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Japanese Entertainment News & Info HERE! [part V]

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Author: whitedove       Show all posts   Read mode

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 Author| Post time 23-6-2011 12:01 PM | Show all posts
Departures director Takita Yojiro offered Academy membership
Posted on June 18, 2011 by tokyograph



Okuribito (Departures) director Takita Yojiro has just been invited to become a member of the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences (AMPAS), the organization responsible for the annual Academy Awards. Takita is one of 178 people who were invited this year.

Takita won Best Foreign Language Film at the 81st Academy Awards in 2009 for Okuribito. That was the first time ever that a Japanese movie won the award.

AMPAS membership is invitation-only and currently includes over 6,000 members in 15 categories ranging from actors to directors to stylists to public relations. The only other Japanese person who is currently a member is actor Watanabe Ken. Director Miyazaki Hayao was invited in 2006 but he resigned shortly after to focus on filmmaking.

A complete list of this years new members is available on the Academy website.

www.tokyograph.com
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 Author| Post time 23-6-2011 12:15 PM | Show all posts
X Japan's new single 'Jade' to debut on June 28

Entertainment Jun. 20, 2011 - 05:00AM JST ( 1 )



TOKYO

Jade, the long-awaited new single from X Japan, one of the most influential rock bands in Japan, will be released in North America, Europe and Latin America on June 28 in all digital formats. Jade is the first track from the bands English debut album, currently in the final stages of recording.

A Jade full-length ringtone will be made available exclusively in Japan on June 28, and the single will be released there and in Southeast Asia two weeks later on July 13.

This is a years-long dream of X Japans, to release a record in the Americas and in Europe, said Yoshiki, X Japans leader. Music is very powerful, and we believe it can help us bridge the gap between East and West. We hope that Jade will be the first step.

Written and produced by Yoshiki and mixed by Andy Wallace, Jade was recorded in both Japan and at Yoshikis Los Angeles studio, the same studio where Metallica recorded its classic Black album before Yoshiki bought it and turned it into a private facility.

The release of Jade coincides with the X Japans June 28 sold-out show at Londons Shepherds Bush Empire and the kick-off of their world tour that includes stops in Europe and South America.

Source: www.japantoday.com
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 Author| Post time 23-6-2011 12:17 PM | Show all posts
SMAP to release charity album
Entertainment Jun. 21, 2011 - 03:00AM JST ( 27 )  



TOKYO

Popular male idol group SMAP will release a charity album called SMAP AID on Aug 17. The album will feature songs voted on by fans.

According to SMAPs management, Johnnys Entertainment, many Japanese fans wrote to the agency following the March earthquake and tsunami disaster to say that SMAP songs cheered them up in the wake of the tragedy. The messages led to the albums concept.

The album, which will sell for 3,570 yen, will come with a yellow or red handkerchiefred representing health, and yellow representing happiness. Two hundred yen from the sale of each album will go to the Marching J charity project.

The band will also hold a fan meet-and-greet on Sept 9, where 1,000 fans who participate in a lottery will get the new album for free.

Source: www.japan-zone.com
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 Author| Post time 23-6-2011 12:23 PM | Show all posts
JAPANESE POP GROUP SUPERCELL RELEASES U.S. DEBUT RECORD TOMORROW!!

June 20, 2011 by J!-ENT

Japanese Group Pop Group Supercell Features The Worlds First Virtual Pop Singer C Hatsune Miku C And Releases Full-Length U.S. Debut On June 21st



New York, NY, June 20, 2011 C Japanese pop group Supercell sees the digital release of its self-titled full-length major label debut in North America tomorrow C Tuesday, June 21st C from Sony Music Direct (Japan), Inc., a division of Sony Music Entertainment Japan, Inc. Supercell Featuring Hatsune Miku will be available exclusively on iTunes <http://www.itunes.com/>  and Amazon <http://www.amazon.com/> .

Supercell blends catchy pop melodies and technology-inspired vocals with captivating anime-influenced imagery and notably features the worlds first virtual pop star, Hatsune Miku. The groups new record features 12 upbeat tracks, driven by the singers bright vocals and backed by lush electronic, pop and rock-inspired melodies.

