Wasabi Stories vol.197: “Have you ever gone through a difficult time?”


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“Have you ever gone through a difficult time?”

Today’s story-teller is Japanese popular TV entertainer [W:Mai Satoda].

Satoda is famous for giving unusual answers at game shows and she is also famous for performing on TV variety shows in Japan.

Even though I hardly watch TV, I know about Satoda. LoL

So, the story is about the 26 years old entertainer, Mai Satoda. She was talking about her tennis club’s coach at her high school in her column.

She says, “The most difficult time in my life was when I was in the rubber-ball tennis club during high school.”


She still remembers about her club’s teacher, Mr. Yokota.

She went to a private high school in Hokkaido and joined the tennis club there because she was infatuated with wearing the tennis skirt.

However, high school life with being a member of the tennis club was far different than she expected. She was intimidated by seeing how hard the training was. So she started faking sick to skip the club.

Mr. Yokota did not instruct her to come to the club everyday or anything when she showed up every once in a while. He did not talk to her at all. He was cold to her.

She felt like quitting the club, but she was afraid of telling it to the teacher, so she decided to slip away from the club by being repeatedly off sick. When she walk passed him in the corridor one day, Mr. Yokota said, “Are you going to back down? What a shame.”

Satoda felt like he was reading her mind exactly what she was intending to do. This triggered her to go back to the club.

Mr. Yokota was a demanding manager. When she lost games because of her mistakes, he used to yell at her and said, “Never walk into the court again! Never play tennis again!”

Satoda did not enjoy playing tennis but she felt that there was no escape. However, her attitude toward tennis has started changing since she became a captain of the tennis club when she was a high school junior. However, her feeling toward Mr. Yokota had never changed.

Then after she graduated from high school, she met Mr. Yokota for the first time in a long time.


Here is their conversation:

Satoda: “Being in the tennis club was tougher than working in the entertainment industry.”

Mr. Yokota: “What I wanted you to learn was not the technique of tennis, but something important as a fundamental part of your life.”


Now she understands that he was trying to teach ability to be patient and a willingness to make serious efforts.


Finally, she says, “I may have not been able to keep working in the entertainment industry if Mr. Yokota did not gave me a chance to remain in the club by saying, ‘Are you going to back down?’ In the entertainment industry, I have to perform different things each time. Mr. Yokota told me that I was not quite good at tennis, but I used to run around in the court, trying to hit the ball. Keeping these words in mind, I would like to challenge each work just like playing tennis games.”


The NIKKEI 01/29/2010 by Mai Satoda (entertainer)



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