“Advisor for women’s life choices”
To help as many women as possible find a way to live confidently.
People cannot choose their sex
when they are born.
However, there has to be a reason
for us to be born as women.
I want you to discover your talent
and potential on your own and
never give up on keep shining
until the final moment of your life.
“Advisor for women’s life choices”
To help as many women as possible find a way to live confidently.
People cannot choose their sex when they are born.
However, there has to be a reason for us to be born as women.
I want you to discover your talent and potential on your own and
never give up on keep shining until the final moment of your life.
30 years of experience as a business manager and bridal host.
A life of my own marriage, divorce and building a new family form.
I want to contine thinking all of that in order for women to shine.
Advisor for women’s life choices
Activities for AKUTSU Sayoko
- Think about ways in which women can live their life with dignity.
- Think about ideas for couples to stay happy.
- Think about alternative surname options for married couples.
Launched the comprehensive production business with a focus on wedding ceremonies.
In 2004, Akutsu was appointed to Representative Director of the company. Leading as the largest agent of bridal M.C.s. As an M.C. herself, she has served over 2,800 wedding ceremonies. As a film director and video producer, her short film series “OFUKU” featuring “HASEGAWA Takashi,” CEO of Hasegawa S.T., have been screened and received multiple awards at international film festivals.
In her private life, Akutsu married HASEGAWA Takashi, gave birth at the age of 32, and divorced at 37. Since then, she has been building a trustful relationship with HASEGAWA as business partners.
Date of Birth: May 26, 1964
Birthplace: Tochigi prefecture
Hobby: Studying detective stories, film analysis, and nature
Favorite words: “Practice makes perfect” and “Moderation”
Title・Social activities: President Hasegawa S.T. / Board Director, Aptitude Examination Association / Member of Keidanren Political Forum | Member of Tokyo Employers’ Association / Member of Tochigi Kenjinkai / Member of Bridal Institutional Association / Film director, Screenwriter, Stage Director
Born in Japan on May 26, 1964, Sayoko AKUTSU currently lives in Shibuya, Tokyo. After working for an art trading company as the president’s secretary until her late 20s, she began her new career as a Master of Ceremonies for various events. As a partner in Hasegawa ST, she has produced numerous wedding parties and other events. She was named Director in 1997 and Executive Director in 2000, before she assumed the post of President in 2004. She is also President of an affiliated company, ST Vision, a video division of Hasegawa ST founded in 2001. While immersing herself in the wedding production business, she also launched an entertainment agency and a movie/TV production division within Hasegawa ST. In addition, with many other women working with her, Sayoko AKUTSU created a marriage consultation office and a day-care center to help her employees continue to enjoy their work and contribute to society.
Sayoko AKUTSU married Takashi Hasegawa (a.k.a. OFUKU) when she was 32 years old. After having a son and a daughter, the couple divorced. She remarried at the age of 41 and had another daughter. The two households have jointly raised the three children since then. She aims to keep challenging herself until she is a kick-ass 120-year-old grandma while nurturing the bonds between her work and her two families.
Since the incorporation of the company’s video division in 2001, Sayoko AKUTSU has been involved with various types of moving image production including wedding videos, commercials, movies, and TV shows.
In 2016, she began producing short films featuring OFUKU, played by the company’s Chairperson Takashi HASEGAWA. They have been exhibited in international film festivals since then.
“OFUKU” (OFUKU 1, 2016): Special Jury Award at NY Chelsea Film Festival, Official Selection & Screening at Cannes Film Festival Short Film Corner.
“OFUKU: Mother” (OFUKU 2, 2017): Official Selection & Screening at Cannes Film Festival Short Film Corner, Best Actress Award at NY Chelsea Film Festival.
“OFUKU: Lose Way” (OFUKU 3, 2018): Official Selection & Screening at Cannes Film Festival Short Film Corner
“OFUKU: Separation” (OFUKU 4, 2019), Written and directed by Sayoko AKUTSU ,
“OFUKU: Karate Catharsis” (OFUKU 5, 2020), Official Selection & Screening at Honorable Mention,
International Filmmaker Festival of NY.
About OFUKU、Takashi Hasegawa, Sayoko Akutsu
The OFUKU movies trace the real life of Takashi Hasegawa, a.k.a. OFUKU. Since suddenly losing his beloved mother at the age of six, Hasegawa has always lived pursuing the lingering image of his mother. That is exactly what OFUKU’s story is. Hasegawa married Sayoko AKUTSU because she resembled his late mother. But he became separated from Sayoko AKUTSU too. He continues to search for something to fill himself but is never satisfied.
In the film, OFUKU forgets to die because of her obsession with her mother’s last words. She has continued to live since her mother passed away in the Edo Period (Samurai Era). Everyone is born from a mother, and lives on until one’s time comes carrying the lingering image of one’s mother in mind. The story of OFUKU is an endless journey towards Mother.