Supercell is a group of multimedia creators and artists led by composer/lyricist Ryo. Hatsune Miku, whose name means, first sound of the future, is a digital female avatar and the most popular of the Vocaloid Character Series software originally created by Crypton Future Media using Yamahas Vocaloid 2 engine to create synthesized vocal tracks.

The records first single, THE WORLD IS MINE, was released in North America on May 10th on iTunes and Amazon and placed as high as Number 4 on the iTunes World Music charts.

In Japan, Hatsune Miku is a major national phenomenon appearing in many popular video games and music videos. Shes also played several sellout concerts, where she performed on stage as a 3D hologram backed by a live band. Her international notoriety is spreading to North America, where shes currently featured in a new commercial for the 2011 Toyota Corolla. Hatsune Miku is also scheduled to perform her first U.S. concert, MIKUNOPOLIS in LOS ANGELES, at the 2011 Anime Expo in Los Angeles, CA July 1-4. Information on the concert is available at: http://mikunopolis.com.

Source: www.nt2099.com/J-ENT
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 Author| Post time 23-6-2011 12:26 PM | Show all posts
Fukiishi Kazue to star in Barairo no Seisen drama series
Posted on June 20, 2011 by tokyograph



Actress Fukiishi Kazue (28) will star in a TV Asahi drama series this summer titled Barairo no Seisen. The show is based on Koyama Yukaris popular manga of the same name, which is currently being serialized in Kodanshas magazine Kiss.

Fukiishi plays a housewife named Makoto whose peaceful life suddenly changes when she learns of her husbands affair. Determined to reaffirm her own beauty, she decides to try becoming a fashion model.

Hasegawa Tomoharu (39) will play Makotos husband, while Watanabe Konomi (4) will play their daughter. Inoue Jun (64) has been cast as Makotos father. Natsuki Mari (59) will play the president of Makotos modeling agency, and Ashina Sei (27), Nakama Lisa (28), and Takizawa Saori (29) will also play models. Kaname Jun (30) will round out the cast as a popular photographer.

Barairo no Seisen will air on Sundays at 11:00pm this summer.

Source: www.tokyograph.com
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 Author| Post time 23-6-2011 12:28 PM | Show all posts
AKB48's Everyday, Kachusha reaches 1.5 million at record pace
Posted on June 20, 2011 by tokyograph



AKB48s latest single, Everyday, Kachusha, officially reached 1.5 million in sales this past week. Released on May 25, the single set a record for highest first-week sales at 1.334 million copies. Now in its fourth week in stores, the single has sold a total of approximately 1.517 million copies.

The last single to break the 1.5 million mark was the 2005 hit Seishun Amigo, sung by Kamenashi Kazuya (KAT-TUN) and Yamashita Tomohisa (NEWS) as the unit Shuji to Akira. Among female artists, the last one was MISIAs Everything in 2000.

Counting only female groups, AKB48 is just the 5th in history to achieve 1.5 million copies sold for a single, following in the footsteps of:
Pink Lady C UFO C 1.554 million
Puffy C Kore ga Watashi no Ikiru Michi C 1.566 million
SPEED C WHITE LOVE C 1.845 million
Morning Musume C LOVE Machine C 1.647 million

However, AKB48 is the fastest female group to reach 1.5 million (4 weeks), breaking the previous record of 12 weeks set by SPEED.

Source: www.tokyograph.com
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 Author| Post time 23-6-2011 12:29 PM | Show all posts
LilB to become solo unit
Posted on June 20, 2011 by tokyograph



Female pop duo Lil'B is turning into a solo unit. In a message on rapper AILAs blog, she announced that she is leaving the group in order to pursue her dream of studying abroad.

AILA explained that she discussed the matter with vocalist MIE and decided that she should withdraw from LilB. On her own blog, MIE commented that she honestly feels lonely about the decision, but she understands that AILA is the type to push forward towards her many dreams, so she supports AILAs pursuit of those dreams.

After AILAs departure, MIE will carry on the LilB name as a solo unit.

LilB debuted in 2008 with the song Orange, which was used as the ending theme for the anime series BLEACH. So far, they have released 9 singles, 2 original albums, and 1 best album.

The two originally planned to hold a final concert together, but they canceled those plans due to the effects of the Tohoku earthquake, AILAs preparations for studying abroad, and other factors. However, they will release one final album as a duo, titled Everybody Say Peace, on September 14.

