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Maomi Yuki introduces Gochiso Tuna Burger
Thursday 07th January, 11:00 AM JST
TOKYO — Maomi Yuki, 29, returned home from Bali on Wednesday just in time to shine on the stage at an event celebrating the sale of hamburger chain Mos Burger’s newest creation, the Gochiso Tuna Burger. The 320-yen burger went on sale nationwide Wednesday.
Yuki will also take over from Aki Hoshino on the Fuji TV show, “Minna no Keiba” (Sundays at 3 p.m.) from Jan 10. Yuki said that Hoshino advised her to “Take it easy when you do the show.”
Kumi Koda to perform with sister on 'Kohaku' for 1st time
Tuesday 29th December, 03:00 PM JST
TOKYO — Kumi Koda, 27, will perform a “2009 Kohaku Koda Special” together with her younger sister misono, 25, for the first time on NHK’s 60th annual New Year’s Eve special, “Kohaku Uta Gassen” (Red and White Song Contest).
Koda will first sing her single “Lick Me,” and then welcome misono on stage. The pair will perform the Oricon chart-topping duet, “It’s all Love!”
Koda said she was looking forward to her last performance on stage in 2009. The show’s chief producer, Keisuke Inoue, said: “I hope they both rock ‘Kohaku.’”
A Michael Jackson tribute will also be featured on the show, with SMAP dancing moves choreographed by Travis Payne in front of video footage of the late singer.
Rika Ishikawa releases 10th photo book '24 Twenty Four' Tuesday 29th December, 05:00 AM JST
TOKYO — Former Morning Musume singer Rika Ishikawa, 24, has released a new photo book called “24 Twenty Four,” which sees the young entertainer in bed, in a bikini on an Okinawan beach, and prancing around the streets of Yokohama.
Ishikawa released her first photo book when she was 16, and this latest collection of artistic shots forms her 10th publication. Two photographers captured Ishikawa in various poses as she went about her business over the course of 24 hours.
“24 Twenty Four” is on sale now for 2,940 yen. She will also appear in TV Tokyo’s “Inaka ni tomaro!” program special at 6 p.m. on Jan 3.
Aki Hoshino retires from the races
Monday 28th December, 11:00 AM JST
TOKYO — Aki Hoshino, 32, spent her last day at the races Sunday, finishing her run as co-host on the Fuji TV horse racing show “Minna no Keiba” with the famous Arima Kinen grand prix race.
While Hoshino’s favorite Air Shady came in third in the race and she didn’t quite end her run on a high note, her eyes sparkled as she received a special thank you bouquet from host Shunichi Kawai.
Looking back at her two-year run on the show, she smiled and reflected, “I started out knowing nothing about horse racing, and this taught me so much about how interesting it can be. Even though I will no longer be host, I’ll still keep cheering everyone on at the races.”
From Jan 10, the show will air again as “Minna no KEIBA,” with Maoki Yuki taking over Hoshino’s place.
Kyoko Fukada struggles with non-cosplay role in family movie
Tuesday 22nd December, 03:06 AM JST
TOKYO — Actress Kyoko Fukada, 27, revealed recently she had a hard time with her role as a nature photographer in “Ururu no mori no monogatari” (“A Tale of Ululu’s Wonderful Forest.”)
Fukada plays the younger sister of a man whose two children come up to Hokkaido to live with him for the summer, after his ex-wife and custodian of the kids is admitted to hospital in Tokyo. While there, the children become attached to a puppy they find nearby and name it Ululu. Soon after they are told it is likely to be a wolf from an extinct species, and will be taken into captivity. The kids decide to try to return the baby wolf to his mother and embark on an adventure in which they play in the vast expanses of nature. On the way, they come across many wild animals, including Ezo deers and foxes.
The heart-warming story was produced by the same people who made “Mari to koinu no mon ogatari” (“A Tale of Mari and Three Puppies”) in 2007.