Another truth about OFUKU is that she overcomes everything with laughter. In her view, whatever hardship and despair you have, you can overcome it, as long as you keep the world of laughter with you. You pull through without giving up, until you are able to laugh again.
Takashi Hasegawa and his father worked hard to keep their family business going after his mother’s death. When the financial bubble broke in Japan, they found themselves to be 2 billion Yen ($18 million USD) in debt. But Hasegawa was lucky and had an indomitable spirit. One day, Hasegawa found himself dressed as OFUKU, wandering around Ginza. Everyone laughed at him – which was an unknown experience for him. Then Hasegawa met Sayoko AKUTSU , and has since lived fluidly between the identities of Takashi Hasegawa and OFUKU. With a bird’s eye view of himself from both bodies, he understood the situation he faced, and he and Sayoko AKUTSU simply focused on what they needed to do. Finally, more than a decade later, Hasegawa and Sayoko AKUTSU revived Hasegawa ST as a healthy, debt-free company. Sayoko AKUTSU continued to manage the business with Hasegawa as her business partner, even after their divorce.
As a business manager
Inaugurated as President of the company and created a comprehensive production focusing on wedding ceremony.
Established a bridal division as Hasegawa S.T.
Opened a West Japan branch office of the company and expanded business to the Kansai area.
Became the president of Hasegawa S.T. Started sound, video, and bridal production businesses.
Launched the Marriage Counseling Agency “STORY.”
Started Minami Aoyama Tampopo Day-care Service (Closed in 2020 due to the Coovid-19 situation.)
Chiba TV Broadcasting “OFUKU Guide and Discovery on Saturday night!” production and broadcasting.
In 2021, Akutsu collaborated with ANA group by organizing and operating a private wedding plan, “THE WEDDING with ANA,” that chartered an entire international flight.
Planned, produced, and started broadcasting a marriage-inspired program called ” Teach Us, Wedding Teacher – 100 Things that I Want to Know Now.”
As a film director, screenwriter, stage director, and producer
Incorporating the Motion Picture Department.
Complete management of the first short film, “OFUKU,” produced by Hasegawa S.T. The film was selected at the at Cannes Film Festival Short Film Corner and won the Special Jury Award at Chelsea Film Festival in New York.
Complete management of the short film, “OFUKU MOTHER.” The film was selected at the Cannes Film Festival Short Film Corner for a consecutive year and HASEGAWA Takashi, who played the role of OFUKU, won the Best Actress Award at the Chelsea Film Festival in New York.
Complete management of the third short film, “OFUKU LOSE-WAY.” The film was selected at the Cannes Film Festival Short Film Corner.
Director and scriptwriter for the fourth film, “OFUKU -karate catharsis.” Nominated and received Honorable Mention at the International Filmmaker Festival of NY. In addition, to the film was nominated for a screening at the Japan Information and Culture Center by the Embassy of Japan and was selected for “Woman in Cinema.”
Media (Media appearances)
- “Fuji Sankei Business I” (March 20, 2007) / “This Company, This Move.”
- “Nikkei xWoman DUAL” (April 5 and 12, 2017) / “If you expose yourself, then luck turns your way” OFUKU “married couple” interview.
- Nippon TV “Matsuko Conference” (July, 2017)
- “Fujin Gahō” (February, 2002) / Special talk with BESSHO Tetsuya
- “Bridal Industry Newspaper”
- Appeared with HASEGAWA Takashi as a formerly-married couple in episodes #53 and #54 of “Bar Counter is a Study Desk of Life,” written by SHIMAJI Katsuhiko.
Through working in the wedding industry for 30 years, I have seen a marriages represent various things: the beginning of a clan, a way of being a husband and wife, balance within a home, a knot of life, and the first step of life.
What I think after these 30 years is that
The difficulty of choices in women’s life is as high as Mount Everest, as it is so broad yet shallow.
In my life, for example, I married, gave birth twice, divorced, married again, and gave birth for a third time all between my late 20s and 50s.
(My life has been full of) highs and lows like tidal waves, sometimes rough and severe like turbulence by thunder and storm…
As a matter of fact, at work, I fought with many women,: felt overjoyed over victories and, when I was hurt, cheered each other up while crying.
I truly believe, “Women are genuinely very high quality.”
I must say that a woman’s best role is in supporting men because we are absolutely excellent.
However, because of that, women’s living is difficult.
Therefore, how do your survive now, and what kind of vision of life are you picturing for yourself?
Why don’t you talk it all out, exchanging opinions, and examine from every possible aspect?
My goal is the moment of my life ends.
I don’t know when my life will come to an end.
That’s why I want to support, learn, and grow as a woman with you all who are existing in the same era in Japan.,
So that you may feel like “I lived through” when your life is over.