Source: www.tokyograph.com
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 Author| Post time 23-6-2011 12:31 PM | Show all posts
Yamada Takayuki, Sakaguchi Tak among guests at New York Asian Film Festival
Posted on June 20, 2011 by tokyograph



The New York Asian Film Festival 2011 recently announced its film schedule and guest lineup. One of the 14 guests attending is actor Yamada Takayuki, who will be present at screenings of Ishibashi Yoshimasas Milocrorze and Miike Takashis 13 Assassins.

The festival will be held on July 1-14 at the Film Society of Lincoln Center and Japan Society in New York. Both Yamada and Ishibashi will be present for the screening of Milocrorze on July 1, and Yamada will receive the Star Asia Rising Star Award during the presentation. Yamada will then be at the screening of the directors cut of 13 Assassins on July 2.

Actor Sakaguchi Tak is also attending for screenings of Yakuza Weapon (July 9 & 12) and Versus (July 12).

The guests attending are:

Yamada Takayuki, actor
Sakaguchi Tak, actor/director
Ishibashi Yoshimasa, director
Yamaguchi Yudai, director
Yamanaka Arata, actor/stuntman
Chiba Yoshinori, producer
Tsui Hark, director
Su Chao-Pin, director
Ryoo Seung-Wan, director
Na Hong-Jin, director
Lee Joon-Ik, director
Kwon Hyeok-Jae, director/writer
Yeo Joon Han, director
Peter Davis, actor

More information about the festival schedule is currently available on the Subway Cinema News blog.

Source: www.tokyograph.com
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 Author| Post time 23-6-2011 12:33 PM | Show all posts
1,001-song Hibari Misora box set to go on sale from Aug
Entertainment Jun. 22, 2011 - 05:49AM JST ( 5 )  



TOKYO

A Buddhist ceremony commemorating the death of one of Japans most beloved entertainers, Hibari Misora, was held in Tokyo this week at the Imperial Hotel, where she performed her final dinner show. Some 620 relatives and acquaintances attended the ceremony.

Her eldest son Kazuya Kato, 39, who is the president of Hibari Production, a company that continues to serve her fans, announced that a luxury box set of Misoras songs, featuring 1,001 songs on 58 CDs will go on sale for 120,000 yen on Aug 3. He also announced plans to hold a music festival in his mothers memory.

Misora died in a Tokyo hospital in 1989 at the age of 52 after contracting pneumonia. Her death was mourned by millions of people across Japan. From the year following her death, television and radio stations began to play her song Kawa no Nagare no Yo ni annually on her birthday to show respect. In 1997, an NHK poll showed that over 10 million people believed it to be the greatest Japanese song of all time.

The altar at the ceremony was adorned with the image of a phoenix to represent her continued popularity and success even after death. After Misora passed away, demand for her albums grew significantly. During her lifetime, she recorded some 1,200 songs. By the year 2001, Misora had sold 80 million records. It wasnt until after her death that she was awarded the Peoples Honor Award for her notable contributions to music. She became the first woman to win the accolade.

Source: www.japantoday.com
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 Author| Post time 23-6-2011 12:36 PM | Show all posts
AKB48's 'newest member' turns out to be computer-generated image
Entertainment Jun.
22, 2011 - 12:30PM JST ( 19 )  



TOKYO

A debate that has been raging among AKB48 fans since last week was finally settled on Monday when the bands newest member was revealed to be a computer-generated image.

Aimi Eguchi suddenly became the face of a new confectionery line from Glico and appeared on the cover of a magazine on June 13. Immediately following the revelation, Eguchi became a hot topic of discussion among fans online, many of whom believed her to have the slightly unreal air of a photoshopped character.

A mini documentary titled The Birth of Eguchi Aimi was unveiled on the Glico homepage on Monday and confirmed that AKB48s newest member was indeed a composite image formed from the faces of six existing members.

Eguchi consists of 19-year-old Atsuko Maedas eyes, 22-year-old Yuko Oshimas hair, 20-year-old Takahashi Minamis facial outline, 25-year-old Mariko Shinodas mouth, 19-year-old Tomomi Itanos nose, and 17-year-old Mayu Watanabes eyebrows. Eguchi is voiced by new member Yukari Sasaki, 15.