Fukada, who is used to playing some eye-catching roles such as a Lolita-high school student in “Kamikaze Girls” or Doronjo in “Yatterman,” said that she tried not to stand out in the family-oriented movie. She added that starring in a more regular production was the most difficult role she has played to date.
“A Tale of Ululu’s Wonderful Forest” is in cinemas now.
Fujiwara rehearses for 'Cabaret' musical
Saturday 19th December, 04:00 AM JST
TOKYO — Actress Norika Fujiwara, 38, gave the media a peek at some routines she will be performing for the upcoming musical “Cabaret.” In the musical, set in 1930s Berlin amid the rise of Nazi Germany, Fujiwara will play Sally Bowles, a cabaret girl at the seedy Kit Kat Club.
Fujiwara played a showgirl in “Drowsy Chaperone” last January, and looks in good shape for “Cabaret,” showing off her 88-60-89 figure in an eye-catching black-lace piece.
“Cabaret” became a Broadway show in 1966 and was made into a movie in 1972, starring Liza Minelli. The upcoming version directed by Shuichiro Koike will be staged at the Nissay Theater in Tokyo from Jan 7 to Jan 29 and at the Umeda Arts Theater in Osaka from Feb 5 to Feb 7.
Rumors circulate that Sawajiri will do nude photo shoot
TOKYO — The most recent news about actress Erika Sawajiri, 23, currently residing in Spain, is that she is planning to appear nude in a publication.
A close friend of her husband, Takashiro, admitted he was aware that several companies had made such offers in the past, which he absolutely refused. But recently, another friend in Spain mentioned a photographer in Spain who is close to Takashiro, and of a possible photo shoot in Paris.
A Shukan Post reporter flew to Barcelona and interviewed boutiques and cafes where Sawajiri is known to frequent. However, store clerks had been warned by Takashiro that the Japanese paparazzi were after them, and were unwilling to provide any information about the couple. Sawajiri already seems to be a prominent figure in the city, “even though the only words she can speak in Spanish are ‘hola’ and ‘adios,’” commented a local resident.
One acquaintance that had visited the couple’s home affirmed that Takashiro had a large collection of his wife’s photos that he took himself. “If there is a plan for publishing nude photos, the photographer will definitely be Takashiro” was the comment.
No further information to confirm or deny this plan was available in Barcelona, and Takashiro’s agency refused to make any statement.
But as reported earlier, Sawajiri is bored with her life in Spain, and is often seen drinking at bars on her own. It still seems that she wants to return to Japan and work as an actress. Will she make her comeback in the nude or fully dressed?
Kumi Koda marks 10 years of singing with third 'best of' album
Monday 14th December, 06:00 AM JST
TOKYO — Singer Kumi Koda, 27, will celebrate her 10th year in the music industry next year and will kick things off with the release of her new album – “BEST~third universe~&8th AL UNIVERSE” – next February.
The album was originally scheduled to be simply another “best of” album, but Koda expressed her desire to keep producing good songs, and has put together 13 new songs to go with the album. The album is her first “best of” album in four years and third in total, and at the same time, her first new album in about a year and 8th in total.
The album will go on sale in three formats: one will see the two CDs come with a DVD featuring Koda in 18 music videos and costs 4,300 yen; another version will be just the CDs only, selling for 3,150 yen; the third version comes with the “best of” CD but the new songs are made available for downloads as cell phone ring tunes, and costs 2,800 yen.
Both of Koda’s previous “best of” albums sold more than 2 million copies each. The third installment features classics such as “Lick Me,” and “It’s all Love!” - a collaboration with younger sister misono, 25. Coupled with new songs such as “SUPERSTAR” and “You’re so beautiful,” the upcoming album is also expected to do well.
Koda said: “I hope people buy the album and listen to the Kumi Koda that they’ve known up to now, and the Kumi Koda who will continue to move forward.”
“BEST~third universe~&8th AL UNIVERSE” will go on sale on Feb 3.