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There are certain lines of work that you generally have to get into pretty early in life. For example, while many professional athletes have had careers that continue into their 30s and even 40s, if you haven’t broken into the National Football League by your mid-20s, you’ve probably missed your chance at becoming a starting strong safety for the Pittsburg Steelers.

Bikini modeling is another field that becomes harder to break into the older you get. In Japan, where youth has long been considered a vital component of traditional feminine beauty, it’s not at all unusual for models to make their professional debuts while still in their teens. Of course, there are exceptions to every rule, and exceptions don’t get much more surprising than Yuko Nakagawa, who’s making her swimwear modeling debut at the age of 43.

On February 1, Nakagawa appeared at a press conference in Tokyo’s Akihabara electronics district to promote her debut DVD, entitled Ashita Tenki ni Nare (or Hoping for Good Weather Tomorrow). While speaking to reporters, the Tokyo native said she’s never thought of herself as having a nice figure, which leads us to think she’s either extremely modest or has terrible eyesight.

▼ The DVD’S front cover

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▼ And the back

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Nakagawa didn’t initially set out to become a model. As a matter of fact, she wasn’t initially drawn to show business or entertainment in general, instead graduating from Tsuda College’s English Literature department, obtaining teaching credentials for junior high and high school language courses along the way. After graduation, though, she wound up working in an international trading company, where she was tasked with providing Japanese lessons for the organization’s foreign staff.

It was during her lectures that Nakagawa first realized how much she enjoyed speaking in front of a crowd, and only then did she resolve to quit her job and look for work in mass media. Her educational and professional background landed her an on-air position as part of a three-month English-learning program from public broadcaster NHK, which she used as a springboard to spots on sports and local morning news shows.

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After taking over weather announcement duties for broadcaster TBS’ Morning Tenki, Nakagawa developed an interest in meteorology, studying independently and obtaining certification in the field in 2006. She now works as a meteorologist for a number of media outlets, and also visits elementary schools to talk about environmentalism.

▼ Nakagawa, talking about rising humidity levels plus the health benefits of eating peaches, and looking good while she does it

While Nakagawa does appear in a variety of swimsuits in her debut DVD, those aren’t the only outfits she wears. The release is technically a gurabia DVD, the category of modeling in Japan that focusses on sexy yet non-pornographic looks. Nakagawa describes the contents as:

“First, I talk for a bit, like a reporter. Then suddenly I’m in a swimsuit. Later, I do a belly dance…and I also appear in a yukata [summer kimono].”

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When asked about her surprisingly youthful appearance, Nakagawa shared her three personal beauty secrets. While bathing at night is the norm in Japan, the new model says she takes two baths a day, once before going to bed and one after getting up in the morning, doing facial muscles stretches while soaking the tub both times. She also limits her skin’s exposure to harsh UV rays, and includes plenty of meat in her diet.

Even if you’re not entranced by Nakagawa’s expressive eyes and warm smile, her interview is worth watching for the part at the two-minute mark, where a reporter gives her the half-question of, “So, you don’t have a boyfriend, or anyone special?”

In this sort of situation, nine times out of ten that’ll get you a “No, I don’t (tee hee).” The modeling and idol industries in Japan rely heavily on fantasy to sell their products, and many women who work in the fields are discouraged from dating, or at least told to hide the existence of a romantic partner.

Being a full-grown woman of 43, though, Nakagawa is too old to be putting up with this sort of charade, and responds, “Um, actually, I’m married.”

▼ Pro that she is, she does still remember the (tee hee), though.

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She goes on to add that her husband is happily supportive of her career, including the sexy avenue it’s recently turned onto. So remember guys, you can look, but in this case you’ve got even less chance of dating the swimsuit model than usual.

Source: Naver Matome
Top image: YouTube
Insert images: Amazon Japan, YouTube (1, 2)