Source: Source: www.japantoday.com
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 Author| Post time 23-6-2011 12:47 PM | Show all posts
Goto Maki announces hiatus starting in 2012
Posted on June 21, 2011 by tokyograph



On Wednesday, singer Goto Maki (25) announced on her official website that she will put her entertainment career on hiatus, starting in January 2012. Before that, she plans to release a digital single in July, perform in Avexs a-nation tour in the summer, release an album in the fall, and hold a final concert in December. That will be her first solo concert in approximately 4 years.

In her message to her fans, Goto explained her thinking behind the decision. She said she began thinking differently about her future after her mother passed away in January 2010.

I feel very thankful for everyones presence. But theres a large hole that has opened inside of me that cant be buried. Until now, Ive always lived for someone else other than me. I began thinking that I want to try living for myself now, instead of someone else. Not as Gomaki, but I wish to return to my normal self as Goto Maki.

Further details about Gotos planned releases and performances will be revealed in July.

Goto made her debut 12 years ago as part of Morning Musume. She graduated from the group in 2002 and expanded her solo career, eventually moving from Up-Front Agency to Avex in 2008.

Source: www.tokyograph.com
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 Author| Post time 23-6-2011 12:52 PM | Show all posts
Charts: KinKi Kids, Superfly, Arashi
Posted on June 21, 2011 by tokyograph



KinKi Kids proved that theyre still king of the charts with their latest single Time, selling close 151,000 copies in the first week. This extends two records that they currently hold: most consecutive years with a #1 single (15), and most consecutive #1 singles starting with their debut (31).

Another notable single in the top 10 is AKB48s Everyday, Kachusha, which sold 18,000 copies in its 4th week to reach a total of more than 1.5 million copies sold.



KinKi Kids C Time C 150,661
Choshinsei C Kuriunnare -Kimi ni Aitakute- C 53,657
BEAST C BAD GIRL C 42,386
Morning Musume C Only you C 32,869
SUPER?GiRLS C MAX! Otomegokoro / Happy GO Lucky! ~Happy Lucky de Go!~ C 29,027
Kaoru to Yuki, Tama ni Mook C Maru Maru Mori Mori! C 28,928
AKB48 C Everyday, Kachusha C 18,166
SuG C Gimi Gimi C 18,024
Galileo Galilei C Aoi Shiori C 15,798
Kanjani8 C 365 Nichi Kazoku C 15,080

On the album rankings, Superflys Mind Travel took #1 with 166,000 copies sold. Including her cover best album, she now has a streak of four consecutive number-ones, starting with her first album. The last female artist to achieve this was Utada Hikaru in 2004.

Superfly C Mind Travel C 166,473
Shonannokaze C Shonannokaze ~Single Best~ C 89,375
AKB48 C Koko ni Ita Koto C 75,179
Shoujo Jidai C GIRLS' GENERATION C 52,876
Lady Gaga C Born This Way C 27,004
9mm Parabellum Bullet C Movement C 26,625
Shonannokaze C Shonannokaze ~Live Set Best~ C 25,145
Hirai Ken C JAPANESE SINGER C 23,354
The Birthday C I'M JUST A DOG C 15,378
Nem's Garden C Moratorium C 9,240

In DVDs, the latest release from Arashi debuted at #1 with approximately 539,000 copies sold, becoming their 8th DVD to top the general rankings. The DVD also pushed the group to become the first artist ever to sell more than 5 million DVDs.

Source: www.tokyograph.com
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 Author| Post time 23-6-2011 02:16 PM | Show all posts
Ore no Sora lead to be decided by online voting, Kuninaka Ryoko to co-star
Posted on June 21, 2011 by tokyograph



In March, TV Asahi revealed that it was working on a drama adaptation of the Motomiya Hiroshi manga Ore no Sora: Keiji-hen. More details have now been released, including the fact that the lead actor will be decided by an online poll. This is the first time that a drama series on a national network will have its star decided by votes on the Internet.

The original Ore no Sora manga tells the story of a young man named Yasuda Ippei, whose father is the head of Japans greatest business conglomerate. In the Keiji-hen sequel, the fiery Yasuda becomes a police detective.

