She's a quasi political player, an eccentric former entertainer whose intense spirituality is ripe for tabloid fodder. She claims she knew actor Tom Cruise in a former life and once visited the planet Venus in a triangular spaceship.

This is Miyuki Hatoyama, the wife of the next Japanese prime minister, Yukio Hatoyama. She is a free-spirited woman whose views are drawing Western attention since her husband's Democratic Party of Japan swept into power less than a week ago.

The former singer-dancer in a theatrical troupe met Hotoyama, her second husband, at Stanford University.

In Japan, she established herself as a "life composer," or lifestyle consultant, who makes her own clothes, including a dress fashioned from hemp coffee bags.

Despite her recent high profile, few Japanese know much about her. Still, she has been busy. She has authored several books, and in a collection of celebrity interviews she discussed an extraterrestrial jaunt she took during her first marriage: "While my body was sleeping, I think my spirit flew on a triangular-shaped UFO to Venus," she said. "It was an extremely beautiful place and was very green."

Her book editor, Shunsuke Tsuchiya, said in an interview that Hatoyama was misunderstood and that it was just a vivid dream.

As a guest on one late-night Japanese TV show, she talked of a desire to make a movie with Tom Cruise, who starred in the 2003 Last Samurai.

"In my former life, I know he was Japanese. I knew him. So when he sees me, I think he'll say, "It's been a long time.'"