Toyohiro Akiyama became the first Japanese journalist to leave our planet in 1990, all through a television program.

Akiyama with two cosmonauts from the CCCP.

Who has not dreamed as a child of become an astronaut and travel to space as an adult? Logically, these desires are usually replaced by more achievable ones, although there are those who, finally, with the right dedication and effort, end up achieving it.

This requires a initial training, both physically and intellectually, since the vast majority of astronauts have previously studied physics, engineering and many other scientific branches.

Toyohiro Akiyama, the first Japanese astronaut

However, the case of Toyohiro Akiyama, a japanese journalist who in 1990 became the first Japanese and the first journalist to travel to space, all on the occasion of a tv show. And for political reasons, of course.

From TV to space

It was the year 1989 when the last blows of the Cold War also began to accentuate the deterioration that finally finished with thedissolution of the USSR, jeopardizing all the advances that it had developed in aerospace matter.

Aware of the problem it would pose for him scientific panorama the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Japanese television channel TBS, in collaboration with the government of the U.S, devised a television entertainment program whose protagonist would be a journalist, which would be sent to the space station ME, under the watchful eye of thousands of spectators.

The one chosen for it was Toyohiro Akiyama, a journalist from 47 years who had worked as a reporter at the Vietnam War and had even spent time in the BBC London, but that he had absolutely no training to play the role of astronaut.

And perhaps that was its main attraction, as it could offer much more show than someone of other characteristics.

Once selected, he received for a whole year the adequate preparation, both physical and intellectual, and finally the December 2, 1990 boarded the ship Soyuz TM-11, Accompanied by four frogs and two cosmonauts that later claimed they had never seen anyone vomit like he did before during the two days that the trip to the International Space Station lasted.

Research with frogs

It was three decades since the dog Laika traveled to space, but since then there have been many astronaut animals that have been used to study how certain characteristics of this type of travel affect the organism of living beings.

For that reason, although Akiyama and his companions decided to travel with a group of frogs for the simple fact of being friendly animals, which would be an interesting incentive for the television program, after their landing back on Earth, eight days after their departure, the four amphibians ended up in a laboratory nearby, where they were dissected in order to investigate whether weightlessness had caused some kind of effect on the secretion of some substances, related to the control of blood pressure in humans.

A life of retirement after fame

Once on Earth, Akiyama attended the media while ordering a coffee and a cigarette, without ever losing your sense of humor.

Many, many people had followed his story and the feat earned him to rise in the television station where he worked, but five years later he decided to leave his post and retire to live in agriculture, on a piece of land near Fukushima.

Unfortunately, the nuclear accident 2011 forced him to abandon his new life, so he became a teacher of the Kyoto University of Art and Design, where he teaches agriculture with a very negative outlook on modern techniques.

Without a doubt, traveling into space turned him into another person and, in reality, it is not for less. Sometimes human beings need to look at their life in perspective to decide if it is really what they want it to be. And no other thing, but we must admit that this man perspective gave him a lot.