TV Asahi initially announced that it would hold a public audition for the main character. The field of 2,700 applicants was whittled down to 10 finalists, and TV Asahi decided to have the winner determined by the public. As per the audition rules, all 10 are amateurs who are not currently signed with a management agency.

The finalists include 25-year-old Umeda Hiroki, who currently works as an assistant director for the TV Asahi show Morning Bird! All of the finalists can be seen on the Ore no Sora website, which includes links to video introductions from each one of them. Each of them is also opening a personal blog today, and voting will begin at the same time.



Meanwhile, the dramas female lead has already been decided. Actress Kuninaka Ryoko (31) will play a fellow detective who is also a potential love interest for the main character.

Actor Nagai Masaru (33) was also revealed as a cast member last month.

Ore no Sora will air on Sundays at 11:00pm this fall.

Source: www.tokyograph.com
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 Author| Post time 23-6-2011 03:20 PM | Show all posts
Ishikawa Rika to star in movie Atsuhime Number 1"
Posted on June 21, 2011 by tokyograph



Dream Morning Musume member and former Morning Musume member Ishikawa Rika (26) has landed her first starring movie role. She will headline the cast of Atsuhime Number 1, a film produced by Tsunku (42) that is expected to be released next year.



In the story, Ishikawa plays the part of Atsuhime, a princess during the Edo period. A time slip sends her into the present day, where she becomes a hostess at a high-class Ginza club. Nakazawa Yuko (38), who is also part of Dream Morning Musume, will play Atsuhimes mentor Tae. According to Tsunku, he is considering including surprise appearances by current and former Morning Musume members.

Atsuhime Number 1" will begin filming next month. Before that, Ishikawa is planning to make a trip to an actual Ginza hostess club in order to prepare for the role. An exact release date has not been set yet, but it is currently planned for release in spring 2012 or later.

Tsunku stated that a portion of the movies ticket sales will be donated to earthquake relief efforts through Up-Front Groups ongoing charity project.

Source: www.tokyograph.com
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 Author| Post time 23-6-2011 03:23 PM | Show all posts
Karina, Aso Kumiko, Kichise Michiko, Itaya Yuka star in movie Girl
Posted on June 21, 2011 by tokyograph



Director Fukagawa Yoshihiro (Byakuyakou, Kamisama no Karute) is working on a new movie called Girl, it has been learned. Model and actress Karina (27) is taking on the lead role, and popular actor Mukai Osamu (29) will play the part of her lover.

The film is described as a girls movie about four beautiful working women and their troubles in love and work. The other three female leads joining Karina are Aso Kumiko (33), Kichise Michiko (36), and Itaya Yuka (36). One of the movies themes is said to be fashion, and they will each be seen in many different outfits throughout the story, with Karina said to have the most at 23 outfits.

The story is actually based on a popular short story anthology called Girl by author Okuda Hideo. Of the five stories contained in the anthology, four of them have been combined to form the basis of this movie.

Karina plays Yukiko, a single office worker at a large advertising firm who is dealing with feelings of frustration about her life, despite her good-looking boyfriend. She also has to deal with problems with her boss (Dan Rei) and an antagonistic client (Kato Rosa).

Aso plays Seiko, a married woman who works as a manager at a major real estate company where she clashes with her older subordinate (Kaname Jun). Kamiji Yusuke has been cast as Seikos husband, who earns less than her.

Kichises character is a single woman working at a long-standing stationery company, who becomes worried about her feelings for a young new employee (Hayashi Kento). Itaya plays a single mother working for a car manufacturer, who feels uncomfortable about being treated as weak by the rest of society.

Girl is scheduled for release in early summer 2012.

Source: www.tokyograph.com
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 Author| Post time 23-6-2011 03:25 PM | Show all posts
Arashi becomes first artist to sell 5 million DVDs
Posted on June 21, 2011 by tokyograph



Last week, Arashi released their latest DVD, ARASHI 10-11 TOUR "Scene" ~Kimi to Boku no Miteiru Fuukei~ DOME+. According to Oricon, the DVD sold 539,000 copies, putting it at the top of the sales charts for the week. That number also pushes their all-time DVD sales to 5.282 million, making them the first artist to sell over 5 million DVDs.

