Himitsu no Arashi-chan (ひみつの嵐ちゃん) is an hour-long variety show hosted by Arashi. This week, Sakurai-san and Ninomiya-kun handle a full-episode share house segment (which probably means it can’t really be called a ‘segment’ this time).

The last time Sakurai-san and Nino-kun hosted the show was on September 20th, with Nakashima Mika-san as the guest, so they start out by remarking how long it’s been. When he sits down, Nino-kun feels like the sense of distance between the couches has changed.

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The guests today are women pros (女子プロ – joshi pro) – so they’ll be from various backgrounds. Right after Sakurai-san tells Nino-kun this . . .

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. . . the doorbell rings . . .

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. . . and there all seven of them are:

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The first order of business is figuring out who they are and what they do. The costumes serve as hints to the latter question.

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Probably the most noticeable guest gets introduced first. Twenty-nine year old Aikawa Yuzuki-san (愛川 ゆず季) is a pro wrestler, and was apparently also a gravure idol:

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Nino-kun gets to pick someone else to guess about, and he takes another easy one – pro baseball player Kawabata Yuki-san (川端友紀).

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They had already met pro golfer Kaneda Kumiko-san (金田久美子).

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But it got harder from them after that. Next was boat racer Hirayama Chika-san (平山智加), who was totally surprised when Ninomiya-kun got it right.

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How about Ebe Kaori-san (江辺香織), the billiard player? She’s only one of 75 women who can claim to that profession (I think this is the Japanese tally, but I’m not sure).

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One of the guests in particular really wants to get them guessing about her, and even waves to Nino-kun to grab his attention.

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Sakurai-san give him a hint – she had the earliest start, becoming a pro in her field at the age of 12.

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Nino-kun still can’t get it, and I don’t think we can blame him. Ishibashi Sachio-san (石橋幸緒) is a pro shogi player (why is it never a go player?).

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Even at 12 years old, she had to compete with players in their fifties and sixties. In her pro debut, she won against another pro in their forties.

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The last guest in dressed in traditional garb, and Nino-kun first guesses that she’s involved in rakugo (in which a lone storyteller takes the stage to entertain with a comical story), but that turns out to be wrong.

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His next attempt almost brings her to tears – something about making animals with scissors.

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Sakurai-san has to save Nino-kun by informing him that Uzawa Hikaru-san (鵜澤光) is a Noh (能) pro – a performer of classical musical dramas (the really elaborate and traditional type).

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Well, that was a third of the show right there with the introductions. And it was an interesting third, at that. Is it odd for the introductions to be the best part of the episode?

Anyway, this assemblage of people from different backgrounds is really remarkable, isn’t it?

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The next question to each of them was perfectly natural – how much money do they all make?

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Pro golfer Kaneda-san won prize money amounting to 30 million yen last year ($330,000).

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And then she also got sponsorship money on top of that. Not too shabby.

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In yearly income, boat racer Hirayama-san actually managed to beat Kaneda’s top number, yielding 32 million yen ($350,000). I didn’t realize there was that kind of money in boat racing.

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It’s dangerous work, I guess, and racers need to be compensated for that.

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Hirayama-san explains as she dispenses with some of her extraneous gear. It turns out that there’s a lot of prize money – a million dollars or more – up for grabs to the few who can win races lasting only a couple of minutes.

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How about the pro wrestler? The Arashi guys have real trouble with this one.

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Compensation in this field is really complicated, it turns out. Aikawa-san’s case is especially so because of all her side projects.

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Ultimately, she whispers the answer into Nino-kun’s ear, leading him to start pacing pensively.

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The audience is left with the mystery.

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Surely shogi can’t compare with pro golfing. How much do you think Ishibashi-san made last year? Going forward, I think I’ll leave the numbers a surprise, though unlike Aikawa-san, they do give us concrete answers.

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Ever wonder how much money you could make playing billiards?

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Well, I suppose we can guess a ballpark figure for a pro baseball player’s salary.

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But what about Noh? I can’t even venture a credible number.

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Actually, more interesting than her salary, Uzawa-san had an elegant performance mask to show off:

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Ishibashi-san had her own set of shogi pieces:

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By that point, the salary portion of the show ended (taking up another third of the show). The last part is best described as “miscellaneous.” Ishibashi-san gave details about shogi matches and how long they can get.

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I think she said that her longest one took 16 hours.

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It wouldn’t take her long to defeat Sakurai-san, though, regardless of the handicap. She can apparently forgo many of the pieces and also play blindfolded and still have a chance of defeating him – a claim I completely believe given the abilities of go professionals.

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We get similar details about the other professions, but I’m not going to be able to translate them all.

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The highlights are the reactions from the Arashi pair . . .

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. . . though Uzawa-san’s poise is quite engaging.

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So, the first two-thirds of the episode was easier to follow than usual without subtitles, but the last third was really difficult because each guest had completely different things to talk about. At the same time, I think all the really interesting stuff came at the end, where it was impossible for me to understand what why were talking about.

There’s no question that this was an amazing assemblage of guests, and most of them could have individually appeared for a normal length share house segment without boring the viewer.

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Because he was the one making all the guesses, I think the Most Omoshiroi Arashi has to go to Nino-kun. He also had the better reactions.

Altogether, I thought it was a very good episode, and a lot more fascinating than when they have an actress on. There was just so much more to talk about because these women have had experiences far from the entertainment world the Arashi members are all too familiar with.