedy duo, has had a reputation of being a loving husband to his wife of over 33 years, Ogawa Natsumi, an actress. However it seems that Ogawa has had enough.
In 2014, it was reported that Hamada had been having an affair with a gravure idol for over three years, which damaged his relationship to the point where he had to beg for his wife’s forgiveness so that they would not separate. While the two were able to reconcile, it seems like much more domestic matters may ultimately be the cause of this power couple’s demise.
At the beginning of his marriage, Hamada reportedly said that the reason for him proposing to his wife at the time was because he wanted someone to “do all the annoying chores (i.e., cooking, cleaning, laundry)” that he didn’t want to do. Such arrangements are common in Japan, which has one of the lowest male household chore participation rates in the world, and women still commonly do up to seven times more domestic work than their husbands. Apparently, two months of having a husband at home doing nothing due to a lack of recordings as a result of the pandemic was enough for Ogawa to reconsider the benefits of their relationship, and they are currently spending more than a year apart in separate residences.
Despite this, it seems as though they are still in touch, with Ogawa mentioning on her blog that Hamada had even thrown her a surprise birthday party as recently as last month. Perhaps this new living arrangement will be what keeps them together despite all the stress.