Before this, Arashi already held the record for highest total DVD sales, with a huge lead over the second-place Morning Musume (2.695 million).

The new DVD also gives Arashi their 8th #1 on the overall DVD charts, tying them for the record with KinKi Kids and Utada Hikaru.

Source: www.tokyograph.com
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 Author| Post time 23-6-2011 03:27 PM | Show all posts
Kawamura Yosuke becomes a father
Posted on June 21, 2011 by tokyograph



Actor Kawamura Yosuke (28) has just become a father. His agency announced the good news on Tuesday with a fax sent to the media, revealing that Kawamuras wife gave birth to a daughter on the afternoon of June 20 at a hospital in Saitama.

Kawamura happened to be off work that day, so he was able to be present at the childbirth. He is currently participating in filming for the fall drama series Nankyoku Tairiku (starring SMAP member Kimura Takuya) that was announced earlier this year.

Kawamura has been married since January. His wife was a classmate of his in junior high school, though they did not begin dating until later on.

Source: www.tokyograph.com
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 Author| Post time 23-6-2011 03:29 PM | Show all posts
Mitsushima Hikari stars in NHK miniseries Kaitakushatachi
Posted on June 21, 2011 by tokyograph



Next year, NHK will broadcast a special documentary drama mini-series to commemorate the launch of its BS Premium channel and the 40th anniversary of the restoration of diplomatic ties between Japan and China. The 4-episode series, titled Kaitakushatachi, will star actress Mitsushima Hikari (25).

The story is set in the region formerly known as Manchuria and is based on the groups trying to resettle there in the years after the Manchurian Incident. The central characters are a family of four siblings who live there, but who are forced to flee due to the Soviet invasion of the region and Japans defeat in World War II. As a result, they return to Japan and attempt to forge a new life on a farm in the Tochigi prefecture.



Mitsushima plays Hatsu, the eldest daughter who tries to support her younger siblings in their pursuit of their dreams. Ishida Takuya (24) plays a younger brother who runs the farm, while Ayano Go (29) plays another younger brother who enlists in a volunteer army. Yamashita Rio (18) plays the sister and the youngest of the four, who dreams of becoming a nurse. Hatsus husband is played by Arai Hirofumi (32).



Part of the drama is being filmed in Hokkaido this month and in November. Further filming will take place in Tochigi in August and October, and in China in September. NHK will air the series in January 2012.

Source: www.tokyograph.com
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 Author| Post time 25-6-2011 12:26 PM | Show all posts
Kumi Koda goes sexy for CD, DVD jackets

Entertainment Jun. 23, 2011 - 09:42AM JST ( 15 )



TOKYO

Singer, Kumi Koda, 28 will release her 50th single titled 4 TIMES, on July 10. The CD, featuring four songs, will be released also on DVD. Both feature photos of Koda in sexy outfits on the jackets.

The theme is Sexy and Fashionable. The four songs express the progress of one day, with the daytime poppin love cocktail, the early evening In the air, midnight VIP and first light kosokoso.

The CD costs 1,260 yen and the DVD 2,100 yen.

Source: www.japantoday.com
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 Author| Post time 25-6-2011 12:27 PM | Show all posts
NHK announces 2013 taiga drama, starring Ayase Haruka
Posted on June 22, 2011 by tokyograph



NHK has already announced its plans for its 2013 taiga drama. Titled Yae no Sakura, the drama will star actress Ayase Haruka (26) in an original screenplay by Gegege no Nyoubou writer Yamamoto Mutsumi.

Yae no Sakura will tell the story of Niijima Yae, also known as Yamamoto Yaeko, who was born into the Aizu Domain during the late Edo period. Skilled in gunnery, she helped defend Aizu during the Boshin War, earning her the nickname of the Bakumatsu Joan of Arc. After the war, she married educator Joseph Hardy Neesima (Niijima Jo) and became a Christian, and she helped Neesima found Doshisha University.

The story will take place mainly in the Fukushima prefecture, where Yae was originally from. NHK apparently chose the story partly in response to the aftermath of the Tohoku earthquake.

Filming is expected to begin in the summer of next year. A total of 50 episodes are planned, starting in January 2013.

Source: www.tokyograph.com
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