After a solid career pitching in Japan, Kenta Maeda has made an impact on the mound for the Los Angeles Dodgers. He finished third in voting for the National League Rookie of the Year in 2016 and has played a big role in helping the Dodgers to the 2017 World Series against the Houston Astros. He signed an 8-year contract with the Dodgers this last season after a number of successful seasons with the Hiroshima Toyo Carp. When ace Clayton Kershaw was gone for an extended period with an injury, Maaeda was called upon and impressed.
Maeda’s pitching success isn’t all that he brought over from Japan to the United States. Maeda’s wife, Saro Narushima, also came with him. While Maeda is known for his pitching prowess, Narushima has had a bit of a more varied career for herself.
Here’s what you need to know about her:
1. She Was a TV Reporter in Japan
When rumors first started swirling in Japan of a romance between Maeda and Narushima, it was more notable because at the time, she was something of an on-air personality. Narushima worked as a TV announcer, and when news of their relationship was public, she was also referred to as a freelance reporter.
2. She and Maeda Were Married in 2012
As a celebrity couple in their home country of Japan, the rumors of marriage were swift. Talk of their plans to get married, and of their parents’ support of the marriage, date back to at least October of 2011. Turns out, those rumors weren’t exactly unfounded – the pair was married just a few months later, in January 2012. At the time, they were one of several couples consisting of baseball players and television reporters.
3. She Published a Cookbook in 2015
Television reporting isn’t the only occupation Narushima has held in her life. One of her greatest passions is cooking, especially as evidenced by pictures of the amounts of food she has cooked.
Her passion for food eventually manifested itself into a book. In February of 2015, she released a book entitled Maeda ke no shokutaku: Tabete karada o totonoeru reshipi. The book, as the term “reshipi” would imply, is a cook book containing recipes.
4. Maeda Valued Her Congratulations Above All Others After His First MLB Start
When Maeda was playing in Hiroshima, Narushima was known to show up at home games, once even attending with her mother. It is that level of support that has Maeda valuing her input above all others. When talking to the Los Angeles Daily News after his first ever start with the Dodgers, he talked about the hundreds of messages, texts, and emails offering congratulations on such an impressive debut. But Maeda said the most important congratulatory thoughts were from his wife. He told the reporter via an interpreter, “She was especially happy with the way it turned out… I’m glad she was happy with the way everything worked out in the first game.”
5. She Maintains An Ameba Blog Detailing Her Thoughts On Living in a New Country
Since her days in Japan, Narushima has maintained a blog via Ameba, a popular Japanese social media platform. Since the move to Los Angeles, she has tried to keep her blog going, discussing the good and the bad of being in a new country. It hasn’t always been easy to maintain with a busy life in LA, and in a recent post she apologized for it being her first in so long, due to her trying to create a good environment for her husband and their daughter, while also trying to keep herself calm. She also noted that while LA traffic is bad, the heat is a bit more pleasant than the heat she is used to in Japan.