Sunday, March 22, 2009

Japan's Mr. TV Monta Mino set to retire

by Chris MaGee

At any given moment on any given day you can turn on your TV in Japan and catch Norio Minorikawa, better known by his nickname Monta Mino. Mino hosts morning shows, talk shows, panel, shows, wildlife documentaries, cooking shows, he shills for various products in commercials as well as hosting the Japanese version of "Who Wants to be a Millionaire" ... and so on and so forth. When I was in Japan a few years back I couldn't get away from the guy. Mino's been so ubiquitous that he's been awarded the Guinness World Record for the TV host who's logged the most hours of live air time in one week... twice! The first time was in November of 2006 when he hosted 21 hours and 42 minutes of live TV and then just this past April he broke his record and was awarded (pic above) his second world record for 22 hours and 15 seconds of live air time.

Now as much as I was confused and annoyed to see the same guy over and over and over again on TV in Japan it was with a certain amount of surprise and a hint of sadness that I read this post at the blog An Englishman in Osaka. It turns out that after a 30 year career in front of the camera Mino, now 64, will retire next month from broadcasting. My mind kind of boggles as to what Japanese TV will look like after Mino's departure. Well, I guess no one will ever possess the energy that Mino did so this could mean that various TV personalities will have to step up to fill the void of his retirement.

I do somehow think that a guy who's used to being seen by millions of people all day everyday might have a hard time winding down into private life. I bet you he'll start taking various jobs so that people will say, "Honey, I saw Monta Mino working the ticket booth at the train station, and then when I got off the train he was handing out packs of tissues, then he was serving up soba at lunch and then he was tending bar at the izakaya I went to after work!"

Well, good luck in your retirement, Mino-san.

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